Yamaha Just Released One of the Coolest Street Bikes of the Year

Here’s your crash course on the industrial-looking, stripped-down street bike that just roared onto the scene. 

The all-new Yamaha XSR700 isn’t retro; it’s industrial modern with classic flair. There’s a retro revival going on in the motorcycle world, which is all well and good, but Yamaha’s recently revealed motorcycle isn’t part of it. It’s one of the first of a new wave of stripped-down street bikes that are accessible to the masses, like the Ducati Scrambler. We’re already smitten by the Yamaha XSR700 and think you should be, too. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Yamaha buddied up with Shinya Kimura for the build.

Custom-bike builder Kimura, who works out of Los Angeles, made an exposed-metal, café-like bike for Yahama awhile back, using the fantastic FZ-07 for a base. It came out looking a bit wonky, but Kimura has redeemed himself with this, an edgy-looking standard with no frills whatsoever.

2. The XSR700 is built from the bones of an all-new FZ-07.

Like the FZ-07, the XSR700 has a liquid-cooled, 689-cc, parallel-twin engine that produces 74 hp and 50 lb-ft of torque. It also has a 6-speed transmission and standard anti-lock brakes.

3. It’s paying tribute to the Yamaha XS650.

The XS650 was a very accessible and attractive standard Yamaha sold in the ‘70s. It looked how a bike is supposed to look—clean, simple—and did everything a bike needed to do but not much else. It seems the XSR700 is in the same vein.

4. There’s great attention to detail.

From its two-texture leather seat to its mesh covers over the electronics to its compact, attractive, multi-functional LCD speedometer/tachometer, you could spend hours stumbling upon small, unique details on what seems like a straightforward motorcycle.

5. It goes on sale in Europe this fall.

Yep, in Europe. Not here. And while we expect (more like hope) Yamaha will bring the bike stateside, we can’t say for sure that it will.

6. It looks and sounds amazing when it’s moving.

Seriously, Yamaha, the XSR700 better make it to America.