Earlier this year, we broke the news that Yamaha was going to release a full-fairing version of its popular MT-07 street bike, to take on bikes like the Aprilia RS 660 and cater to the rising lightweight racing class.
The news was vetted by our Bothan spies, but it also passed the sniff test as we have seen the trend growing in the amateur and professional racing circles when it comes to Yamaha’s parallel-twin platform.
Things got a bit interesting though when we saw that Yamaha had used the “R7” name for a twin-cylinder sport bike in filings with the California Air Resources Board.
A hallowed name in sport biking circles, the original Yamaha YZF-R7 was a unicorn of a motorcycle, designed to tackle the race track when the rules ventured outside the favor of the Japanese brands.
Now to see the YZF-R7 designation used on a less purposeful machine, a bike that our Bothans say will be nothing more than an MT-07 with a fairing and minimal changes otherwise, it would seem that Iwata is walking over the grave of the iconic OW-02.
Writing in March, our Bothans also pointed to the new R7 being released very soon, and that brings us to today’s news.
Big Blue has begun teasing a new “R” model, which looks almost certainly to be the new Yamaha YZF-R7, with a nondescript teaser video on YouTube (shown above).
As you would expect, the video starts on the race track, but curiously it then ends with a ride through some twisty roads – a nod surely to the R7’s track-focused aesthetics, but on-road manners.
This quick teaser proves some interesting choices from Yamaha though, especially considering the racing heritage that is supposed to come from the “R” designation.
Part of what made the R1, R6, and R7 motorcycles so famous was their “race bike with lights” approach>
When looking at what is likely to come from the Yamaha YZF-R7, it is hard to believe that the Japanese brand hasn’t lost its way a bit (did we mention the demise of the class-leading YZF-R6??!).
Surely, the price tag of the new R7 will be considerably less than its namesake’s, and thus offer tremendous value to its owners.
Yet, one has to wonder how many sacred cows Yamaha has left to push through the slaughterhouse before it brings this bike to market.
Keep your eyes peeled for the 2022 Yamaha YZF-R7 in the coming weeks. It shouldn’t be long now.
Source: Yamaha (YouTube)