Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 10th March 2017

As entry level bikes go, you don’t get much better than Yamaha’s MT-07.

 

Having suffered in the middleweight class for many years with dull and overweight four-cylinder bikes like the Diversion and FZ6, the Japanese giant dropped the mic when it introduced the all-new 689cc parallel-twin for 2014.

 

On paper, the MT is simply another naked roadster but on the road it provides a magical experience that is greater than the sum of its parts.

 

Yamaha MT-07 RIde

 

That magic is not so much about what the MT has, as what it doesn’t – weight. The Yamaha tips the scales at just 182kg fully fuelled and when you sit astride the MT-07 it certainly feels small and lithe.

 

With a 805mm seat height and narrow saddle, it’s a bike that even short riders can get on easily with. Thumb the starter and the two cylinder engine whirrs into life with little in the way of drama. The controls are light and easy to use and around town the MT-07 is a real pussycat to ride, quite a contrast to the snatchy and snarly three-cylinder MT-09, with which it shares its DNA.

 

Yamaha MT-07

 

Head out on the open road and that light weight makes it an absolute hoot down A and B roads. As you might expect from a bike that can be yours for just £6099, the MT-07 isn’t exactly rolling on top of the range cycle parts, but it’s adequate enough for all but the most enthusiastic riders. Up front, the conventional 41mm forks won’t win any fashion parades and the rear shock is definitely better suited to lighter riders, and absolutely not two-up riding. The brakes do a decent enough job at hauling the bike up from speed, without offering wrist-breaking stopping power.

 

If all that makes the MT-07 sound a bit meh then think again. It’s a blast and the whole package works so well together. Sure, it’s got its limitations, but the chassis is so nimble, the motor so gutsy and willing. Yamaha has gone to great lengths to make the MT-07 as light and compact as possible, with details from the design of the balancer shaft inside the engine to the way in which the rear shock has been mounted, to keep the wheelbase at a very short 1400mm.

 

The engine has a lot of soul, which has been engineered into the powerplant through the use of a 270-degree ‘crossplane’ crankshaft. With 74bhp, there’s more than enough power at your right hand, the styling is fresh and funky and the build quality good for the price point. Sure, there are a few areas where you can see that dollars have been saved but, overall, it’s easy to see why the MT-07 has been such a massive success since it’s introduction.

 

Yamaha MT-07 Dashboard

 

With great looks, agile handling and more than enough performance to put a massive grin on your face, this is one machine which is going to live forever in the mind of many new motorcyclists. It really is that good.

 

What’s not to like about the MT-07? Well the suspension is a bit on the budget side, with the rear shock particularly on the soft side. Considering the MT-07’s size and price tag, it’s not so bad really, it’s just that the outstanding chassis and willing engine really expose the unadjustable suspenders. The only other complaint is wind protection, or rather lack of it, although as a naked bike that is pretty much to be expected. That slither of a dash offers zero in the way of deflecting the wind, although a small sports screen is available as an accessory and should help a little on motorways.

 

If you want something more practical the faired Tracer 700 is built on the same platform, while a version of the Dakar style T7 bike, unveiled at last year’s winter shows, uses the same engine and is likely to be on sale within the next 12 months.

 

Specifications

 

ENGINE TYPE

Two-cylinder, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, DOHC, four-valves

DISPLACEMENT

689cc

BORE X STROKE

80×68.6mm

MAXIMUM POWER

55kW (75bhp) @9000rpm

MAXIMUM TORQUE

68Nm @ 6500rpm

FRONT SUSPENSION

41mm telescopic forks

SEAT HEIGHT

805mm

WET WEIGHT

182kg

FUEL TANK

14 litres

INSURANCE

281.34*

*Based on our average customer 52 year old, 9 years NCB, garaged, WA14 postcode, no claims/convictions, 4000 miles Comp cover is £281.34 with a £400xs. Insure your Yamaha motorbike through Carole Nash.