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Yamaha Introduces 2016 XSR700: Retro Design Built on FZ-07 Platform



A short while ago, we asked where Yamaha was going with its “Faster Sons” riff. Now we know. Yamaha Europe has announced the production 2016 XSR700 — a bike likely to come to the United States, as well. It shares the 689 cc twin engine with the FZ-07, along with its chassis, suspension and wheels (although the subframe is different to accommodate a flatter, retro-style seat).

Like the FZ-07, the XSR700 is very light weight at a claimed 409 pounds wet. Having just ridden the FZ-07 through Norway, we expect the XSR700 to display similar performance characteristics with a potent engine and nimble handling. You can open the full product brochure with this PDF file, but here is Yamaha’s summary of the new bike, followed by a video:



Born tomorrow

The XSR700 makes a serious statement. Designed to take a timeless feel built on historical icons, matched with tomorrow’s technology for a pure, entertaining riding experience. With deep torque and a super agile chassis, it’s for those who appreciate heritage and love to ride.

The cutting edge 689cc inline 2-cylinder engine features our special ‘crossplane philosophy’ enabling it to develop linear torque for outstanding acceleration. The retro styled XSR700 also benefits from a tight and lightweight chassis for outstanding agility and handling.

The XSR700 takes the best of design from Yamaha’s history in homage to the past but is very much the motorcycle of tomorrow.


  • Built for optimum riding enjoyment
  • Vintage inspired headlight and rear light unit
  • Two-texture leather vintage style seat unit
  • Pirelli Phantom tyres with authentic tread pattern
  • Outstanding fuel efficiency
  • Low dry weight of only 164kg
  • Aluminium fuel tank unit
  • Liquid-cooled 689cc inline 2-cylinder 4-stroke
  • Mass-forward design with sculpted bodywork
  • Crossplane philosophy design with 270-degree crank
  • Deep and powerful linear torque output
  • Dual 282mm front discs with 4-pot calipers and ABS



  1. mike says:

    it is slightly overdone. Why couldn’t they do a simple chrome headlight, for instance? btw I’d prefer the Scrambler if it didn’t have the dirt bike thing. I’d prefer this if it were more a classic SR look with one of the FZ engines. I might be able to able to buy the silver one: for some reason the neutral tones hide the slightly garish parts.

  2. Malcolm says:

    I like it but the headlight bucket looks too long/deep to me. I’d almost rather have the FZ-07 headlight on it. Still, really cool! Come to think of it, the headlight bucket shape seems more reminiscent of the mid ’60s Japanese designs. Aluminum tank is really cool. Another bike to have on my wish list!

  3. Paul Warrick says:

    Looks “pieced together”, but I kind of like it, or at least better than the Gladius or Ninja 650, as someone else commented. I have been seriously considering the FZ version but I’ll look at this one too, as I lean retro.

  4. Provologna says:

    Music sound track in the video is not “mysterious” enough for me.

    /sarc off

  5. Dino says:

    Much better than the other nakeds, that look like angry insects, just with less contiguous fairings, and headlights drooping down to the front tire.

    I get that it is retro inspired… retro styling, but with modern hardware. I like it. But I am surprised nobody else has complained of the instrument gauge. It looks like a giant Casio watch! I would hope they would throw two round analog gauges on it. put all the digital gee whiz inset in one or both the gauges, but just give me a couple needles to look at, not a clunky chunky bar graph that will likely take some time to get used to reading on the fly. (Hint – you shouldn’t have to “get used to” critical info on a cycle).

    Other than that… Me likey!

  6. Sean says:

    I was gonna say this is another bike for Grandpappy but after taking a closer look I think this bike will appeal to both old and young. I’m somewhere in the middle and I have to say I kinda like it. Nice blend of old and new. And because every comment needs a good grumble or request for something different than what is being offered, I wish this thing had the FZ-09 motor instead.

  7. Phlip says:

    I would choose the XSR over the FZ if given the choice. It’s just a little more appealing to me.

  8. Montana says:

    Right idea, half-assed execution. A “retro” bike which highlights the radiator and rear brake reservoir! Two body panels below the tank? A rear fender that doesn’t wrap around the wheel? Fenders that don’t match the tank? Single instrument pod? Tacky.
    In terms of function, style must give way: brakes, tubeless tires etc. But why only a 3.5 gallon tank?

