Last week Yamaha released the updated MT09, and this week it sees the Japanese firm launch it’s the younger sibling, the MT07. For weeks we had been predicting an update for Yamaha’s A2 level bike, popular the world over. Let’s face it as great as the old bike was, it needed a freshen up, to more modern levels.
Recent weeks have seen the A2 bike market, have quite the shake-up. Triumph have released the 660cc triple, Trident giving some competition to the dominant MT07.
Yamaha went big with the Hypernaked sectors “Dark side of Japan” branding. Inspired by the Japanese subculture, bringing us the muscular, minimalistic designs of the MT series and the famed Master of torque engines, focused on a more street ride. Launched in 2014, with the MT09, the pairing has sold over 250,000 units cementing the MT line-up as the most successful Yamaha range ever.
Was the MT07 the best A2 bike?
Many people underestimated the MT07 when it was first released, I did, I did my test on one, and loved it straight off. It surprised me. Its punchy crossplane 690cc engine had the bark and lived up to its master of torque name made it a joy to ride, all of the time. Comfy for all shapes, sizes, and ages with a great chassis that was light and flickable, it is a bike that just works. The competitive price made it affordable, and the specification gave the rider everything they needed.
During its six year life, the MT07 got little in the way of LCI updates, until now. For 2021, the middleweight has had a change which hopefully makes the best seller, even better.
MT07 Euro5 update
Naturally, Yamaha wouldn’t allow one of their biggest sellers to not become Euro5 compliant, so the bike gets an updated engine and chassis, LED lighting, LCD instrument cluster and new bodywork and paint. The design concept was to make the MT07 the ‘Handsome younger sibling’ of the Hypernaked family.
The new MT07 gets an LED projector headlight, with similar styling to the marmite MT09. Feedback at the moment seems very mixed with some liking it and some disliking it. Yamaha stated that this ‘Y shaped’ look is the signature look of the next-gen family, so when the MT10 gets an update don’t be surprised to see the marmite looks continue. Despite the styling, using an LED projector gives a more powerful beam increasing practicality at night. LED indicators to front and rear also add the premium feel and a common mod for existing bike owners.
Larger 14-litre fuel tank
Winglets have been added to the new updated fuel tank, with an updated capacity to 14 litres. The shape also sits over the top of new ducts which look like they flow air better to the airbox. Whether this is just visual or actually active we don’t know, until we see it in the flesh.
The highly successful Cp2 engine has been revised, with new intake ducts, better fuelling maps on a new ECU and a brand new 2 into 1 exhaust. These updates have smoothened the torque curve. Horsepower remains the same, at 73hp (55kW) however which despite meeting euro5 standards is great. Normally Euro5 compliance will cause a drop in power, but manufacturers are getting savvy with ways around the drop.
Lightweight TT candidate?
This is also a bonus for the racing world, with recent rule changes to the lightweight TT category allowing bikes up to 700cc twin, entering. This has paved the way for the new Aprilia RS660 and the MT07 to name a few, deemed legal to enter.
Chassis upgrades include the front brakes increasing in diameter from 282mm, to 298mm giving more stopping power, with little weight gain. Tyre have also increased to a 120/180 width with Michelin Road 5 tyres as OE fitment, these changes make a massive increase to potential braking power.
The riding position was never uncomfortable to start with, but Yamaha engineers have tweeked the position, making the bars 32mm wider, giving more comfort, and more leverage for both higher and lower speeds.
Updated instrument cluster
An updated cockpit sees a new LCD instrument cluster and is an inverted unit similar to the Tracer 700. The displays are made larger and are changeable through the handlebar switches. Hopefully, we get some adjustable rider modes too. The brake levers have been changed to black, and the wiring has been rerouted to enforce the new styling look.
All this is great, but it’s slightly disappointing to see no suspension update to upsidedown forks, and no quickshifter as standard or no mention as one as an option. We do understand these bikes a built to hit a certain budget, Triumphs competitor seems to have much better bang for buck, and lots of genuine options. Yamaha’s dominance in the sector may have been dented with the arrival of some new bikes to the sector.
Hopefully, when we actually get on the bike it will change our mind.
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