Retro bike group test: Yamaha XSR700 vs Ducati Scrambler vs Bonneville Street Twin vs Guzzi V7 II

Which is the best retro motorcycle on the market? What do you think of the Yamaha ZSR700, the Ducati Scrambler, the Triumph Bonneville Street Twin and the Guzzi V7 and do you agree with our verdict? Tell us in the comments below.

We’re looking for the most stylish, powerful, and most affordable retro bike there is, so we’ve compared all the top models on price, engine, power, torque, weight, frame, suspension, brakes, tyres, fuel capacity, fuel economy, and colours!

We’ve got a Yamaha XSR700, which is really the two-year-old MT-07, known for its low weight and easy wheelies. There’s a Ducati Scrambler, a modern interpretation of a much smaller single-cylinder range from the ‘60s and ‘70s. We’ve gone for the Full Throttle variant, with black paint and Termignoni silencers.

We’ve got the newly launched Triumph Street Twin, the entry-level member of a new Bonneville family, which also includes the T120 and Thruxton R. No one’s going to mistake it for a 1959 Bonnie but it’s certainly close enough to recognise as a new one.

And we have a Moto Guzzi V7 II Special, which actually does look a lot like the 1971 V7 Sport from which it derives.

Read the full review here: is the #1 online motorcycle website for news, reviews, and all things motorbike with 1 million monthly users and growing.

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Xiven X says:

I totally disagree with the Yamaha XSR being included in this comparison, it’s not really a retro bike or even a properly retro-styled bike. There are genuine bikes in this category, coming in a range of purposes and displacements: Guzzi V7/V9, Bonneville T100/120, Ducati Scrambler, Kawasaki W650/800, Honda CB1100, Norton Commando and Dominator, and all the Royal Enfields. At a stretch, one can even include cruiser-ish models like Harley 883, Indian Scout and Yamaha SCR. The only true retro bike Yamaha offers is the SR500… so instead of paying to have their bikes unfairly included in comparisons they shouldn’t be in, I think they need to up their game and actually make a better true retro motorcycle because the XSR and SCR bikes just don’t do it. They could do “a Triumph” or “a Guzzi” with a nicely styled modern version of their old XS650 range.

Dave says:

I have the Fz-07 and it is nice reliable little bike with no soul or character. The first bike I have owned with a plastic clad fuel tank. I bought it as a light bike to throw in my truck to take on trips. I have quickly become bored with it. I found this review while looking for V7 III reviews. They say the V7 III is much improved.

swieri2003 says:

pmsl, it’s a heap of shite, but the best bike, absolutely pmsl

brighton dude says:

I was surprised but rather glad the Moto Guzzi “won”. I really like that Moto Guzzi, it is descended from a 500 V twin they started making in the 80s, not actually the famous V7 Sport, but it looks a lot like the V7 Sport.

I’d try to test ride all those bikes before I chose to buy, but I think for me the Guzzi is probably the most appealing.

BTW better pronunciation of “Guzzi” is to say the two zeds as they are in “pizza”.

vxn675 says:

All the bikes tested have such different personalities. You really have to ride them to know what feels right for you and fits your needs and fulfills your desires.

I’ve got a 2013 V7 Stone that I bought used. I’ve put 9k miles on in the past year that I’ve owned it. I’m a Guzzi lover (had a 2005 V11 LeMans prior and took it cross-country) so I know what to expect and how to get the most out of Guzzis. I haven’t any issues whatsoever with my V7. I just had the ECU re-flash to go along with aftermarket pipes. I commute 110 miles round trip in the LA area and plan to do some touring on it. I can go everywhere I need to go for as long as I want on my V7 Stone with an almost 6 gallon tank, 50 MPG, easy access to the heads for maintenance and a shaft drive.

My other bike is a 2009 Triumph Street Triple with over 100,000 miles on the odometer. So I really like to ride and I enjoy bikes with soul and character.

I think it’s great that there is a good variety of interesting “standard” mid-range motorcycles on the market. This review highlighted some of the best in that category.

ripmax333 says:

he complained about the reliability of the Guzzi because it came with a dead battery? why they didn’t just put a new one? if it was too low on voltage even after a jump start might give problems.

Alan Jenkinson says:

Is that Ricky Gervais talking?? I’ve ridden the Ducati and thought it was a very poor ride; front was skittish and it was uncomfortable despite being the perfect size for me as a short rider

john rocker says:

Some bikes that glitter ain’t always gold thats why the dude choose a good ole Guzzi!

GRoss says:

Wow the Moto Guzzi is absolute rubbish then, if they couldn’t even deliver a working test bike…

Gregory Peck says:

Honest review 100% agree.