  9. vato_loco_frisco says:

    I like it but the video belongs to that fast-developing genre known as hipster excess…

  10. Butch says:

    If Yamaha is trying to tap in to the Ducati,Triumph, Guzzi retro market, they missed the mark.
    When the water cooled Bonnie is released I predict sales will be below expectations.
    Retro and radiator shouldn’t be used in the same sentence . . . . . . .

  11. Jeremy in TX says:

    I think that it is a nice looking bike, though I wish they would have blacked out the radiator. What I like most about the design is that it is “vintage inspired” as opposed to a replica of a past bike which is what retro efforts from other manufacturers typically yield. It isn’t designed to look like an XS650: it is its own machine.

  12. Bukemoto says:

    Yamaha has done this before. Anyone remember the Fazer 700 or TDM 800? I thought so.
    This is probably a wonderfully functional motorcycle. It just doesn’t stir the soul.

    • Dave says:

      I remember both. I believe especially the TDM 800 was a big success overseas, where people still buy motorcycles. The sooner we accept that the US is a minor motorcycle market, the sooner we’ll understand why they look the way they do.

      As new bikes go, I think this one is great. I like that they’ve combined retro flavor to a thoroughly modern bike. I may have to make some arrangements..

    • Curly says:

      Yeah they both became hard to find cult bikes when people realized that they were really good and no more new ones were coming. I lucked out and got a nice TDM that was only 9 years old.

  13. mike says:

    I’ve read the seat height is over 32 inches. Which is too tall for it to capture much market share. There are only so many people who will buy a retro bike because they rode something like it years ago. The market for these bikes is (or should be) new riders getting into the lifestyle, and new riders benefit greatly from lower seats. And if they want to go after women (which they don’t seem interested in doing), they need a lower seat given the median height of women is normally stated as 5’4″. If a large percentage of your target market can’t ride the bike comfortably, you will lose that market, as well as any follow on sales that may happen in following years as the market develops.

    For (most) men, and experienced riders, this is indeed a very tempting bike if it’s what you want next. Likely more reliable than a Ducati, and with a much larger dealer network.

  14. Artem_T says:

    It isn’t

  15. Brian says:

    getting closer…doesn’t need the odd fuel injector flat slab covers as much as it needs a nice retro body color side cover for the rear master cylinder and the empty space on the left side… and twin meters fwd of the bars where they used to be…

  16. Colors says:

    Where do I send my check?!?

  17. beasty says:

    Retro? I think not.

  18. ROXX says:

    They actually almost put a real seat on it! Nice.
    I think from a styling standpoint, a more traditional rear fender would have fir the overall look better.
    I’d say they came about 80 percent close to hitting the retro mark.

  19. todd says:

    It doesn’t look retro at all to me. And someone finally gives us a round headlight but figures 4″ is big enough. Heck, the one on my Seca is 8″ and is brighter than all my modern bike lights. Plus, it looks “right.”

    All the tacked on parts look silly and why a round tail light? That looks dumb too. It isn’t even red! If they went a similar direction to Triumph’s Bonneville SE – retro style with modern brakes/suspension – that would be a winner. I guess if I had to chose, I’d still go with this or the regular model over a Ninja 650 or what the other makers offer – only because it’s a Yamaha.

    • Provologna says:

      First I was going to contradict you, then I remembered the early 80s Seca XJ650 Euro shaftie had 8″ headlight. I still got laying around the garage the 8″ light from 82-83 Suzuki GS1100. I bet modern head lights barely way 1/10th what this ancient piece weighs.

  20. Doug Miller says:

    Better but still a ways to go. Parts are classic but design flow is weak. Why don’t they just use Oberdan Bezzi ‘ s design and get it over with? Do that and my check is in the mail.

  21. allworld says:

    It would be nice to see a premium version, with better suspension, brakes …..

  22. TF says:

    Looks like a neat somewhat retro alternative to the FZ-07 and a response to the success of the Scrambler. Hopefully it will be priced like the FZ-07. Judging from the chatter in the R1 and Streetfighter articles below, Yamaha should sell thousands of these things. I’ll bet they’ll be unbeatable at the track too when all the great riders finally get their hands on a bike with half the horsepower.

