YAMAHA XSR700 XTribute (2019 - on) Review
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
With nearly every manufacturer looking to capitalise on the growing trend of retro off-road bikes and desperate to hark back to their own legendary offerings, Yamaha have now jumped firmly onto the scrambler band wagon.
Calling on their rich off-road heritage that saw ground-breaking bikes like the XT500 rule the roost back in the 1970s, they have launched a re-modelled and re-packaged XSR700 called and called it the XTribute in homage to the silver-tanked 1981 XT500.
There’s no question that the XTribute is a great ride. With a nimble chassis, punchy motor and good fuelling it’s a bike that certainly puts a smile on your face the moment you swing your leg over it. It’s a bike that is as equally happy making good progress along your favourite twisty road or cruising down to the local bike café for soya latte.
It’s comfortable thanks to its higher seat and feels purposeful as do its wide of-road focussed handlebars. And if it’s distinctive looks you want the XTribute is certainly something a little different, but whether the different paint scheme and small ergonomic and styling changes are worth an extra 10% on the price is rather questionable.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The chassis, brakes and suspension also compliment the overall package well. And being an MT-07 it’s a seriously fun bike to ride that turns, corners and behaves brilliantly. The ABS-equipped four-piston calipers have no problem bringing the relatively lightweight 187kg (kerb) package to a halt. There’s plenty of feel too for one-finger trail braking or for smooth, controlled slowing down in town or with a pillion on the back.
The XTribute features a deeper seat which raises the height by a significant 30mm. It makes it reasonably tall at 845mm, but it gives the added bonus of giving the rider more room between seat and peg – meaning there is less knee bend and more comfort. The higher, flatter seat and 40mm wider handlebars gives the XTribute a more authentic scrambler/off-road riding position.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The heart of the bike is essentially a fun, frugal and highly engaging MT-07 which has been retro’d into the XSR700 before being given the additional styling twist of the XTribute.
Powered by the 689cc parallel twin CP2 engine the same that is used in both the MT-07 and new Ténéré 700 go-anywhere adventure bike. With 75bhp and 50ftlb torque it has the perfect character to compliment this type of bike, with good throttle response and easy-to-use power without ever being intimidating or overwhelming.
There are no sophisticated electronics – so no traction control or quickshifter – instead it’s an engine that delivers ample performance totally in tune with this type of bike.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The MT-07 motor hasn't been a cause for concern so it's fair to say you can expect the XTribute to be relatively reliable.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The XTribute costs around 10% more than the bike it's based on, which is our only real concern here. Are the minor improvements worth the cost? We guess if it's the look you're after then you'll go for it regardless.
Like any of the current crop of retro scrambler’s it’s all about the looks, and there are a number of subtle changes that make the XTribute stand apart from a standard XSR700. It comes with gold rims and chunky dual-purpose Pirelli MT60RS block pattern tyres and up front it has black fork gaiters and black levers.
There are also billet frame tube caps to go with the silver paint scheme which is a throwback to the silver XT500 – although it’s just a silver painted tank rather than the original chrome one in 1981.
|Engine type||Double overhead cam parallel twin|
|Fuel capacity||14 litres|
|Front suspension||Non-adjustable telescopic fork with 130mm travel|
|Rear suspension||Adjustable rear shock with 130mm travel|
|Front brake||2 x 282mm disk|
|Rear brake||1 x 245mm disk|
|Front tyre size||120/70 ZR 17M/C(58V) (Tubeless)|
|Rear tyre size||180/55 ZR 17M/C(73V) (Tubeless)|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||65.7 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||-|
|Used price||£6,100 - £7,800|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||75 bhp|
|Max torque||50 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA XSR700 (2019 - on)
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