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Yamaha Unveils SCR950 Scrambler

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Among several announcements by Yamaha today is the introduction of the 2017 SCR950, which is a new Sport Heritage model with scrambler styling based largely on the Bolt engine and chassis. When we first saw the SCR950 a couple of days ago at a private unveiling (pursuant to an NDA), we were struck by its attractive styling (including a seamless gas tank!).

This is a very good looking motorcycle, particularly to riders “of a certain age” that does exactly what Yamaha intended, i.e., it harkens back to a simpler time when your motorcycle would be used for everything and anything … both on-road and off.

Featuring the 942cc, air-cooled engine (fuel injected with four-valve heads) derived from the Bolt, the SCR950 should have plenty of punch for the Scrambler category. We were reminded why we like this v-twin during our most recent test of a Bolt model.

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We liked the upright ergos when we sat on the SCR950 earlier this week and at a U.S. MSRP of $8,699 for both colors shown, we don’t doubt that plenty of SCR950s will be rolling out of U.S. dealerships beginning this August.  In addition to the specifications you will find on other Bolt models, the SCR950 has a unique rear subframe, and tough, spoked wheels (17″ rear and 19″ front). Of course, it features belt drive.

The gas tank has a seamless appearance (adding a lot to the look, in our opinon) and holds 3.2 gallons. Yamaha claims a 547 pound curb weight (fully fueled).

The wheels should be good for some fairly aggressive off-road exploring, and the “neo-retro” touches (such as the LED rear taillight and steel fenders) add some authenticity to the throwback design.

We can’t wait to test the SCR950.  Here is the press release from Yamaha.

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Cypress, CA – June 8, 2016 – Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., today introduced the 2017 SCR950, an all-new motorcycle that joins the company’s “Sport Heritage” model lineup, which already includes the VMAX, XSR900, and SR400.

The SCR950 combines classic Yamaha styling, tracing its roots back to the iconic DT250, with modern components in a motorcycle that blurs the line between “cruiser” and “sportbike.”

A tough explorer with scrambler styling, the SCR950 is powered by a 942cc (58-cubic-inch), air- cooled, 60° V-twin, fuel-injected engine with four valves per cylinder. The SCR950 hearkens back to the past with its wide and tall handlebars, retro-racing number-plate-styled side covers, fork gaiters, wire-spoked aluminum rims, 2-into-1 exhaust pipe with upswept muffler, and long low-profile seat. All that timeless style blends perfectly with modern engineering touches like an LCD speedometer, LED taillight, flangeless fuel tank, powerful brakes with wave-type rotors, and low-maintenance carbon-fiber-core belt final drive.

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The SCR950’s open and flexible riding position gives the rider confidence to handle whatever the road presents. The double-cradle frame features sporty geometry with centrally mounted footpegs for nimble, responsive handling. And the front and rear suspension systems are tuned to provide comfort and agility while contributing to the bike’s stylishly low profile.

The SCR950 will be available in two distinctive colors: Charcoal Silver and Rapid Red. Each color scheme is complemented by racing-inspired red, white, and black graphics with bold, yet tasteful, accent stripes.

The 2017 SCR950 will have a suggested retail price of $8,699 and will be available in Yamaha dealerships beginning in July.

For more information on all Yamaha models–including features, specifications, photos, and videos–please visit www.yamahamotorsports.com.

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172 Comments

  1. thmisawa says:

    I live in Alaska and often ride a 1982 Honda CB900 Custom. I drive gravel roads, dirt roads, paved roads, all but the true off-road trails and I have no problems at all on my 600lbs UJM. I have no doubt what-so-ever that this mild scrambler would serve just fine. Besides, I really like the style and look. Have never seen a Hipster here is Alaska for what that is worth.

    • guu says:

      That is suprising. I would think that Alaska would appeal to the hipster. I too have found that 80’s Japanese “custom” models with their superflex frames and bias-ply tires were quite good on dirt roads.

      • Mr.Mike says:

        Yup, I used to ride my ’82 XZ550 Vision on gravel roads and mess around in an old quarry. You just adjust the speed for the bike and have fun.

