MCN Fleet: A sad so-long...

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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 Neevesy, so this seemed the ideal opportunity to blend my fledgling riding career (I only passed my A-licence in 2019) with learning more about trackdays on two wheels.

An idea started forming to see if it would be possible to ride every UK track on the British Superbike calendar. Fast forward to April and there I was, shivering inside virgin leathers in the pitlane at Cadwell wondering what on earth
I’d let myself in for.

Yamaha R7 wheelie over the Mountain at Cadwell Park

I needn’t have worried though – despite this being my first public trackday, the R7 made everything as easy as it could
be, despite an unintentional wheelie or three.

This was an over-arching theme for the year: the bike is fabulously friendly and approachable, despite its sporty

Sure, the riding position means you’re far further over on your wrists than the MT-07 it’s based on, and your knees are bent more, but the CP2 engine (retuned for R7 duties) remains tractable and punchy.

It’s not bad on fuel either. But the thing that really stood out was the handling. My word, the R7 goes around a corner with some speed. In the dry I was battling with much quicker bikes simply because I could carry loads more speed through bends, only to get monstered again on the straights. It’s tremendous fun.

Gareth and the Yamaha R7 at Knockhill

Even when it rained (which it did at Brands Hatch, Silverstone, Oulton Park, and of course Knockhill) the bike was never

In these situations, I was happy with the relative lack of power and rider aids, which allowed me to learn the chassis and push a little without risking propelling it at the scenery.

I did find it wanting on some of the larger circuits, though. Snetterton and Donington Park had the R7 feeling wheezy, litre bikes flashing by as if I were in reverse.

And I felt the need to improve the music it makes. It’s an oftcomplained about facet of CP2 ownership – it’s very quiet in standard form.

Akrapovic to the rescue, with a beautiful full system including a track-friendly baffle.

The other major change I made was to fit some Pirelli Rosso IV rubber after around 2500 miles, which made the R7 feel sharper on turn-in.

Yamaha R7 at Silverstone

This was a decent upgrade but to be honest, the OEM Bridgestone S22s were pretty impressive too.

While there isn’t anything resembling connectivity or navigation technology on the R7, a Quad Lock solved all my
problems, letting my phone do the job. A USB connection would have been welcome to keep the battery topped up after long rides, which are a drain simply because the screen is always on, but it wouldn’t have been difficult to install that.

Overall, my experience with Yamaha’s middleweight sportsbike overwhelmingly positive. I was genuinely sad to see it go.

Perfect day

The 60th Anniversary Edition R7 in its Speed Block livery looks incredible in any setting. But there was one truly unforgettable moment. On a warm day in June, starting early, I’d ridden to my favourite venue – Donington Park
– done a full trackday and ridden home again, covering 200 miles in all.

Staring at the R7 as it ticked away cooling down, leathers tied around my waist, beer in hand, I was shattered, but almost delirious with joy at the day I’d had.

Update 9: ‘It’s more fun than a 1000’

Having had a great time lapping all eight circuits of the British Superbike calendar on the 2022 Yamaha R7, I discovered that Yamaha’s parallel-twin sportsbike is an approachable, friendly and capable machine for someone at my level of riding experience.

But I passed my test in 2019 so I’ve not been riding that long, which is why I decided to speak to another, more experienced R7 convert to see what they make of it.

Step forward Paulo Da Silva Moreira, 45, from Portugal but currently residing in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His biking CV includes a Yamaha XT600, a Virago 535 and then a 2000 Suzuki GSX-R600 SRAD.

You’ll note they’re all of a certain vintage, because Paulo moved from Portugal to the UK in 2003 and hadn’t ridden
since… until he purchased his new R7. So we decided to sit down for a chat, owner to owner.

So what appealed to you about the R7?

“Well, I was looking for something that wouldn’t scare the bejesus out of me, since I was so long away from riding! A bit of research and I came across the new R7. My friends wanted me to get an R1 or an R6 but I wasn’t too sure about that… The price for the R7 was very appealing and loads of reviews said it was a good bike for beginners or people like me away for so long.

“And they were right. I bought it in Manchester and rode it all the way to Scotland to get the ferry back to Northern Ireland. I was so nervous to get back on a motorcycle, but it made everything so much easier than I expected; what an
excellent bike even for a beginner that’s just passed their test.”

What do you like about it, and have you made any changes?

“It is very easy to ride, lots of torque, and it doesn’t have that high rev blast others do. It’s very light compared to others as well.

