Why We Picked It:
Throughout history, there have been a lot of motorcycles that get the label of "Beginner bike," "new rider friendly," and the like. Most of the time, these bikes are of a lower displacement or of a more relaxed nature. Not so with the Yamaha MT-07.
When it was released in 2014 as a 2015 model, it was one of the most aggressive looking sport naked bikes on the market, giving many the idea that it would be an absolute monster to ride. That idea, however, was about as far from the truth as possible. What riders discovered was that it was a bike of two personalities.
If ridden casually, it was a casual bike, forgiving, friendly, and comfortable. It had a linear power curve that was easily felt and controlled with the right wrist, and was eager to lean in just enough to make precise and enjoyable turns while communicating everything to the rider, making it a superb bike for a newer rider.
However, as that rider gained skill and confidence, the MT-07 started to wake up. It wanted to get on the throttle and accelerate. It was eager to lean further in to the corner, with the rider ducking down and to the inside with it so it could dig its tires in and carve. It still talked to the rider, but more urgently, more directly, and became a laser-precise scalpel as that new rider became an intermediate.
The MT-07 still is that bike today, a precise, friendly sport naked that will do the daily commute in immense comfort, and then howl with glee as you carve the canyons on the weekends.