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The Genius & Blunder of the New Yamaha YZF-R7

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By now, the dust has settled on the commotion surrounding the Yamaha YZF-R7 debut - one of the more surprising and interesting motorcycles to debut so far this year. This fully faired middleweight-twin takes the Yamaha MT-07 platform, with its 689cc parallel-twin engine, and prepares it for Yamaha's "R" world of sport-focused, track-ready, motorcycles. This week, we will see the first real life assessments of the new R7, and of course the reviews will be glowing pieces of literature - because those are the only kind of reviews that Yamaha USA will now tolerate. Don't let that detract from what the R7 represents, however. Like its naked sibling, the YZF-R7 will disrupt the middleweight-twins category, which has long been stagnating on the vine with bikes like the Suzuki SV650. This stalwart bike has long been the go-to entry point for new riders and veteran racers alike, but the SV650's decades of service have seen little in the way of deserving and meaningful change. The means that the opportunity for a little disruption is ripe, and the Yamaha YZF-R7 is just set to be one of the key bikes to satiate our appetite.

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