      • Scottie says:

        Hipsters are pretend lumberjacks. If a hipster is not within a 30 second walk from a coffee shop or brewpub a panic attack ensues. I’ve seen it happen.

  2. jim says:

    They made a scrambler out of a virago. Wasted effort, next.

  3. clasqm says:

    Nice try, Yamaha, but I can’t get past that weird kink in the frame downtubes. Couldn’t do it in the Bolt, couldn’t in the C-type and can’t do it with this one.

  4. jre258 in SoDak says:

    Didn’t Honda try something similar when it built the Ascot 500 series of bikes almost thirty years ago? Number plates on the sides and an off-road flat tracker look.

  5. Scottie says:

    I like it, and I shave almost everyday (hipster reference). I have a Yamaha cruiser and I’d buy this for the city rather than a Bonnie because I know it would start whenever I needed it.

  6. xLaYN says:

    Resist… hipster stuff… stop liking it…

    I like it, one thing that bothers me is the air cooled nature of the engine and the back cylinder that doesn’t have any direct air flow.

    • Bob says:

      No worry about the rear cylinder. It’ll cool just fine. That concern bothers me a lot less, than radiators, water pumps, thermostats, fans, hoses, clamps, coolant, and overflow bottles. I’ll take the simplicity and reliability of air cooling any day.

  7. Kent says:

    Forgot to mention the music and Michael Parks. Listen to Long Lonesome Highway sometime. Great stuff.

    http://www.thencamebronson.tv/

  8. Kent says:

    Cool. The pictures remind me of the old ‘Then Came Bronson’ tv show from 1969 with a Sportster. I still miss that show.

  9. Kent says:

    19″/17″ is a great size for dual sport tires like the Shinko 705 (great on pavement and good enough on fire roads). Oddly small gas tank for a scrambler – 3.2 gallons, and I assume this will get 40mpg – so 120 miles on a tank?

    It’ll be interesting to see how it sells.

  10. S3bird says:

    Am I the only one that assumes high mounted exhaust when talking about scramblers in general?

  11. MGNorge says:

    It’s a streetbike with a modicum of design details to give it a bit of off-road flair. I must say that I’d much prefer to come across this than another cruiser. It’s retro but also refreshing to look at in a sea of cruiser sameness.

  12. GKS says:

    Kind of like “Bolt meets XT 500”.
    The current (and growing) crop of scramblers follow pretty much the same formula as they did in the early/mid sixties. That is: take a street bike, change the tires and exhaust (in most cases)to something that looks off roadish, maybe add a crossbar to the handlebars and a couple of styling cues. Viola, you have a scrambler. Back in the day, these were used for off road because that is what was available.
    But in the late sixties, Yamaha introduced the DT-1 and Edison Dye started importing Husqvarnas. And the off-road revolution was on. Since then “real dirt bikes” have advanced by leaps and bounds into the fantastic bikes of today.
    The difference between then and now is today you can buy wonderfully effective dirt bikes while back then a scrambler was virtually your only choice. So if your idea of off-road is a graded dirt/gravel road, a scrambler will suffice, but any further than that, look at a “real dirt bike”. The ADV, dual sport, and trail bikes of today are all very capable. It just depends how far off the road you want to venture.

  13. tuskerdu says:

    Weight + tube tires + belt drive = no sale.

    • Scottie says:

      I may be wrong, but generally when you travel off road you want tires with tubes so you can repair them and wheels with spokes that won’t suffer catastrophic failure and also can be repaired on the fly.

      I’ll take a belt drive over any herky-jerky shaft drive or rusty chain any day.

      • tuskerdu says:

        Generally, tubeless tires are much easier to repair roadside (I have had experience with both). Although I don’t think one would be going too far off-road on this bike, dirt and gravel roads would be OK – belts don’t do well with stones and mud.

      • Kent says:

        For a motocross bike, tubes are great. Many ADV bikes are tubeless so they can be repaired (plugged) with the wheel still on the bike. That said, I usually carry a tube when I’m going to the middle of nowhere, just in case I tear a sidewall.

