First ride: Yamaha MT-07 'the best just got better'

Published: 02 March 2018

As much as we all loved the original Yamaha MT-07, it did have its flaws, mainly in the suspension department. For many it was too soft and underdamped, and while most owners over-looked the handling issues it caused and simply rode around the problem, Yamaha took customer feedback on-board and for 2018 have addressed the issue. 

Weighing just 182kg, the MT-07 is still blissfully light and manageable around town, yet equally just at home chasing up mountain passes or happy enough to loft the front wheel or scrape its pegs on an apex.

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MT-07 best bits

  • New ‘sportier’ front forks: 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. 
  • Rear shock gets rebound damping: 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%.
  • New MT-09 styling: Very much as per the original bike – same clocks, frame, sub-frame, wheels, brakes and engine – which is a thoroughly good thing as the original MT-07 was a top seller for a reason.
  • Revised seat shape for improved riding position: The seat for both pillion and rider, have been re-designed for added comfort while retaining the same low rider seat height of just 805mm. 
  • New headlight and rear light: To bring the MT-07 in-line with the rest of the MT range, the headlight and LED tail light have been updated (and now look like MT-09’s) while the front mudguard is new.

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MCN verdict: 5 stars

Yamaha have improved an already excellent machine by addressing the handling issues of the original. New suspension gives more control, feedback and rider confidence while the updated and improved styling increases quality and appeal. One of the best bikes on the market is now better than ever.

Huge success for Yamaha

The MT-07 has been a huge success for Yamaha, thanks to a pair of great engines, fantastic styling and competitive pricing.

In Europe alone it sold around 17,000 units each year since its launch in 2014 – it’s their most popular bike and dominates the MT range.

There are a few simple reasons for its success: it’s fun, versatile, good-looking and very competitively priced. 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 start at just £96 per month.

But as much as we all loved the original bike, it did have its flaws, mainly in the suspension department. For many it was too soft and underdamped, and while most owners over-looked the handling issues it caused and simply rode around the problem, Yamaha took customer feedback on-board and for 2018 have addressed the issue.

Out on the MT-07 world launch

MT-07 facts

  • Price: £6349
  • Engine: 689cc inline parallel twin
  • Frame: Diamond
  • Seat height: 805mm
  • Suspension: 41mm KYB front forks, none adjustable; single KYB rear shock adjustable for rebound and preload.
  • Brakes: 2 x 282mm discs with four-piston calipers; 245mm rear disc with single-piston caliper
  • Colours: Blue, Black, Night fluo
  • Available: Next month
  • Power: 74bhp @ 9000rpm
  • Torque: 50.2ftlb @ 6500rpm
  • Weight: 182kg (WET)
  • Tank capacity: 14 litres
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