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2018 XSR700 Joins Yamaha Sport Heritage Lineup

Yamaha has announced the 2018 XSR700 Sport Heritage model, which is based on the excellent 689 cc parallel twin FZ-07. With more traditional styling, the XSR700, according to Yamaha, pays tribute to the XS650 twin from the past.

In addition to the round headlight and taillight, several parts get swapped out to give the XSR700 a more traditional look than the FZ-07. Just 7 pounds heavier, at a claimed 410 pounds wet, the XSR also has slightly different steering geometry. The following is Yamaha’s summary of the new model, and you can find a full list of features and specifications by looking at this PDF.

2018 XSR700

The new XSR700 is the latest model to take its place in the Sport Heritage lineup as a casual, retro-styled street bike. Paying tribute to the iconic Yamaha XS650, a pure masterpiece of Yamaha simplistic design that still inspires today, the XSR700 delivers the perfect mix of timeless style, modern technology and emotional riding experience.

The authentic feeling of the XSR700 is derived from several key features, including a stitched two-level seat and an old-school style round headlight and fastening stay. Exposed and painted aluminum components, retro-influenced bodywork and simple front and rear fenders also remain true to vintage character. Customization potential abounds as well, thanks in part to removable aluminum tank panels and a removable rear sub-frame.

Drawing from the “Faster Sons” design philosophy, the XSR700 delivers modern performance courtesy of the compact 2-cylinder engine with a “Crossplane Concept” 270 degree crankshaft that provides unique power characteristics with outstanding torque and a direct throttle-to-rear-wheel connection feeling. Add to that a six-speed transmission, modern suspension components tuned to provide a balance of comfort and control ideal for the street, lightweight aluminum wheels and powerful ABS brakes, and the XSR’s contemporary abilities become evident.

Both new and experienced riders will appreciate the modern LCD instrumentation, comfortably upright seating position, low 410-pound wet weight and up to 58mpg fuel economy when dicing through urban traffic or hustling down a twisty road.

The 2018 XSR700 will be available in both Matte Gray/Aluminum and Raspberry Metallic, and will arrive at Yamaha dealerships beginning in October with a MSRP of $8,499.

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. hartri55 says:

    Build one that actually looks more like an XS650, with the 700 engine, ABS, bigger headlight, and modern everything and Yamaha might have themselves another customer. Until then I’ll lean toward the Triumph T120.

  2. Grover says:

    Cluttered look with no real direction. Pass

  3. joe b says:

    Always wanted to ride a V Twin made like this, interesting.

  4. CowlitzBoy says:

    I have owned several XS650s, and a TX650A before that. I don’t see ANYTHING on this new model that resembles an XS650.
    Pretty fugly actually.

    • Bob S. says:

      I know. Right? Somehow, the term “iconic styling” as used in the press info advertising just doesn’t seem to apply.

  5. Provologna says:

    The plumbing and controls surrounding the engine remind me very much of my reaction (at Munroe Motors) ogling the earliest liquid cooled 4-V Ducati Monsters (mid 90s?): performance to die for, looks, not so much. It was serious work to make dreams of the performance cloud out nightmares of the cosmetics. Ultimately, the nightmare won.

  6. mickey says:

    I was just up at my local dealer and asked him about this bike. He said he’s disappointed in it. The standard FZ-07 has been a good seller for him, as has the std FZ-09, but he’s only sold one of the XSR 900’s ( the yellow speed block model)and has one blue/gray sitting on the floor gathering dust, and he’s worried this 700 will have the same fate.

    I have ridden all 3 versions of the 900 and find the XSR the best of the bunch, better than the FJ or FZ09.

    Interestingly he’s sold 7 CB1100’s so it’s not people rejecting retro.

  7. Dino says:

    getting closer.. someone wrote it was more stream punk, than retro. Agreed.. i like the red paint model, though not sure why they blacked out the headlight, and highlighted the radiator. Easier to fix than the stink bug models…

  8. Joe from Canada says:

    Yamahas have always had one or two querky styling queues that really stood out as a miss. I guess it’s the Japanese styling designer interpretations. Remember the Seca 750 with the terrible rectangular headlights, bars and instrument cluster. They should really get a better design team. With the new XRS lineup, not much can really be done when pretty much the whole bike comes from the FZ series except a handful of part.

  9. arrowrod says:

    There appears to be one inch spacers holding the headlight on. My neighbor restores XS650s. I can get a repro xs650 headlight from Taiwan.

    An old Jesse James 4 part show is available, showing how to modify medal. Take the facade tank sides off, modify them to look like a xs650 tank.

