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Common Tread

2022 Yamaha YZF-R7 first look

May 18, 2021

Yamaha’s parallel-twin YZF-R7 sportbike is finally here. Let’s get up to speed on the newest member of the R family.

After the iconic R6 became a track-only motorcycle last year, the riding community clamored for a sports model based on the MT-07. Aprilia’s RS660 only fueled the excitement. Today, we get our first look at Yamaha’s answer.

2022 R7
The new YZF-R7 in Team Yamaha Blue. Yamaha photo.

Engine and frame

More than any other component, a motorcycle’s engine defines its character and purpose, so we’ll start there. The R7’s mill is Yamaha’s stalwart CP2, a 689 cc, liquid-cooled parallel twin with a 270-degree firing order. Yamaha’s press materials don’t mention a change in the engine’s tune, although there's a new assist/slipper clutch and an optional quickshifter. Final drive sprocket sizes were altered from the MT's for “an exhilarating ride and a sporty feel.”

Yamaha appears to have spent their development dollars elsewhere, starting with the all-new steel frame with aluminum braces. The new frame design allows for narrow bodywork that’s even thinner than the R3’s. Overall weight is 414 pounds wet.

Suspension and braking

Yamaha ditched the MT-07’s controversial front suspension for a fully adjustable KYB inverted fork. R7 riders will have full control of preload, rebound, and compression settings. The R7 is predictably biased for track and sporty street riding. Out back is a monoshock with preload and rebound adjustment. They’ve mounted it to the crankcase to keep the R7’s length compact, like its width.

The brakes are a substantial step up from the MT-07’s. Twin four-pot calipers clamp 298 mm discs from their radial mounts. Up in the cockpit, Brembo supplies a radial master cylinder for progressive stopping power. This arrangement should satisfy street and track riders alike. 

2022 R7
Here's Performance Black and an ideal road. Yamaha photo.

Ergonomics and technology

While Yamaha calls the rider position “comfortable and confidence inspiring,” take a look at that rider triangle. The clip-ons look to be an inch or so above the saddle. Racy! Seat padding is the same as used on the R1. Spacious cutouts in the 3.4-gallon tank should provide plenty of grip and freedom of movement while exercising the engine, chassis, and hi-po brakes.

As for the dash, no TFT here. A clean and economical LCD gets the job done with a high-contrast negative display. It’s just the basics plus a gear counter. The R7 wears LED lighting all around with headlights that recall the dearly departed R6. The press release didn’t mention anything specific about ABS or track modes.

Yamaha R7
Nice and thin. Yamaha photo.

Positioning and legacy

The R7 replaces the road-going R6’s spot in Yamaha’s lineup between the friendly R3 and the potent R1. “The all-new 2022 YZF-R7 [offers] a midlevel option for both new riders looking to grow into a more powerful motorcycle, as well as experienced riders seeking a fully-faired motorcycle with Supersport performance that fits within their budget,” says Yamaha. Rider preferences have shifted from hot fours to economical twins since the R6’s introduction over 20 years ago. Which would you rather ride?

Pricing and availability

The 2022 YZF-R7 is $8,999 in Yamaha Blue or Performance Black. That’s a hell of an attractive price for this package, especially considering the MT-07’s $7,699 sticker. For reference, the street-legal R6 was over 12 grand before it was discontinued. R7s will reach dealerships beginning in June. 

2022 Yamaha YZF-R7
Price (MSRP)
$8,999
Engine
689 cc, liquid-cooled, 4-valve, parallel twin
Transmission,
final drive
Six-speed, chain
Frame
Steel
Front suspension
KYB USD fork, adjustable for preload, compression, and damping, 5.1 inches of travel
Rear suspension
Monoshock, adjustable for preload and damping; 5.1 inches of travel
Front brake
Dual 298 mm discs
Rear brake
245 mm disc
Rake, trail
23 degrees, 3.5 inches
Wheelbase
54.9 inches
Seat height
32.9 inches
Fuel capacity
3.4 gallons
Tires
Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22, 120/70ZR17 front, 180/55ZR17 rear
Claimed weight
414 pounds (wet)
Available
June 2021
Warranty
12 months
More info