The 2018 Yamaha XSR700 and XSR900 are both getting new red paint schemes. The smaller model gets a vintage-inspired Brilliant Red to pay homage to the 1970s Yamaha motorcycles. While the XSR900 goes back to the 1980s with a Racing Red.
Both bikes are part of the Yamaha Sport Heritage range and have proved pretty popular. In two years, the Yamaha XSR700 has sold more than 11,000 units in Europe. And as a result it’ll debut in America from 2018. Meanwhile the Yamaha XSR900 followed a year later, and has already shifted more than 7,500 bikes in Europe, and has already been selling in the States.
There aren’t any major mechanical updates for either bike. Or any of the Sport Heritage range, with the Yamaha XV950R and SCR950 both keeping the same colours and specs for 2018. Obviously that doesn’t rule out limited editions and custom versions, as with the Faster Sons creations and existing Abarth, for example.
2018 Yamaha XSR700
The 2018 Yamaha XSR700 continues with a liquid-cooled 689cc inline 2 cylinder four-stroke engine. And it still has the vintage look, including the headlight, rear light and seat. Plus an aluminium fuel tank, dual 282mm front discs with four-pot calipers and Pirelli Phantom tyres.
But what it does get is a rather lovely Brilliant Red paint option. Not only does it look rather nice. But it’s also a bit of a tribute to the original 1968 Yamaha XS650. That bike was the first Yamaha four-stroke, and it lasted for 17 years of production, appearing as the XS1, XS2 and XS650 during that time. 30 years on, and it still has a lot of fans collecting and maintaining the original 654cc parallel twin XS.
The new bike is obviously slightly bigger, a fair bit quicker and doesn’t have to be rescued as an overpriced barn find. But the original achieved success as the XS650 engine was under Kenny Roberts as he rode to the 1973 AMA Grand National Dirt Track title. And was apparently also a dominant power plant in sidecarcross, with four years of world championships starting in 1980 as the engine was paired with different chassis manufacturers.
As always, Yamaha has a wide range of accessories available for you to tweak and change the 2018 Yamaha XSR700. No mention of an off-road sidecar outfit, but you can add Akrapovic exhausts, Ohlins suspension, soft luggage, and all sorts of other bits. Expect to see more custom Yamaha builds to inspire sales of billet covers, seat cowls and other additions.
Especially considering the range of Faster Sons clothing developed by Yamaha and Roland Sands Designs for Yamaha XSR owners.
That’s pretty much everything on the new bike. Mechanically it’s the same. And it’ll still be available in the existing Tech Black and Garage Metal paint schemes.
2018 Yamaha XSR700 Paint Scheme Gallery:
Obviously any new model needs plenty of detail shots and panoramic action. And the 2018 Yamaha XSR700 is no exception. So here they are:
The 2018 Yamaha XSR900
Like the small sibling, the 2018 Yamaha XSR900 stays mechanically identical. But it also gets a new retro red pain option. You’ll notice it’s a different shade, though.
That’s because the bigger 850cc three-cylinder four-stroke is going back to 1980, and the two-year run for the Yamaha XS850. It’s not as close a match, but it’s ‘reminiscent’. Which is probably why Yamaha hasn’t done any side-by-side shots of the old and new bikes this time.
You’ll notice the aluminium fuel tank covers on the Racing Red tank. And you can’t see the fact it still has a Traction Control System, Assist and Slipper Clutch, Yamaha D-Mode, and all the other riding aids to help you enjoy the crossplane engine and lightweight frame which features some aluminium parts.
The Yamaha XSR900 will also still be available in the existing Garage Metal and Midnight Black paint options.
2018 Yamaha XSR900 Paint Options Gallery:
And to finish off the look at the 2018 Yamaha XSR900, here’s a load of detail and action pictures for you to enjoy.
The official UK prices were included in the press release, but the Yamaha website currently suggests that the 2018 Yamaha XSR700 will be priced around £6,699, with the 2018 Yamaha XSR900 priced at £8,499. Which is roughly inline with previous models.
So that’s the 2018 Yamaha XSR700 and XSR900 with their new red paint schemes. I’d be interested to know whether the Brilliant Red for the XSR700 and the Racing Red for the XSR900 are enough to convince potential buyers who weren’t interested in the previous colours? It’d be good to see some comments on whether you like the new paint schemes and how big a part it plays in choosing your next motorcycle…