YAMAHA MT-07 (2021 - on) Review

Highlights

  • Quality Michelin Road 5 tyres as standard
  • Larger front discs and wider bars added
  • Small update over second-gen MT-07

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3.6 out of 5 (3.6/5)
Annual servicing cost: £160
Power: 72 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.7 in / 805 mm)
Weight: Medium (406 lbs / 184 kg)

Prices

New £7,500
Used £5,300 - £6,700

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

For the 2021 Yamaha MT-07, the firm have added the finishing touches to the aesthetics, ergonomics, engine and brakes of this incredibly popular naked bike, ready to tackle its seventh season on the market. Since 2013, around 250,000 MTs have been sold in Europe, with half of those being MT-07s. As you'll see below, they then updated it again in 2023 to keep it ahead of increasingly impressive competition.

It continues to be the flagship of the MT range, which goes from the learner-legal MT-125, all the way to the superbike-derived, aggressive MT-10 SP. The upgrade to Euro5 has been used by Yamaha to tweak small weak points, such as the tyres, which didn’t perform at their best, and improve the handlebars, which were a bit tight. The bike now gets Michelin Road 5 tyres and the bars have been altered to be 30mm wider.

Its arrival on the market dates back to 2014, followed by a restyling in 2018. Now in its third generation, there’s a new face, more eco-friendly twin-pot motor, fatter front discs and more.

Are Yamaha MT-07 good for beginners? Definitely - as a first big bike there aren't many better. Following roughly 200,000 kilometres of intensive testing, it still maintains its familiar character and lightness, with the ability to perfectly accommodate the needs of riders of all skill levels.

2023 Yamaha MT-07

2023 Yamaha MT-07 dash

Yamaha have updated the MT-07 for 2023 and it gains a 5in colour TFT dash and mobile connectivity.

The 689cc parallel-twin will now get a full-colour display with two screen layouts which can be paired with your phone via the Yamaha MyRide app to enable incoming calls, emails, message notifications, and more.

Alongside this, the bike is ready to take a quickshifter, which is available as an optional extra.

The price has also risen to £7500 before any optional extras, though...

Watch: 2021 Yamaha MT-07 video review

Neevesy takes the new MT-07 to task, to find out if it stays at the top of the tree in the middleweight naked sector.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The latest Yamaha MT-07 maintains the same frame and suspension set-up from the 2018 update, when the bike underwent major upgrades. However, the dual front discs have increased in size from 282mm to 298mm. The result is a slightly easier time of it when you apply the anchors – removing some of the stress of riding.

Premium Michelin Road 5 tyres now also come as standard and offer high-performance instantly. Warming up quickly, there is the right dose of grip even when the road is wet and in bad condition. Combined with the fatter brakes, both additions offer an increased safety net to beginner riders.

Cornering on the 2021 Yamaha MT-07

Outside of the safety blanket, the 2021 MT-07 is extremely light and agile. Euro5 has not compromised its performance, sitting just 1kg heavier now at 184kg, in running order.

This is a bike that truly is within everyone's reach. That is why 43% of MT-07s sold are snapped up by more experienced riders. The refreshed suspension, which arrived in 2018, made the forks less supple and the whole bike is born to entertain, with an engine always ready and eager to accelerate.

It’s responsive and light and offers everything you need for an active, yet enjoyable ride. And yet, when you get off the MT-07, you are not tired – thanks to that ease of use. The leg area is now also redesigned, with the bars 30mm wider and closer to the rider by 10mm. They are 12mm higher, too.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The engine has been significantly refreshed to comply with Euro5 emissions regulations, which came into force at the beginning of 2021.

Gaining an extra cat in the revised two-into-one exhaust pipe, without compromising the soundtrack, the new machine achieves the latest standard with hardly any drop in performance. Yamaha claim 72.4bhp and 49.4lb.ft in this latest model, meaning a loss of just 1.6bhp and 0.7lb.ft of torque.

That said, changes to the intake, valve plates and gearbox mean you enjoy the same popular engine characteristics as before, with Yamaha actually promising a more linear delivery. For A2 licence holders, a restricted 35kW power version will also be available.

The 2021 Yamaha MT-07 is Euro5-compliant

It feels responsive and perfectly connected to your right wrist. It can be a bit of on/off, but it’s nothing to be concerned about and there’s a rich torque curve that pushes well in the low to mid-range.

