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The most influential bikes of the last decade: Yamaha MT-07

Arguably, the Yamaha MT-07 has done more to influence the last ten years of motorcycle production than any other bike launched.

While this may seem a strange statement to make regarding a budget parallel twin naked bike, you have to look at the grand scheme of things as in many ways without the success of the MT-07, Yamaha itself would be in a very different situation…


In 2012 Yamaha weren’t in a good place. Hit hard by the financial crisis, which had forced all of the Japanese manufacturers to dramatically increase their prices and scale back on R&D, their model range was tired and aside from the occasional spark of inspiration (2009 YZF-R1) things were in a sorry state. So much so in fact that the firm even issued a public apology.

“Our customers have been asking questions. What has happened to Yamaha? Why are they not making exciting models?” said Kunihiko Miwa, Yamaha’s Senior Executive Officer and coincidentally the man who headed-up the original YZF-R1 project. “This is about to change.”

And change was most certainly in the air as a year after this statement the MT-09 triple was released. However it was the launch of the unassuming MT-07 in 2014 that had the biggest impact on Yamaha’s fortunes.

While it is all very well and good to have a class-leading sportsbike grabbing the headlines, the truth for manufacturers is that a sportsbike not only costs a fortune to develop, it also requires constant updating to stay ahead of the game. This all takes huge investment for not massive returns. What manufactures really want is a bike that costs little to build, but sells in huge volumes - and that’s exactly what the MT-07 delivered.

In just four years, Yamaha have sold over 80,000 MT-07s, making it one of their most successful models ever. Yes, ever! In 2016, which wasn’t even its launch year, the MT equated for 36% of all middleweights sold. When you are talking money in dealer’s tills and new riders brought into the Yamaha family, they don’t get much more influential than the MT-07 and that’s why it thoroughly deserves a place on MCN’s list of the most influential bikes of the last ten years.

The return on the MT-07 investment has given Yamaha the cash to race in MotoGP, develop new models that push technological boundaries such as the Yamaha Niken and once again be a force to be reckoned with in the two-wheeled world. And that’s even before you take into account the fact the MT’s parallel twin motor is also used in models such as the Tracer 700, XSR700 and the upcoming Ténéré 700. What a bike.

Fancy owning your own MT-07? Why not compare insurance quotes now? The average premium costs just £598 per year! The price calculated from average quote premium for base models, based on an average MCN Compare customer.

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