Could the Yamaha R7 sports bike based on the MT-07 be happening

With rumours getting louder and louder regarding an MT-07-based Yamaha R7, Visordown looks at the feasibility of the idea

Yamaha FZ-07R

THE idea that Yamaha will be bringing out a sports bike based on the mega-success that is the MT-07 is really starting to gain traction in 2021. Major publishing houses from across the globe are all pointing to a faired motorcycle arriving with the CP2 engine at its heart, in the not too distant future.

And it seems to make more sense than ever right now. With Yamaha recently discontinuing the R6 for road use, it is now only available as a track day/race machine, and the Aprilia RS660 showing just how good a parallel-twin engine in a sports bike can be; all signs point to Yamaha following suit.

2021 Yamaha MT-07 specs

2021 Yamaha MT-07 revealed | New Yamaha MT-07 2021 Specs |

It’s not just an exciting prospect for riders, it’s a damn sensible move for Yamaha too. They already have the MT-07 that can be churned out by the factory at a great rate of knots. It is one of the best parallel twin engines on the planet, ever even. And it has an elastic ability to suit a given activity with a subtle change to its design and an update to the ECU.

But there is another factor that has been missed by some, and that’s that the MT-07 has been competing in sports bike racing for quite some time now, and with a fairly high level of success.

The FZ-07R is built by AP MotoArts (top or page) is an out-and-out race bike, built from the ground-up to succeed in championships like the super twin class and the AMA Lightweight Twins Superstock class. It’s a stunning machine, but let’s not forget it is a race bike, with all the trappings of such. And it’s those single-minded details that would actually make it a bit pants on the road.

What could the Yamaha R7 look like?

For starters, the tubular steel frame of the bike above would almost certainly have to go. It’s lightweight, super-strong, and gorgeous to look at, but it’s also expensive and time-consuming to make. The frame of the R7 will almost certainly be a very close relative of the road-going MT-07. The telescopic forks of the current king of the mid-weight naked class would likely be ditched, with the front end from the now track-only R6 looking like the best fit for the machine.

The race bike built by AP MotoArts above even manages to get away with using the MT-07’s swingarm, so it’d make sense for Yamaha to follow suit on that front too.

The engine also wouldn’t need too much tickling to make it work, with the bikes that race in the AMA using this platform only putting out around 80bhp. That’s 10bhp or so down on the RS660, but with this type of bike, the power is only part of the story.

If Yamaha were to build a road-going sports bike on the MT-07 platform, they would first and foremost want it to be the best road-going sports bike they can build. For that you want access to as much torque as possible, anywhere in the rev-range. And that is a trait that the MT-07’s CP2 powerplant has in abundance.

Images: Young Machine & AP MotoArts