“The only thing I have done was to change the exhaust. Everyone complained about the sound of the OEM one, so I ordered a Black Widow full system and asked Yamaha to fit it straight away. It sounds awesome.

“I think I have more fun with it than some friends with their 1000s, as they only stretch them on the straights but I can comfortably get more speed on the bends.”

What’s next for you and the R7?

“I can see myself outgrowing this bike within a few years and wanting more; maybe the new R9 if it comes into production, but I can’t see myself getting a 1000cc machine any time soon because I don’t do trackdays and I wouldn’t be able to get the most of a big bike.”

Update 8: Spectacular Silverstone

So here we are: embarking on my final trackday of the year and the culmination of my project to experience all the British Superbike host circuits on the Yamaha R7 during 2022.

I wanted to go out on a high, so I’d saved the biggie for last – riding the Silverstone GP circuit. Now, racing fans among you will rightly point out that BSB actually use the far smaller National layout, but since the GP track includes all but one of the very same corners (and plenty more besides) it felt fitting that the home of British motor racing, and MotoGP’s UK venue, was the place to cap off an incredible year on top of the parallel-twin R7.

However, thanks to an injury in August delaying proceedings, I found myself waking up on a rain-drenched day in October and riding the 41 miles to Silverstone in my leathers, hoping they wouldn’t get soaked through. I was lucky –
the RST Kangaroo leather airbag suit repels water well and I found a gap in the weather wide enough to avoid the worst of it, ducking in to a conveniently placed petrol station near the track just as the heavens opened properly.

In these conditions and traffic levels (it was rush hour too), the R7 shines as a simple sportsbike that feels perfectly wieldy, light and friendly.

Little did I realise that the bike’s relative lack of heft – weighing in at 188kg – would play a big part in my trackday experience, though.

The thing is, it was seriously windy too, and Silverstone’s an ex-airfield, so it’s pretty much flat and exposed. Coming past the new Wing pit complex down Hamilton Straight I was sheltered from the elements, and half-way through the seriously fast fourth-gear Abbey, the southeasterly wind hit me broadside like a train and threw the bike off my chosen line by a few metres.

It felt like both my tyres had exploded

I’d not experienced this before at any other track and let me tell you: the first time it happened I was terrified. For a split second it honestly felt like both my tyres had exploded.

Anyway, back in the garage after my first sessions I got talking to one of the Silverstone instructors. This is a solid advantage of booking a late trackday, by the way, because it was so quiet we nearly had one instructor per participant. They’re all fabulous company and super-keen to help with your riding, should you want or need it. After my Abbey experience, I did…

The advice offered was to loosen my arms and just let the motorcycle do its thing, which in hindsight makes perfect sense but meant that I needed to recalibrate my brain a little on the day.

With intermittent rain, conditions varied massively, but that did give me a great opportunity to lean on the Pirelli Rosso IVs and see what the bike would do around slower bends like Luffield.

I practised trying to adjust my lines there, feeling the grip levels through the bars and giving myself more confidence for the quicker corners such as the famously fast and unsighted Copse, which suffers no fools whatsoever.

I was learning a massive amount. Every lap of the track felt like a lifetime to me – it’s a sensational circuit with loads of pace, making it the perfect place to practise and get the lines nailed. When you’re getting there, there’s a rhythm to the GP layout that I hadn’t experienced anywhere else. You can see why this place hosts such major racing events each year.

Talking traction

The combination of Pirelli Rosso IV and the R7’s geometry means this bike is unreal in the dry, but in the wet at Silverstone I was hugely impressed too. That’s because there’s no electronic nannying from traction control, so the sensation you feel through the bars and your bottom when you’re concentrating on grip levels is an accurate reflection of what’s actually happening under the wheels. Come on the throttle a bit early and the rear will spin.

With that in mind it’s a seriously good bike for learning. I’ve done quite a lot of that this year!

Book yourself onto a Silverstone trackday in 2023 here.

Update 7: Up, up and away!

If you’re up for a road trip with a trackday thrown in, can I immediately, without hesitation, recommend the
sensational Knockhill?

“It always rains in Scotland”, is the folklore. But we’ll get to that later. On the approach to the circuit it’s impossible not to be taken in by the spectacular scenery. It’s unmistakably Scottish, with fantastic roads, jagged rocks, lush verges, and
rugged, epic mountains. Turn a corner and the circuit emerges, in my case from the early morning mist.

