Next generation MT-07: Evolution of the Hyper Naked Species

POSTED: 27/01/2021

Founded on 1st July 1955, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., celebrated its 65th anniversary this year, and over the past seven decades the company has developed some of the industry's most iconic models and been responsible for the introduction of a range of innovative technology that has transformed the riding experience.

Machines including the XT500, XS650 and RD350LC – through to the VMAX and YZF-R1 – have all achieved legendary cult status within the world of motorcycling, and have become an integral part of the Yamaha story. While justifiably proud of its past achievements, Yamaha's focus is on the future, and by the end of the first decade of this century the company's product development teams were on a mission to create a new generation of future icons.

To make a difference it is necessary to take a risk, and some of the company's greatest designs have been those bikes that defied convention and dared to be different. So when Yamaha's designers and engineers set about creating a new breed of motorcycles for the 21st century, they made the conscious decision to break all the rules and take a whole new direction. Rather than playing it safe by making a newer and better version of what was already out there in the market, Yamaha decided to start all over again.

The next key decision in the development of this new generation of bikes was that they would be distinctly Japanese, with a unique look and feel that set them apart from every other brand. Playing with a variety of Japanese influences including Tokyo's biking subculture, the development team were free to explore every possibility.

The focus would be on crafting a bike with a unique, thrilling and enjoyable riding experience, achieved primarily through the delivery of linear torque and easy agility.

Very competitive pricing and easy to ride for all type of customers, including female would be the goal. The look would be naked and mechanical, to give this new breed of distinctively Japanese bike a pure and muscular image. And every piece of technology would be there to serve the rider and create a more engaging, rewarding and satisfying riding experience.

Inspired by Japanese subculture, and created by some of the most visionary designers in the business, the MT-07 arrived shortly after the very first MT-09 was launched, and the year 2014 marked the real beginning of the new Hyper Naked segment that has become the dominant force on the streets of Europe.

The motorcycle world was changing, and Yamaha were leading the way with two of the most significant new models to be launched by the company in its long and illustrious history. With over 250,000 units sold to date, the MT line is proving to be the most successful range ever produced by Yamaha.

When the MT-07 first arrived back in 2014 few people realised the immense impact that this new 690cc twin-cylinder naked bike would have on the European market. But as soon as the first machines started to appear on the street the word was out that this was no ordinary motorcycle. All it took was one demo ride for the customer to realise that the MT-07 really was a different kind of machine.

MT stands for 'Master of Torque', and the outstanding crossplane technology engine proved to live up to its name, with its linear torque making the MT-07 a joy to ride in different riding conditions. Its compact chassis gave it an ideal blend of agility with stability – and the easy ergonomics and natural seating position made it a big success with riders of all ages and experience levels. Put simply, the MT-07 is a bike that works for everyone – and with its competitive price it can justifiably claim to offer the best balance of performance and value in its class.

European riders know what they want, and they soon realised that this accessible Hyper Naked was something very special. With over 125,000 units of MT-07 (full power and 35kW) sold since its launch, this is by far and away one of the Yamaha's best-selling motorcycle, and it has been the number 1 model in the naked class every year since 2014, with almost twice as many units sold as its nearest rival.

As the best-selling naked model in its category from day one, it's clear that the MT-07 is giving Yamaha's customers exactly what they want in their bike. Featuring distinctive new bodywork that reflects its pure, next generation MT DNA, the 2021 MT-07 represents the progressive evolution of Europe's favourite naked bike, and reinforces the core values of this outstandingly successful and much-loved middleweight.

A range of upgraded features including an engaging and characterful EU5-compliant engine as well as more powerful front brakes confirm the MT-07's class-leading riding experience – while the overall feel of quality is underlined by the fitment of a new LED headlight with LED turn signals and position lights and LCD instruments. Tapered handlebars and a new tank and seat contribute towards a more comfortable upright riding position, while the latest Michelin sports tyres give confident road holding – and turn up the fun factor up by another few clicks.

New colours and refined detailing reinforce the bike's MT family DNA, and with an extremely competitive price point the MT-07 is ready to maintain its leading position as the bike that works for everyone by offering the best balance of performance and value in its segment.

The new model's next generation bodywork reflects the ongoing evolution of the MT family, and gives the 2021 MT-07 a more refined and distinctive look with a quality feel.

The design concept was to make the new MT-07 the 'Handsome Younger Sibling” in the Yamaha Hyper Naked family, and this next generation look was achieved by creating a strong and distinctive new style that is both more organic and mature.

Key to the new look is a compact and minimalist new LED headlight assembly whose position lights and headlight gives the front face a Y-shape icon that symbolises the signature look of the next generation MT family. With minimal overhang, the new LED headlight underlines the sense of lightness and agility from the rider's viewpoint, and by tightly compacting the new bodywork, radiator and seat around the machine's CP2 engine, the mass-centralised layout projects a real sense of torque and power.

New winglets on the sides of the newly-designed 14-litre fuel tank covers feature sharply sculpted air ducts that visually convey the low of the air into the engine, giving the bike a more dynamic stance and emphasises the new model's pure Hyper Naked DNA. The angle of the wing-like attachments at the rear of the body emphasises the harmony of the overall design, and viewed from above the outwardly projecting air ducts contrast with the slim seat area to convey a feeling of agility and freedom of movement for the rider.

