We knew it was happening with rumbles for months, and last week the leaked teaser images of the new Yamaha R7. With today being the official reveal and confirmation, we now know what we are dealing with.
To start with, Yamaha are keen to respect the original R7, the limited edition full factory homologation special designed to take the world superbike and Suzuka 8 hour titles back to the Yamaha factory. Yamaha seems to believe that using this name to a more modern bike that is mass-produced and readily available will respect the proper R7 and make a bike for the next generation of bikers to look to. Puzzling.
The new R7 adds to Yamaha’s track-focused R-bike range of R1M, R6-RACE, R3 and the R125, giving a supersport bike for every rider. I joined this club with my R1.
2021 R7 engine
The engine is Yamaha’s 689cc CP2 engine found in the Yamaha MT07. The expectation was this was going to be in a higher state of tune than the MT07, and while the R7 gains a new fuel map, revised exhaust shaping and intake ducts, the power remains in the ballpark figure 73hp. I was genuinely hoping for nearer the 90hp A2 limit and closer to the Aprilia RS660.
The R7 does gain a slipper clutch advantage over the standard MT07, and the new assist clutch gives 33% less force needed to handle the clutch lever.
Only an upshift quickshfter
The optional Quickshift System (QSS) is a dealer fitted accessory, and while again, it’s disappointed it’s not factory fitted, as 90% of riders will want this fitted. Note from the literature. It only seems to be an up the box quickshifter not autoblipper for downshifts too.
The new frame is promised to be fast and nimble, with aluminium and steel backbone style with tubular bracing; Yamaha intends to keep the balance of rigidity and flex. Coupled with the new frame is fully adjustable 41mm forks from KYB. These are upside-down style, unlike the standard MT07, which has regular telescopic forks.
The bodywork does look styled off the outgoing R6, except with the R6’s lights being moved into the air scoop, and while the use of a twin-engine over an inline four-cylinder does allow a slimmer fairing profile. The numbers say the R7 is slimmer and the R3 and the R125.
Smaller fuel tank than the MT07
There is an LCD dash, giving clear information and lightweight 10-spoke alloy wheels with 120/180 tyre combinations for grip, and a 13litre fuel tank (1 litre smaller than the MT07). Two colour options are blue or black. If you don’t like blue or black well, I guess you could always get it wrapped? Deliveries will be available from October 2021.
Overall it’s slightly disappointing and marginally faster than a standard MT07. The fairings and screen will help lower drag, so naturally, the bike with a fairing will be faster. Overall though it isn’t anything groundbreaking and new, it’s the bike the new MT07 SHOULD HAVE been, with a fairing. I can’t believe that anybody would actually want one of these more than an R6, and part of me does believe there are better offerings if you really do want a mid cc twin cylinder bike? And lastly what on earth is going on with the paint jobs?! The blues don’t match on the fairing panels, and the black is too black. Wow.
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