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  • MotoringPulse

Yamaha R7 Unveiled - First Look

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

I find it hard to accept that the 600cc Supersport bikes have virtually gone out of existence. All that remain are the Kawasaki ZX-6R in certain markets and the Japan-only Honda CBR600RR. Both utterly lovely sport bikes that, I would hope, would still find many takers. However, manufacturers are throwing everything at the 1000cc Superbikes. They are the standard for performance and two-wheel technology and they keep pushing the goal posts every now and then.

But the 600cc - 800cc class itself is thriving. While we may not have many Supersports to choose from, there are plenty of middleweight motorcycles available and they are really, really good. Even the likes of Aprilia couldn’t resist this segment as they recently launched the RS660 and the Tuono 660 in the global market. There’s plenty of premium stuff to be found here.

Yamaha’s latest middleweight

Yamaha recently updated its MT09 and MT07 by giving them edgier styling and making further refinements to their overall performance and rideability. And now, Yamaha has unveiled a much sportier version of the MT07 that closely follows the look and feel of the YZF-R6 Supersport.

The R7 is designed to provide a proper Supersport feel to the rider but it’s more practical and usable as a road bike. I’m sure that a larger number of riders will be able to have more fun on an R7 than on a full-fledged Supersport.

The 689cc CP2 (crossplane 2 cylinder) engine is taken directly from the naked MT07 and surrounded in a fancy & aerodynamic bodywork. In this parallel twin engine, the crossplane refers to the 270-degree crankshaft giving it a nice burbling sound while making it easier for Yamaha engineers to provide an extremely usable torque output across the rev-range.

This is one of the best modern engines by Yamaha and it has already shown its strength, durability, and versatility in more than one motorcycle. Yamaha Tenere 700 is a mid-capacity adventure motorcycle powered by the same 689cc CP2 engine and it is one of the many good things about that motorcycle.

The R7 produces 73.4 PS of power at 8,750 RPM and 67 NM of torque at 6,500 RPM and these figures are not something to be ignored. It is a really fun-inducing engine leading to an involving riding experience. And in the new Supersport guise, the riding experience will be even better especially on a racetrack.

Other than the engine, the chassis is from the MT07 as well but there are some notable differences. The diamond frame has been fine-tuned for rigidity and the conventional telescopic front forks have been replaced by the KYB upside-down forks that are fully adjustable. It would be interesting to see how much sportier the R7 feels overall and that too against the likes of the RS660, even though the Aprilia produces 100 horsepower out of its 660cc parallel twin engine.

The front fairing is similar to the R6 but it has its own identity with the LED headlamp resting inside the open middle section which traditionally works as the air-intake. The middle and the tail section are suitably thin and narrow and there’s nothing in the design that looks forced or uninvited.

The R7 is a pretty good looking motorcycle. It is built on a proven platform and for its intended purpose made even better. The 270-degree crankshaft parallel twin engines are literally one of the best in the business today. They emanate great personality and can be tuned easily for a variety of performance requirements. The KTM 890 Duke, 890 Adventure, Aprilia RS/Tuono 660, Yamaha Tenere 700, and the MT07 are solid examples of how much fun, engaging and flexible these engines are.

This is easily one of those motorcycles that we want Yamaha to bring to India. The R7 has been launched at USD $8,999.

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