You’re probably thinking I was mad heading north for a trackday in October, but alas I had some recovery to do and my schedule for riding all the BSB circuits was pushed back. And so I found myself sitting in the café eating traditional
local breakfast (square Larne sausages are way better in a roll than the cylindrical sort), waiting for the briefing and
hoping the rain would go away.

The day itself started wet, but there were glimmers of blue sky as we completed the sighting laps and the first session.

It dried up for the second and everyone’s speed increased, with the associated red flags as riders got to grips with the conditions.

And on the subject of grip, I’ve never been to a circuit that dries up so quickly. Knockhill was resurfaced with sharp Tarmac around three years ago and it’s proven remarkably sticky – racer Xavi Forés once managed a wet 51.5 lap, that matched the slower BSB riders in the dry!

Clearly with the right bike and enough confidence, amazing things are possible.

However, I’m not that amazing. I’m still green and was very pleased with the userfriendly R7 and predictable Pirelli Rosso IVs.

This rubber is great in the wet and with unsighted apexes like the Chicane, cambered Taylor’s Hairpin and off-camber Leslie’s, confidence is a key aspect of getting the most from the track.

A lap in a car with ex-BSB rider Dennis Hobbs helped considerably, because there are nuances to Knockhill; getting a line right into the Chicane can mean you’re hugely faster down the back straight, and the R7’s claimed 72 horses mean I’m often the slowest when no bends are involved. Its light weight and sorted chassis do help a lot in the twisties, though…

Update 6: Under Pressure

MSV Trackdays instructor and ex-BSB racer Graham Ward following Gareth at Oulton Park

I’ve been busy after recovering from an injury, riding east to Snetterton and west to Oulton Park, and in the process discovering two very different MSV circuits. It hasn’t exactly all gone according to plan, either. Along the way I’ve had some tyre troubles that nearly had me skidding down the road at Snett’, which knocked my confidence in
my riding, and the bike.

I set off towards the fens of Norfolk at crack o’sparrows, the sun just peeking over the horizon and mist billowing over the fields. I needed to be at Snetterton – 88 miles away – for sign-on at 7.30am, so I settled in for a long stint down the A14 and A11, glad that the Akrapovic wasn’t too loud at this ungodly hour. I was taking it seriously easy – the last thing I wanted was an off before I’d got near the track!

The road surface felt particularly slippery under my Pirellis, but I put this down to mud from the local farms.
I arrived at the track on time, signed on, attended the briefing and got prepared for the first 20-minute
session, attempting to drop my tyre pressures to the recommended 32psi at both ends when cold.

Oxford Products tyre gauge

I fumbled a bit with my gauge on the front tyre in the hurry to get ready, but felt sure I’d got it right after I had to put air back in. Out on track there were patches of moisture but the notoriously windy ex-airfield was mainly dry, so it was a huge surprise when I had the biggest ‘moment’ yet on the R7 – I tucked the front on the second bend, Montreal.

Somehow, I managed to stay on the bike as it snapped back upright again, but this was a ‘brown leathers’ situation. I headed back to the pits to investigate, and saw evidence of my slide right around the entire edge of the front tyre. Very lucky escape, but I had no idea why this had happened. The rest of the day was spent carefully plodding round trying to regain some lost confidence, before putting yet more air in the tyres.

Oulton Park was where it all started to make sense. I arrived early and got set up, noticing the pressure in the front was a little low. I pumped it up to 32psi and did the sighting laps, but it didn’t feel right. In exasperation I went to talk to the on-site tyre guy, Ash Kirk from AS Racing. MSV always have excellent facilities on hand.

AS Racing were on hand at Oulton Park to sort Gareth's puncture

We found the tyre was losing air, and everything became clear. I’d been going up and down so often that I hadn’t noticed it, instead assuming I’d been cocking up the inflation/deflation.

But no, the beading around the rim had a gap. Ash took the tyre off, cleaned the rim and reinstalled everything, and
instantly I had a different bike. The handling was back to normal, and my confidence skyrocketed. I spent the rest of the day trying to learn this picturesque circuit – with some instruction from Graham Ward. It’s among the longest I’ve
done on the bike and the R7 felt perfectly at home carving through the Cheshire countryside.

Trackday Tip

Another benefit of MSV trackdays is the quality of instructors, and having not been to Oulton before, I took some
time with ex-BSB racer Graham Ward.

