Priced an even grand below the XSR900, the new 2018 XSR700 is a smaller, lighter, and more affordable way into Yamaha’s retro-streetbike realm. And so, which to choose, given that their design approach is similar? Essentially, the XSR700 is a much simpler machine. Its 689cc parallel-twin engine has 19 percent less displacement than the XSR900’s triple, and it doesn’t feature the bigger bike’s advanced ride-by-wire throttle system. Likewise, its frame is steel versus aluminum on the XSR900, and its basic suspension lacks the damping adjustability of the bigger bike. In good news, though, the XSR700 has triple disc brake with standard ABS and contemporary 17-inch wheel and tire sizes.
Practically speaking, the XSR700 can do just about anything and go just about anywhere the pavement leads. With a 3.7-gallon fuel capacity and a 58-mpg rating, the XSR can cover more than 200 miles between fill-ups, a nice long stint, before stretching your legs. Claimed curb weight is just over 400 pounds (410 pounds, to be precise), and so with its wide handlebar, the XSR700 is reasonably easy to handle, even for beginners.
Likes: Unusual crossplane-crankshaft parallel twin has good power delivery
Dislikes: The 32.9-inch seat height can be daunting for shorter riders
Verdict: Much less bike than the XSR900, for just 11 percent less money