According to the filings made to California Air Resources Board (CARB) that were uncovered, Yamaha will be resurrecting the YZF-R7 for an upcoming 2022 bike model. However, the name will be the only thing in common with that of the notorious 1999 YZF-R7.
The YZF-R7 was first released in 1999 as an ‘out of the box’ racing machine. It came with a 749cc inline-four 4 stroke engine that produced 106 horsepower from the factory. But its powerplant wasn’t the only thing to rave about – it also sported Öhlins suspension, titanium engine internals, and a frame geometry derived from race bikes of the period. In short, the Yamaha R7 was a beast that was tough to get your hands on due to its limited 500 unit production (not to mention the prices they sold for…).
After a 21-year run, the startling news hit in late 2020 of the discontinuation of the iconic YZF-R6. This left a large gap in Yamaha’s supersport lineup – leaving the YZF-R3 and the YZF-R1 to hold the fort. It also left nothing to compete with Aprillia’s midsized supersport – the RS 660.
If you were hoping to see the return of the iconic Japanese exotic YZF-R7, we regret to inform you that will not be happening. Instead, Yamaha is said to be taking the existing MT-07 and turning it into a supersport. Resurrecting the iconic “YZF-R7” name for use with a bike that sports a 689cc parallel-twin just sounds wrong, but we must wait to see if it stacks up.
Yamaha’s use of the R7 name will have true enthusiasts holding the new model to a very high expectation. The engine in the new R7 will likely be taken from the existing MT-07 model, but hopefully, we see changes to the chassis, suspension components, and electronics worthy of carrying the R7 badge.
As this new model is set for release in 2022, new information and hopefully pictures will become available in the coming months. Until more information is released, we naturally remain both skeptical and excited about the new Yamaha R7.