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After having the XSR900 in our window last September I was curious what I would think of the smaller, twin version. Unfortunately not being able to ride this one I can't give you a thorough comparison but based on looks alone I feel I appreciate the smaller somewhat more compact XSR700. The frame is much more diminutive compared to the 900 and for this reason feels at times more like a traditional tubular frame (which I like as a guy who likes old bikes).
What you have here is a modern bike geared towards the new customer who wants new bike reliability but with a hint of vintage styling. I feel like this market has kind of created an interesting new style of bike come about from trying to stuff new engines and modern components into something that looks vaguely retro. I like it though, and I feel like bikes like the XSR700, 900, and maybe Husqvarna's new Vitpilen will continue to appeal to new riders who want a cool looking, reliable motorcycle that's fun to ride.
The XSR700 is based on the popular FZ-07 using it's frame and engine. But has some nice upgrades like it's aluminum tank, fenders and various bits of body work. Yamaha also has a nice line of accessories many of which appear on this gussied up version. It also comes standard with ABS brakes and weighs in at 410 lbs which makes it a nice mid-size bike that fills a gap between some of the smaller bikes that are coming out like the Ducati 400cc Scrambler, 400cc Vitpilen and their larger counterparts as well as the go to new, heritage inspired motorcycle - Triumph's Modern Classic line which now start at 900cc's which might turn-off some newer or smaller riders.
All in all I think it's a great addition to the world of motorcycles and it definitely fills a void in the market. Let them know what you think!