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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, my 2022 XSR700 arrives on Friday so I thought I'd reserve a seat. I've been riding for 51 years so that would make me a "mature" rider, I suppose. I returned to live in Cleethorpes on the Humber estuary after 21 years in Southern California (that was a wrench) to look after my ailing Dad.
Over the more recent years I keep buying the wrong bike! As a teenager my dream bike was a two tone green Kawasaki H1, so I had one refurbished, a beautiful looking H1F, for the unaware the H1 is a 500cc 3 cylinder two stroke with a 2k rpm powerband. "Don't meet your heroes" is an old adage, I now see why. The 70s and 80s two strokes were enormous fun in their day but now they're like a punk rocker turning up in the church choir.

That was my heart purchase, my next mistake (!) was a head purchase; a light bike, lowish seat, fully adjustable suspension - this produced an MT09SP. I only kept that 5 weeks (shudder), for context and balance - I'm a slow rider these days and like exploring country lanes - most definitely not the MT09SP forte.

The next bike (I won't bore you with 51 years of bike selection, don't worry) should have worked. A Z900RS in green/yellow - another beautiful looking bike A slight detour now - my benchmark bike is the SV650, I've owned 3 and my current one is a 2016 AL7 on which I've put 33k miles. The SV cost £5600 in 2016 - an inexpensive bike, I can forgive its poor brakes (which if I could be bothered could be fixed), I can forgive its basic suspension because it's inexpensive. Throttle response, gear selection, handling, the massive engine braking (is why I haven't bothered improving the brakes) - the basic bike functions work very well, it's a great yardstick.

Back to the Zed - it made a nice noise but its cold start idle speed was a loud 2500rpm (it was fixable) and I like my neighbours. Kawasaki seem to have forgotten how to make a decent gearbox with this model (and I have ridden 3 of them - the dealer says "they all do that". Well, they shouldn't). There were more (many more) niggles which, on a cheap bike, I could forgive but on a £11k bike, no. To be fair to the Zed one of the problems is my failure to admit I'm aging (and short!), truthfully the Zed was a bit too heavy (480lbs/218kg) for me to manhandle it with confidence.
If the gearbox had been better, if the chain whine not been so intrusive, if the twitchy throttle wasn't so bad, if the adjustable suspension could be made to give a comfortable ride I could have dealt with the weight but I found I was making too many allowances for (imo) defects, so the Zed has been traded for the XSR.

I test rode the XSR (and a Z650RS) and was hoping the new Honda Hornet would be out (I've owned the older 900 Hornet/919) but it will be next year say the rumours. The Kawa looked better but the Yam rode better (imho). The only issue I had with the Yam is the footpeg position, they are exactly where I'm used to planting my feet when I come to a stop - I'm hoping I can get over that and learn a new stance. It isn't a problem I have encountered before but, weirdly, the Yam and the Z650RS were similar in that regard.

My white/blue XSR700 is painted to look like the RD350LC, I owned its much slower grandfather - the YR5 (350cc air cooled and, in my head, I can still hear the piston slap as I changed gear).

I need to read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" or as my friend put it: "ignore it and just ride it" (but he tried to persuade me to buy a 1960 Norton Dominator like his) so his tolerance level is much higher. He offered me a ride on his MT07 but it was so dirty I thought I might catch something from it (I told him).
 

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Nice intro and welcome! :cool:

I chose my 2022 XSR700 (2021 MY) for similar reasons, the XSR900 big brother is just too mental for me and I am happy to plod these days.
 

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@Entropy I had an S3 400 triple. As you say, a lot of fun when I was 22. I read about and have the same foot peg issue as you mentioned. Apparently the nice foot peg position for riding puts them right where your legs go when planted. I can live with that. I haven't been interested in too many bikes over the past few years, but for some reason the XSR got me. I think I'd definitely have preferred and loved the blue ones much more than the red 2018 I got, but we never got that one. I just saw pictures of the ones in Europe or some place, maybe Canada, I don't know.

The power on the 700 is fine with me, I could have even gone for a 500 with similar engine characteristics. Now especially, getting around 55 mpg, the smaller engine is the hot ticket. And the way the front wheel kind of easily lifts when aggressively pulling away from a stop is kind of entertaining. I try not to do that when there are people around. Rode my brother's FJ-09 and prefer my 700. Only two things it should have had - cruise control and what every bike should have, self cancelling turn signals. No good excuse for any bike not having the latter.

I don't really remember when I got caught up with the look of the XSR, but it might have been due to one of the reasons why I liked the Yamaha - American flat track racing. Estensen Racing and Cory Texter are running Yamaha 700s and doing pretty decent, considering it's a production bike engine, unlike the Indian and the old XR750 which were designed for flat track.

This year they're off to a good start when JD Beach (95) was leading the Red Mile race 1, but he broke, leaving Dallas Daniels (32) to battle with Jared Mees the 7 times champion, nipping Mees by .008 second at the line to win.



I want to do a set of those 2-2 exhausts so bad... Yamaha's racing blue is why I'd love having the blue tank covers.

I saw the XSR had the custom potential that no other bike really did to have a flat track-ish look bike. Plus it had very neutral ergonomics. With a set of small bar risers which, due to the angled perches, moves the bars back a shade which was what I needed. Then an adjustable set of short levers and I was good to go. Absolutely like the bike, especially the engine.

Only bike that could take me off the XSR at this time would be if Yamaha or some other company built a reasonable priced street tracker like the custom DT-07 built by Jeff Palhegyi. It's in the bodywork and could be done.

Then the customization to look how I wanted started... I hope you have fun with your XSR in the UK.
 

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Welcome to the forum. The XSR700 is certainly a better option for exploring country lanes than the MT09....it'll be more reminiscent of your old SV650s, but with a slightly heavier clutch and less smooth gearbox than the Suzuki. Enjoy!
 
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Welcome to the forum. Put some miles on your XSR and see how it settles in for you. The neighbors won't notice your departures, but that just lets you come and go w/o drama. (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks all for the welcome.

Welcome, from sunny Lincolnshire deep south, Bourne.
Before leaving for the US, I used to live near Stamford. I was in the RAF at Nth Luffenham, then worked at Crosfield Electronics in Peterborough. Still one of the nicer parts of Lincolnshire imho, although I like the Wolds too. A lot more expensive than when I lived there.
 
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