    When I was younger, the motorcycle companies had design studios in SoCal. Of course then, they sold millions.

    They have designed their way out of the market.

  10. Cyclemotorist says:

    The truth is many of us would like the 700 Yamaha to look just like an XS650 but perform like the XSR700.

    Yamaha could have done this. But they would have alienated a segment of the riding public.

  11. 5229 says:

    Total comedy here.So many quick to judge a bike by it’s looks. How it works is first. With that said secondary is the looks. Well, uh hum,this thing is ugly. What an asinine place to locate the voltage regulator. And that’s just for starters.

    • bmbktmracer says:

      See my comment to Joe below. Take a great bike and make a styling change, than criticize people for sharing their perspective on the styling change. It’s like a woman putting on a new dress and asking you how you like it, then criticizing your comments because they didn’t talk about her job, intelligence, education, and values.

  12. steveinsandiego says:

    hmm, i like it. i’ve been considering an fz-07, but….hmmm!!

  13. joe b says:

    So many comments on how it looks, few seem to care how it works. Pity, the masses that comment here, have no clue as to what a motorcycle really is.

    • bmbktmracer says:

      Of course people care how it works. What a stupid comment. Everyone knows the FZ-07 is a great bike. So, when they come out with a retro-themed version, which is nothing more than a change in style, people are going to comment on that style.

    • Kyle says:

      The masses don’t know what a motorcycle is? The masses know it’s an fz07 with different ugly plastics. All comments based solely on looks are valid because the masses know it is an fz07 and already know how they are through years of reviews and testing. Pity you think it will handle or ride differently than an fz07 because of it’s plastics.

  14. gary t says:

    The picture that shows the top of the tank and handlebars looks real good. (what you would see when you are riding it) That seems to be a good angle. The rest, not so much! Hopefully another bike that doesn’t look so good in pics, but not too shabby in person. You would have to learn to love it because it is more than likely going to last a very long time. Another consideration is some light customizing to tidy her up a bit. Most folks make a few changes on their bikes to suit their taste anyhow.
    Lastly, why the pile of parts in the last photo?

  15. Stuki Moi says:

    I can’t help but think this one will sell well for Yamaha. The FZ-07 is very popular with what’s left of the young, urban rider crowd; and those same guys are into retro bikes as well. I personally prefer the SV to the Yamaha, but then I’m not really that young anymore. Both (now all 3) of them, are awesome bikes for all but sustained freeway riding: Fast, light, sporty, as easy to find parking for as a bicycle, frugal and well priced. This one just happens to have a somewhat more retro, or perhaps steam punk, style.

  16. SteveM says:

    The original XS650 with flat seat and comfortable ergonomics was a beautiful bike, the later Special Versions less so. This new retro or heritage bike is butt ugly and I have to wonder if blind people are in charge of esthetics now. Jeez….that is ugly.

  17. DB says:

    As far as looks, not much to like here for me. But I had a old CX500 years ago that didn’t look to great either, but I really enjoyed riding it, bought it used. Like the fact it was easy to work on for the most part. So, even though I may not like the looks of this Yamaha, it could be a really fun bike to ride, don’t know yet, haven’t ridden one.

  18. Sentinel says:

    Yamaha needs to fire whoever decided to destroy the looks of what otherwise would have been a nice looking bike, by them replacing the lower front part of the fuel tank with that horrendous, big, blocky chunk of plastic they put in its place; yuk!

  19. Bob S. says:

    Did Yamaha include that XS650 in the photo shoot to remind us just how beautiful, well proportioned, and graceful motorcycles used to be? The term “retro” has no relevance to a bike cluttered with visible wiring, junction boxes, hoses, radiators, tubes, and phony covers. I appreciate the advances this new bike has made compared to my XS650, but the styling is a train wreck. Yamaha, think a modern retro twin can’t look good? You haven’t seen the new Triumph liquid cooled parallel twins.

    • Bob says:

      “Look how old i am! I am so old! I can’t adapt to anything! Millenials ruined the world!”

      -Bob S.

      • Bob S. says:

        Yes, I’m old, but show me the “iconic styling”. Yamaha shouldn’t claim it when they don’t have it. I could like this bike for it’s engine and light weight alone, so they don’t need to insult me by implying that it’s styling has anything to do with the XS650.

  20. thrus says:

    I have said it before and I’ll keep saying it. don’t brag about “See more of MD’s great photography:” when you are using stock photos from the manufacture’s website. or at least give credit to the source of the photos.

