Yamaha MT-07 | Dealer’s price: £4699 | 74bhp | 50lb-ft | Liquid-cooled parallel-twin
Words and photos: Bob Pickett
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The MT-07 fills a very important role in the revised and revived Yamaha lineup. It is the introduction to big bikes for the newly qualified; it has to appeal to the commuter set who want an easy ride plus the ability to have a spot of fun when the chance arises and it has to be a bike that experienced riders will enjoy (possibly as a day-to-day companion for the weekend sportsbike). Tall order?
Give me some spec
A high-tensile tubular steel backbone frame houses a 689cc, four-stroke liquid cooled parallel twin, featuring an uneven firing order to introduce character to the engine. It packs 74bhp, but a restrictor kit is available. The bike is light (just 179kg kerb weight), giving it an excellent power-to-weight ratio – lighter and more powerful than its closest rival, the ER-6n. Braking is via impressive twin disc, four-piston monobloc calipers. It features a relatively wide 180 section rear tyre to aid grip and cornering stability.
So what’s it like to ride?
If Goldilocks had been looking for a bike rather than a free B&B, she would have liked the MT-07. Relatively low to the ground (for the class), I was comfortable riding it by the end of the first road – and comfortable leaning it right over by the third roundabout. For new riders it is simplicity itself to get on with; it will allow you to tamely and gingerly wobble about, but once you’re ready to let it loose it tips quickly and easily into the bend, giving you a planted (if not always 100% accurate) cornering line.
With the bike being so new I was asked to keep the revs down below 6K, so not unlike riding with the restrictor in place. And even at this self-limited range the MT-07’s parallel twin was fun, with the uneven firing order giving a lovely feel to the engine. There have been some negative comments about the braking, but to me it was spot on for this bike. The more experienced rider who is pushing the MT-07 harder (and you will want to test it’s limits) will need to apply a firm squeeze on the lever, but for the newer rider the brakes will never be intimidating, as they can be applied gently and progressively.
If an extended motorway stretch forms part of your regular ride then the optional flyscreen would be a worthwhile addition. Windblast wasn’t bad, but would get sapping after a time.
A practical note; important to commuters and the newly qualified who may not have too much left in the bank: The service intervals for the MT-07 is every 6,000 miles with valve clearance checks etc. not until 24,000 miles.
What nick is it in?
265 miles under the belt, it is pristine.
Should I buy it?
The dealer is asking £4,699 for the bike (£500 off list for a new bike). If you are looking for a bike that can dish out the fun but still do the basic stuff, you need look no further. This is quite possibly the best of the “light-middleweight naked all-rounder” class.
With thanks to Woodford Motorcycles for the loan of the bike. motorcycles.woodfordmotorcycles.com Tel: 020 8989 3157