Is It an R7 Or an MT-07 F?
Back in Q4 2020, we saw Yamaha slowly roll out their 2021 motorcycle model lineup but were left puzzled when there was no R6 to be found. It turns out that our guesses were correct and Yamaha is indeed planning on a build featuring fairings based around the MT-07 to replace the R6 in the meantime.
Originally, we assumed that the R6 was perhaps pushed back due to updated Euro 5 regulations leaving Yamaha to scramble for an answer. Regardless of whether the model drop had anything to do with emissions or declining sales, the R6 was dropped and it left a sizable hole in Yamaha’s sportbike lineup going forwards. At the end of the day, only having the R3 and R1 in the lineup leaves a 100+ horsepower gap for riders seeking a bike between beginner and expert riding.
Per MCN, Yamaha could be planning on releasing a redone MT-07 featuring full fairings that closely represent the R6 releasing some time before the fall of 2021.
If the new faired MT-07 is built off of the same frame (we can assume the new CP2 inline-two engine will be present) you can expect that the ergonomics of this bike will still be slightly less sporty than the R6, and could perhaps more closely represent something like Aprilia’s new Tuono 660; a sportbike with a more upright riding position.
Something to keep in mind is the fact that the outgoing R6 produced around 110 horsepower, whereas the current 2021 MT-07 pushes closer to 74 horsepower. The new CP2 engine is more torque-focused than the top-end heavy R6 engine, but there is still 30-40 horsepower missing from the equation if Yamaha decides this bike will be good enough to directly replace the R6. With this CP2 engine being brand newly developed for the 2021 year, it’s unlikely that we will see the blue team give it a further update to increase power, so it’s more likely that this bike will compete with the likes of bikes such as the CBR650R, instead of the top end CBR650RR that the R6 danced with.
As for the name, whether or not Yamaha is going to use the R7 name or something closer to MT-07F (‘F’ is for fairings) will have to be seen closer to release.