£80 / bhp, 0.4bhp / kg
Yamaha: “Rise up your darkness.” MCN: Affordable all-rounder, but still brilliant, playful fun.
For a bike with 33% fewer cylinders and 20% fewer ccs than the MT-09, it’s inevitable the MT-07’S 74bhp parallel twin crosses the boundary between serious speed and funky performance. But it’s no less impressive for that; the quietly chuffing 07 drops into gear with a thunk, then immediately surprises and impresses with how much go is up for grabs right from the start, bopping along with a cheerful, playful charisma from its 270-degree crank (one piston up, one halfway down) vaguely imitating a V-twin’s pulses. In contrast to the catch-you-out MT-09’S throttle, the MT-07’S fuelling is almost perfect and there are no engine mode settings to worry about either. You get a gear position indicator and a fuel gauge. What more do you need? It’s simplicity at its very best.
And the MT-07 is small alright; slimmer, more chuckable, 10kg lighter than the MT-09, and with a lower seat height. It’s also got a fantastic amount of steering lock – as much as the smaller MT-03 and more than the MT-125. But it’s not cramped, and has enough big-bike presence not to feel like a toy to a 6ft lard-arse, either. The MT-07’S only soft spot is, literally, its suspension. Unadjustable, the forks and shock betray the bike’s budget origins by losing control under duress – but, like other great cut-price Yams, it’s a gradual process. You know when you’re over-riding the MT because it starts grinding and bottoming out. And when it comes to bottoming out, there’s the MT-07’S price. At £5886 new, it’s the bargain of the MT family.
MT-07 secondhand values The first 2014 MT-07S are clocking up over 10,000 miles and are on sale with dealers for around £4000. But nearlynew bikes with barely over 1000 miles are still under £5000. Unbeatable.
‘ The 07 surprises and impresses with how much go is up for grabs’