Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week -

Scr­rrrsh! Footrest-to-tar­mac con­tact makes me jump; it’s only the first cor­ner, and the SCR950’S tyres aren’t even warm. But the Yamaha is al­ready grind­ing, and be­tray­ing its cruiser ori­gins.

The SCR950 comes at the street scrambler scene from a dif­fer­ent place com­pared to Du­cati, Tri­umph and BMW scram­blers. They don’t use a cruiser-based chas­sis and en­gine; the SCR does. It’s an iden­ti­cal steel tube frame, 41mm forks, short-travel twin rear shocks, sin­gle front disc and 942cc, 51bhp air-cooled 60° V-twin as the XV950 bob­ber, XV950R and XV950 Racer se­ries.

To get scrambler looks, a new rear sub­frame lifts the SCR’S flat seat to 830mm over the XV’S low 690mm, and new bars and pegs straighten up the SCR’S rid­ing po­si­tion into a comfy, nat­u­ral, un­com­pli­cated stance. Wire spokes on ally rims, Bridge­stone Trail Wing tyres, a slim 13-litre fuel tank, steel mud­guards and num­ber boards on the side pan­els com­plete the scrambler im­age.

But af­ter thump­ing, clonk­ing and scrap­ing the SCR950 along twisty roads and loose gravel trails, two things are clear: the SCR950 is a ba­sic ma­chine but it’s far from dull.

It’s rare th­ese days for an en­gine to over­whelm its chas­sis, let alone one with only 51bhp and with more peak torque (59lbft) than horse­power. But the SCR’S motor is funky, fun, un­in­tim­i­dat­ing and civilised, tramp­ing on smoothly and cleanly from low revs (al­though there’s no tacho), and lay­ing down a steady stream of ac­cel­er­a­tion through its belt fi­nal drive from first to fifth. This is a perky, thrash­able, good-na­tured motor.

But it pushes the SCR’S chas­sis to the limit. The sin­gle front disc doesn’t have mod­ern bite or power, in­duc­ing wide-eyed panic, but the rear is fierce. ABS saves the SCR – it’s un­re­fined, but pre­vents dis­as­ter when the sus­pen­sion gives up un­der brak­ing.

Equip­ment is sparse – a sin­gle dial with dig­i­tal speed, no tacho, a cou­ple of trip me­tres and a clock. Build qual­ity is mixed – the fuel tank is seam-free, with­out an un­sightly join on its lower edge, but clutch and brake levers are cheap. But Yamaha have lots of ac­ces­sories to cus­tomise the SCR – an ally bash plate ti­dies the front of the bike and, if you’re think­ing of scram­bling, is worth it for pro­tec­tion. The op­tional off-road ser­rated footrests are good too – and kin­der to shins.

‘This is a perky, thrash­able, good­na­tured motor and it’s comfy’

It’s a bit too easy to scrape the SCR

The SCR is a neat-look­ing ma­chine

Min­i­mal­ist. Maybe a bit too min­i­mal­ist

Sim­ple stylish works well on the SCR

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