The Yamaha FZ-07 has been a favorite of ours since its release. It packs a ton of performance into a fun, small, and economical package and has been massively popular with both new and experienced riders around the world. If there's been one common complaint, it's been that the FZ-07 doesn't appeal to many aesthetically.
Yamaha addressed the issue in both the FZ-07 and FZ-09 by releasing the XSR700 and XSR900—bikes that shared the same chassis and motors but were designed with more of a hipster/retro look. The only problem was that they only brought the XSR900 to the United States. But that all changes today, with Yamaha announcing at the AIMExpo in Columbus, Ohio, that the XSR700 will be a US model for 2018.
The 2018 Yamaha XSR700 will still feature the same 698cc parallel-twin motor with a crossplane 270-degree crank (which gives it a little more of a V-twin feel) as the FZ-07. On our dyno, that motor makes 67.7 hp at 8,800 rpm and 47.6 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm.
Compared to the FZ-07, the XSR700 has slightly different ergonomics with bars, a seat, and pegs that place the rider in a more upright seating position. The seat height is slightly taller at 32.1 inches (compared to 31.7 inches on the FZ-07). Claimed wet weight is also up from 397 pounds on the FZ-07 to 410 pounds on the XSR700. It will be available for $8,499 in Matte Gray/Aluminum or Raspberry Metallic and will have ABS as standard.
Our man on the ground at AIMExpo caught up with the Yamaha team for a few minutes and asked why it took so long to bring the bike to the United States. They responded that they waited because they wanted to focus on the XSR900 (which seems totally bogus with how well the FZ-07 sells and how much this will eat into sales of bikes like the Ducati Scrambler) and that the bike is identical to the one sold in Europe, but they just had to get it through EPA and CARB so it could be sold here.
We'll have more time with their team to press them for information as well as riding impressions when it comes time for a press launch with the bike. Until then, pictures!