Graham was extremely patient with my lack of circuit knowledge and relative trackday newbie status, and offered some sage advice to benefit any trackday. While looking ahead is important, so is noticing where you are in a bend on that day, in those conditions.

“It’s all about tapping into those apexes,” he said. “It’s why we have free practice in racing. Josh Brookes has been round here a million times, but he still needs to get his eye in on the day.”

Update 5: Time to do the can-can

Yamaha R7 with Akrapovic exhaust

There’s been a small change of plan. After riding half of the BSB circuits, I sustained an unrelated injury and thus have spent a couple of weeks off the bike since my last update. But despite that, things have moved on,
my recovery is going well and I’m still planning on riding the remaining four circuits if I can squeeze them into what is left of the trackday season.

While on the mend, I’ve made a few changes to the R7. The OEM Bridgestone S22s have gone, replaced by Pirelli’s new
Diablo Rosso IV Supersport rubber. These are the non-Corsa versions, suitable for fast road and track in all conditions,
promising a reduced curvature on the shoulders that results in a wider contact patch at full lean.

I’ve not got around to testing that aspect yet, but Pirelli also promise a lighter handlebar response, and that’s something I have definitely noticed on the road. The R7 feels more eager to turn in as a result. The other change was equally rewarding. I installed the Akrapovic exhaust that Yamaha sell as an optional extra.

Pirelli Rosso IV supersports tyres for Yamaha R7

The CP2 engine isn’t known for sounding particularly interesting and, as I’ve mentioned before, my neighbour Neil once asked if the R7 was electric. That was the point at which I decided it needed a bit more character. However, I’m less keen on an open pipe that would somewhat ironically wake neighbour Neil every morning. And, indeed,
I wanted to keep the bike trackday-friendly, so it needed to pass noise testing.

Those are the reasons I chose this full system. It even includes an inline catalytic convertor, which keeps noise and emissions within reasonable limits. This sells for £1578.50, plus a further £95 for the muffler bracket kit, which removes the pillion pegs at the same time.

There’s no doubting this is an expensive addition: it’s 19% of the value of the whole bike. Things start making more
sense when you see the build quality. It’s stunning, with wonderful welds and premium parts, and best of all it was easy
to fit, with micron-perfect sizing. It took about two hours in all, and not only does it sound loads better on the first turn of the key, but over the next few hundred miles it gets better still.

And if you ask me, it looks way better than standard, too. Result.

LISTEN: Yamaha R7 standard exhaust vs Akrapovic

Update 4: Sharpening up at Thruxton

Yamaha R7 at Thruxton

There are only two ways to ride the UK’s fastest race circuit, Thruxton: on an IAM Skills Day, or in a race. Since I’m unlikely to be joining the grid any time soon, it was highly fortunate that Shaun Cronin from the IAM got in touch when he read about my cunning plan to ride all the BSB tracks in 2022, offering me the chance to try the formidable
Hampshire circuit and glean some roadcraft from ace instructor Del at the same time. The day is a chance to learn more about your bike in an environment away from the road, removing potholes, SMIDSYs and other hazards from the
equation altogether. It also adds repeatability; you can practise skills over and over, lap after lap, to get them right.

But what did I learn? Actually, a decent amount about the R7, and how to get more from it on the road without hanging off like Fabio Quartararo, my elbow on the apex of a hedgerow. I’ve more confidence, in myself and in the bike’s abilities.

A primary focus was on smoothness, which highlighted a few points of note. First, braking smoothly isn’t as easy on the Yamaha as I’ve found in the past on other bikes. They’re not as progressive, and instead feel slightly wooden when you first give them a good squeeze. We worked on the concept of applying stopping power like squeezing an orange, gradually building up to maximum force before rolling back off again. The second thing I felt was that despite its sportsbike appearance, the R7’s forks do tend to dive a bit under braking. It’s put me in mind that I really need to start tinkering with the suspension, at least for track work. I’ll think about that on the run up to the next day out, which is Silverstone in late August.

IAM Skills Day at Thruxton

However, I came away from this experience a more rounded road rider, and for £165 for the course and the chance to ride on such a wonderful circuit, occasionally rather quicker than you might expect an IAM instructor would allow, it doesn’t seem bad value.

The second highlight of recent weeks was something I’d been looking forward to for ages: an MSV trackday at Donington Park. I’ve spent a lot of time there over the years, racking up laps in a previous life racing cars, and couldn’t wait to try it on two wheels.