  23. Tyler says:

    Nothing Retro/Scrambler about this bike.
    Water cooled w/ huge radiator? Nope.
    Monoshock? Nope
    Exhaust slung below engine? Nope.

    Ducati & Triumph have nothing to worry about. Shame the SR400 is so exorbitantly expensive, that is a proper retro bike. This just misses the mark.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      In all fairness, there is often a difference between what is marketed as a “retro bike” and an “old bike.”

  24. saddlebag says:

    I like it, but please paint the radiator black.

  25. carl says:

    I like it plain and simple the way a bike should be!

  26. Randy in Nebraska says:

    I’ll take mine in green, with ABS please.

  27. Auphliam says:

    Looks good to me. Looks like fun.

  28. red says:

    Nice! I like the FZ07 in concept but not the origami space bug styling. This is MUCH more to my taste. “Homage” is fitting because it’s still semi modernish looking. And finally a round headlight!

  29. Neil says:

    I like it. That flat rear subframe is right on for street riding. The silver one fits the bike well. A kind of right out of the custom shop look. There are elements that look a little odd, but that is the idea, a rough, shop look. – The main thing is to get more riders out on the road. In New England there are FEW motorcycles out riding. Mostly Harleys. Young people are still glued to Facebook etc. All in all, a nice machine. I happen to like the mechanical look because it gives you a lot to look at and talk about when you stop somewhere.

  30. Eddie says:

    I think they should make it kick start only and price it at $12,000.00 in typical Yamaha /Honda fashion. It looks like they raked up a pile of parts , sprayed a little glue on them , and threw them at a frame. Of course the cruiser headlight and the NEVER TO BE centerstand kinda kill it too.
    Crossplane and radiator as homage to the almighty XS650 ???? I aint buyin’ none of this.

  31. Nobade says:

    I’m sure it would be fun to ride, but it’s butt ugly. Needs a sleek looking air cooled engine, not a mess of piping and big radiator out front.

  32. North of Missoula says:

    I like the exposed plumbing and naked rad look on this offering. Nice touch with the cute little above the fender fork brace.

    I am too tall, old and fat for that bike, I would look like a gorilla riding a circus tricycle. I am patiently waiting for the XJR1300 to show up on our shores.

  33. ABQ says:

    I like the new scrambler concept much more than the gs bikes. Lighter weight, lower seat hieght, greater practicality.

  34. ApriliaRST says:

    It’s okay, but I’m looking for a dual sport. I very much like the 360 pound dry weight, though.

  35. John says:

    NOW they’re on the right track! My last new bike bike purchase was along time ago – a left over SRX600 in 1987 to be exact – after decades of used bikes I might be ready for a brand-new bike…though I do hope Yamaha has a little nicer tail light in the accessory catalog, the stock one – blah!

  36. dualaportjoe says:

    Looks like an FZ07 Bolt. Bring back the RD400 and I’m in.

  37. Scotty says:

    Not bad, not bad at all. Though I would want hard luggage and a small screen. I suppose the upcoming FJ will have that.

  38. azi says:

    I like it. Aluminium tank is a really nice touch.

    I find this and the FZ07 much more appealing than the Gladius, Ninja 650, or CBR650F.

  39. John says:

    I can understand why people think it’s ugly, but I think it’s gorgeous. Just as pretty as the Scrambler, but in a more techy way. It looks to have a much nicer seat than the FZ, though I wouldn’t pay an extra $1000 for just that. It would be nice if this had some extra performance or better suspension or something to make it work extra money. Though some are saying only $500 more which would make it a helluva bargain. It’s gained over 10lbs over the FZ though.

    Of course, I really need a sport tourer or mini ADV, so this is me waiting for the FJ-07 or an XTZ700.

  40. al says:

    The radiator ruins the entire look! Sort of like a giant pimple on an otherwise beautiful face.

  41. Tik says:

    Beautiful, I would gladly buy it but not before a test drive. There are many bikes that look well on paper but are completely different on the road.

  42. Grover says:

    Not the best bike to build a retro. Looks hideous!

  43. Shaunock says:

    Looks like a reaction to the Ducati Scrambler.

    • Lynchenstein says:

      That’s AOK by me. Ducati looks, more or less, with Yammy price/reliability/dealer network.

