Unused, unregistered Yamaha R7 OW-02 Sells For £37k

An unregistered OW-02 with just two miles on the clock sold for £37,375 at a Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show auction 

Yamaha OW-02 - side

Various corners of the Internet were frothing with rage when Yamaha resurrected the R7 name for a budget-conscious twin. However, if there’s anyone out there who simply must have a brand new R7 just like the original OW-02, a solution is available.

What you see here is an unregistered YZF-R7 OW-02 which has all of two miles on the clock. So it is, in essence, a brand-new OW-02. Such a thing was always going to be sought after, it probably won't surprise you that the bike has just sold at auction via Bonhams for £37,375. The estimate was £35,000 to £40,000.

Of the 500 R7s produced, six were supplied to the Virgin Yamaha in 2001, four of which were raced, leaving this one to be kept by the outfit and another that went to a team member. 

It spent the best part of two decades in a dehumidified and heated garage, before being sold to the current owner in November 2019. Since then, it’s lived inside the man’s house, something I bet we all wish we could do with a motorcycle were it not for a lack of space and/or the potential for causing arguments with housemates or significant others. 

As for what makes the R7 so special, and the kind of thing you’d store without using once for more than 20 years, we have to look to the World Superbike rules of the era. They dictated that bikes competing in the series needed to be homologated with a batch of closely related road-going equivalents, fancy parts and all, regulations which also gave us Honda’s RC30 and RC45. 

Inline-four-powered bikes were limited to 750cc, hence the OW-02’s displacement of 749cc. The short-stroke engine features forged aluminium pistons, titanium conrods and titanium valves, but pushes out only a modest 106bhp in road trim to comply with rules in some markets. Thankfully, a few changes will liberate the missing ~30bhp. 

The trick engine sits in a ‘Deltabox’ frame (as proudly referred to on the bike’s bodywork), off of which hangs Öhlins upside-down forks and an Öhlins monoshock with a piggyback reservoir. The price for all this? £22,000, which was an enormous amount of money for a bike at the time - the equivalent of about £36,500 in today’s money, just shy of the auction's final price with fees.

£37k seems like decent value, with that in mind. The only thing is, having it sat for so long won’t have done it much good, dehumidified garage or not, so it’ll likely need a fair bit of work if it’s to ever see the asphalt. That said, we suspect it’ll end up in a collection, never to turn a wheel in anger.