The rumors about Yamaha’s MT-07 based sportbike are apparently true.  According to a Yamaha filing with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), a new Yamaha YZF-R7 is on the way.

The folks over at spotted the filing approving the bike’s engine.  However, if you expect a fire-breathing inline four-cylinder engine wrapped in sportbike fairing plastic, you’ll be disappointed.

MT-07 YZF-R7

Yamaha’s current MT-07 naked machine. Photo credit: Yamaha

As has been rumored for a while now, the new YZF-R7 will carry the company’s MT-07 689cc parallel-twin engine.  It’s no 100HP plus powerplant.  But it is smooth, rev-able, and plenty of fun for its size.

YZF-R7 background

The original YZF-R7’s roots are in racing, particularly in World Superbike.  The R7 (also known as the OW-02) is a special race homologation motorcycle.  Only 500 were made so Yamaha could compete with the machine in World Superbike.

Road-going versions carried a price tag of about $32K.  You could also add a couple of special “kits” to the bike.  For about $1K extra, you could add a kit that would increase power to about 135HP.  If you could spare a little over $12K extra, you could set up a bank of fuel injectors, add a pipe and ECU to end up with about 162 hp.

So now we know that the new “middleweight” sportbike coming from Yamaha will not have the same racing cred as the original.  But the MT-07 based engine is no slouch and provides a fun experience.  On paper, the new YZF-R7 does plug the huge gap between the YZF-R3 and YZF-R1.  And when it makes it to production, we can likely expect the machine to be more budget-friendly than the bike it replaces.

Whatever the real answer is, we may not have to wait very long to know for certain.  Although the bike is listed as a 2022 model, it could arrive sometime this year.  Time will tell.


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