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Coming soon: new Yamaha MT-07

Big changes for 2021 look set to make award-winning, best-selling twin cylinder roadster better than ever.

Phil West

Words by: Phil West

Published on 9 November 2020 | 0 min read

Yamaha’s brilliant, best-selling, budget-priced roadster twin, the MT-07, is receiving its biggest makeover yet for 2021with refreshed styling, uprated engine, more powerful brakes and more in a bid to keep it ahead of newcomers such as Triumph’s all-new Trident in the ultra-competitive ‘first big bike’ class.
First launched in 2014 as an all-new ‘little brother’ to Yamaha’s MT-09 900cc triple, the original MT-07 proved an immediate hit for its combination of punchy but flexible 74bhp performance, lively lightweight handling and affordable c. £7K price. In fact it was so good Autotrader made it our ‘Naked’ bike of the year!
A mild update with tweaked styling and improved suspension front and rear followed in 2018, which helped keep it ahead of rivals such as Kawasaki’s ER-6n (now renamed the Z650), while sales continued to break all records, with over 125,000 sold globally and being the best seller in its class every year since its launch.
Now, as these official pictures show, the MT-07 is being updated once again for 2021 with its biggest changes yet. Most obviously it gets an all-new look which Yamaha says was intended to make it the, and we quote, ‘handsome younger sibling’ of the Japanese brand’s ‘hyper-naked’ MT family, which also includes the MT-09 triple (also being updated for 2021) and the four-cylinder MT-10.
Central to the new look, which, Yamaha also says is ‘intended to be more organic and mature’ is an all-new, more compact and now LED headlight, which comprises a central projector main beam, flanked by two vertical riding lights. This headlamp cowling then flows into a new 14-litre tank completely with sharply styled ‘winglets’ or air ducts which help direct cooling air towards the engine and leads to the slim seat and minimalist tail.
The MT-07’s 690cc parallel twin cylinder engine (which is basically identical to the MT-09’s triple but with one cylinder lopped off) also received a major makeover, primarily to ensure compliance with the new, tighter Euro5 noise/emissions regulations which come into force in 2021. Accordingly there’s a revised air intake, new two-into-one underslung exhaust plus a new ECU and fuel injector settings. Performance, however, is largely unchanged, now producing peak power of 72.4bhp at 9000rpm and peak torque of at just 6500rpm, although Yamaha claim its delivery is now more linear and characterful.
Perhaps more significant is the 2021 MT-07’s improved brakes. The twin front discs are now substantially bigger – going from a diameter of 282mm to 298mm – which, together with its unchanged beefy four-piston calipers are claimed to give more stopping power and greater controllability.
The MT-07’s riding position has been subtly improved, too, with a now textured grip area for the riders’ knees on the tank and new, now tapered tubular aluminium bars that are also 32mm wider than before to give extra leverage of added control. While, finally, the new MT-07 also gets a variety of updates intended to improve the feeling of quality: there’s a new, ‘reverse LCD’ digital dash similar to that on 2019’s updated Tracer 700, new switchgear in place of the slightly plasticky, budget old versions, new LED indicators all round, the latest Michelin PR5 tyres and improved finishes. The new MT-07 will be available in three colours, ‘Storm Fluro’, ‘Icon Blue’ and ‘Tech Black’ and is due to be in dealers in March. Prices have yet to be announced.

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