When Yamaha introduced the XSR700 in 2016, its goal was to combine modern technology with classic styling. The naked twin used the MT-07’s frame, suspension, and the crossplane crank parallel twin, but wore the retro look of famous Yamahas of old like the XS 650. Now, for 2020, Yamaha is finally introducing a throwback livery to go along with the look.
The new red and black gas tank, with red fairing and gold wheels, appears to have been inspired by the RZ250R of the 1980s. Previously, the color palette was a bit to modern, with a metallic raspberry and matte gray, to suit the retro looks of the bike itself.
Features such as the round headlight, taillight, and instrument panel (though still and LCD) are obvious nods to past Yamaha designs. The stepped seat shape and riding position hearken back to classic Yamaha XS line as well. Yamaha even worked with Pirelli to develop a retro tread pattern for its Phantom Sportscomp tires.
At $8,499, the XSR700 costs $900 more than the MT-07 it’s based on. Mechanicals are identical, but if you must have the heritage look then 2020’s Radical White/Rapid Red colorway is the one to pick. Overall, we are loving the retro styling that is happening in the motorcycle world these days, with Kawasaki, Honda, and Suzuki all taking part.