Yamaha has announced the return of the R7 nameplate to its lineup with the soon to arrive MT07 powered R7, but unlike its predecessor, this bike isn’t about all-out performance and that is fantastic news.
The sports bike class as a whole has been dying a slow and painful to watch death over recent years with performance and technology getting ever closer to MotoGP levels.
While for track fiends the increasing power and tech have been welcome, for road riders it has largely meant the bikes are much harder to live with and less fun in the restraints of the real world.
Manufacturers are beginning to see this, with Aprilia’s new RS660 and now Yamaha with its new R7 both adding twin-cylinder sports middleweights to their lineup in an effort to coax riders into this segment of motorcycling.
The new R7 certainly looks like it has the goods to bring the sports segment back into the real world with an affordable $14,499 price point for the full power model.
Full power model? Yep, Yamaha Motor NZ has confirmed that the R7 will enter the market in both 655cc LAMS and 689cc High Output (HO) variants. Something that hopeful Tenere owners have wanted since that model's debut in 2019.
The LAMS version of the R7 is priced at a slightly lower $13,499 and will go head to head vying for rider's hearts with the likes of Kawasaki's established NInja 650 (also available as LAMS or full power), Honda's CBR650R and the soon to arrive Aprilia RS660.
The Yamaha sets itself apart with a truly supersport inspired rider triangle including clip-on handlebars, adjustable 41mm KYB fork, rebound and preload-adjustable rear monoshock
Wet weight is a claimed 188kg, which should make for a fun combination with the torque-rich CP2 engine.
Backing the engine is a 6-speed transmission, with the HO model being able to be fitted with an optional Quick Shift System (QSS) to speed up the shifting process.
Yamaha seems to be making it very clear in its marketing material that they are targeting a younger audience with the new R7, with the video featuring predominantly young riders in both the real world and on track.
Hopefully, targeting younger rider pays off for Yamaha. Anecdotally sports bikes have long since fallen out of favour with younger riders due to their increasing price and lack of real-world usability in recent years. The R7 looks like it nicely blends the style and fun of a supersport with the real-world usable power and rideability of the CP2 engine.
It should be a brilliantly fun bike when it arrives here. Yamaha New Zealand expects the 2022 Yamaha YZF-R7 to be available from December 2021, with both models set to arrive in either the Team Yamaha Blue or Performance Black colour schemes.
2022 Yamaha YZF-R7 Specs
Engine type: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC inline twin-cylinder; 4-valves per cylinder
Displacement: LAMS: 655cc / HO: 689cc
Bore x stroke: LA: 78.0 mm x 68.6 mm / HO: 80.0 mm x 68.6 mm
Compression ratio: 11.5 : 1
Fuel delivery: Fuel Injection
Starter system: Electric
Transmission: Constant mesh 6-speed w/ A&S clutch
Final Transmission: Chain
Front suspension: Telescopic fork adjustable for preload, rebound and compression; 130mm travel
Rear suspension: Linked monoshock adjustable for preload and rebound; 130mm travel
Front brake: Hydraulic dual discs, 298 mm
Rear brake: Hydraulic single disc, 245 mm
Front tyre :Bridgestone BATTLAX HYPERSPORT S22F E
Rear tyre: Bridgestone BATTLAX HYPERSPORT S22R E
Overall length: 2070 mm
Overall width: 705 mm
Overall height: 1160 mm
Seat height: 835 mm
Minimum ground clearance: 135mm
Wet weight :(including full oil and fuel tank) 188 kg
Fuel tank capacity: 12.8L
Colours: Team Yamaha Blue, Performance Black
Warranty: 24 months
Pricing: LAMS: $13,499 / HO: $14,499 inc GST