2021 Yamaha MT-07
If you are into the motorcycles, you probably heard the MT-07 and there is a reason why you heard it. It is one of the most popular middleweight motorcycle almost anywhere in the world. This year, the popular MT-07 is redesigned, though it still has some similarities throughout the bike.
The new MT-07 is more of a comprehensive rework of an excellent middleweight naked bike more than a totally new design. It’s more of keeping the bike up-to-date as it’s been almost 8 years since it is first released. It was updated in 2018 but there were minor changes.
This year, the change is much bigger, including the overall looks of the bike. First thing that you cannot miss is the new headlight design that is completely LED. Like the other Yamaha model lineup, I am extremely happy to see Yamaha finally got rid of orange pumpkin indicators and now it comes with full LED headlights and LED indicators all around the bike.
Looks wise, I think we still need time to get used to the new headlight design, but I really appreciate the fact that Yamaha comes up with new and unique design language. Other than the headlight, now the tank area has much less unpainted surface, unlike the previous generation.
Other than that, mechanically the bike is pretty much the same. They still have 690cc parallel twin CP2 engine that produces 72 hp, which is slightly less than the previous generation. One of the main reasons is that new EU5 exhaust system which has much shorter header runners, definitely more restrictive compared to the old one.
With the updated version, Yamaha decided to keep the displacement exactly the same, unlike the MT-09 which they bumped the displacement and as a result, it has much better torque curve as well as it pumps out few more horsepower. That’s not the case with the new MT-07.
It still has tons of torque considering it’s a middleweight naked bike that competes with 650cc motorcycles, though it has slightly more displacement. I think CP2 is one of the best parallel twins on the market, it is buttery smooth and honestly feels more powerful than 72 hp. There is a reason why it is highly regarded by many journalists and users all around the world, and the powertrain is the main reason of this reputation.
Another important feature that makes MT-07 very popular is the riding position, which is quite relaxed for daily driving but still sporty enough. You don’t get big risers like MT-09, but the reach is still not too aggressive. Seat comfort is exceptionally good and wide enough especially for bigger riders, something that makes the MT-07 an excellent daily rider.
There are some technical changes and updates in the braking department. Older gen MT-07’s biggest problem was the braking performance, and Yamaha finally updated the front brakes to 298 mm, which is much bigger than previous 282mm discs. It still comes with no-name dual calipers, but I think this is one of the most crucial update of the new bike and it is much better than the previous version.
Unlike the front brakes, rear brakes are pretty much the same but I really enjoy the overall feeling of the rear brake pedal. It gives you much more feedback than Z650 we recently reviewed. Of course, new Michelin Road 5 tires help quite a lot in terms of overall traction and braking performance. Unlike the other Japanese entries, it comes with significantly wider 180/55/17 tires.
2021 Yamaha MT-07 still has budget oriented suspension setup, as expected from this price range. It still comes with 41mm front forks and non-adjustable monoshock rear suspension. You don’t get any adjustability option in the front, and only preload can be adjusted in the back. The suspension setup is completely fine for daily riding and even spirited riding. It is tuned a little bit on the softer side so that it can be easier on the rider when you ride it on daily basis.
Tech wise, there is not a big difference except the LED headlights and indicators, but Yamaha also refreshed the digital screen. I was personally expecting to have Bluetooth connection and bigger color TFT screen like the Z650, but Yamaha decided to skip that completely.
New screen looks different than the old one, but it is still very clear to read it through, and you get basic features like expected from this price range. Now the new screen has dark background and there are few basic colors included, but it is looks old and outdated, compared to Z650’s TFT dash.
Aside from the screen, there are some missed opportunities to make it more beginner friendly. The most basic thing is the clutch lever, which is still not adjustable. For experienced riders, it is not a problem, but being able to adjust it based on your hand size or preference is a huge plus and already available in other entries.
Other feature that you won’t find in new MT-07 is the slipper clutch. It is a very basic feature that prevents rear wheel locking if you don’t know how to rev match and downshifting, which is usually the case with newer riders. It is still unfortunately not available in MT-07.
Second missed feature with the latest gen is the traction control. 2021 Yamaha MT-07 only comes with ABS and other than that there is no electronic safety features or rider aids. Due to the engine character and short wheelbase, the bike tends to wheelie quite easily and traction control should have been included with the MT-07.
At the end of the day, it is a terrific motorcycle that has been highly regarded by many owners, journalists and pretty much everyone rode one. I can’t recommend enough if you are looking for an affordable motorcycle that can also be fun, it can’t get better than this for the price range. Although I would only recommend it for more experienced riders, due to lack of beginner friendly features listed above.
2021 Yamaha MT-07 is priced at $8,799 and it comes with three different colour options. If you want the special “Storm Fluo” color, it sets you back additional $200. Compared to Japanese middleweight entries, it is on the pricier side, but if you are prioritizing fun factor, it is a no brainer that it gives you the most fun for the buck.
For more details, please visit www.yamaha-motor.ca