A retro cruiser with a modern focus, the 2022 Yamaha XSR700 is comfortable and easy to ride. Drawing inspiration from the RD350 LC, with its blacked-out styling cues and matching blue striped decals, it’s a thing of beauty.
The LED headlight provides very good illumination at night, while the rear taillight features the same styling. It and the turn signals are also LED. Learner approved, it’s powered by Yamaha’s lightweight CP2 cross-plane engine.
Delivering 655cc in LAMS spec, its inline 2-cylinder liquid cooled powerplant features a 270-degree crank that produces a healthy amount of low down torque. The numbers aren’t impressive on paper at 38kW and 57Nm, but in the real world, its quick for a learner bike.
This motorcycle sounds great too, and the note from the exhaust is addictive. It’s by far the best sounding mid-sized retro we’ve tested. The design of the exhaust looks aesthetically pleasing as well, but we reckon it would be better blacked out.
The biggest plus of the XSR700 though is that it comes with excellent gearing for all riding conditions. The 6-speed gearbox, with a wet, multi-plate clutch, is capable of crawling in traffic and cruising at highway speeds, and all without revving its head off.
Suspension comes in the form of a non-adjustable telescopic fork up front, with a horizontal link with adjustable preload at the rear. Both have 130mm of travel. The ride is more on the sportier, firm side, which we liked.
While the brakes aren’t fancy, stopping performance is better than what you’d expect on a retro cruiser. ABS features front and rear, with twin 282mm discs with dual piston callipers on the front and a single 245mm disc with single piston calliper at the rear.
Highly rated Michelin Road 5 tyres provide plenty of grip and confidence, even in wet conditions, and are fitted to 17-inch black 10-spoke wheels. The handlebars have a nice bend and provide a comfortable riding position.
The switch gear is user friendly and of good quality. Both the brake and clutch levers are blacked out, with the brake lever being adjustable, and the mirrors are a good size. These look great all black too.
The digital LCD instrument cluster is a funky little blacked-out unit that has a large digital speedo and gear indicator display, making it easy to read. It sports an air temperature gauge, trip computer, fuel consumption and fuel range information.
That cluster sits off centre too, which gives retro/hot-rod vibes. The 14-litre fuel tank is a decent size for its class and combined with the fuel efficient engine, averages 4.3-liters/100km. You should get around 300km in distance before refuelling.
The 835mm seat height will allow shorter riders to touch the ground easily too, while the shape holds the rider in position and provide support during aggressive riding. During longer rides, comfort was maintained with plenty of padding for both rider and pillion.
The XSR700 is a versatile bike, with the ability to comfortably cruise with your mates on long distance rides, or do the daily work commute. Good on fuel and an easy to ride, its lightweight chassis offers sporty handling and enough grunt to keep you smiling.
Hitting up the twisty roads is a heap of fun, and it handles well under these conditions. The engine has plenty of torque to get your blood pumping out of corners, while still remaining controllable for newer riders.
With a wet weight of 186kg, it feels light and is very easy to manoeuvre at low speeds. The throttle is smooth, and the quiet gearbox equally so. There isn’t any fancy tech or riding modes either, but that’s kind of the point, as it’s a retro cruiser.
It’s a true raw representation of old school retro and we like it. We would like to see a high output 689cc version for more mature riders though, as we reckon it would be an exhilarating ride, just like the RD350 was back in the day.
The 2022 Yamaha XSR700 comes with a 2-year warranty and is priced from $13,699 ride away. It’s available in two colours; Heritage Black and Heritage White (as tested).
Our test bike was supplied by Yamaha Motorcycles Australia. To find out more about the 2022 Yamaha XSR700, contact your local Yamaha dealer.