Two months ago, we broke the news that Yamaha might be developing an MT-07-based sport bike to fill the gap left by the discontinued R6. After just 3 months of speculating, the Iwata-based firm finally unveiled their newest sportbike: the R7.
Tribute to the legendary YZF-R7
Yamaha claims that the new R7 pays homage to the legendary, limited edition YZF-R7 factory race bike that was produced in 1999. Only 500 of these YZF-R7 were built to follow homologation rules for the World Superbike (WSBK) and Suzuka 8 Hours. The original R7 was raced by legendary riders, Noriyuki Haga and Wataru Yoshikawa, and was considered to be one of the most exotic and desirable Japanese motorcycles ever built.
Powering the new R7 is the same cross-plane 2-cylinder (CP2) engine found in the MT-07 naked bike, as well as the Ténéré 700. This 689 cc features a 270-degree crankshaft that accounts for an uneven firing sequence. The 4-stroke inline 2-cylinder DOHC 4-valve liquid-cooled engine is said to deliver strong and linear torque across a wide rpm range. It delivers maximum power of 73.4 Ps at 8,750 rpm, and more significantly, the maximum torque of 67 Nm is achieved at only 6,500 rpm, giving the R7 extremely strong standing-start and roll-on acceleration.
For the R7, the ECU, as well as the air intake and exhaust systems were revised for a much sportier feel, and give the R7 better throttle response.
Assist and slipper clutch
New for the CP2 is the adoption of an Assist and Slipper Clutch (A&S) for smoother gear changes, and prevents the engine from over-reving and the rear wheel from hopping during hard braking, resulting in more predictable and controllable handling when approaching corners. Another advantage of the R7’s A&S clutch is that it provides a significantly lighter feel at the lever, approximately 33% lighter than a standard clutch.
Another improvement for the R7 is the adoption of KYB 41 mm fully-adjustable forks, which can be tuned for the race track or for street riding pleasure.
The R7 can be set up by the rider to suit different conditions. These supersport class forks are fully adjustable for preload as well as compression and rebound damping. With the compression function located in the left fork leg and the rebound function in the right leg, adjustments are quick and easy to make.
For precise handling with accurate feedback the R7’s high specification inverted forks give a steep caster angle of 23.7 degrees with a 90 mm trail. Behind is a new link-type monocross rear suspension. With a compact 1,395 mm wheelbase and a 51/49 front/rear wheel weight distribution, this new Supersport is built to corner hard and fast.
Race track in mind
Yamaha claims that the new R7 was developed with the help of its factory riders spending countless hours on the new machine. This shows in its 13-liter fuel tank with deeply sculpted knee indents. The result is an ultra-light, compact and slim sportbike that a rider can take both on the race track as well as on the street.
Touching the ground are a pair of lightweight, 10-spoke alloy wheels. They're brought to a stop by Brembo brake calipers.
Other features include an LED headlight and position lights. The rider gets an LCD screen for all the vital trip and information readouts.
The new R7 will be offered by Yamaha in two colors: Icon Blue and Yamaha Black. According to Yamaha Europe, deliveries will begin in October 2021. Here in the country, Yamaha Motor Philippines has yet to confirm the arrival of the R7 as of this writing.