YAMAHA R7 (1999 - 2000) Review


  • Legendary homologation special
  • Incredibly rare - just 40 sold in the UK
  • Purebred for racing

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Power: 106 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.3 in / 820 mm)
Weight: Low (388 lbs / 176 kg)

Overall rating

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

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.

Ride quality & brakes

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

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.


Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

Reliability & build quality

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

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.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.


4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.


Engine size 749cc
Engine type 20v in-line four, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 23 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 176kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake Twin 320mm discs
Front tyre size 120/70x17
Rear tyre size 180/55x17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 38 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost -
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 17 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 106 bhp
Max torque 53 ft-lb
Top speed 170 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 11.2 secs
Tank range 192 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

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

Other versions


MCN Long term test reports

MCN Fleet: A sad so-long...

MCN Fleet: A sad so-long...

Contact: gareth.evans@motorcyclenews.com As soon as I learnt I’d be spending 2022 with the Yamaha R7, my mind started whirling, wondering what would be possible during my time with this middleweight sportsbike. I’d had a taster of track riding the previous September while filming a video with

Read the latest report

Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA R7 (1999 - 2000)

1 owner has reviewed their YAMAHA R7 (1999 - 2000) 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 R7 (1999 - 2000)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Engine: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Equipment: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
5 out of 5 Massive Yamaha fan and have previously owned R6, R1, YZF750sp.
04 February 2006 by sevenheaven

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!

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