March 3, 2014 at 9:31 pm #15327
One of the key things that Yamaha are trying to do with their new 689cc parallel twin MT-07 is tap into the spirit and ethos of one of their most iconic bikes…the RD350LC. Simple, light and affordable; anything that doesn’t need to be there isn’t included. As a past (and present) owner of a LC this bike really interests me. As luck would have it my local dealer has just got a demonstrator in and sent me an email me offering a go….
So on Saturday morning I was the very first person to ride their lovely, shiney 14 plate demo bike. Thumper joined me too and we planned to split the ride 50/50 for the 3 hours we had the bike
First impressions are positive, the bike looks good in white. Taught lines, and some good details, I particularly liked the exhaust system. As is usual these days the number plate mount is horrible, but I expect the first firm that gets to market with a tail tidy will do a roaring trade!
Yamaha’s latest addition to the rapidly expanding MT family, the neat and purposeful 700cc twin
Once on the road the bike certainly impresses…the engine revs well and throttle response is really crisp. The 74bhp on tap is plenty to have fun with and the traffic on the sweeping Kidderminster to Evesham road was passed with almost dismissive ease. I just wished the engine and exhaust note were a little more inspiring…again the aftermarket boys are going to do well with this bike. Blipping the throttle from idle really does sound like a sewing machine. I know that is painful cliche, but it is also very true. The ghost of the LC is not very evident here!
The bike can be hustled with some confidence through sweeping bends, boasting a very planted feel most of the time with just a hint of front end lightness creeping in at higher speeds. This lightness comes to better use attacking islands where it is a lot of fun to chuck the bike from side to side and then get back on that crisp throttle and responsive engine to burst out the island…now that’s more like an LC!! The powerful brakes and light weight of the bike (if not rider, sadly) also helped here.
The BMW F800R I rode a couple of years back has a similar feel, but I think the Yam is the better machine overall.
Not everything is roses in the garden however: I am an old fart and the rock hard seat was getting on my wick after on a few miles. I would imagine that a longer journey would definitely be a pain in the…well you know what I mean!
I also don’t get on with the modern, digital dash either and like the MT-09 I rode a few months ago the rev counter is hard to read and the whole display seems cramped. Yamaha should use a set up similar to my old FZ1S…analogue rev counter, digital speedometer. The extra trip computer functions are good to see on a budget bike though. The MT is only £5300 and that is a good deal.
Thumper and I called in on Katana once in Eversham, he didn’t ride the bike, but liked it too. Thumper seemed impressed on the ride back to Kidderminster and riding his lumbering BMW R1150 back certainly provided a stark contrast to the wisp like Yamaha. Mind you the Beemer did have two lovely chrome ringed clocks!!
Thumper enjoyed the MT too, but test rode a Harley 1585 on the way home and bought that…
We even subjected the Yamaha to the ultimate forum test…the light salad halt! The Leaking well on the road to Worcester did a sterling job and £3.99 was good value even if the Thumper did drink all the chilled spring water we washed our salad down with…
So overall Yamaha have a great bike on their hands…to those progressing to this after passing their test or from a Yamaha YBR125 will love it. Has it rekindled the LC spirit? No, but if Yamaha were to bring out a ‘R’ version in black and yellow, fitted with a cockpit fairing, a neat belly pan and some decent pipes, well that would be a different story
Thanks to the Motorcycle Mart of Kidderminster for the rideMarch 4, 2014 at 1:42 pm #67544imperialdataKeymaster
Thanks for the review. Seems like a decent bike then and pretty well priced. I’m not a fan of the plastic around the tank and rad but overall it’s a good looking bike.March 7, 2014 at 11:23 pm #67545
Thanks for the review. Seems like a decent bike then and pretty well priced. I’m not a fan of the plastic around the tank and rad but overall it’s a good looking bike.
I really liked and am sure Yamaha will sell loads of them. I just miss proper head lamps and clocks!March 8, 2014 at 9:11 am #67546katanaParticipant
Looked pretty good. I was surprised at how slim and light it felt (more like a 250 then a 700) when I had a quick sit on it.
The placing of the ignition switch in front of the clocks was a bit strange.May 27, 2014 at 8:18 pm #67547
Both the MT-07 and MT-09 are doing really well for Yamaha, so they are extending the range to a 125…wonder how much that will cost?
Good marketing though…CBT on a 125, build your way up through the range via the 7 and 9 as experience rised.
About time Yamaha had some coherance and interest in their current rangeJanuary 23, 2018 at 9:41 pm #67548
The MT range has continued to expand and is selling well now in all formats. I hope to try the Tracer variant of the MT07 in the next few weeks, once the weather picks up a bit
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