Taking the name from an iconic predecessor, this 689cc parallel-twin sport bike aims to bridge the gap left behind by another icon, the YZF-R6 – filling in Yamaha’s lineup between the R3 and R1 models.
Built off the MT-07 platform, Yamaha has incorporated some smart enhancements on the naked bike’s design in order to make the YZF-R7 and affordable, and also potent, package for track and street riders.
The changes are beyond skin deep, though it is the full fairing design that will likely strike one’s eye first.
Yamaha says that the bodywork is the slimmest fairing in the “R” lineup, though it is meant to bring to mind the curves of the YZF-R1 superbike.
Beneath the fairing there is a familiar steel tube frame, though the aluminum plate braces, where the swingarm and rear motor mount come together, have been enhanced for more rigidity.
The dimensions for rake (24º50′), trail (90mm), and wheelbase (1,395mm) have also been adjusted, to suit the Yamaha YZF-R7’s sportier focus.
The engine too has been modified, though not perhaps to the standard many were hoping. Yamaha has used forged aluminum pistons with direct-plated cylinders integrated with the crankcase, in order to ensure better reliability.
Engine power output remains at 72hp (54 kW) and 49 lbs•ft, however, and there is the addition of an assist-slip clutch to the gearbox as well. Also, an up-only quickshifter can be added as optional equipment.
The other upgrades come where they count, though, with the 2022 Yamaha YZF-R7 getting fully adjustable KYB upside down forks, along with a rear shock that has preload and rebound adjustability.
There are radially mounted front brakes, mated to a radial master cylinder from Brembo, as well, which clamp down on two 298mm front discs.
The curb weight is just 8 lbs heavier than the MT-07, with the Yamaha YZF-R7 tipping the scales at 414 lbs wet and ready to ride.
With a price tag of $8,999 MSRP, the 2022 Yamaha YZF-R7 is priced to take on the industry standard Suzuki SV650 ($7,700 MSRP), though not quite with the same feature set as the much more expensive Aprilia RS 660 ($11,400 MSRP).
The sub-$9,000 price point is surely more approachable than what the 600cc supersports offered riders however, which perhaps accounts for the change in focus by Yamaha with the R7 offering.
With smart upgrades over the MT-07 model, and only a $1,300 premium for them, we suspect many will be happy to see today’s result from the Japanese brand in the middleweight-twin category.
The only flaw perhaps on this motorcycle might be the recycling of the R7 name, which for many will be an unforgivable sin on an otherwise strong product offering.
Source: Yamaha Europe