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Yamaha MT-07 targets learners

Yamaha MT-07
Yamaha MT-07 is hooligan fun in a smaller package

Novice riders have never had such a wide choice of motorcycles with Yamaha this week adding to the learner-approved motorcycles scheme (LAMS) list. The new Yamaha MT-07 is the latest in the “masters of torque” series and arrives at just $8999.

Yamaha MT-07

Some of the other exciting and/or exotic models in this category include the Benelli BN600i ($8990), CFMoto 650NK ($6290), Ducati Monster 659 ($12,990), Honda CBR300 (from $5699), Kawasaki Ninja 300 (from $6199), KTM 390 Duke ($6995) and Triumph Street Triple 660 ($12,490). That’s a lot of price and model variety and we can expect more including the KTM 390 RC and the Harley Street 500 arriving in coming months. 

The Yamaha MT-07 is powered by a 655cc parallel twin and, like its MT name, Yamaha promises plenty of torque. The MT series has been a big hit – especially in Europe – with its lashings of torque and attitude, but light weight and light price.

Yamaha claims it is the lightest motorcycle in its class, has more torque, better fuel efficiency and the best power-to-weight ratio. However, all LAMS bikes can’t exceed the power-to-weight-ratio limit of 150kW per tonne, so it must go fairly close to the limit. (The LAMS formula is actually a lot more complicated than just dividing the weight by the power.)

The MT-07 has 38.8kW of power and weighs 164kg dry and 179 fully fuelled.

The liquid-cooled parallel twin engine uses Yamaha’s MotoGP crossplane firing design and 270-degree crank from the TDM900 and XT1200Z to provide instant throttle response but with plenty of control, which is handy for novices. Maximum torque of 57.5Nm is reached at just 4000 revs.Yamaha MT-07

Even though it has a six-speed transmission, Yamaha says the engine has been designed so novice riders can accelerate and decelerate with minimal gear changing, especially in the middle to high gears (4th to 6th). 

The MT-07 also features modern LED taillights, a large digital instrument panel and a very narrow rider’s seat and tank that should make the high 805mm seat a little easier for shorter riders to get their feet on the ground.

It arrives with a wide range of factory accessories such as fly screens, radiator side covers, licence plate holder and a full titanium Akropovic exhaust system. 

Yamaha MT-07

  • Price: $8999 (+ORC)Yamaha MT-07
  • Warranty: 2 years, unlimited km
  • Engine: liquid-cooled 655cc in-line 2-cylinder DOHC 4-stroke
  • Power: 38.8kW @ 8000rpm
  • Torque: 57.5Nm @ 4000rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed, chain drive
  • Tyres: 120/70-ZR17; 180/55-ZR17
  • Wet weight: 179kg
  • Suspension: 41mm forks; monocross rear with adjustable shock
  • Brakes: 282mm wave twin discs, 4-pot callipers (front); 245mm disc (rear)
  • Length: 2085mm
  • Seat: 805mm
  • Wheelbase: 1400mm
  • Clearance: 140mm
  • Fuel tank: 14 litres
  • Colours: Deep Armour (gloss black), Competition White, Matt Grey, Racing Red