The twin-cylinder CP2 engine therefore invites the rider to enjoy the pleasure of riding. It is never over the top, always manageable and quite frugal. At the end of our 124-mile test, on a mixture of roads, the onboard computer reveals just shy of 51mpg.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The 2021 bike is still too new for reliability feedback, but a look at the 2018 model - which shares the closest resemblance to the latest model – reports a relatively good reliability.

That's not to say reliability is bulletproof: One owner did report of a swingarm being replaced under warranty due to rust problems, so keep an eye out here. It's important to monitor for potential rust issues in any bike, particularly in areas like the swingarm. Despite overall good performance, some components may be susceptible to wear or manufacturing defects.

So are MT-07 reliable? Our 2021 Yamaha MT-07 owners' reviews show a few buyers reckon their bikes are lacking in the cosmetic build quality department: There was an instance where the front indicators had become loose, pointing to potential shortcomings in the build quality. These concerns, while not necessarily detracting from the bike's overall performance, do suggest the occasional issue.

Outside of this, the engine is a proven unit and expect service intervals of 6000 miles, or annually – with valve clearances done at every 24,000.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Is the Yamaha MT-07 a beginner bike? Well, at less than £7000 brand new, it is seriously good value for money, although the price in 2023 is £7500, so the new Honda CB750 Hornet is slightly cheaper, and thus four stars for the MT. It also puts it in direct contention with the Triumph Trident 660, Honda CB650R and Kawasaki Z650, with all bikes offering that first naked 'big bike' experience across a multitude of engine platforms, as well as attracting more experienced riders.

In 2023 there's also additional competition from the highly impressive Suzuki GSX-8S but at time of writing we've yet to review that.

While the new MT is a fresh take on an older design, its characterful engine and novice-friendly riding experience should stand it in good stead against its rivals. Whether it will be enough to fend off the slightly pricier, more tech laden Trident 660 remains to be seen. Keep an eye on MCN for a group test in the coming months.


Yamaha MT-07 vs Triumph Trident 660

First published on 7 April, 2021 by Jon Urry

2021 Yamaha MT-07 and Triumph Trident 660

Where sportsbikes grab headlines on track, it is the middleweight class that sees big sales and of late there has only been one winner – the MT-07. Launched in 2014, the parallel twin has dominated, making up 20% of all Yamaha’s motorcycle sales.

Now in its third generation, the 2021 MT-07 has matured into a more refined bike with a greater emphasis on comfort, but there’s a fly in the ointment: Triumph’s new Trident 660. Can it knock the class-leader off its perch around the UK’s toughest test route, the MCN250?

I kick off on the MT-07. I know it has been updated, but aside from the new nose and different dash it is very hard to tell if there have been any other upgrades. I think update may be stretching the point slightly, I’d call it a minor revision, but then again did it need much doing?

Taking to the B-road section of the MCN250 the Yamaha instantly puts me at ease. The riding position is comfortable for taller riders like me (it is actually slightly more relaxed this year) and the seat has a pleasing degree of padding. Everything about it is designed to be as reassuring as possible, starting with that parallel twin engine.

2021 Yamaha MT-07 engine

Quick-revving and surprisingly fast, it briskly builds up a head of steam and the slick gearbox (there is no option of a quickshifter but you don’t need one) ensures you can keep up with almost anything on the road. Up to a point.

Swapping from the MT to the Trident, the Triumph instantly feels more grown-up and modern. The styling is classical rather than outlandish, the dash is contemporary, there are electronic assists to explore (via hideously cheap-looking switchgear) and when you thumb the motor into life it feels and sounds far more like it means business.

Where the MT is subtle, the Trident is far more brash. The triple carries quite low gearing and responds instantly to any input from the throttle while also roaring out its intentions through its raucous exhaust note. On the go this spirit translates into a bike that, while not as relaxed as the MT, is brilliant fun.

In terms of handling, the Trident leaves the MT for dead and although firmer on its suspension and less forgiving over bumps, it is just so much more fun in the corners. Where on the MT you tend to roll off a bit due to its softer ride making things get wobbly, the harder you go, the better the Trident gets.

