Long-term test part three: Yamaha MT-07 review

The Kawasaki J300 long-termer gets swapped for a jaunt on the MT

IF there’s anything that a motorcycle should deliver, above all else, it should be fun. And the MT-07 has that criteria nailed.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s by no means perfect. Both the front and rear suspension are too soft and in an ideal world I’d prefer the tank range to be further than the 120 miles I’ve been getting between fill-ups.

But none of that seems to matter once you start riding it. The 689cc parallel-twin engine is the star of the show and makes power just about everywhere you want and need it. And combined with the short ratios in first, second, and third gear, is more than eager to pop a wheelie or dart through a hole in traffic.

It’s lightweight too. Fully-fuelled the MT tips the scales at a meagre 179kg; or in other words, light enough for your body positioning to make a noticeable difference to the bike’s handling.

And that’s what makes it so engaging, your constantly moving around on the MT. You’re not just a passenger with the responsibility of a few levers and a twistgrip. You’re an integral part of the bike and that’s what makes it so enjoyable to ride. Even if it does bounce around too much when you start giving it some beans.

I’m not so keen on the pillion seat that wobbles around in its fixings; it doesn’t scream quality control. And although it’s something you get used to, there’s a lot of free play in the throttle. On a recent ride-out, jumping from a 2014 Aprilia Tuono V4 R onto the MT made it feel like somewhat of a toy, but with over £7,400 separating the two it’s to be expected.

Still though, for a smidgen under £5,200 you can get yourself a bike that’ll do it all: commuting, light touring, the Sunday blast and mile-munching up the motorway in relative comfort.

There’s no denying there are more practical bikes out there, like the similarly-priced SV650S or ER-6f, but they carry more weight and offer less punch than the MT.

Put simply - they’re just not as fun.

Read part four of our Yamaha MT-07 long-term test

Read our Yamaha MT-07 first-ride review