Updated Yamaha R7 Revealed In Patent Filings

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

New fairings to accommodate new radiator design

Yamaha has filed two patent applications that suggest an updated YZF-R7 is on the way. The modern R7 debuted in 2022, and has yet to receive a substantial update, but with an R9 potentially waiting in the wings and the R1 following the R6 into retirement, the time may be right for an update.

The two patent filings offer different approaches to the same idea: a radiator fan cover that redirects air upward, and out to either side, but more crucially, away from the cylinder head. Both filings share a lot of the same details, including a left profile drawing of a sportbike that is clearly based on the R7.

Overlaying the illustration over the 2024 R7, we can see common details like the shape of the front fairing, tank, tail, and parts of the drivetrain. The most distinctive difference is the shape of the fairing, with the side panels extending further back, reaching close to the upper mounting point of the rear shock. We’ll look at the new fairing in more detail later, but first, let’s examine the two radiator designs.

Both patents show a similar radiator, but with two different designs for a cover over the fan. The radiator itself is different from the one in use on the R7. The current radiator has the coolant reservoirs and inlet/outlet tubing on top and below the radiator body, but the two new designs have them on either side.

Radiator fan cover design 1.

The first fan cover has a number of vents to either side, each with vanes to direct air outward at an upward angle. A larger vent (labelled #67 in the diagram) sits at the rear of the cover, directing air to the left, where it hits a guide (#69) that deflects the air down.

The second design is a bit more straightforward, lacking the rear vent and leaving the ones on the left and right.

Radiator fan cover design 2.

The upward-flowing airflow necessitates a new fairing design with a larger opening than the current design. This allows for more air to exit upwards and to the rear, compared to the current design that doesn’t allow for the same upward flow. Interestingly, the shape of the new fairing vents look more like what you would find on previous R6 designs than the current R7.

Of course, this all leads us to ask why Yamaha wants to improve its radiator design. Improved cooling is always helpful, but the change may be needed to make up for a potential performance increase from the R7’s Parallel-Twin engine.

The existing R7 technically meets the requirements for World Supersport racing’s next generation rules, but it isn’t homologated to compete, and at its current level, it would be hard pressed to match up against the R6, let alone bikes like the Ducati Panigale V2. The new R9 is expected to be slotted into Superbike classes (though that will still require a change to regulations), so it makes sense for Yamaha to want the R7 to be competitive in the Supersport ranks.

As with most patent filings, there’s no guarantee that their concepts will ever become a fully realized product (the fact there are two different approaches to the same idea filed by Yamaha is proof enough), but if one of the designs takes hold, we suspect Yamaha will want to time an R7 update around the more significant R9 announcement.

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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2 of 4 comments
  • Hacksaw Hacksaw on May 16, 2024

    Ho hum!

  • Imtoomuch Imtoomuch on May 21, 2024

    R7...meh. I can't wait until they start making real sportbikes again not these universally cheap, parall-twin-powered, beginner motorcycles.