Yet it doesn’t feel like it has overstepped the mark and aside from a clunky gearbox (it gets better once the revs rise) the Trident is just as happy as the MT cruising around town.

2021 Yamaha MT-07 on the road

I am a huge fan of the MT-07, but in the Trident it has more than met its match and despite a few updates for 2021 I can’t help but feel Yamaha have simply papered over the cracks when they needed to do more.

The MT is still brilliant but the Trident has moved the game on. Triumph have taken a proven base (the superb Street Triple) and pared it back without removing any of the elements that make it so good – namely its sporty chassis and lovely triple motor.

The result is an amazingly well-priced middleweight that looks great, responds well and has enough tech to make you feel it is a contemporary bike and not a bit old-hat, which is the issue the MT still suffers from.

Maybe I’m being a snob here but I feel that even if they don’t actually enhance the ride that much, owners still want their bike to look modern and that means inverted forks, a TFT dash, traction control and even radial brakes (not that the Trident has these).

I wish that in the 2021 update Yamaha had taken the chance to replicate what they did to the MT-09 – namely update its chassis to make it respond more like a traditional naked bike and add some modern tech, instead of resting on their laurels, doing the bare minimum and assuming the sales success would continue.

As Yamaha didn’t do this, Triumph were handed an open goal and the Trident has smashed the ball right into the back of the net.

The 2021 Yamaha MT-07 is slightly cheaper than the Triumph Trident 660

Watch: Honda Hornet CB750 takes on Yamaha MT-07

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

Away from the engine internals and subtle ergonomic tweaks, one of the key changes for 2021 is the way the MT-07 looks. Up front, there’s LED headlights and an MT-09-inspired new face. It’s an element which has ignited a heated debate amongst riders and something I recommend you see it in the flesh.

The 2021 Yamaha MT-07 gets Michelin Road 5 tyres

Outside of this, there’s also a newly redesigned 14-litre tank. And fresh instrumentation. The new Euro5 compliant exhaust system now also adopts an extra catalytic converter.

Something the Yamaha lacks is electronic gizmos and outside of mandatory ABS, there are no electronic aids, quickshifter or anti-hopping clutch. These are all elements that could actually be useful to the enthusiasts Yamaha is addressing with this machine. It could also count against it when considered against more expensive rivals, like the £7195 Triumph Trident 660.

Specs

Engine size 689cc
Engine type Four-valve, liquid-cooled, DOHC, parallel-twin
Frame type Diamond
Fuel capacity 14 litres
Seat height 805mm
Bike weight 184kg
Front suspension Conventional forks, non-adjustable
Rear suspension Single shock, preload and rebound adjustable
Front brake Dual four-piston calipers, 298mm discs, ABS
Rear brake Single-piston caliper, 245mm disc, ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 51 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £160
New price £7,500
Used price £5,300 - £6,700
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 72 bhp
Max torque 49.4 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 157 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2014: Yamaha launch the MT-07. It’s an immediate hit – winning MCN’s Bike of the Year award shortly after. Yamaha have sold over 250,000 MTs in Europe and half of those are MT-07s.
  • 2018: Yamaha update the MT-07 – addressing the suspension criticisms of the old bike, by tweaking the front and rear springs. There was an all-new rear shock, adjustable for preload and rebound. Inside, spring rate went up by 11%, high-speed rebound damping by 27% and high-speed compression damping by 40%. The front KYB forks remained non-adjustable but got 6% more spring rate and 16% on the rebound damping.
  • 2021: Yamaha’s third MT-07 is launched. The engine has been tweaked to meet Euro5 emissions regulations. Other small touches include wider bars and fatter discs, with new styling and LED lighting proving divisive amongst riders.
  • 2023: Minor updates including a TFT screen, price hike to £7500.

Other versions

There is only one version of the Yamaha MT-07, however this is the third generation of the popular naked. Although only one variant of the mid-sized MT exists, the CP2 parallel-twin engine has appeared in many other bikes – from adventurers to tourers.

The most rugged, off-road friendly option is Yamaha’s Ténéré 700, which arrived for 2019 after years of anticipation. Elsewhere, there is also Tracer 7 range, comprised of a standard and GT model, which took over from the Tracer 700 design. For retro fans, a reskinned MT-07 is also available, called the XSR700.

Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA MT-07 (2021 - on)

5 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA MT-07 (2021 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your YAMAHA MT-07 (2021 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 3.6 out of 5 (3.6/5)
Engine: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3.6 out of 5 (3.6/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Equipment: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Annual servicing cost: £160
4 out of 5 Great value for the money but requires some modding
24 March 2023 by Joey

Year: 2021

Great value for the money but requires some modding for your needs

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Stock seat is barely tolerable for long rides. An aftermarket seat or a custom reupholstering is required if you want to ride longer than 1 hour. Brakes are not real powerful. An easy upgrade is to replace brake pads with EBC HH pads.Suspension is not ideal for spirited riding and an upgrade is a must.

Engine 5 out of 5

Excellent engine for city riding. It has plenty of downlow torque so there's no need to rev it up just to get moving.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Engine is bulletproof. I've logged 12,000 trouble-free miles with no mechanical or electrical issues.However, the turn signals are easily knocked off their mounts. One time the brake side front turn signal started to get loose just from riding over rough roads. I had to pull over and reattach the signal.Front forks are OK but are too soft.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Parts are inexpensive but labor is the highest cost as most maintenance tasks take at least a half hour. For example, to replace spark plugs you have to remove the tank fairings and the tank in order to access the spark plugs.But it's easily affordable if you do all the work yourself.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Overall everything is good but do not like the dash location. I have to tilt my head down in order to monitor speed/rpm. This can be a little dangerous in that I have to take my eyes off the road. I resolved this issue by relocating the dash up higher.Would have liked if the gas tank was just 1 gallon bigger. Even though the bike is good on gas I have to make sure to note where the closest gas station is.

4 out of 5 Great all-rounder. MT-07
13 February 2023 by EdP

Year: 2021

Annual servicing cost: £240

Great bike overall.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Suspension is the bike's weakest point.

Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

Could do with basic traction control. For wet roads, mainly.

Buying experience: Dealer, from new. Paid list price.

3 out of 5 Great budget bike which needs lots of love and attention.
25 April 2022 by Ghost

Year: 2021

Great budget bike but with some serious quality issues.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5

This bike has perfect ergonomics, power and ride. So much fun every time.

Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5

Great sized and powered bike with quality engine and design which is let down by substandard quality on fit and finish. Watch out for rust on swingarm, discs, exhaust and fastenings. This is a difficult bike to clean and protect.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

This is a fantastic budget bike so long as you keep a very close eye on corrosion.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Stock bike is excellent. Tyres are quality. Exhaust and headlight are really ugly.

Buying experience: I can't fault Yamaha dealer. Buying experience was first class.

5 out of 5 It’s a beauty (except for the licence plate mount)
19 April 2022 by TheEnchanter

Year: 2021

Annual servicing cost: £125

Easy to ride. Nimble and quick enough. Returning rider after 12 years off the road and while it is plenty quick enough I’ll be looking for something bigger and heavier for motorway journeys as it’s slightly lightweight

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Pretty hard ride out of the box but that translates into super cornering, the tyres are awesome. Easy to ride for a couple of hours for a man in his fifties at 180cm tall

Engine 5 out of 5

Great throttle response and easy gear changes take you to the edge of legality in no time. If you want a bigger engine or faster acceleration you are probably a lunatic

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

The front indicators are not well fixed at all. They have come loose several times already. Pretty crap really and despite them being relatively small they look naff. Also the mount for the rear licence plate is ugly

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: Yamaha dealer in Wigan very welcoming and slick booking for first service at 600 miles

5 out of 5 Road 5 are responsive.
16 November 2021 by Steven

Version: Gray

Year: 2021

Annual servicing cost: £100

The middle class fun nature bike with back to basics cable throttle which is naturally responsive with no delay. There is limited bikes that can naturally lift your front wheel in 1st,2nd,3rd gears. This is considered to be the BMW M3 E46 of the bike world. Classic middle weight bike ride with limited tech involved with the riding experience.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Improved and uncomplicated suspension for the 2021 year.

Engine 5 out of 5

270 crank adds character. Low maintenance requirements.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Japanese reliability. 24,000 miles valve adjustment is great.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Oil change and oil the chain

Equipment 4 out of 5

Need wind front cowl for higher speed above 70 mph.

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