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Old 03-07-22, 12:50 PM   #1
Seeker
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Default XSR700 part 2

I went ahead and traded the Kawasaki Z900RS for the Yamaha XSR700, is there any buyer's remorse? I've only put 360 miles on it and I'm limited to <5000 rpm, but no - no remorse so far. The Kawasaki was fantastic to look at (imho) perhaps one of the best looking bikes I've owned (after the the Kawasaki H1F) but I didn't find it a relaxing bike to ride.

So what don't I like about the Yamaha? The only issues I have are related to the footrest position when coming to a stop, they're in the way for someone of my reduced stature which then highlights the other problem, it is quite tall and I have the Yamaha "Flat Seat" fitted which is a little lower than normal. I ended up fitting a lowering kit which has helped - they don't change the dog bones for some reason rather, an alloy "banana" which connects shock to swing arm to frame (via a pair of dog bones!). If you are taller than 5'6 this would not be an issue. On the move, the riding position is very comfortable for me, the handlebar to seat to footrest positioning is good. On previous Yams I've ridden I alway felt the footrests are set higher than on an equivalent Suzuki, not a problem, just different, this one is the same. It uses a combination of paint and decals to emulate the look of the RD350LC, to ride it reminds me of my old Yamaha YR5 with its high, wide bars.

I did buy the Gilles-Yamaha rearsets which allow the footrests to be moved fwd/back by +/-15mm and up 15mm but there's an issue with the brakelight switch spring length they supplied: it's wrong. Yamaha changed the brakelight switch bracket sometime after the 2019 model and word hasn't reached Gilles yet (it has now, I emailed them on Friday). Annoyingly, I asked Yamaha if they would fit prior to buying and they said yes.

It's an easy bike to ride, light clutch with a near-Suzuki level of gearbox action albeit with a much more pronounced "clunk" and lurch than the SV into first. The bars are wide so it turns readily and it's more nimble than the AL7 SV - it weighs 12kg less. The brakes are much better than the SV but aren't most bikes? On the other hand, despite being a 270 crank and pseudo V twin, there isn't the engine braking that we SV owners cherish. It vibrates more than the SV, never objectionable but I notice it. The suspension is on the soft side and perhaps underdamped giving a slightly floating ride which must be amazing on a smooth road, on a Lincolnshire back road it will need some help (as in: money spending).

Performance? with only 360 miles and keeping the revs to <5k, can't comment - it seems lively enough. 60mph is about 4k rpm as opposed to the SV which would be at 4500rpm. The two tankfulls I've used have yielded 77 and 78 mpg so similar to my SV.

What else? The dash looks cheap and is not mounted in the bike's centre line (let's be charitable and call it quirky). On <2021 models it was on the right with black characters on a white background, on the 2022 it's on the left with white characters on a black background. Its repositioning means many of the accessories in that area don't fit the new model. (like screens or the dash centralising kit) The headlamp has changed to a smaller LED unit which prompts me to a rant - progress is good but I'd prefer a 10 bulb that may need changing every 3 years to a 1200 LED headlight (cost of Z900RS headlight) that an errant stone could destroy. The XSR headlamp isn't priced out yet.

The dash has all the info you need but you have to scroll through it, either via the left hand switch unit or the A and B buttons on the dash itself. On top of revs, speed and fuel level, it can show trip A/B, ODO, outside temp, coolant temp (no temp gauge as such) instantaneous fuel consumption and clock. I'd prefer the clock to displayed permanently but the display area is too small perhaps, for that. One odd but nice feature, is that with the ignition off, if you press the B button the clock will pop up briefly.

It's a very quiet bike, maybe it will get noisier over 5k but the inlet and exhaust are almost inaudible, I do wear earplugs but I still hear the SV. The exhaust is ugly with the Euro5 model requiring the cat to be close to the cylinder head and Yamaha wanted a stubby exhaust so there's a big lump of a metal box/silencer under the engine instead of the regular looking silencer that the SV carries and yes, the headers can be polished.

It's made (assembled?) in France btw - didn't know that was a thing. The wiring isn't as tidy as the Kawasaki, I can't remember what the SV wiring looks like. That prompts another minor rant - the battery is under the seat (and?) it's under a tool kit tray (more tools than the Zed btw including a C spanner for preload) so a diagnostic plug has to be moved and the tray taken off to reveal the battery which sits low in its cradle. The bike is CANbus although very few functions are used (apparently).

Like the SV, I enjoy riding the XSR so, after the last 3 bad bike choices, maybe I'm back on track.

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Last edited by Seeker; 03-07-22 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 03-07-22, 06:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: XSR700 part 2

Quite like those. Trouble is I like the convenience of a topbox and I don't think it would look quite right even with one of Givi's smaller ones on it...
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