    • Bud says:

      Ya gotta ease up, man. It’s built into the wordpress theme for this website, not added to each post. Just learn to live with it.

  21. Don says:

    I guess I’m in the minority here because I sort of like the styling. It’s the right size bike for me, I don’t need a 900, and I prefer this retro-modern styling to the FZ-07 styling. The only downside is that they waited so long to bring it over it will now be competing for my dollars with the Husqvarna 701 Vitpilen.

  22. Norm G. says:

    Yamaha’s giving you the flat seat all the OG’s want but the YG street fighter designs don’t provide.

  23. Turboman says:

    Nothing special about this bike and wont be a good seller.Yamaha is cutting corners with suspension and styling with similair SRX 600 but its a upgrade from the SRX 600..

    • Curly says:

      The SRX600 is beautiful. This bike has little in common with it but is still a good one in its own right.

  24. ChrisGo says:

    Apparently the internet has made everyone into a critic and an industrial designer. I like it, it is not perfect but it has a round headlight and a seat that looks like a motorcycle seat to me. It is certainly better looking than my ’77 R100/7 for sure (and people tell me all the time how great that looks…so whatever). I am sure it works much better than any real old bike too.

    • mickey says:

      wow I’ve always considered the 77 R100/7 (especially in the orange color)to be one of the top 3 best looking motorcycles of all time, along with the 67 Triumph Bonneville in Burgoyne and white and the mid 70’s CR 250 Husky Motocrosser in red/chrome.

      The Beemer imo, is 10 times better looking than this bike, no… 50 times better looking..

  25. bryan says:

    I just don’t understand what the theme of all these new and ugly bikes is. Is clutter and confusion what people want? Is the aesthetic being driven by markets that actually like it?

    • paquo says:

      clutter and confusion? That straight ahead view shows one basic dial on the handlebars. This a simple lightweight bike, it’s nice to see.

    • Yoyodyne ArtWorks says:

      The more cluttered and amateurish it looks, the more “authentic” and “genuine” it is. It’s a DIY home-brew special made by a multi-billion dollar manufacturer, what could be more “authentic” than that? Ah ha ha…

    • DucDynasty says:

      I like the concept but sumptin ain’t right…
      I’m no designer/engineer but the lines and balance are off.
      I’m sure it’s a fun ride but it won’t be mine.

  26. Mark says:

    Makes the SV650 look even better!

  27. Rennie says:

    Gotta say that while I am impressed with all the models (and their development) that have spun off for the 900 triple and 700 twin, I am bummed by the “busyness” of the products. Wires and hose everywhere. Plastic bits stuck on here and there. I buy for function and CBA so I wouldn’t pass them up, but they are visually a bit tacky.

  28. red says:

    I like it! some things not as well executed as it might have been but it’s got way more right than wrong. I like the ptwin, plenty of motor in a light upright package with round (yet too small) headlight and a flat-ish seat. it’s 90% right. Think if I squint at it from a distance in low light it might sort of remind me of my 76 XS650.

  29. Austin zzr 1200 says:

    I could buy this thing..I would remove most of the plating though

  30. RyYYZ says:

    Much like the XSR900, it’s an interesting, slightly retro styling exercise, but I can’t see anything about it that reminds me in any way of an XS650. Also it’s a bit of an aesthetic mess, so busy in the lower parts with wires and tubes and whatnot. Same goes for the FZ-07, though.

  31. Tom R says:

    Headlight looks like an “outie” belly button.

  32. PN says:

    I agree, it’s hideous. Yamaha used to sell bikes on styling. This is a mess. The standard FZ-07 looks so much better. And I can’t stand the exposed regulator/rectifier. Yamaha did the say thing on the customized XSR900. It’s just lame.

  33. todd says:

    It’s hideous. I don’t see one thing on this bike that looks retro or anything like a XS650. Probably can’t fault the performance and build quality though.

    • paquo says:

      I just looked at pictures of an xs650, now that is a 1970s chrome filled mess. This one has a way more purposeful look to it, yes it is a bit ugly but i like it.

  34. RD350 says:

    Love the paint .. hate the tank. The Hump-Back of Hamamatsu?
    I want to like this bike. I really do. I’m a old Yamaha man through and through. I love middle weight twins. I want to buy a bike with THAT engine. But this budget, after-thought project makes me cringe. (More cheap suspension of course) The Japanese just cant seem to build a retro that anybody wants to buy They have such a rich history to draw on and they keep blowing it year after year. Who makes these styling decisions? Who ever you are, you’re fired! Free Hint … hire Oberdan Bezzi to style the bikes. Your in-house people suuck.

