With rumours and spy shots making rounds on the internet post the painful discontinuation of the Yamaha YZF-R6 amidst failing sales, expectations for the new R7 circled around a more powerful inline-four R6 or a toned-down yet sportier inline-three MT-09. However, the official release of the 2022 Yamaha R7 reveals underpinning resemblance from its parallel-twin cousin- the MT-07, but fused with the R series DNA.
The 2022 Yamaha R7 unmistakably retains the R- series DNA with slippery bodywork featuring a central LED illumination, housed inside the air-duct flanked by aggressive daylight running twin LEDs. The 2022 Yamaha R7 features full LED lighting including a high contrast LCD instrumentation panel providing legible displays of information and performance figures. A track-oriented track position with a bubble screen and deep knee recesses facilitating a tucked-in riding position at high speeds, it won’t be out of place to say that the new R7 does look stunning.
Engine and transmission
The MT-07 derived 689cc twin motor cranks similar horsepower and torque figures at 73.4 ps @ 8750 rpm and 67 nm @ 6500 rpm. To cater to the European A2 Licence regulations, there is also a power restricted model producing 47.6 ps @ 7750 rpm.
The 6-speed gearbox comes mated to an assist and slipper clutch for effortless shifting and mitigates rear wheel lockup under aggressive downshifts. An optional quick shift system is being offered for aggressive clutchless operation through the transmission.
Frame, suspension, and brakes
The 2022 Yamaha R7 also borrows the frame from the MT-07 except that the caster angle has been reduced to 23.4 degrees against 24.5 degrees on the MT-07 for a tighter cornering line. The suspension has also been retained from the MT-07 with 41mm KYB front forks extending 130mm of travel.
However, the R7 offers adjustability for preload, rebound, and compression damping. The linked-type rear mono-shock has been carried over unchanged affixed to a double-sided swingarm from the MT-07. The braking system on the new R7 sees improvement over the MT-07 with 4 piston Brembo radial calipers mounted over twin 298 mm steel discs. A Brembo radial master cylinder also adds to the improved braking system on the R7.
It would be easy to conclude the 2022 Yamaha R7 as an MT-07 with faired bodywork, however, it does offer a decent proposition to riders looking to hone their track riding skills before graduating onto a bigger motorcycle. Also looking at the price factor, the new R7 is expected to retail on either side of the $9,000 mark considering the MT-07 costs $7,699 and scores over the competition comprising of the Aprilia RS660 ($ 11,300), Honda CBR600RR ($ 11,899) and the Kawasaki ZX-6R ($ 10,199). Though these are powerful motorcycles with uprated componentry and electronic aids- a new rider would take notice of the cost variation- probably utilizing the savings on the R7 towards investing into protective riding gear.