2021 Yamaha MT 07 Motorcycle Review
The Yamaha MT-07 was an instant hit when it was launched back in 2014. And in terms of sales, it has been the leader of the naked sports segment ever since. Does the updated 2021 MT-07 have what it takes to hold its position against the newfound competition? Let's find out.
The MT-07 is powered by the same tried and tested CP2 engine that can be found in the Tracer 7, XSR700, and Ténéré 700. The 689 cc cross-plane parallel-twin engine produces 72 hp (54 kW) @ 8750 rpm and 67 Nm @ 6500 rpm. Also, Yamaha provides a detuned 47 hp (35 kW) variant for A2 licence holders. The 270° crank gives it a distinguished throaty sound. In the 2021 iteration, there have been a few updates for the air intakes and valve plates and the exhaust has gained a catalytic converter.
Design and Ergonomics:
Yamaha has decided to adopt a ‘futuristic’ and rather outlandish design for the latest iteration of the motorcycle. The design, especially of the headlight, has polarized opinions on the internet. But on a personal note, I like the new design, especially with the graphite colour and orange wheels, it looks gorgeous. The negative LCD instrument cluster is clear and easy to read. But the placement of the ignition key on top of the headlight assembly is a bit odd. The handlebar is now 30 mm wider, 12 mm taller, and 10 mm closer to the rider to give a more commanding riding position. The seating posture is fairly relaxed but sporty. The seat height is 805 mm and the motorcycle is narrower in the middle, so shorter riders should not have any problem.
Performance and Handling:
The MT-07 was always known for its lively engine and agility, and in the latest generation, it is better than ever. There is an ample amount of torque at the low end, but the midrange is the sweet spot with the maximum torque. Power wheelies are inevitable when you hold the throttle wide open. It returns an average fuel efficiency between 55-65 mpg. The motorcycle weighs just 184 kg in running order which is remarkably light in this segment. The mass is centered, which makes it incredibly effortless to manoeuver even at very low speeds.
The clutch is relatively lightweight and the gear shifts are smooth and precise. But some riders might find the throttle response to be a bit too jerky. The front discs have been upgraded to 298 mm similar to the MT-09, and the rear comes with a 245 mm single disc. They provide plenty of stopping power and can withstand some serious abuse before experiencing brake fade. The Michelin Road 5 tyres which come as standard are a great choice and have proven their capability on the road. The MT-07 is equipped with right-way-up non-adjustable forks at the front and a preload-adjustable suspension at the rear. The suspension is a bit on the softer side and feels under-damped during aggressive riding.
Warranty and servicing:
Yamaha provides a warranty of two years and unlimited mileage. They have a service interval of 6000 miles (or a year) for the basics, double that for spark plugs and filters, and 24000 miles for valve adjustment. Yamaha is known for the reliability of their motorcycles and the maintenance cost is kept to a minimum, so there are no serious causes for concern.
The MT-07 starts at £ 6902. The MT-07 does not have any modern electronic rider aids and compared to the Triumph Trident 660, which has a plethora of rider aids and a triple-cylinder engine, it might feel a bit lacking. But the spec sheet does not tell the whole story. The MT-07 blows it out of the park with the riding experience. But don’t get me wrong, the Trident is a very good and well-sorted motorcycle and the final choice will come down to personal preferences.