Yamaha’s XSR700 gets retro-fit­ted

Albany Extra - - Motoring - Stu­art Wood­bury

Not too long ago, Yamaha Mo­tor Aus­tralia turned its de­light­ful XSR900 into a replica RD spe­cial with some after-mar­ket side cov­ers and vinyl wrap.

Now it’s the XSR700’s turn, with Yamaha Mo­tor Aus­tralia turn­ing this great mid-sized de­light into an XT600 Tenere replica.

Rather than wrap­ping the body­work this time, Yamaha opted to get the pan­els painted for a longer­last­ing fin­ish. The cost is ap­par­ently about the same ($1000) with the paint­ing be­ing done by Mo­toTech at Smith­field, NSW.

But rather than stop just at some nice paint, Yamaha wanted the XSR700 to look as much like an old XT600 Tenere as pos­si­ble. This meant get­ting the wheels painted gold, putting the gen­uine ac­ces­sory Akrapovic high pipe on it as well as the gen­uine ac­ces­sory flat seat, dust­ing off an old chrome mo­tocross handlebar from one of the tech guys’ garage and, of course, throw­ing a set of knob­bies on it.

If you’re look­ing for an old­school handlebar to­day, eBay, Gumtree or a mo­tor­cy­cle wrecker will be your friend.

The first XT600Z Tenere was re­leased in 1983.

It was con­sid­ered an all-pur­pose en­duro ma­chine (nick­named by some the Desert Raider) and fea­tured disc brakes, a torquey four­valve en­gine, monoshock and con­tem­po­rary 12-volt electrics — much like the XSR700.

To get your hands on an orig­i­nal one nowa­days would be like rub­bing your hands to­gether with 24carat gold dust.

Hop­ping onto the XSR700, the rid­ing po­si­tion felt a lit­tle weird with the handlebar up rather high, but after a cou­ple of kilo­me­tres it was a lot of fun and rather easy to ma­noeu­vre. The at­ten­tion this thing got when­ever I stopped was sim­ply mind-blow­ing.

Any­one and ev­ery­one wanted a piece of this retro glam­our.

The pos­si­bil­i­ties are nearly end­less with what can eas­ily be done to ei­ther the XSR700 or the XSR900.

Get your old-school theme de­sign in your mind, get it painted (or wrapped) and add some per­sonal touches like the chrome handlebar on this “XT700” and watch the amount of con­ver­sa­tion you drum up.

Yamaha has also de­cided to con­tinue the retro theme with an­other ver­sion for the XSR900, mak­ing the one you see here (in the back­ground) into a replica RD LC in the ex­tremely pop­u­lar yel­low with the Yamaha Speed Block de­sign.

Again, the com­pany has fit­ted after-mar­ket side cov­ers and used Mo­toTech for the paint.

Your lo­cal Yamaha dealer is Al­bany Mo­tor­cy­cles 9842 2914.

The XSR700: as retro as you get.

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