Sporty version of the MT-07 roadster twin rather than a new 750 four, sadly…

How you respond to the news of a new Yamaha R7 will of course depend on how old you are. If you started riding in the past decade or so, then you’ll be quite at home with the notion of a 689cc parallel twin minitwin-type machine bearing this moniker.

But if you’re old enough to remember the limited-edition WSBK homologation race-rep 750 four YZF-R7 from 1999, it might seem like sacrilege…

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New Yamaharrr R7
Oh. My. God.

Iconoclasm aside, the new R7 is a pretty decent looking entry into the middleweight twin sportster class. It’s entering the fray dominated by the new Aprilia RS660, Kawasaki’s Ninja 650 and even the elderly Suzuki SV650, rather than something like Ducati’s 848.

It’s down on claimed power compared to the new Aprilia, making the same claimed 72bhp as the MT-07 rather than the 100bhp of the RS660. Wet weight is a little more than the MT-07 as you’d expect – but still decent at 188kg.

A Haga paint job would not look out of place here tbf

So, the same perky motor as on the MT-07, but with a tweaked chassis. The obvious changes is to the front end, where you have a fully-adjustable KYB 41mm USD fork that has the compression damping in the left leg and the rebound in the right.

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But the frame is different too, with steel trellis main section and aluminium centre brace, plus redesigned rear suspension setup. The Bridgestone S22 tyres are full supersport sized – 120/70 17 front and 180/55 17 rear, and there are now dual radial-mount four-piston calipers up front rather than the conventional calipers on the MT. Yamaha’s also offering an optional quickshifter setup.

They call it a 2022 model but we should see it this year
‘Yes! I’m glad it’s not got a 170bhp inline-four engine too!’

The full fairing is a variant on the R-series family styling, with a novel cyclops-style single LED headlight, large central air intake duct, and an aluminium lower section. It’s different enough to stand out from the R3/R6/R1, while still staying true to the marque.

A decent-looking spec sheet then – though we’ll be interested to see what the price will be when it’s announced. The bike is also still a way off showrooms – we’ll not be seeing the new R7 on the roads till October apparently, a hangover from the production woes and logistics headaches from COVID-19 and the Suez Canal crisis which hit Yamaha so badly.

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2022 R7

Tech highlights

  • Compact, high-torque, 689cc, CP2 crossplane technology engine EU5 compliant
  • Ultra-compact design with pure R-Series DNA
  • Highly aerodynamic full fairing with aluminium lower cover
  • High specification inverted 41 mm front forks
  • Link-type Monocross rear suspension with newly designed shock
  • A&S clutch
  • Lightweight tubular frame with aluminium centre brace for tuned chassis rigidity Clip-on
  • handlebars and lightweight rearsets with stylish heel guards
  • Sporty and adaptable tucked-in riding position
  • Aggressive R-Series twin-eye face with LED position lights
  • Powerful central LED headlight
  • Lightweight 10-spoke cast alloy wheels
  • Radial mount front brake calipers with Brembo radial master cylinder
  • Supersport cockpit design with full LCD instruments
  • Central M-shaped front air duct
  • Slimline 13-litre fuel tank with deeply sculpted knee indents
  • R-series style tail
  • 120/70 front tyre, 180/55 rear tyre

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