The XSR is a cracking bike. That should come as no surprise, because it’s essentially a reworked version of Yamaha’s massively-popular MT-07. It features the same 689cc parallel-twin engine and lightweight chassis – but gets some stylish extras to help it stand apart from its slightly more aggressive middleweight naked sibling.
It’s light, easy to handle and an absolute hoot to ride, though the suspension (particularly at the rear) can be a limiting factor if you’re looking to push on. Some owners have uprated to an Yamaha-provided Ohlins unit, so if you can find a model with one of them, that’d be the best choice.
Other than that, it’s really hard to find fault with the first generation of Yamaha’s retro roadster. It looks good, goes well and has a proven track record for being reliable, sturdy and easy to look after. As modern retros go, the XSR 700 is right up there.
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