The Japanese factory is reviving one of its best-loved sportbikes – but it’ll probably not be as powerful as you remember.
With ever stricter emissions regulations rolled out across Europe, it’s getting more and more challenging for manufacturers to create highly tuned, lightweight, middleweight sportbikes.
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In recent years a number of them have fallen foul of the tightening rules, including Yamaha’s inimitable R6. Technically it’s still around, but from this year it’s being sold as a track-ready race bike – and as a result cannot be used on the road.
But there’s good news for fans of Yamaha’s sporty offerings who don’t need 200bhp and 1000cc to have a good time… The Japanese factory has just filed some documents for 2022 with the CARB (California Air Resource Board) which suggest it is about to revive one of its most iconic models: the YZF-R7.
For riders of a certain vintage, the R7 is a legendary machine. It was the factory’s 750cc four-cylinder Superbike that it raced until the early 2000s at the helm of riders like Haga and Gobert.
Okay, so it’s going to be a bit of a different bike this time round. In fact, the documents filed with CARB suggest it’ll actually be a faired sportbike built from the bones of Yamaha’s much-loved MT-07 naked. That’s a bit of a leap, but as we know it’ll be powered by a 689cc engine, it’s logical to assume it’ll make use of the same CP2 parallel twin which powers the MT-07, XSR700 and Ténéré 700.
The CARB documents also reveal it’ll come in a choice of two colours, Yamaha Blue and Black, but at this stage that’s all we know about the new R7. We’ll bring you more infirmation as we get it.