It’s no secret the supersport 600 market has witnessed a dramatic decline. In Europe it dropped by a staggering 77% from 2000 to 2020. Yet racing remains hugely popular, particularly MotoGP, WSBK and BSB (in which classes Yamaha are having notable success in this, their 60th anniversary year). And while the popularity of track-focused 600cc machines has declined, smaller sports bikes have seen an increase in sales, particularly Yamaha’s R125 launched in 2005 and the R3 launched in 2015.
With the legendary R6 now only available as a track option, there’s a void in Yamaha’s sporty range between the R3 and R1, and the Japanese automotive giants spotted as an opportunity. Creating a new bike based on the hugely popular and sales chart super success, the MT-07, was a no-brainer – in fact, I’m surprised it’s taken them so long. This isn’t a replacement for the inline-four R6 and is similar to the original OW-02 R7 in name only. The 2022 YZF-R7 promises to deliver a balance between road and track riding; is affordable, accessible, and still carries the brand’s R-series style and look.
For 2022, Yamaha launches this brand-new model, the R7. The R7 uses the same parallel twin found in the MT-07, but that is where the similarities end. A re-designed chassis with more frame rigidity, a steeper head angle, new inverted forks, revised shock and brakes, not forgetting the dramatic styling… and it looks great.
The new R7 is available in either Icon Blue (as ridden on track), Yamaha Black (as ridden on road), and the 60th Anniversary Edition. The base blue and black bike are priced at £8,200, while the 60th Anniversary bike comes in £300 more at £8,500.