We last performed this public service in 2017, when your Yamaha FZ-07 prevailed over the Kawasaki Z650, Suzuki SV650, the new Harley-Davidson Street Rod, and the new and indeterminate Benelli TnT 600, in that order. The FZ-07 has since morphed into the MT-07 amidst a host of well thought-out upgrades in 2018, and then again for 2021. The Z650 got a modern instrument pod in 2020 with a few other tasteful refinements, and the SV650 hasn’t changed a bit (God bless it). The Benelli is still around but didn’t get the call this time, and the H-D Street Rod has been withdrawn from the market under a hail of ridicule. Sad.
With the Aprilia Tuono 660 and Triumph Trident 660, we’ve got two brand new middleweight nakeds on the market this year, entering what was already a pretty good field with the Honda CB650R, Kawasaki Z650, Suzuki SV650, and the Yamaha MT-07. Obviously, this calls for us to put all six motorcycles together in a shootout.
There’s something about inexpensive twin-cylinder middleweight naked bikes like the Yamaha MT-07 (and former FZ-07) that appeals to us. Their simplicity and practicality, combined with their spirited riding attributes make them hard not to love. Clearly, the riding public feels the same, as other manufacturers are starting to get in on the action, making the choices in this category bigger and bigger. Through it all, the MT-07 has been a mainstay since its introduction in 2015.
Yamaha has been granted a 2022 CARB certification for one its most iconic model names: the YZF-R7. We know this because Motorcycle.com‘s very own Dennis Chung stares at CARB filings like other people stare at artwork. For anyone who has followed Yamaha’s sportbike history, the R7 holds legendary status as the ultra-rare, 750cc four-cylinder the company used to go Superbike racing with names like Haga, Gobert, and many others. Hearing of the model name’s revival, then, is understandably exciting.
Yamaha revealed an updated MT-07 that… well, let’s just say that if you aren’t a fan of the 2021 MT-09‘s new look, you likely won’t be a fan of this either. Chances are you won’t be a fan of the MT-10‘s next update either if it follows Yamaha’s smaller “Master of Torque” naked MT models.
“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.” – Mark Twain
I knew this day would come eventually. I didn’t expect it to take so long, but I suppose good things like the Aprilia RS660 are worth waiting for. You see, as an owner of a Suzuki SV650 that’s almost of legal drinking age (and a former Kawasaki Versys 650 owner), I have a soft spot for bikes in this middleweight category. They hit that sweet spot between power, performance, and price – there’s just enough power to keep things exciting, moderate performance to emphasize the importance of rider skill, and well…SVs are dirt cheap. After all this time, I still haven’t found a compelling reason to replace my trusty little Suzuki.
Not every model needs a complete makeover every year, and today, Yamaha released the information about its 2020 carryover models. Here, you’ll find three classes of motorcycles. First, the Touring models of adventure and sport persuasions. Then we get Yamaha’s Hypernakeds. Finally, the Sports Heritage models for you Faster Sons (and Daughters) out there.
Don’t be confused by the new appellation: The MT-07 is the same Yamaha FZ-07 that’s won every MO middleweight mashup we’ve thrown it in since it was new in 2014, beating up on all sorts of bikes since then, including the KTM Duke 690, all Suzuki SV650 variants, various Kawasaki 650 mutations, Hondas of diverse specification, the H-D Street Rod, et al.
As the rain made its way between my mismatched waterproof motorcycle gear and we climbed in elevation through southern Spain’s pristine backroads, I thought to myself, there still isn’t anywhere I would rather be at this moment than atop the 2018 Yamaha MT-07 in the Spanish countryside.
Yamaha announced some mild improvements to its FZ-07 middleweight “hyper-naked” motorcycle, including an all-new name. Meet the Yamaha MT-07, restyled and upgraded for 2018. Changes include new bodywork, suspension tweaks, and more. The MT moniker – Masters of Torque, don’t cha know – goes along with Yamaha’s “Dark Side of Japan” marketing campaign to highlight the edgy nature of the 07 and its bigger bros, the MT-09 and MT-10.
A segment of our sport that’s seen plenty of attention recently is the “hyper-naked” segment, standard-styled motorcycles that offer more performance and edgier styling than your run-of-the-mill standard. Yamaha Motors USA made that designation official, giving its FZ-07, FZ-09 and FZ-10 models the “MT” moniker, as well as announcing some updates to its FZ…oops, MT-07 for 2018.
Yamaha has filed a trademark application in Europe for the name “Tracer GT,” suggesting a new touring model is on the way. The application was filed April 19 with the European Union Intellectual Property Office for use of the name for “motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, three-wheeled motorcycles, three-wheeled scooters, three-wheeled mopeds and parts and fittings for all the aforesaid goods.”