Earlier this week, Yamaha teased us all with a YouTube video (see below) for what looks like a new R7. The video is titled R/world, and the video description states, “There’s a place where the track and the road meet a different kind of rider. Where R/World meets yours”. Find out on the 18th of May (Monday) for the latest!
It has been touted for months, if not years, a remake of the iconic R7 that is, and while every new bike should be met with celebration, it’s sad that while we are gaining an R7, were losing the R6. The R7 looks does look like the replacement for the outgoing R7.
It certainly looks like it’s going to be MT07 based; most likely, it will share the same CP2 engine, more than likely in a higher state of tune to develop more than the stock 73.5hp. Whether Yamaha wants to keep the R7 A2 friendly means were looking at around the 95hp maximum for restriction.
The Middleweight area is quite hotly contested with Aprilia’s RS660 and 660 Tuono, Kawasaki’s Ninja 650, Triumph’s Trident or Street Triple S, and the standard Yamaha MT07. Depending on how hard Yamaha goes with, the tuning could even aim the Ducati V2.
Secretly between you and me, I’m hoping that Yamaha are just using the R7 namesake as a tribute to the old and are actually plotting something BIG like using the CP3 engine from the MT-09 for even more bark and tech to make a proper go of a mini R1.
I must stress that these images have been found online whilst researching the above, and for all I know could be an elaborate photoshop from a skilled artist. Or they could be real.
The images show a sports bike with R7 graphics, an obviously sporty setting, and a looking rider. They show an MT07 style chassis except more rigid for the strength, but overall the bodywork does look like the R6. The lighting ‘Manta Ray’ style headlights common on the R1/R6 have been removed with what looks like a central light inside the airbox, like the new MT07. To be honest, though, if it weren’t for the big R7 badge on the side, you would have thought it was a new R6.
Will it live up to the original R7? Probably not, no. The OG R7 (OW-02) was released in 1999 as a homologation special with a worldwide production run of 500 units. Designed for Yamaha to get the best they could to fight for the World Superbike Championship and Suzuka 8 hour endurance races. It’s 750cc four-cylinder engine packed with 5 valves per cylinder, making 106hp. Race kits were available, upping the power to 135 or 162 horsepower and really was out of the box ready to race. Components from Ohlins, and at the time, advanced Titanium engine components gave a dry weight of 189kg. Quite special.
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