The newly developed fuel tank covers are manufactured from injection-moulded plastic resin to reduce weight, and a 3D moulded texture is featured around the rider's knee grip area to give improved controllability for a sportier character. Many other details changes to the colour and finish of fork covers, footpegs, engine stays and engine covers serve to enhance the overall feeling of quality, underlining the MT-07's winning combination of outstanding value with a premium specification.

Modern, compact and lightweight, the new bifunctional LED headlight features a centrally-located high/low projector lamp that transforms the character of this next generation model and underlines the pure MT DNA it shares with the all-new MT-09. As well as giving the MT-07 a bold and distinctive new look, this compact projector headlight produces a powerful beam with well-defined edges that provides excellent forward visibility during night time riding. New left and right side dual-layer, translucent LED position lights give the MT-07's a signature Y-shape face that reaffirms its close family ties with the new MT-09.

The latest 690cc, 2-cylinder, CP2 engine features a revised air intake duct design and optimised fuel injector settings, as well as a new 2-into-1 exhaust and new ECU. These changes gives a more linear engine response, while maintaining the characterful performance.

The 2021 engine delivers a smoother torque/rpm curve for excellent top speed and thrilling acceleration, and with maximum torque of 67.0Nm/6.8kg-m produced at just 6,500rpm – and maximum power of 73.4PS/54kW at 9,000rpm – this is the ultimate middleweight powerplant.

A new electric purge cut valve and lightweight battery ensures easy starts even when the machine has been parked for longer periods, and the 2021 engine also features new Crystal Graphite engine covers, as well as a new silver-coloured exhaust pipe and new muffler and exhaust protectors.

The crossplane concept engine's 270 degree crank gives an uneven firing sequence with a more characterful exhaust note that emphasizes the torque feeling during acceleration – and the 2021 powerplant's more linear torque delivery ensures outstanding response at all engine speeds, making the MT-07 one of the most enjoyable and accessible bikes in any category.

One of the most significant technical upgrades on the MT-07 is the new high specification front braking system. At the front the dual disc size is increased from 282mm on the previous model to 298mm on the new bike, giving more stopping power and greater controllability with no gain in weight. Together with the 245mm rear disc, the new system offers increased performance – and with the fitment of the new Michelin tyres, the increased stopping power is especially apparent in wet conditions.

The MT-07 is already regarded as being the bike that works for everyone thanks to its natural upright riding position and relaxed ergonomics that make it so popular with riders of all ages and experience levels.

Following numerous evaluations of clay models and many test rides using riders with different physiques, Yamaha designers have fine-tuned the new MT-07's riding position in order to achieve added comfort and better controllability. The 2021 model is fitted with new aluminium tapered handlebars that are 32mm wider to give a more assertive riding position as well as a little extra leverage for easier manoeuvrability at slow speeds.

The 2021 model now features higher specification LCD instruments with spot colour. The inverted dashboard is similar to the unit fitted to the Tracer 700, and its compact and lightweight multifunction display with larger readouts for the clock, gear, tripmeters and tachometer provides clear information. The use of spot colour gives an accent for key displays – and a new handlebar switch enables the rider to operate the meter more easily and efficiently.

Along with the new LED headlight the 2021 MT-07 is also equipped with new high intensity flashers at the front and rear. Lighter and more compact, they complement the next generation style of the bike and reinforce the premium specification of this best-selling Hyper Naked.

New specification Michelin PR5 tyres – 180/55-17 at the rear and 120/70-17 at the front – provide excellent levels of traction and sporty handling performance and excellent wet weather handling qualities, making the MT-07 the ideal choice for new and experienced riders.

For 2021 the new MT-07 is available in the latest colour schemes and graphics that reinforce the MT family connection and give a premium feel to this outstanding middleweight. New black levers give a refined look, and wiring in the cockpit area is rerouted to give an enhanced look.

Next generation design
LED projector lighting
690cc 2-cylinder EU5 CP2 engine
Larger diameter 298mm dual front discs
Wider tapered aluminium bars
New LCD instruments
LED flashers
Michelin PR5 tyres
New colours, graphics and finishing
Sharper and more dynamic Hyper Naked looks
Better visibility, reduced weight, signature MT 'Y-shape face'
EU5-compliant, strong linear torque, gutsy exhaust note
More powerful braking with no additional unsprung weight
More assertive riding position with easier low-speed turning
Clear information, now with remote handlebar operation
High visibility and sharper style
Excellent traction in wet and dry, added rider confidence, sporty handling
Maintain the MT-07's fashion leading focus and premium style, includes new blacked-out components and Crystal Graphite engine covers
Next generation body design with pure MT family DNA
Winglet-style air intakes create distinctive MT-07 style
New LED projector headlight with signature Y-shape icon
690cc crossplane technology CP2 engine
270-degree crank for linear torque delivery
Maximum torque of 67.0Nm/6.8kg-m produced at 6,500rpm
New 298mm dual front discs
New wider aluminium tapered handlebars
More comfortable and assertive riding position
Inverted LCD spot colour instruments with remote control
New LED turn signals
Latest generation Michelin PR5 tyres
New colours and graphics
Compact tubular frame with 805mm seat height