Image credit: Lee Marshall from MSV Trackdays

And I wasn’t disappointed. The weather was a glorious 25 degrees, which I was thankful for given I was riding there and back in a day – something I’d not yet done for a trackday. But the real highlight was that incredible layout, with its wide
yet challenging bends, exciting elevation changes and 2.5 miles of GP circuit to play with. I’d only ever done the National track in cars. In fact, I feel I know Donington far more intimately than I did beforehand. A bike is a more 3D,
immersive experience.

The R7 of course was faultless as usual, even returning 32mpg at Donington during the trackday. This is remarkable given how hard I felt I was riding and how warm it was. Just ask my Bridgestone S22s, which were looking a little worse
for wear by the end of the day.

Ready to pipe up

Akrapovic exhaust for Yamaha R7

I’ve not been able to forget my neighbour Neil asking me if my bike was electric, and frankly he’s got a point. It doesn’t sound great. I’m keen to address this as I head into the second half of the season with the R7, but of course it needs to stay track legal. Step forward the Akrapovic full system Yamaha sell as an optional extra to make it sound more
interesting, but not too noisy. That’s going on soon, along with some Pirelli Rosso Corsa 4 rubber.

Update 3: A storming time at Brands Hatch

Image credit: Lee Marshall at MSV Photography

My quest to ride all the BSB circuits in 2022 has got off to a flying start. I’ve now got two MSVTrackday stickers on the fairing  – Cadwell Park and, most recently, Brands Hatch (track mileage now totalling 187 miles).

I rode, textile-clad with a full backpack, down to a hotel near the Kent circuit under threatening grey skies the evening before the trackday, along a route that’s never much fun: A14, M11, M25, M20. When I approached the latter motorway, the heavens finally opened and I got a taste for what was coming the following day…

Luckily the R7 is a kitten. It’s comfortable and docile yet the engine is more than powerful enough to overtake at motorway speeds. I did find the dash a little hard to see at times, though, and my GPS showed the speedo overreads by 5mph at 70mph.

Yamaha R7 at a very wet Brands Hatch

During the morning briefing the first storm of the day began, and it quickly became clear this would be a day of many seasons.

I returned to my garage (everyone got one for this novice bike/car track day), dropped tyre pressures, folded in my

mirrors, pulled on my leathers (which our videographer brought down in his car) and waited. The sighting laps were in awful conditions, my visor steamed up, so I came in early as I couldn’t see.

A very kind fellow rider lent me some anti-fog so I could continue the day. While I was sorting that, the circuit was rapidly drying. Brands has been resurfaced and it seems to clear water really fast.

What followed were several sunny, dry, 20-minute blasts around this iconic layout. And then, after much experimentation of cornering technique, pushing the OEM Bridgestone S22s harder and harder, it happened. At Druids, my knee touched tarmac for the first time.

Scuffed RST knee slider

I let out a little yelp in my lid – it’s something I’d been hoping to achieve since first thinking about riding on track, and it was quite a moment. I also noticed I wasn’t being overtaken very often. This is no reflection on my riding – I’m not quick – but the bike’s handling is sublime. It turns in and grips with huge positivity and offers loads of confidence in quicker bends such as Clearways or Paddock Hill, giving me an advantage against some other bikes. It makes up for the relative lack of grunt on the straights.

Now watch the video:

Update 2: Gareth’s first track day on the R7

An unintentional wheelie over the Mountain at Cadwell Park

Ever since I got my hands on the keys for the R7, I’ve been planning this day. The wild idea to ride each and every BSB circuit in the UK during my first season doing bike trackdays starts right here at the beautiful Cadwell Park.

Arriving at 7am alongside videographer Joseph, tension built as I got my first glimpse of the track. It’s a narrow, foreboding layout viewed from the café where sign-on occurs, made slightly less intimidating by a friendly, authoritative novice group rider briefing by the MSVT team.

Attending this got me a blue sticker, which went on the front of the R7 alongside one to denote the bike had passed a static noise test. The latter wasn’t a surprise – I remain convinced this sportsbike should sound sportier, and it was certainly well below the 105dB threshold.

Noise test passed, Novice Group entered at MSV Track Day

Formalities out of the way, it was time to don my brand-new leathers: RST’s latest 4.2 airbag suit. At this point, in the paddock surrounded by serious-looking people on seriouslooking bikes, I was painfully aware of the fact that I had all the gear, and no idea.

