The Yamaha YZF-R7 is coming back as a 2022 model, according to filings made with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), but before you get too excited about the news of this iconic motorcycle name, you should understand it’s not what you think.
As such, today’s news would seem to confirm the rumor that we were first to publish, that Yamaha is working on a full-fairing version of the MT-07, to compete in the growing middleweight twins segment.
This makes today’s story a bit of good news for those who race the MT-07, or were wanting something a little bit sportier from the Japanese brand to compete with the new Aprilia RS 660.
However, if you read today’s headline and hoped that Yamaha was bringing back its iconic 750cc four-cylinder sport bike, well…we feel your pain too.
For many sport bike enthusiasts, the Yamaha R7 (shown above in the title graphic) came during a special time in motorcycle racing and motorcycle culture.
It was an homologation special, meant to tackle the growing number of v-twins in the World Superbike Championship. It was fast. It was rare. It was expesnive. It is everything that an MT-07 powered bike is not.
What the new R7 will look like though is a good topic of conversation, as it is interesting that Yamaha is placing the new machine in the “R” family of bikes, rather than simply calling it the MT-07R or something similar.
This suggests that a proper sport bike is coming from the tuning fork brand, and while the engine is likely to be very close in tune to what is found on the MT-07, items like the chassis, components, and electronics could see a sizable shift.
This is where Yamaha’s desire to balance a budget-friendly motorcycle comes against the wants and wishes from the go-fast community.
The expectation is that the Yamaha R7 will use the same chassis that is found on the MT-07, though that is going to upset hardcore track riders and racers, who have found the twin-cylinder platform suffers from a rather soft chassis feel.
If there is a Mission #1 for Yamaha on the R7, it is some sort of twin-spar aluminum frame, or at least something more rigid and up to the task of true sport riding that is worthy of the “R” bike designation.
Making this rather large concession could help offset more budget-friendly choices that come in the form of suspension, brakes, wheels, etc.
With a strong motor and chassis combination, riders could possibly even overlook the lack of an electronics package, like the APRC suite that is on the Aprilia RS 660.
Whatever the case may be on this front, our sources tell us that we won’t have long to wait. While the Yamaha YZF-R7 is designated as 2022 model, we expect to see it within the next few months. Unitl then…