Last month Yamaha introduced Shinya Kimura’s ‘Faster Son’ Yamaha at the Wheels & Waves gathering in Biarritz. The ‘Faster Son’ concept draws inspiration from past iconic Yamaha motorcycles enriched with the technological advances of today. Kimura’s build did just that, blending the beauty and artistry of his hand fabricated bodywork to Yamaha’s modern 700cc Parallel Twin, tubular frame and wave rotor brakes. At the time of its release, Yamaha Motor Europe Product Manager Shun Miyazawa stated “We are committed to bringing motorcycles based on our own interpretation of the Faster Sons philosophy, and it will be very soon!” A month later, we know exactly what Miyazawa meant.
Yamaha debuted the latest motorcycle to carry the flame of its Sport Heritage mantra yesterday, the 2016 XSR700. The first of Yamaha’s production “Faster Sons” pays homage to the Yamaha XS650, which still serves as a popular platform for custom bike builders. You see this in the stretched, two-texture leather seat, tapered handlebars that fall easy to hand, and upright riding position. A handy little tool kit hides beneath the seat. Its round headlight lends a bit of nostalgia and a single tidy, multi-functional gauge displaying speed, rpm, gear and fuel level resides above it. The aluminum 3.7 gallon tank is cleanly crafted, the center panel riveted into place, the tank long sporting cutouts for the knees.
And while claimed to honor the XS650, it’s injected with plenty of goodness from the FZ-07 in it as well, like its 700cc Parallel Twin and trellis frame. We’ve ridden the FZ-07 and love the snappy, front wheel-lofting torque the Twin with its 270-degree crank and uneven firing intervals delivers. The frame is nice and compact with a 55.3-inch wheelbase, Yamaha doing away with the FZ-07’s stamped rear frame support on the 2016 XSR700. This not only opens up the back end but allowed Yamaha to run a bolt-on rear subframe so riders can easily customize it. The swingarm has been tweaked just a touch, the XSR700 outfitted with a short 530mm unit. A Monocross horizontal shock handles damping duties on the rear, the shock mounted directly to the engine’s crankcase.
Tidbits like an aluminum front fender stay, mesh side panels, an embroidered seat logo, and 10-spoke aluminum wheels further identify the 2016 XSR700. Yamaha’s latest Sport Heritage motorcycle meets EU4 emission standards and is scheduled to hit the European market come November. We’re crossing our fingers that it comes Stateside. While a price wasn’t listed, we’ll wager it’ll be in the same range as the 2015 FZ-07 that sells for $6990.
2016 Yamaha XSR700 Highlights
* Two-texture leather seat
* Aluminum retro fuel tank
* Aluminum fender
* Aluminum headlight bracket
* Wide tapered back handlebars
* Mesh side panels
* Stubby rear muffler
* Embroidered seat logo
* Wide range of customization accessories
* Compact, lightweight chassis
* Short 530mm swingarm
* Easily customizable, bolt-on rear sub-frame
* Rear Monocross horizontal shock system
* Standard with ABS
* 700cc inline 2-cylinder engine
* Crossplane engine design philosophy
* Deep linear torque
* 270-degree crank for strong acceleration and traction
* Smooth, exciting power delivery to high rpm
* Forest Green
* Garage Metal
* November 2015
- The 2016 Yamaha XSR700 features retro styling cues combined with current components.
- The lone tidy digital gauge of the XSR700 serves as a speedo, odometer, gear indicator and fuel gauge.
- The 2016 Yamaha XSR700 is powered by the potent 700cc Parallel Twin used in the FZ-07.
- The 2016 Yamaha XSR700 will hit European markets come November. Ride on!