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Yamaha R7 Sports Motorbike Review

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Yamaha YZF-R7 motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The Yamaha YZF-R7 was a limited edition machine top dollar machine only sold to the public so Yamaha could race it in World Superbike. Just 500 were sold for road use (40 in the UK) and they were about £22,000. Also known as the OW02, the Yamaha YZF-R7's race success was limited partly due to the rules favoring twin cylinder bikes at that time.



MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

You’d expect massive power. But a standard Yamaha YZF-R7 doesn’t deliver it. Output is very modest 106bhp. Yamaha do two race kits – the one is £750 and adds 25bhp while the £10K version adds about 55bhp. It’s based on the old YZF750SP but with much tricker internals. In road trim it’s smooth and quick but not outrageous. Some Yamaha YZF-R7 owners fitted R1 engines – sacrilege but effective.


Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

Just looking at the Yamaha YZF-R7 you know it’s going to be good. The Yamaha YZF-R7's chunky frame screams ‘racer’, and there’s Ohlins forks and rear shock too. Ride it and it’s as good as you’d hope. Reassuring stability is combined with phenomenal precision that belies regular bikes. Ditto brakes. The Yamaha YZF-R7 is stiff though and wasted on bumpy roads.


MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

If you’re after top boxes and grab rails for your Yamaha YZF-R7 you’ll be disappointed. But if it’s top-spec race components designed and built without compromise you crave then you’ll be impressed. The Yamaha YZF-R7 race kit enable adjustment of the rake, trail and height of the steering arm pivot. Mirrors and lights aren’t the best but they’re an afterthought.

Yamaha YZF-R7 (1999-2000)

Detail Value
Used price range View Yamaha R7 bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 749 cc
Power 106 bhp
Top speed 170 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 5
Engine rating is 3 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 5 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 5
Value rating is 3 rating is 5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

Reliability of Yamaha YZF-R7 road bikes seems to be good – but there’s so few out there and most lead pampered lives. Take them to the track and tune them and you’re playing a whole different game and naturally longevity is compromised. Beware race bikes put back on the road.


MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 5

Not good value for money in terms of bhp or mph per pound spent. If you want to go fast a GSX-R1000 is the way to go. But as a thing of beauty, an engineering masterpiece or for rarity value the Yamaha YZF-R7 takes some beating. The top end offerings in the 916/999 family and Honda’s RC45 are close but can’t match the Yamaha YZF-R7 for rarity value. Find Yamaha YZF-R7 motorcycles for sale.


Insurance group: 17 of 17

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Model History

1999: Yamaha YZF-R7 launched.
2000: Yamaha YZF-R7 discontinued.

Other Versions



Top speed 170 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.2 secs
Max power 106 bhp
Max torque 53 ft-lb
Weight 176 kg
Seat height 820 mm
Fuel capacity 23 litres
Average fuel consumption 38 mpg
Tank range 192 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 749 cc
Engine specification 20v in-line four, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium twin spar
Front suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound, compression
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake Twin 320mm discs
Front tyre size 120/70x17
Rear tyre size 180/55x17

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(1 review)

  • Massive Yamaha fan and have previously owned R6, R1, YZF750sp.



    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Ride and Handling
    Quality and Reliabilty

    I purchased the bike almost 4 years ago in April 2002 and it is by far the longest I have ever kept a machine so it must be good! The previous owner had left it completely standard so the first task was to get it de-restricted. This involved fitting the longer throttle cables supplied with the bike, wiring up the second bank of injectors, lowering the gearing with the supplied front sprocket & fitting a Promotive titanium end can. Total cost about £500. Definitely worth doing, especially fitting the sprocket since it is geared for 190mph as standard! Now lowered to a more sensible 178mph. Suspension is firm & seat is like a plank, but hey it's a WSB racer so what do you expect?! Handles like a dream and you exit every corner thinking 'I could have taken that 20mph faster'. I would advise against the full de-restrict which unleashes 160bhp unless you're a serious track day enthusiast. I've heard of engines going pop unless you service & rebuild them regularly.  Strengths: Handling, low depreciation if bought second hand, looks, quality components, rarity.  Weaknesses: Since it is so rare there are very few people who you can trust for servicing, good advice, etc. Spark plugs £25 each!

    04 February 2006


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I've a YZF750 with a tuned engine, R1 forks in original yokes (if you copy, you'll need a two solid alloy round blocks to grind down for collars), maxon shock, with a sproket set up for cadwell, Kwaka ZXR7 rad and race products fairing. Just, a rear can, keeping the exup till I can afford a full system (out of work now, so that'll a while!). The handling is the best thing, just like the R7. It is a matter of when I can afford a R7, not if, they'll sit next to eachother.

02 April 2007 19:49

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