Abhimanyu Kharote says:

I respectfully disagree

tridivesh naidu says:

is it gud for cornering ??

rio0045 says:

Good decision. A bit unusual though but this is how this class should be choose. Keep it up.

Guzzi venture says:

You know I like your reviews. They belong to the best on the net. (I see them all, English, German, Austrian, American, South Africa and Australian).

I think the new V9 roamer may have been a better choice than the v7. To me, the V7 is a bike for in city. The V9 the real bike for twisties. The new 850T3.

kimble911 says:

Watching this video, is this the review that goes with the Ride magazine in june’s edition?

João Soares says:

Love the Guzzi, but those electrical gremlins and the overall ridiculous reliability… no thanks. It’s like riding a ticking time bomb.

Tomek Przymusiński says:

Yamaha XSR700 – retro – hahahahahhahahaa hahahah uuuuu,…..
Ducati Scrambler – hmm- modern retro
Bonneville & Guzzi V7 – uuuu is like miss piggy & Ozzy Osbourne born to be wild

Kuzey Anadolu says:

Which goes better for offroad?

Henry Hartley says:

what’s with the shite soundtrack????l

alwyn McMath AUTO-DIDACT says:

Now that’s what I call a review. No bribery going on there. And an actual opinion! Well done visor down, more of this. Oh, and I disagree, I’d probably take the xsr, but that’s not the point.

Jojo Crazy Cat says:

My type of bikes.
I will get me another retro bike as soon as i save the money.
I already have a cruiser and a Sport bike.
But none of them are as special to me as a retro bike.

67claudius says:

Great Guzzi, from 95 years made in Mandello del Lario.

Guicho says:

Great, the Ducati or Triumph how is the best choose? I want to by one this Bike’s.

Tre Lane says:

Xsr 900 would stomp em

Gerhard Symons says:

The dodgy 1970s porn track is disturbing, irrelevant, and detracts from an otherwise good review.

Cool Guy says:

“Created as one thing, turned into another and now looks like neither” is such a perfect description of the XSR

Daniel D says:

Triumph is still the best looking of them all. Lets face it…when you buy this type of bike you are buying it mostly for looks. Who cares about all the other nonsense unless you’re a racer? They will all last a lifetime if you take care of them.

Marcus Funk says:

Awesome review. I disliked the music in the back ground, seemed way to disturbing and the volume was set to high for my taste! Still, keep up the good work

John Roe says:

I wish we had the XSR7 in the US. All we get is the 900.

Alfred John Guerrero says:

if those bikes are basketball players the xsr700 would be lebron james!! best bike is xsr700

RadoDani says:

Interesting, the Ducati might be actually better bike than the XSR/MT-07, just needs street tires. In any case, this is the closest I get to a comparison between modern bikes like SV650/MT-07 vs retrobikes like Scrambler/Street Twin/V7 … and Harley Street.

joy ahir says:

XSR is a bad looking bike?!? What???!!!

Chaos Tade says:

so you chose what you called the worst.

GrumpyKitten says:

Should have wait for the yamaha scr950

Sb Sb says:

Guzzi for me

Paul Valas says:

Greta review! It was like a love hate relationship with the Guzzi. I love and hate that bike so much. Can’t wait to buy another V7 one day. Miss my old one that I sold

Chaz Spellman says:

All of these comparisons are the same. “Yes, the Yami is the best bike in every way, but it doesn’t look cool to other grown men who I want to admire me.” haha

hawkrider88 says:

So why is the Triumph so heavy?  The company seems to be far more advanced than Guzzi and yet they can’t seem to get the weight down on any of the Bonnevilles.  Is it just not that important to most of the people who buy them?   I’d like to buy one, but I’m a smaller guy and really don’t care for a 500lb bike.

John says:

It seems like people don’t like the XSR overall, especially styling… I don’t get it though, I love the way it looks

iodineclip says:

i like the XSR 🙂 but the kenny roberts special is way more beautiful.

Christian Cartmale says:

I want the XSR 700 in Canada!

johnydecali says:

Those pedestrians… Couldn’t they wait a few seconds till you all were out the driveway…

Kevin Dunnell says:

Sorry my mistake! I thought this was a motorbike channel instead it’s a F###ing Music channel.

Matt Helps says:

Good review but turn down that crap music.

theycallmebruceful says:

Agreed, there’s just something about the Guzzi. On paper you wouldn’t think it, but especially in this category it’s not really about the numbers. Definitely ride it before writing it off.

dr FeelGood says:

*So in summary which is the best of the bunch*?

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