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SEVENTH HEAVEN Yamaha R7: If you remember the original, you’re too old to ride this sublime supersport

It might be ‘entry level’ but the modern version of an old master has plenty to offer to experienced and newbie riders alike

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Yamaha's R7 looks the part and promises to deliver in the handling stakes too

Yamaha's R7 looks the part and promises to deliver in the handling stakes too

The Yamaha R7: A slim parallel twin engine in a slim frame

The Yamaha R7: A slim parallel twin engine in a slim frame

The lightweight frame of the Yamaha R7 has been tuned for well-balanced rigidity

The lightweight frame of the Yamaha R7 has been tuned for well-balanced rigidity

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Yamaha's R7 looks the part and promises to deliver in the handling stakes too

Yamaha’s Crossplane engine (CP2) concept was developed in an effort to create the ideal linear torque development in response to the rider's throttle action.

The idea was this would efficiently draw out the combustion torque generated in the engine with significantly less inertial torque than would have been necessary in a more traditional engine.

Since it was produced, it’s been powering all the MT-07s, as well as the Tracer 700s that have been such a success for the company over the last decade or so. Now it has appeared in a brand spanking new R7.

Those of us who are ‘older than dirt’ will, of course, remember the original wearer of the R7 badge, a 750cc inline four designed to win the WSB championship back in the very late Nineties. If you remember what we’re talking about, then the new R7 isn’t for you, it’s for your adult children. You’re simply too old.

The all-new YZF-R7 supersport model features that ingenious 689cc engine that was developed using the new technology by Yamaha and then mounted in a lightweight frame. The idea behind this one is that it’s a fun way to be introduced to the world of supersport machines.

Unsurprisingly, the new beast uses the main components of the MT-07. The MT is a bike which has gained a following from a very wide range of riders. Now the R7 is aiming to be a supersport model that motorcyclists with a wide range of skill levels can use. It definitely looks the part and promises to deliver in the handling stakes too.

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The Yamaha R7: A slim parallel twin engine in a slim frame

The Yamaha R7: A slim parallel twin engine in a slim frame

The Yamaha R7: A slim parallel twin engine in a slim frame

The thing that we really like about the CP2 engine is that it’s really easy to use and provides a great ride without intimidating the rider. After all, not everyone wants to live up at the rev limiter on an R6.

Placing it in a lightweight frame that has been tuned for well-balanced rigidity makes it work really well. Matching this with a set of upside-down forks that deliver excellent front-end feedback married to a model-specific rear suspension means it’ll go where it’s pointed.

This is the first bike powered by this engine that comes with a slipper clutch. The A&S unit from the FCC Company lightens clutch lever pull, and also inhibits the effects of back torque on the bike’s behaviour. In short, it reduces excessive engine braking for greater rideability.

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The lightweight frame of the Yamaha R7 has been tuned for well-balanced rigidity

The lightweight frame of the Yamaha R7 has been tuned for well-balanced rigidity

The lightweight frame of the Yamaha R7 has been tuned for well-balanced rigidity

The riding position makes it easy to quickly get into a tuck when getting the power on. It also provides excellent hold for the rider under braking. The seat width is narrow and gradually widens toward the rear. This allows the rider a choice of seat positions and helps those of us with a shorter inside leg to find the floor more easily.

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The whole thing is slim. A slim parallel twin engine in a slim frame with a slim seat and profile make for a less than intimidating machine. All of this is delivered in a styling package that looks like a member of Yamaha’s ‘R’ family.

LED lights, a quick-shifter, radially mounted brake callipers and an LCD instrument cluster are all things that those of us who remember the original R7 could only have dreamed of back then. They are all standard on the new machine.

Prices have yet to be released, so contact your local dealership for more information.

Yamaha R7 tech spec

Engine: 689cc Inline two-cylinder, ;iquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve

Seat Height: 835 mm

Wheelbase: 1,395 mm

Weight: 188kg

Maximum Horsepower N/A

Maximum Torque 67Nm @6,500rpm

Fuel tank capacity: 13 litres

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