As the first machine built under Yamaha’s Faster Sons Philosophy, Yamaha’s XSR700 has been around since 2015 and is another in their Sports Heritage range that pays homage and lives up to the reputation of their legendary machines of the past in the most modern way.

We here at BikeMatters love a retro-inspired motorcycle so seeing Yamaha take their XSR700 up a notch for 2022 is pretty exciting and we’ve decided to delve in deep and find out everything you need to know for the upcoming release.

First introduced on the XSR125, the whole Sports Heritage range is following suit and receiving an update to their lights, including the XSR700. This model now showcases a heritage-inspired round LED headlight with a split projector and a half-circular position lamp, classically shaped round taillight and subtly shaped LED indicators.

It’s no secret that when it comes to retro motorcycles, it’s all about looks, so, with their XSR700, Yamaha knew that styling was key – and they haven’t disappointed us here!

Taking inspiration from the early 80s’ 2-stroke, the RD350LC, the XSR700 is available in two new colours – a crisp and modern White and Blue and a more elegant and glamorous Black and Gold. I’ve got to say, whilst both are easy on the eye, I think I’m definitely swaying more towards that Black and Gold combo because of its dramatics – imagine the entrance you’d have!

Alongside these updated paint jobs, there are a few other exterior changes worth noting, including the radiator’s new side cover and front end’s sleeker and cleaner ‘snub nose’ thanks to that new headlight design.

By mixing modern practicalities with casual character, the overall retro-inspired feel and laid-back nature continue to make this timeless old-timer a much-loved and popular model.

It’s still classically styled to fall in line with the rest of the bikes look and feel, but Yamaha has moved the inverted LCD display a smidge to now be in a forward position to help with clarity and visibility.

As with its CP2 brothers, the XSR700 features a characterful 689cc liquid-cooled engine that is now EU5 compliant, so it can jump on anything. From relaxed cruising to flying on those twisties, the XSR700 is an accessible and versatile motorcycle that’s enjoyable for both new and experienced riders and able to live up to its ‘smile inducing’ reputation!

Through the use of larger 298mm front brake discs, a revised front fork and Michelin Road 5 tyres, the riding performance has also been improved. 

In addition to that, the switches have also been updated to allow the rider easier access to the LCD display and are, therefore, more user-friendly.

Through all this, plus everything that has remained the same, XSR700 is a model that respects the past and it doesn’t matter how many versions of this bike are released, it’s still built on the same heritage as the very first and it’s that beating heart of history that earns the XSR700 a place on the road.

Speaking of release, there’s not long to wait either because this beauty is set to be available from dealers as soon as April 2022.

Before you go, there is another member of this family that needs addressing. Staying on for 2022 is Yamaha’s XSR700 XTribute.

When compared to the XSR700, the XSR700 XTribute has a much older soul. Based on the original XT500, with retro-inspired colours and graphics, scrambler equipment, and off-road components including handlebars and footrests it oozes authenticity and effortless, cool scrambler vibes.

Holding onto those retro good looks isn’t the only noteworthy thing to mention with this model, it’s receiving a few tweaks for the upcoming year including a revised cockpit layout with black LCD instruments.

Yamaha themselves say that “the XSR700 XTribute gives a whole new generation of riders the chance to celebrate the past, while at the same time benefitting from the very latest technology and an outstanding riding experience”, no wonder it’s such a popular model!

We know what the XSR is all about. It’s been popular since its release, but the 2022 version has seen some nice little updates to help keep this popular retro-styled naked bike fresh and packed full of gorgeous looks and great performance. What do you make of the XSR latest updates, are you a fan?

Engine 689cc, 72 hp, CP2, two-cylinder, 4-valves, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC
Fuel tank 14L
Brakes Front: 298mm Rear: 245mm
Suspension Front: Telescopic fork Rear: (link suspension), Swingarm
Seat height 835mm
Weight 188kg (wet)
Price TBC