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New colours for Yamaha XSR900 and XSR700

Published: 22 September 2017

Yamaha's popular XSR900 and XSR700 models have together sold over 17,000 models worldwide, and for 2018 the bikes are getting a fresh look with some retro-inspired paint schemes.

The XSR700 gives a nod to the past with the new Brilliant Red paint scheme, which pays homage to the 1968 Yamaha XS650, also a parallel twin.

Yamaha have opted to stay with the red theme for the larger XSR900 as well, with a brighter Racing Red that pays tribute to the XS850 Yamaha produced in the 1980s.


In 2016 our editor Andy Calton spent a year with the Yamaha XSR900 and had nothing but praise for the bike.

More competition

The XSR900 will face stiff competition from Kawasaki in 2018. A teaser video released recently confirmed the arrival of the Z900RS next year.

Although we know very little about the upcoming retro from Kawasaki, we do know the Z900 and MT-09 - the base models for the Z900RS and MT-09 - are very closely matched.

When it comes to power the Z900 produces 123bhp, compared to the 113bhp produced from the three-cylinder engine in the MT-09, but the MT-09 is over 15kg lighter. From Kawasaki's teaser video it appears they've also gone for a suitably old school burgundy paint scheme, which trumps the new offerings from Yamaha. 

There is yet more competition for the feisty Yamaha coming from Japan, in the form of Honda's CB1100EX and CB1100RS. Neither CB models are as performance, orientated as the Yamaha, but they certainly look the part.

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