After years of keeping it from U.S. soil, Yamaha recently announced that we’ll finally get the XSR700 in 2018. The move to bring the mid-size, vintage style sports bike to the States is no doubt in reaction to the runaway success of the Ducati Scrambler.
This isn’t some empty threat from Yamaha either. The XSR700 is really just a reskinned FZ 07, a bike that has been around for a while now and has built a reputation for being an incredibly nimble city bike that can hold its own on any canyon road. What the XSR700 brings to the table is an approachable vintage styling that’s growing more popular throughout each day and the ability to allow owners to easily customize their ride as well.
The Scrambler prides itself on being easily customizable but the XSR700 goes one step further. All three aluminum tank panels are easily removable, as is the rear sub-frame, rear sets and exhaust. And since the tank is the only thing that’s painted, you can effectively change the color scheme of your bike every day of the week and never once see a paint spray-gun.
The Yamaha may be down about 100cc on the Ducati but it has the same amount of power and with a price tag of $8,499 it undercuts the Ducati by $400. It’s clear Yamaha has its sights set on the Italian marque with a capable and stylish motorcycle but is it too little too late? The Ducati has been on the scene for a few years now and has established its dominance — any new vintage style sports bike now has the job of attempting to remove the Ducati from a throne it has built for itself. If any bike has a shot at it though, the XSR700 at least has the foundation to make a valiant attempt.
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