On day two of Yamaha Motor Canada’s American spring Press event, the assembled Canuk scribes headed out on a cool and overcast morning aboard the 2018 XSR700 liquid-cooled twin. This “Sport Heritage” model is based on the successful MT-07 (and the previous FZ-07), using the existing engine, frame and slightly revised KYB suspension.
Yamaha have taken the workhorse twin and given it a circular makeover. The theme of the retro redo is expressed with the retro round headlight, tail light, instruments, exhaust canister as well as a restyled gas tank and short tail section, complete with leather accent on the tail.
This new XSR gets a new removable tail sub-frame section, a give-away that this bike will be the Yamaha 700 twin of choice for custom-oriented builders. Based on a Euro model, the XSR has front turn signals mounted on extenders to meet North American requirements – maybe the first part that will get revamped!
Yamaha showed a few accessories that suit the handsome XSR700, including a mini wind screen, radiator guards, small beige leather saddle bags and swing arm spools for a race/service central stand. All looked right at home with the 1970s-styled 698 cc Twin.
Yamaha see the XSR as a potential step-up model, for newer riders looking for more machine. Riders who want an around-town, versatile commuter will also like the XSR, and the traditional, upright riding position (and wider handlebar) offers good comfort and visibility for traffic work.
The round instrument pod is clearly marked and easy to use, but sits well down in my six-footer’s field of view, while the key is located in at the very front of the bike, a bit of an odd spot. The seat is somewhat high and fairly soft, OK for a couple of hours but not ideal for touring.
An iffy morning gave way to a gorgeous afternoon, and the roads north east of Nashville are among the best for sports riding. The XSR was in it’s element, the slightly stiffer chassis set-up a defiant improvement in terms of stabilizing the bike in aggressive riding situations.
The liquid-cooled vertical twin is a strong mill, and while it revs out to 10,000 RPM, power peaks at nine grand, so there is no need to chase the over-rev. Good power comes into play around 5,550 RPM, and the Dynojet Dyno indicates a maximum output of 67.9 horsepower, with a solid 47.4 foot/pounds of torque to entertain as you drive out of turns and get ready to work the smooth-shifting six-speed.
However, these good specs do not do the Yamaha justice. This is a machine that reminds me of the first couple of versions of Suzuki’s all-round vee-twin SV650, a willing and safe platform for rider’s looking to build and sharpen their skills. The XSR700 might not be an R series SuperSport, but it is plenty of fun for sporty activity.
At more than one thousand dollars more than the strong MT-07 offering, the XST700 might not be the best choice for everyone. However, if you enjoy the performance and are drawn by the looks, you won’t be disapointed.
Tuesday, 27 March 2018 23:16 Published in News
Yamaha Motor Canada launched their 2018 Star Venture TC and Star Eluder big twins this morning in Nashville, Tennessee, with northern media taking advantage of cool but dry conditions on some exceptional secondary roads. The two new 1854cc air-cooled vee-twins are built in Japan and share underpinnings, but the Venture TC is billed as a “Transcontinental Tourer,” the bagger Eluder the stripped-down sibling.
The engine is based on the performance-oriented Raider, but revised for smoother power delivery and more versatile, low-RPM rideability, with a claimed 126 ft-lbs of torque. Cams are new, the crank is now single pin, the counter balancers are updated and the six speed transmission now has two overdrive gears. The engine gets new cases, a hydraulic, assisted slipper-clutch and dry sump oiling with a lubricant tank in the sub-frame, as well as an oil cooler.
The Mikuni fuel-injection has 45mm throttle bodies, with a YCC-T (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle) ride-by-wire throttle. The adoption of YCC-T allows for various rider modes, including Traction Control (a first for this style of machine), two throttle modes (Sports and Touring) and Cruise Control.
The twin muffler design features a distinct big twin sound, and Yamaha music pitched in the fine-tune the audio track.
Paired alternators are mounted low at the front of the engine cases, powering the heated seat, backrest and grips, audio and 7-inch LCD infotainment systems, as well as the Sure-Park system. Sure-Park allows low speed (1 km/hr) maneuvering, forward and backwards, powered by a lever-actuated electric motor – not the starter.
The chassis has a steel frame with rubber engine mounts, and a detachable alloy sub frame. The seat is narrow at the front and low at 695cm, and works with the low C of G to provide the big bike with surprising maneuverability and agility at speed.
We checked out the handling once we cleared heavy morning city traffic and tackled the perfect pavement and sweeping turns of the Backbone Ridge. Both twins handle well and are stable and predictable for machines of their size, but you might not call them nimble!
Power is ample, but fourth gear is best for spirited riding. The Sport mode offers great throttle response, but the Touring mode is less aggressive for general use. The soft rev limiter comes in around 4,500 RPM, but with so much mid-range, it isn’t necessary to spin the big twin all the way in every gear.
Both bikes are predictable when hustled, and only the eventual drag of the reinforced floor boards manages the fun. Suspension control is solid, and the linked brakes are powerful, predictable, and don’t affect turning angle even when applied when leaned over.
The Venture is very well appointed, but the long floor boards are somewhat spoiled by the left side rocker shifter that limits foot position. The Eluder benefits from a lower (80 pounds) weight, but doesn’t get the heated grips, Sure Park and the adjustable wind protection, and has only half of the storage.
Venture air flow is well managed with a good envelope of stable air for the pilot. On the Eluder, even with the slightly taller optional screen, the wind blast increases and turbulence is also an issue – but the Eluder is not the touring version.
The riding position is comfortable, with room to move to vary pressure points. Passenger accommodations are above average, with adjustable floor boards. Both versions work, but the Venture is the versatile workhorse.
Monday, 26 March 2018 23:16 Published in News
The 2018 edition of the Motorcycle Show rolled into Toronto’s Enercare Centre on February 16 to 18, and Inside Motorcycles was on hand to say hello to our readers, take in all the action and check out the latest models and products.
Tuesday, 20 February 2018 19:17 Published in News
Yamaha has rounded out its 2018 Canadian model lineup with the announcement of additional new and returning models, highlighted by the Tracer 900 sport tourer and the revamped MT-07 (formerly FZ-07) naked roadster.
Monday, 06 November 2017 16:20 Published in Products
@YamahaMotorCa •(January 3, 2017)- Throughout its forty-year history, Yamaha Motor Canada has remained committed to exceeding the expectations of its customers.
Tuesday, 03 January 2017 15:23 Published in News
@YamahaMotorCA •October 13, 2016 (Toronto, ON) – Keeping on the throttle, Yamaha releases the most anticipated model of 2017. Filled with R-DNA, the newly redesigned YZF-R6 shares performance and styling from the YZF-R1M and YZF-R1.
Thursday, 13 October 2016 11:52 Published in Products
@YamahaMotorCa • July 18, 2016 (Toronto, ON) – Yamaha Financial Services has announced the launch of a comprehensive captive retail finance program that offers dealers and customers a number of new options designed to make Yamaha ownership more flexible and convenient.
Monday, 18 July 2016 19:14 Published in News
@cdnsuperbike • (March 4, 2016)- Popular Pro racer Bodhi Edie will return to the Canadian National Pro Superbike scene in 2016, with the Trip-Dub Racing Team.
Friday, 04 March 2016 13:57 Published in News