When it came time for the edit staff to choose our long-term test bikes for the year, I had to act quickly to get my hands on the Yamaha XSR700. This is the XSR700’s first year in the US, and while it’s been available in Europe since 2016, Americans had only been able to ride the more modern-styled FZ-07 based on the same engine and chassis. Having spent a little time on the FZ-07—and late nights staring at pictures of the XSR—I knew this bike would be just the balance of style, power, and maneuverability I was looking for.
I’ve had this bike for a couple of weeks now and every moment with it has been fun and easy. It has great power, but it’s light and easy to whip. If you like wheelies, you’ll like this one, but it’s not unwieldy or twitchy. The throttle rolls on smoothly and power climbs evenly with revs just about all the way up.
I’ll be changing the seat and adding a cargo rack first, so stay tuned for the install video coming soon and regular updates on this little beast for the rest of 2018!