BIKES: Now the Yamaha XSR700’s paint finally matches its retro looks

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.

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3 Responses to BIKES: Now the Yamaha XSR700’s paint finally matches its retro looks

  1. Lee L said:

    I don’t know much about motorcycles but I know that thing is pretty sick looking!

  2. Christopher Huffine said:

    Actually, being a rider for 48 years, and a former Yamaha technician at a local dealer for several years in the ’80’s, the paint job on the new XSR700 is actually a redux of the paint scheme on the late ’70s RD400 Daytona. No XS series bikes from the ’70s or ’80s ever came with this paint scheme. This paint scheme was also used on the TZ series factory road race bikes as well. Just an FYI for the non-biker JNCers out there.

    • Ben Hsu said:

      Sorry, the original version of this article accidentally left out the name of the bike this paint job was inspired by, which is the RZ250R (the one on the left in the second photo section). I can see what you mean about the RD400, but the red and black stripes with red fender seems to be more RZ250R. The red fender does look like a reference to the TZ race bikes you mentioned, which is probably where the RZ250R got them as well.

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