WHAT’S NEW FOR 2015?
The “XR” designation is new to
denote a complete makeover of the
frame, steering geometry, suspension,
bodywork, racks and lighting, as well as
engine refinement and added features.
The XR 700, 550 and 500 share a new
frame that moves the engine forward 2
inches and adds 2 inches of wheelbase
( 52 total), yet keeps overall length more
than an inch shorter. The shared frame
has a more tilted steering stem and
new steering and suspension geometry,
and the engine move narrows the
midsection of the cockpit by 2 inches.
Increased shock travel in relation to
A-arm travel improves ride quality, and
there’s a rear torsion bar to fight body
roll in turns. There are also two tow
loops up front.
The 695cc, SOHC single gets
closed-loop EFI for greater fuel
economy ( 25 percent) and a new
rubber-isolated outer cover, and new
gaskets reduce engine noise by 8 dB.
The airbox has been moved under the
seat, and the large pleated-paper filter
has a pre-filter cover for increased life.
The battery has a latching lid to keep
mud and water out, and a nice toolkit
sits in between the battery and airbox.
All-new, aggressively styled plastic has
racy fenders and an easily removable
left-side engine cover for checking oil
level. Removable panels hide a sealed
fuse box and allow quick access to the
engine, and the exhaust is well-shielded
from the plastic. A larger 6-gallon
fuel cell also extends fuel range, and
a 1.44-gallon rear storage bin has a
New Speedrack II composite racks
have a rubberized, non-slip TPE
coating and many tie-down points, plus
integrated mounts for accessories. The
sculpted front grill and fascia are mean-looking, and the XR 700 comes in three
packages, with the standard coming
in green with steel 12-inch wheels.
The XT package upgrades to trick all-black aluminum wheels, red or blue
paint, LED light bars under the halogen
headlights, and variable-assist EPS.
The Limited package adds heavy-duty
bumpers/brush guards, a 3000-pound
winch, and LED projection headlights
with LED under-bars. Seat foam is also
softer for more comfort, and all get a
new Power Sport instrument gauge.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
The base XR 700 is $9199, while
The CVT with EBS and 4WD system make the new XR 700 XT EPS surefooted, even on
sand-covered slick rock, and the new riding position and softer seat foam provide a great,
confidence-inspiring platform, even on steep rock faces. It’s surefooted going down too.
Front travel is 10 inches of plushness, and the
shocks have five-position preload adjusters to
level the load or fine-tune the ride. The XT
and LTD have variable-assist EPS that provide
the most assist to the steering stem at no or
low speeds but never no assist.
Half-waffle grips are super comfortable, and the brake master cylinder
has a lever-lock for mechanical parking brakes. Control buttons are
color-coded: green for go, red for ignition stop, yellow for caution during
backing out of sticky situations (override), and gray for lights.
Undo a few two-piece plastic rivets to access the 695cc, SOHC single
that has closed-loop EFI for 2015. Not only are the exhaust and
engine well-shielded to keep heat down in the saddle, new clutch-cover gaskets reduce engine noise by 8 dB. The Duramatic dual-range
transmission has EBS and Park mode.