Born From Heritage – 2016 Yamaha XSR700 & XSR900

With the custom side to motorcycling thriving and growing, it’s only natural that manufacturers take note and in turn release bikes that have this in mind. Yamaha have observed the forever-changing niches and created two new bikes with plenty of opportunities for the wrenchers and choppers out there to get creative in customising, if they so choose (queue bearded bloke shooting sparks everywhere). The XSR range is the result of a proud heritage from Yamaha as they take a nod to the past, only with much more modern sensibilities.

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Anyone with a brain that has at least one cylinder firing is aware of the growing changes and demand in bikes over the years, with the custom side to motorcycling expanding almost daily. Major bike manufacturers has shown already that they’re not blind nor deaf to this changing world, and are following suit with new motorcycles that are the result of classic throwbacks, custom feel and modern machinery. And with this, Yamaha has released the XSR700 and XSR900.

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Helping celebrate the heritage of the XS series, an iconic bike that is still seen on roads across the globe, the XSR is an amalgamation of nods to previous series of motorcycles With the stereotypical SR series being the workhorse of the café racer scene, the XSR offers a lot more balls and refinement to what is already a growing change in the custom world. A nod to the past of the iconic 1960’s XS release paired with the accompaniment of modern pleasures from the ever-successful MT series. The XSR700 and XSR900 cover a lot of bases, and tick a lot of boxes.

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With the booming popularity of motorcycles in Australia particularly, Yamaha have had their finger on the pulse in catering to the LAMs crowd with the XSR700. With it’s 655cc twin cylinder engine, it’s on the cusp of the capacity limits for learner and provisional riders and is what is probably one of the best, if not most powerful, LAMs approved bikes. They’ve sought to squeeze everything into this bike that will fit the legal requirements. For anyone that’s new to bikes, this is a tantilising start – especially if they’re under 25 and are looking at a possible 3-4 year sting on restricted bikes. It looks killer, and performs equally so. With a very manageable weight and seat height, it’s something anyone can jump on and soon find confidence in chucking it around corners.

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Despite being a modern bike, the XSR range boasts much less plastic parts than you’d expect, which is great. The vast majority of these parts are aluminium, and although this raises the weight compared to cheaper, plastic bits it’s hardly a trade off and you’d be hard pressed to notice the difference.

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The XSR900 is the bigger and very much unrestricted brother of the XSR700. Sharing a lot of visual similarities at first glance to the 700, it’s got the power you want with plenty of modern luxuries, including a slipper clutch and Yamaha’s D-Mode engine mapping system which can be switched between three modes, A, B, and Standard depending on what you’re wanting to get out of the bike. Riding this bike is a ton of fun, simply put. After the very practical and sensible riding of the XSR700, the XSR900 gives you that smile on your face as you remember why going forwards at an accelerated rate is just so fun, with it’s in-line 3-cylinder 847cc Crossplane Concept Engine giving you plenty.

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Off the factory floor, these bikes look good. The paint schemes that are offered by Yamaha, Rock Slate and Garage Metal for the XSR900 and Forest Green and Garage Metal for the XSR700 along with stylish stock seats give the bikes a taste of the custom potentials, and that’s exactly what these bikes are intended for. Yamaha have aimed these bikes at the custom crew, to pull apart and make their own. With the recent launch of these two bikes at Deus Ex Machina Motorcycles paired with Deus adding their touch to some sacrificial XSR’s the intentions are clear. They couldn’t be any clearer with Yamaha labelling this their “Hipstar” range, which although cringe inducing can be forgiven for these magnificent motorcycle offering to the forever hungry crowd.

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You don’t have to be a wrenching maniac to be able to customise your bike with Yamaha offering a ton of H-word friendly accessories you can slap straight onto your shiny new XSR. Everything from Scrambler styled front number plates, fork boots and even a numbers sticker pack, to more stylish leather luggage bags and rear cowls for the café racer inclined rider. With so man manufacturers catering to the classic and custom crowd, it’s easy for the pessimist to claim their jumping on the bandwagon – though ever the optimist we’d rather view it as brands paying attention to their varied demographics and bringing more to the table as far as options are concerned, which is always a good thing.

 

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Model: 2016 XSR700

Price: $10,999 (plus on-road)

Colours: Forest Green, Garage Metal

Warranty: 24 months unlimited kms

Servicing intervals: First service 1000km, then every 10,000km

Engine: 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valves

Bore x stroke: 78mm by 68.6mm

Displacement: 655cc

Compression: 11:1

Power: 39kW @ 8000rpm

Torque: 57.5Nm @ 4000rpm

Transmission: Constant mesh, six-speed

Frame: CF aluminium in a diamond configuration

Dimensions: Seat height 815mm, weight 186kg (wet), fuel capacity 14L, wheelbase 1405mm, rake 24º, trail 90mm

Suspension: front, Telescopic 130mm travel; rear swingarm 130mm travel

Brakes: Front, 282mm hydraulic dual disc, ABS. Rear, 245mm hydraulic single disc, ABS

Tyres:  Front, 120/70 ZR 17M/C(58W) (Tubeless). Rear, 180/55 ZR 17M/C(73W) (Tubeless)

Fuel consumption: 6.7l per 100km

Theoretical range: 200km.

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Model: 2016 XSR900

Price: $12,999 (plus on-road)

Colours: Rock Slate, Garage Metal

Warranty: 24 months unlimited kms

Servicing intervals: First service 1000km, then every 10,000km

Engine: Liquid-cooled DOHC inline 3-cylinder 4- stroke; 12 valves

Bore x stroke: 78mm by 59.1

Displacement: 847cc

Compression: 11.5:1

Power: 84.6kW @ 10,000rpm

Torque: 87.5Nm @ 8500rpm

Transmission: 6-speed; multiplate assist-and-slipper wet clutch

Frame: CF aluminium in a diamond configuration

Dimensions: Seat height 830mm, weight 195kg (wet), fuel capacity 14L, wheelbase 1440mm, rake 25 º, trail 103mm

Suspension: Front, adjustable USD 41mm; Rear, adjustable linked-type Monocross.

Brakes: Front, Hydraulic dual disc, Ø 298 mm. Rear, Hydraulic single disc, Ø 245 mm

Tyres:  Front, 120/70ZR17M/C (58W) (Tubeless) Rear, 180/55ZR17M/C (73W) (Tubeless)

Fuel consumption: 6.4l per 100km

Theoretical range: 220km

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