    • dman says:

      I can’t really say it any better than you have. Great ideas, poorly executed. And I really don’t see any of the Yamaha or Honda retros on the roads, either.

  35. bmbktmracer says:

    It looks like a Rorschach test. I see “terds on a toaster.” You?

  36. VLJ says:

    Way too many plastic-y, tacked-on-for-no-apparent-reason pieces. This thing makes the FZ-10 look aesthetically coherent.

    Glad my XSR900 doesn’t have nearly so many silly, do-nothing add-on pieces.

  37. MotoMaster39 says:

    Looks really good to me, except for the lack of a decent radiator shroud. The radiator messes up the body lines like that IMO.

  38. Doc says:

    If they were going for the fugly look, mission accomplished!

  39. Ellis says:

    That looks really good! Or weird. I can’t decide.

  40. Montana says:

    Looks more like an RD400 than an XS650 — customized by Bubba in his poorly-lit basement over the winter. A half-assed conglomeration of bits and pieces, cobbled rear fender, Tupperware headlight, no integrated lines. The XS650 was inspired by classic British design, this looks to be inspired by Soviet efficacy.

    • EGS says:

      With you on the parts-bin looks. Yamaha’s Sport Heritage may have some older styling clues but are clearly not retro. Might be a nice bike but I’ll pass and take the FZ version.

    • Yoyodyne ArtWorks says:

      That’s what it’s supposed to look like. Yamaha’s whole “authenticity” angle is to make bikes that are the opposite of slick and polished models from giant corporations. It’s a little like buying jeans that already have holes in them (and just as pathetic).

  41. MrD says:

    I like it, this thing looks like a great deal of fun and 410 pounds is impressive for a standard.
    That being said, I can’t help but stare at the ugly void under the front of the seat and think “Bummer, some jerk stole this guys side cover. I bet it looked cool with matching paint, and XSR700 using the original font.”
    There is even a tab already there for it. Unless that’s for cutting jeans and/or the bottom of the seat?

  42. George Catt says:

    I used to go test ride an XS650 when I started to long for a nostalgia bike. Reminded me quickly why I didn’t really want one. 😀

  43. Josh says:

    I don’t understand why the factory’s can’t grasp a nice big round headlight will look (and sell) better…

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I like the small one.

      • VLJ says:

        Until you have to ride in pitch-black darkness up in the mountains, that is. The high beam is fine, as long as you can get away with using it, but whenever you have to go back to low beam, man, you immediately want a longer, wider throw. Even with a much brighter aftermarket bulb, I still want more.

        Believe me, this bike and the XSR900 would benefit from a larger headlight.

        • Fred M. says:

          The beam shape (width) and intensity (throw) is determined by the optics of the headlight, not its diameter.

          Things used to be different in the old days of all-glass sealed beam headlights — which were just disposable lightbulbs. It wasn’t possible to make complex reflector shapes in the glass, especially not at the prices the public demanded for headlights that were thrown out once a filament burned out. So the factory made a rough approximation of a parabola, aluminized it, and affixed a crude cast lens to it prior to evacuating the air.

          It really is about styling now, in cars and motorcycles and there are effective (and ineffective) headlights of all diameters in production.

        • Fred says:

          What’s the bracket for under the lamp housing for. 2 small holes and larger one in the centre. Makes me think of the 1970’s Triumph Trident with the zener diode mounted on said bracket.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Lol. Well, I almost never ride at night.

  44. Mike Johnson says:

    This is really good- 25 degrees of rake and 3.5 inches of trail at 410 wet- this will be a nice ride on winding roads for a mellow experience and with the short wheelbase it will handle very easily.

    Power is adequate for sterling performance at 85 and under

  45. ApriliaRST says:

    I’m still waiting for a 400 pound (or so) dirt/road oriented bike with reasonable seating and suspension for two. Maybe along the lines of a Buell Ulysses, but using the 700cc twin engine. Where is the hard-edge 700cc dirt ADV Yamaha previewed a while ago? Maybe that bike, but softened for my uses.

  46. Tommy See says:

    I love this twin but the sales numbers won’t be what Yamaha deserves with the likes of this sweet twin package. The FJ07 or Tracer is what North America should receive. Everyone is looking forward to the T7 concept or 700 Super Tenere. Bring it Yamaha.

    • Dave says:

      The FJ07 would be my choice too. I wonder how well the FJ09 is doing here in the US? That would probably determine whether or not we got the ‘7, too.

  47. Tank says:

    I had an ’83 XS650 and this bike is nothing like it, which is a good thing.

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