        However, this is absolutely not an ADV bike.
        A small tank and belt drive are not things I’d ever want to take very far offroad. This would be fun on back roads and the occasional fire road.

        If your chain is rusty, you’re doing it wrong.

        On Tuesday, I’m headed out on a 2,500 mile ride, and at least half of it is dirt; Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route. I’m doing it on a modified V-Strom 650, with tubeless tires and a chain. I wouldn’t even consider doing it on this bike (for one thing, it may not make it to the next gas stop).

        • tuskerdu says:

          What are the mods?

          • Kent says:

            High mounted front fender & knobbies. (Heavy!) Rear rack removed and replaced with custom side racks for carrying Wolfman saddle bags.
            Removed the entire fairing, windshield & headlight assembly (also really heavy). Built a custom headlight enclosure, dash mount, GPS mount & small fairing. Installed cartridge emulators up front. Installed a skid plate.

            I work in a shop with conventional & CNC tools, so I can make all this stuff for fun (and free).

            When I get home, I’ll swap racks (so I can mount my Givi topcase), wear out the knobbies and replace them with milder tires and keep working on the fairing until I get it the way I like it.

            I was surprised at how heavy the fairing was (30+ pounds?) and the replacement weighs less than 5.

            Searching for “thinstrom” will get you images of similar bikes.

          • tuskerdu says:

            Sounds nicely done; would love to see pictures.

  14. beasty says:

    I like the tank and the graphics are better than the Bolt. The seat looks like a vast improvement over the stock Bolt seat. Also like the peg position. Exhaust still looks like ca-ca; Yamaha can’t seem to get that right. Looks like it might be fun.Oh yeah, the tail light and signals just look weird.

    • Scott says:

      LOL! Classic. You say this bike looks like it might be fun, but you can’t understand how anyone would want a Grom.

      I’d sooner buy THREE Groms for the price of one SCR950…

      • beasty says:

        Stop stalking, it’s unbecoming.I have opinions, just like you, I don’t include you in them, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t include me in yours. I did say this bike looks like it MIGHT be fun, but I didn’t say that I couldn’t understand how anyone would want a Grom. I said, in reference to the Grom, that I didn’t get it.

  15. Motorhead says:

    Seriously, this is an awesome bike for someone my age! Mid-late-50’s. Load it up with a bag, credit card, little tent, drive down roads and gravel roads. Keep away from motocross courses and steep washouts and gullies, and stay on the gravel roads, fire roads, dirt roads. Just cruise in a calm, controlled, carefree manner like you did when you first got on a bike as kid. Forget your teenage and craziest years (too old for that) and remember the fun of backwoods roads. Perfect. I want.

    • Stromfan says:

      Motorhead, I too, am mid 50s have been riding since I were 9, have ridden/owned a bit of everything, and am always fond of a simple, reliable, reasonable bike. Intertubes haters be damn – this will be my next bike!

  16. VLJ says:

    Wondering why Yamaha deigned to give this one clear turnsignal lenses while sticking giant orange pumpkins on the XSR900 and FZ-09?

    Maybe these pics are from a Euro-spec model, and the U.S. version will again get the Great Pumpkins.

  17. Butch says:

    Too heavy, Too slow.
    Lipstick on a Mid sized cruiser.

  18. atlantarandy says:

    Take a look at the guy hauling grass across the prarie. Notice just how WIDE his feet are apart. Oh, THAT’s how they built in the stability control…(but he still has a kind of worried look on his face. However, I like the old XT look. Yes, I’m old.

  19. Martin B says:

    This bike actually has some useful hipster survival tools. The low position of the exhaust outlet (ausfahrt in German) indicates the maximum level of any stream you want to cross. Any deeper and you will fall over and never be able to pick it up again. And the low suspension travel shows how rough a terrain you can travel on. If you start to see double, turn around and go back. Otherwise a home run on the ergonomics and styling front. Much better than the C-Spec. The Bolt is a real sweet heart. This is even better.

