Not long till we get off-road with Yamaha's SCR950
MCN will be slipping and sliding, and rolling and riding Yamaha’s new SCR950 today, both on the road and off it.
As its name suggests, SCR is short for Scrambler – this is Yamaha’s Faster Sons retro take on the burgeoning street scrambler scene; a throwback to simpler days when all you needed to take your bike off-road was a Steve McQueen stare and the will to do it, rather than a flagship techno-marvel that could win the Dakar.
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As a result Yamaha keep it low-tech but high on cool. The SCR sticks with the same, simple, low-powered 942cc, 51bhp air-cooled 60° V-twin well-known and well-loved from their XV950 bobber, XV950R and XV950 Racer series.
The SCR950 also uses the same basic chassis, with gaitered 41mm forks and twin rear shocks, but differs from the other XVs by having more ground clearance and much higher seat, with an optional bash plate to deal with a spot of light off-road adventure.
Other changes over the standard XV950s include:
• a flat, dual seat
• wire spokes on 19in front/17in rear aluminium rims
• wide, scrambler-style braced steel bars
• block-pattern Bridgestone Trail Wing tyres
• steel front and rear mudguards
• black engine, covers and components
• flangeless 13.2-litre fuel tank
• vintage-style number plate panels
In a street scrambler market already dominated by BMW’s R nineT Scrambler (£10,550), Triumph’s Street Scrambler (£8900) and Ducati’s Scrambler Desert Sled (£9532), Yamaha’s SCR950, at £8499, isn’t designed to compete in terms of outright performance either in the engine or chassis departments.
But in matters of style and taste – and with Yamaha’s recent record of making affordable bikes way more fun to ride than their spec says they should be – we’ll have to wait until we ride the SCR950 later to find out if they’ve cracked it.