  44. TimZ says:

    How does this advance the state of design, or is it just another exercise in tickling the fading minds of the last generation of gentleriders?

    Compared with bikes with more adequate lighting, no naked chain flapping in the gritty breeze, better protection against dirt and road slime for the engine and better pillion accommodation, this design represents 1950’s thinking.

    If pricing is your sole reason for buying this bike or you say: “I just like it”, you should know you can do much better.

    • Randy in Atlanta says:

      If it has modern engine, suspension, brakes and handling, how does this make it for “gentleriders” only? Lower weight and price are just a plus! I’ve had fully faired bikes and believe me, 45 minutes of removing and replacing plastic to change the oil filter wasn’t fun.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “this design represents 1950’s thinking”

      Well, that is kind of the point, isn’t it? Except with next century performance, refinement and reliability.

      • Curly says:

        Exactly. This is just a regular bike. It’s not a “Scrambler”, an ADV bike a Sport Tourer or a Supersport. There was a time when that’s all you could buy like in the 50’s. It’s just a standard bike with a modern drivetrain. Yay! Are there some things I’d change? Yep, but on the whole it’s what I’ve been waiting for in a standard bike.

    • Tim says:

      Honestly, there is something to be said for the simplicity of of the bikes from the 60’s and 70’s. For one thing, they were actually comfortable. I really like this concept, modern features but a pretty simple look. If I had room in the garage, I’d probably have to have one.

  45. Tank says:

    Passenger seat seems a bit small.

  46. Stuki Moi says:

    My aging eyes still fails to spot anything looking like abs hardware…..

    It’s a bizarre design. All nice an retroish from the tank/seat and up. But as if some mad scientist were set loose down below. I’m sure it will be a quick handler, though. And the ergos look much less cramped than the Scrambler.

    • Barnbaby says:

      Click on the right side image of the bike to enlarge that photo, and you can see in the hub of the front wheel the perferated disk that triggers the magnetic sensor.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        His aging eyes may have missed the disc, but he his probably ultimately correct. The European Yamahas, which this one is, have ABS while ours don’t even get it as an option. If we do get this bike on this side of the Atlantic, it is unlikely to have ABS.

    • John A. Kuzmenko says:

      You can see telltale slots at the center of the front brake disc.

      Myself, I think the bike looks kinda’ dorky.
      It simply looks like an FZ-07 with different fuel tank, seat, and side covers tacked on, and doesn’t make the bike look more appealing to me at all.
      At least, with the bike being a restyled and re-designated FZ-07, it will still be very fun to ride (assuming the shape of the fuel tank and seat don’t prove to be ergonomic disasters).

      I wonder where the additional 12 pounds of weight came from.

      • Curly says:

        The ABS pump and other hardware plus a few added metal parts is where the extra weight come from. I’ll accept that to get the ABS and that alloy tank.

    • GKS says:

      Agreed, I’m sure that it will retain the good dynamic qualities of the FZ07 (the mechanicals are the same after all), but the retro bits do look a bit “tacked on”. I really don’t care for the headlight and tail light, the proportions are off. The headlight housing should be shorter, more of a bowl and the tail light could be better integrated, it looks like an afterthought. I also would like to see the instrument cluster over the head light rather than on the bar mount. They did do a nice job on the seat in my opinion.

  47. Archie says:

    Were I a hipster, I would much rather have one of these than an older Honda CB. Gapping points at the side of the road at night might make a good bar story, but as a real-life experience it sucks. The only downside I can see to this is that it probably comes with Yamaha-signature mushy suspension.

    • Curly says:

      The suspension is the same as the FZ07 and the one of those I rode wasn’t mushy at all. The tires ae interesting as they look just like old bias ply Pirelli Phantoms which were pretty good in their day but these are a new radial version.

  48. TheUsual says:

    Why not make something like a Seca III with a fairing? Why does everything have to be a retro or naked?

    • Curly says:

      You’ve must not have seen the spy photos of the MT07 Tracer that we might get as an FJ07. That one has a fairing. Still you’d think they could do a sport version with a half fairing Like the Seca.

  49. Roadrash says:

    Looks like they’re going after the success of the Ducati Scrambler?
    This might be a way to scratch that itch without giving up the reliability…