  20. guu says:

    This might be a stupid question. But can you ride off-road on a belt drive? Doesn’t it get destroyed if stones, dirt and mud get between the sprockets and the belt?

    • Selecter says:

      Yes, you *can*, but it’s not advisable because yes, it does.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I’ve sucked rocks, large branches and who knows what else through a belt drive with no ill effects. I don’t know if all belts are created equal, but mined proved to be tough as nails.

      • Selecter says:

        They are most certainly not all created equal! Ask the owners of any 2003 model year Buell…

  21. Artem says:

    Weird

  22. Buckwheat says:

    So I realize it’s in a different market subsegment or whatever, but for the same money you could get a KTM Duke 690 with something like 25 more horsepower and a curb weight 200 lbs less. I like this Yamaha, but it mainly makes me realize what an absolutely amazing bike the 690 is.

  23. SausageCreature says:

    So maybe it’s just a styling exercise, but if so it’s still a pretty good one. I like it.

  24. Gutterslob says:

    That frame!! What year is this?!

  25. Walter says:

    Hello? Central casting?

    Yeah, send us a generic 20 something hipster type. Yes, definitely with a beard and plaid shirt; scruffy looking engineer boots would be a big plus.

    What?– you got dozens of them? Great, pick an ironic one and send him over.

    Thanks,
    Yamaha

    • TexinOhio says:

      The only picture missing was a bunch of hipsters hanging out after the ride with a couple buckets of pbr or bottles of Sailor Jerry’s spiced rum…

  26. Eric says:

    anyone else notice the incredibly poor photoshopping done on the pick of the guy unrolling his tent? How is there a shadow of the front wheel between the bike and the sun?! What surface exactly is the shadow of the front fender even being projected onto?

    • notarollingroadblock says:

      And look how the sun shadow side of the bike is all lit up. It’s almost as if the photo shoot setup used a …. light.
      RE: fender, not shadow, rock.

    • cw says:

      Because a portable flash is no match for the sun? Or was set not to be?

      Photogs knew how to make impossible images before digital editing.

    • ben says:

      Yup, sun behind, flash in front.

  27. Dale says:

    Fantastic. Home run. Well done Yamaha, well done.

  28. skortch says:

    It looks decent enough but only 2.8″ of suspension travel is barely enough for smooth pavement. Taking it on a scrambler-appropriate rough dirt or gravel road would be some form of mild torture, especially dragging all that extra weight along. A hint of washboard would lock the rear up (yours and the bikes).

    Probably better to take an SV650 or FZ07, spoon on some knobbier adventure tires, and call it a day. But, hey, whatever floats your boat, vive la difference, and all that.

    • KenHoward says:

      Yep, I’d agree that the lightweight and better-suspended FZ-07 (or SV650) would be a more-sensible basis for a “real” scrambler. This is a styling exercise, with Yamaha going for the air-cooled look and lower-rpm torque of their much-heavier Bolt model.

      • KenHoward says:

        Hmm, now that I think of it, this could kind of compete with the (albeit much lighter) air-cooled, V-twin Ducati Scrambler.

      • Kent says:

        A lightweight (well, lighter) and better suspended SV-650 Scrambler is called a V-Strom. And with some mods, it make a hell of a scrambler.

    • Curly says:

      Keep whippin’ that horse guys. This bike is no more of a dirt bike than the 1964 YDS3C Big Bear “Scrambler” was. We didn’t believe it was then and we don’t need to believe this 950 is now. It’s just a nice styling job to create a standard out of a cruiser. The profile is good, the stance is good. It has an appropriate 17″ rear wheel and I’m sure it will be more fun to ride than the Bolt which isn’t that bad itself. Not a dirt bike though.

      • todd says:

        The YDS is 200 pounds closer to being a dirt bike than the Bolt – and has pretty close to the same power to weight ratio.

    • azi says:

      Grom has 46% more rear suspension travel

  29. Don E. says:

    First thing I’d do is move those rear lights lower for a tail rack and tail bag.

