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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The other day I stopped by the Yamaha demo ride truck at Dreyer Motorsports in Indianapolis, and was lucky enough to get a ride on the new YZF-R7. They had two of them on hand, both in black.

At first glance it looks great. It’s narrow enough that you won’t confuse it with a R6 or R1, but it looks like it belongs in that family.

The single headlight didn’t bother me at all when I first walked around it. Then someone fired up the engine and the light came on.
:sick:
That look is going to take some getting used to….

On the positive side, a single light will be lighter, and also cheaper, especially if it uses the same parts as the new Yamahas with the One Eyed Gargoyle design language. 🤪

Once aboard, it was clear that the ergonomics are track focused, with fairly high pegs, and it does have real clip on bars below the triple clamp, unlike a few other bikes like the the RS 660 and Ninja 400.

Even with taller gearing than the MT-07, it still has gobs of torque right from the bottom of the rev range. It belts out a deep rumble of intake noise, kind of a high-compression muscle car sound. I wonder if they’ve retuned the airbox, because I don’t remember the previous MT-07 sounding that good with the quiet stock pipe on it.

Typical of these rides I didn’t get beyond fourth gear, but it shifted as smoothly as you’d expect from a Yamaha. Neither R7 had the optional quick shifter.

I think the seat is going to be a good one. Narrow in the front and maybe a little wider than I need further back, it was fairly firm, and seemed just about right as far as I could tell. Unlike a few sport bike seats out there, it didn’t do anything odd like develop memory-foam sink-holes in the cushion, or cause me to slide forward into the tank.

The bike has plenty of room to get completely into a tuck without the pillion seat interfering. The little valley for the chin of your helmet at the front of the tank is a nice touch.

Clutch actuation was pretty light, and I found it easy to find the engagement point.

Front brakes were strong and easy to modulate, but surprisingly squishy. Hopefully all of the flex is in the rubber brake lines and not in the caliper, but either way it should be fixable.

Fueling was very nice, except for one thing. I could feel it is programmed to cut fuel when decelerating with the throttle fully closed, causing a slight lurch when you roll it back on. It’s not too severe, and it’s nothing that a good tune can’t take care of, assuming this year’s ECU can still be unlocked.

The suspension surprised me. It was far smoother over little sharp edged bumps than I expected. The front did seem just slightly soft under braking, but the bike was rock steady when cornering.

I couldn’t find any fault with the handling on the street, at the relatively sedate pace we were going. Comparing corner entry on the Yamaha versus a lighter bike like a Ninja 400, the R7 felt more substantial but it still turned in with very little effort, versus the nearly weightless but slightly less stable feeling of a smaller machine.

I was happy to see that the fairing and windshield have been designed with sufficient room to allow either lowering the clip ons by around an inch or so for the track, or conversely for raising the bars by as much as one and a half or two inches for the street, by installing clip on risers. I couldn’t tell for sure, but it looked like there might be enough length in the stock clutch cable to get away with using it with the bars raised.

Overall, I think it’s a great motorcycle, and I honestly don’t know why Yamaha didn’t start building it about five years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
…and yet more pictures -

First the rearsets on the YZF-R7, and then the pegs on the 2021 MT-07.

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