The rear shock is all new, adjustable for preload as before but now with a range of rebound damping adjustment. Spring rate is up by 11%, high-speed rebound damping by 27% and high speed compression damping by 40%, while at the front the MT’s KYB front forks remain non-adjustable but have 6% more spring rate and 16% on the rebound damping – all in in a bid to give more feel and better control.
Now the ride is compliant -- the suspension soaks up most bumps and road imperfections – but you can ride the MT harder and faster as the springs at both ends aren’t jumping around like excitable toddlers who’ve eaten too many sweets.
The new 2017 model has the same engine, power and torque as its predecessor. The Yamaha’s unchanged parallel twin is perhaps the key to the MT’s success. On the one hand it’s sweetly fuelled, unintimidating and easy to manage -- ideal for new riders -- yet on the other it has enough attitude and aggression to be fun. The 74bhp motor has enough puff to nip past a line of fast-moving traffic, and responds keenly when you decide to press on. On paper the little engine shouldn’t be as much fun as it is.
Build quality is Yamaha’s usual high standards, and the engine is has proven reliability.
When the bike was launched back in 2014, MT-07 prices started from just over £5000 for the non-ABS model. For 2018 the price has edged up to £6349, but it’s still exceptional value for money and PCP deals are less than £100 a month.
Yamaha haven’t played around with or ruined an already proven recipe. There’s no traction control or TFT full-colour dash. Some would like more tech and more riding modes, but, all the above would add to the MT’s price and diminish its essence, which is its simplicity. Yamaha have addressed the handling (see below) and added a new seat, headlights and cosmetic changes, otherwise it’s the same excellent bike as before.