  30. Vrooom says:

    Putting the hipster on it in the opening photo kind of ruins it, but once you see if without the hipster it’s a good looking bike. I’d probably buy a Ducati or Triumph first, but they’ll sell.

  31. yellowhammer says:

    That next-to-last photo just makes me want to get on it and twist the wick. Really matches my needs – I’m amazed! I’m used to the bird finger from the Japanese bike mfg’s.

  32. red says:

    Good call on the factory number plates. Ready to Race!

    • KenHoward says:

      “Ready to Race!” — Yeah, it looks that way, but at 547 pounds, 2.8″ of rear suspension travel, and 3.2 gallon tank, it’s still a Bolt cruiser (with better ergonomics).

  33. 990SMT says:

    It might be interesting if it was chain drive and had actual suspension travel. This is just another suburb scrambler. The Bolt has a bit over 2″ of travel in the rear and this doesn’t look like much of an improvement. Bolt wet weight is 540. A wet Duc scrambler is 423.

  34. mg3 says:

    Nice job Yamaha! This (and a few other recent releases) may be the beginning of the long awaited return to utilitarian motorcycles with simple, functional styling and reasonable price tags. It looks like a motorcycle, not the result of some teenage designer’s latest wet dream. Awesome! Thank you Yamaha. I will definitely consider buying one.

    • mg3 says:

      That engine must be built like a tank. Can’t see where those 547 lbs come from, especially considering there is only a three gallon fuel tank. Should be nice and stable on the highway tho!

  35. mechanicus says:

    Nice. Clean lines. Utilitarian for lots of situations. It will sell.

  36. He’s a lumberjack and he’s OK, he sleeps all night and he rides all day………………….

  37. Tony says:

    I was under the impression a “scrambler” had an up pipe???

  38. mickey says:

    Can anyone tell me what the rider in the bottom pic is wearing over his leather jacket in the bottom pic? Looks like his hoody is blowing, but upon closer inspection it looks like some kind of vest in front..maybe some kind of chest protector?

    • Buzz says:

      Let’s call it a HANS device.

    • cracked lid says:

      Looks like a backpack with a chest harness and he forgot to clip the rain flap in place so it’s flapping around.

    • Eric says:

      looks like the top of a roll-top backpack to me.

    • notarollingroadblock says:

      Parachute. See the large “oh sh**” button on his chest?

    • Random says:

      It’s a motorcycle backpack. The round thing is a magnet closure.

      https://www.velomacchi.com/products/velomacchi-rolltop-backpack

      • mickey says:

        Hey Random nailed it..it’s a $300 back pack made for a lap top during extreme commuting or a water hydration system on weekends when you are scramblin (now we know when the pic was taken lol)

        “A high speed, watertight, versatile pack that carries your load close to your center of gravity and distributes the weight off of your shoulders allowing for a more aggressive riding style. This bag was designed to carry a computer or tablet for extreme commuting during the week and swap for a hydration system to explore the trails on the weekend.”

  39. Tom says:

    Perfect dirt road bike. Maybe this is actually a new category with a retro look. We old guys don’t ride single track anymore anyway, so why pretend we do? I like it.

  40. oldjohn1951 says:

    Nice looking bike: priced right, looks right, dead reliable, has the factory dealer sales and service network behind it. Yes, that what makes a winner.

  41. Bubba says:

    Looks like a scrambler to me, scramblers have always been overweight street bikes, dressed up with a few dirt bike parts and had very little off road capability. It fits the scrambler name to a t. Do agree the comparison to the DT-250 is wrong, the DT was street and trail bike. Fun bike but excelled at neither.
    I like SCR950. Will have to check on out when the hit the dealers.

  42. John A. Kuzmenko says:

    I look at the bottom pic and think:

    Sorry, folks.
    That’s a street bike.

    It does seem that the Hipster look has taken over with Yamaha motorcycle ads.
    When I was young, I wore gear like that out of lack of money, and it was considered dorky.
    Now, it appears to be cool and trendy.

    • RD350 says:

      That dude with the hipster beard and flannel is what we call a Lumber-sexual … part lumberjack, part metro-sexual.