Yamaha MT-07

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Road Test -

Un­sur­passed ver­sa­til­ity

Yama­haõs MT-07 won the MCN Award for Best Naked Mid­dleweight in 2016, and re­mains the one to beat this year. Yamaha have been forced to add a cat­alytic con­verter from the XSR700, which shares the same en­gine, to en­sure it meets Euro4, but oth­er­wise itõs the same class-lead­ing bike as be­fore.

The plucky Yamaha ex­em­pli­fies this new wave of ex­cit­ing, com­pet­i­tively priced bikes Ð it should­nõt be this much fun, but it is. On pa­per, 74bhp may not sound much, but this is a fab­u­lous ride, the front go­ing de­li­ciously light in the first few gears. If you did­nõt know it youõd think the MT-07 was good for around 100bhp. The par­al­lel-twin en­gine only has an ex­tra 40cc over the Kawasaki Z650 twin but gives the im­pres­sion of more. And de­spite revving higher than the Kawasaki it ac­tu­ally feels smoother and more re­fined.

The MT-07ÕS low weight and nar­row girth am­plify the en­joy­ment. Han­dling is light and perky but still pre­dictable and sta­ble, and the while the brakes donõt have the out­right power of the Du­catiõs they are more than ad­e­quate.

Itõs so easy yet so ex­cit­ing to ride, it feels like a mod­ern day equiv­a­lent of a 1980s Yamaha RD350LC. But, un­like the LC, the MT is no one-trick pony. It ex­cels as a com­muter, a bike on which to learn the ba­sics and a B-road scratcher.

It is hard to pick faults, but com­pared to the pricier Du­cati and Suzuki, it feels a lit­tle cheap, es­pe­cially now Yamaha have edged up the price to £6099 from the launch price of £5199.

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