Revealed: The 2019 Yamaha XSR700 XTribute

Born to be back again

Yamaha’s Sport Heritage models blend timeless design and cool retro looks with the very latest technology. From the 2-cylinder XSR700 through to the 3-cylinder XSR900 and the XV950 V-twins, this diverse line up is specifically designed to enable and encourage riders of all ages to customize their bike to suit their own needs and style.

Photo credit: Yamaha Motor Europe

By fusing iconic style with cutting edge engine and chassis design, Yamaha’s Faster Sons philosophy ensures that each bike in the Sport Heritage line has its own unique character and appeal – and this instils a special pride of ownership amongst the many riders who want a long term relationship with their motorcycle.

Photo credit: Yamaha Motor Europe

As soon as the XSR models were introduced they immediately caught the attention of Europe’s top customizers, and in recent years Yamaha has collaborated with more than 60 projects to build unique specials based on Sport Heritage models. With its light weight, agile handling and emotional torque feeling, the XSR700 has become a favourite with custom workshops and individual riders who want to build scrambler specials. For 2019 Yamaha will launch a new version of the XSR700 that mixes the passion and flavour of an earlier era with the customization trend of today.

New XSR700 XTribute: a modern homage to a 1970s icon

Over 40 years ago Yamaha introduced the XT500, an air-cooled 4-stroke single that went on to become one of Europe’s best-loved motorcycles. The key to its success was simple design, useable power and all round versatility, and with its XT-inspired colours and classic scrambler looks, the new XSR700 XTribute respects the XT’s true character and pays homage to this iconic bike.

Photo credit: Yamaha Motor Europe

This special combination of timeless good looks and modern technology perfectly illustrates the true spirit of the Faster Sons philosophy, and with its unique specification the XSR700 XTribute gives a 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.

Retro XT inspired ‘1981’ colours and graphics

From 1976 through to 1989 the XT500 was a major commercial success and sold in huge numbers all over Europe, and during its long production run this iconic model featured a number of bold and simple colour schemes. To celebrate the legendary status of the XT, Yamaha has chosen the most iconic silver tank, white mudguards and gold wheels for the new XSR700 XTribute – and even the indicators go back to the XT’s original orange finish.

Photo credit: Yamaha Motor Europe

The new colour is appropriately named ‘1981’ to celebrate the XT’s golden era, and devoted Yamaha fans will instantly recognize this modern interpretation of a revered design – which features an XSR700 logo that is inspired by the legendary XT500 design – while younger riders are sure to appreciate the timeless retro looks that give this Sport Heritage bike a unique appeal.

Off road handlebars and chunky footrests

As well as its XT colour scheme the XSR700 XTribute adopts dirt bike style tapered handlebars that reinforce the urban scrambler looks. As well as providing a comfortable and upright riding position, these wider handlebars give increased leverage, making the bike easy to manoeuvre at slow speeds. Other special features include the chunky off road style footrests that complement the rugged scrambler character.

Photo credit: Yamaha Motor Europe

Block pattern tyres

Block pattern tyres are fitted to the lightweight 10-spoke cast wheels to reinforce the aggressive urban scrambler looks of the XSR700 XTribute. For high levels of grip with easy handling characteristics on the street and dirt roads this Sport Heritage bike is fitted with Pirelli MT60RS tyres – 180/55-17 rear and 120/70-217 front.

Photo credit: Yamaha Motor Europe

Special flat seat and fork gaiters

Yamaha has developed a unique new seat for the XSR700 XTribute featuring a flat profile that respects the design of the original XT. Offering a modern, high quality finish and featuring a subtle XTribute logo embossed on the rear, this seat contributes towards the bike’s characterful mix of old and new.

Photo credit: Yamaha Motor Europe

Every Yamaha Sport Heritage bike is designed with close attention to every detail – and the same is true on the XSR700 XTribute. Black rubber gaiters are fitted to the front forks to underline the whole retro feel, and the top of the fork tubes are enclosed within black plastic covers to give a clean and understated look to the front end.

Classic scrambler cool with modern technology

The real beauty of the XSR700 XTribute is the way that is combines effortless scrambler cool with modern technology. With its black engine, frame and forks set against the retro colours of the silver fuel tank, gold wheels and white mudguards, the impression of simplicity is reinforced, making this bike a fitting tribute to the original XT500.

Photo credit: Yamaha Motor Europe

Yet at the same time as projecting a classic feel, this is very much a modern motorcycle equipped with the very latest technology. Its powerful engine and agile chassis deliver an exciting and thoroughly modern riding experience – and features such as the smaller LED tail light and LCD instruments contrast beautifully with the vintage colouring and finish. Classic and modern at the same time, the XSR700 XTribute gives the best of both worlds.

Black instruments, controls and radiator covers

The retro theme runs throughout this great looking urban scrambler, and includes special black faced digital instruments that are located in a different position to the standard XSR700. Lightweight black frame guards and radiator covers are featured – and the black theme extends right to through the handlebar control levers and instrument bracket to give an understated look that focuses the viewer’s attention on the strong retro ‘1981’ colours.

Photo credit: Yamaha Motor Europe

Strong performance

At the heart of the XSR700 XTribute is Yamaha’s outstandingly successful and highly regarded 689cc inline 2-cylinder engine whose crossplane philosophy design develops strong and linear torque. Delivering thrilling performance with excellent fuel economy, this is one of today’s most highly-regarded powerplants.

Photo credit: Yamaha Motor Europe

Light, compact and agile

Weighing in at just 186kg wet, the XSR700 XTribute is one of the lightest scramblers in the category. The steel backbone frame and compact chassis is one of the most agile and manoeuvrable designs in the class, making the XSR700 XTribute ideal for the city as well as giving an exciting ride on the open road.

Photo credit: Yamaha Motor Europe

Optional Akrapovič high-level black exhaust

Back in 1976 the very first XT500 featured a low header pipe with a high level muffler, and customers can replicate this look by fitting their XSR700 XTribute with the optional Akrapovič exhaust.

Photo credit: Yamaha Motor Europe

With a black finish – like the original XT500 – this high specification 2-into-1 system gives a radical look and produces a gruff exhaust note – key features that complement the bike’s scrambler character and accentuate the premium specification of this new Faster Sons model.


Availability and pricing of the XSR700 XTribute into South Africa is yet to be confirmed, as soon as we get confirmation from Yamaha South Africa, we will update you.