Well, kind of. This was my first public trackday on a bike, but I’ve been racing cars for years and grabbed some track time with Chief Road Tester Michael Neeves at Anglesey last year – so I know I’ll relax the moment I’m on track.

Our first session was at 9.40am, and started with two sighting laps behind an instructor. Clicking into first and pulling out of the paddock, immediately I saw the track is nowhere near as narrow as it looks, but the elevation changes are extreme, with plenty of downhill braking and unsighted apexes – plus, of course, the famous Mountain.

This was set to be a baptism of fire for the R7 on its standard brakes and tyres. After the two slow laps, it was back into the paddock before heading back out as a group to get going properly, only for the session to be red flagged as someone came off, presumably on cold tyres.

But a few sessions in, I’d got a decent amount of laps under my belt and felt like I was getting more familiar with the track. What was really interesting was the R7’s performance relative to other bikes out there. I found the litre bikes monstered me on the straights, only for me to catch up, and sometimes overtake, in the corners.

Bridgestone S22s fared really well

The R7’s handling astonished me in this context, and fellow riders said how well it seemed to turn in. The OEM Bridgestone S22s were fabulous, feeling stable and predictable when lowered to optimum track pressures (32psi front and 28psi rear from cold was the advice from Bridgestone).

As a relative track novice, I felt nicely looked after by the R7’s skill set. So much so, that I felt able to start pushing harder. The circuit put me back in my box in short order though.

An over-enthusiastic throttle over the Mountain initiated my first ever wheelie and as the R7 doesn’t have any rider aids I had to temper it with my own inputs. All was fine, but it was a reminder not to get too exuberant. I didn’t fancy looping the R7 into the scenery…

Just in case…

R&G carbon lever guards

You need two compulsory bits of safety kit to attend an MSVT trackday – a back protector (integral on my RST
suit) and a brake lever guard. Given my theme for the year, I contacted BSB parts provider R&G, who sent me
some natty carbon fibre lever guards for both sides of the bike, along with some other protective items. The weekend before my first outing I had some workshop time bolting on frame and fork protectors, and a pair of engine case covers; none of which I have any intention of relying on. But better safe than sorry.

Watch: Gareth’s first track day at Cadwell Park on video

Update 1: Welcome to the Yamaha R7

I’m aware that there’s always a honeymoon period when you get a new bike, but how long does it last? I’m asking because I’ve been heading into my garage pretty much daily since it arrived simply to stare at the R7, resplendent in the famous Speed Block livery, in this case harking back to the factory YZR500 GP bike from 1978.

It’s a special edition paintjob to celebrate 60 years of grand prix racing, costs £300 extra, and transforms the R7 from a decent-looking supersport into a knee-wobblingly beautiful machine, if you ask me.

But don’t worry, I’ve not just been looking at it: I’ve been out on the road covering decent miles too, and the bike’s appeal is only growing. That’s because it’s one of the new breed of supersports, akin to the Aprilia RS660 and perhaps the Ducati SuperSport – bikes that aren’t too extreme to use everyday, with middling power figures, sensible price tags and a comfy riding position.

Yamaha don’t even sell an R6 for the road in the UK any longer, instead pointing that sharp-edged bike at racing and trackdays. I’ve done a 200-mile day on the road already, which may not sound much, but I’m still pretty new to this, having only passed my A licence in September 2019.

It was my biggest ever day in the saddle. The bike shrugged off that sort of mileage no problem, though.

It was slightly odd when a biking neighbour asked if it was electric, though. I hadn’t thought it was that quiet, but maybe the CP2 motor’s bark needs livening up a little…

The R7's exhaust could definitely be a bit louder

I’m really pleased to report it’s comfortable, because I’ve got big plans for it. Ever since doing a beginner trackday session with Neevesy last year for a video project, I haven’t stopped thinking about circuit riding. So, with this bike’s motorsport heritage front and centre, my mission in 2022 is to try to ride every circuit that BSB visits during a season, working in conjunction with MSVT, Silverstone and Knockhill.

The obvious problem is Thruxton, which is the UK’s fastest track but doesn’t hold bike trackdays, so I’m not quite sure how I can make that happen… if you have any ideas, get in touch!

Between all that I’ll be riding it on the road too, of course, to judge what it’s like as an everyday companion. I have plenty of trips lined up, as well as the B-road blasts I enjoy so much around where I live. I can’t wait.

Yamaha R7 60th Anniversary Edition