This could be your "I just want to have fun" bike

LISTEN 03:05

Yamaha finally dropped its FZ family designator in 2017 in favor of the MT brand seen by most other markets and the changes aren’t limited the moniker. The MT-07 came with a handful of tweaks to include better suspension and updated looks to reflect its aggressive nature. Fans of the “Fuzz” will rejoice to know that it retains its 689 cc, crossplane concept powerplant with its 50 pounds o’ grunt and steering geometry that makes the family so nimble.

  • 2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-07
  • Year:
    2018- 2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Parallel-Twin
  • Displacement:
    689 cc
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    7599
  • Price:

Yamaha MT-07 Design

  • Blackout styling
  • LED lighting
  • Full LCD intrumentation
  • MT family design
2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-07
- image 753018
2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-07
- image 753023

The Tuning Fork Company brushed up the looks of the MT-07 with a narrower entry that suggests greater penetration. Admittedly, any gains from that change would be minor, but it makes the bike look sportier nonetheless. The sporty panache was also reinforced with changes in the tank, tail, and radiator cowl, as well, but thankfully the factory didn’t get too crazy with the changes so the naked look of the original remains more or less intact.

The headlight housing looks like part of the design, rather than an afterthought (or worse, a Transformer), and the blackout treatment starts there and doesn’t relent at any point. Yamaha markets this bike in the U.S. as a reflection of “the darker side of Japan,” and it wasn’t bashful about sticking to that theme. Fork sliders, tripleclamp, frame, and swingarm all come with the same achromatic treatment with striking results. Aside from the colored rims and painted tank, the rest of the bike is largely a black hole in the night, and I, for one, am digging it.

An LED taillight forms the terminus of the tail section for a neat-and-clean installation; too bad the fender/plateholder/turn-signal assembly ruins the effect. Personally, I’m gonna say this bike is a prime candidate for a tail-tidy kit, and I’m sticking to it. The factory extended the saddle forward around the rear of the tank just a bit, but I’m not convinced that will present the pilot with much of a gain. Oh well, at least it kind of looks cool, yeah?

Yamaha MT-07 Chassis

  • Narrow, lightweight frame
  • Eager in the corners
  • Infinitely flickable
  • ABS
2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-07
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2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-07
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2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-07
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Frame design on the MT-07 is steel tubing and a stressed-engine layout to keep weight to a minimum. Such efforts seem to have paid off considering the 403-pound curb weight and balanced behavior. Rake and trail measure out at 24.8 degrees and 3.5 inches, respectively, and that certainly is indicative of a ride that is eager in the corners and capable of rapid reversals.

The infinitely flickable MT-07 chassis rolls on cast, 17-inch aluminum rims designed to minimize unsprung weight, which of course helps the suspension do its job to protect the integrity of the contact patch. Comfort wasn’t neglected; the factory floats the front end on 41 mm tubes that come with refined damping values for an improved ride over the previous gen, but since it’s a non-adjustable system, there’s still room for improvement.

Out back, a horizontally-mounted (and very inconspicuous) monoshock supports the asymmetrical swingarm with adjustable rebound damping and spring preload. Suspension travel is balanced, with 5.1 inches of travel at both ends. A pair of four-pot anchors bite the dual, 282 mm front discs with a 245 mm disc out back and ABS at both ends as part of the standard equipment package.

Seat height is typical of the genre at 31.7 inches off the ground, and the rider’s triangle comes set for a more relaxed riding posture than you get with a clip-on bike but retain the ability to tuck in, and use your body English with abandon.

Suspension / Front: 41 mm telescopic fork; 5.1-in travel
Suspension / Rear: Single shock, adjustable preload and rebound damping; 5.1-in travel
Brakes / Front: Dual 282 mm hydraulic disc; ABS
Brakes / Rear: 245 mm hydraulic disc; ABS
Tires / Front: 120/70ZR17
Tires / Rear: 180/55ZR17

Yamaha MT-07 Drivetrain

  • 689 cc liquid-cooled twin-cylinder engine
  • Ample low- to mid-range torque
  • Linear throttle response
  • Compact six-speed transmission
2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-07
- image 753036
2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-07
- image 753031
2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-07
- image 753021

The beating heart of the MT-07 is Yamaha’s Crossplane-Concept, twin-cylinder engine. This engine has some pretty big shoes to fill, considering the MT moniker is meant to be short for “Master of Torque,” and it acquits itself admirably with a claimed 50 pound-feet of torque that comes on fully at 6,500 rpm. At 9 grand, the plant delivers its full 73.7 horsepower with a linear response and honest control due to the lack of traction control and other engine electronics; an omission that is to be expected at this price point.

Bore and stroke measure out at 80 mm and 68.6 mm respectively — a bit more oversquare than I would have guessed with torque like that – for a total of 689 cc and an 11.5-to-1 compression ratio that will put you at the pricey pump every time. Liquid-cooling deals with the waste heat, and dual over-head cams actuate the 8-valve head.

Part of the advantage of the CP2 engine lies in its compact footprint, and the six-speed transmission does its bit with a stacked-shaft arrangement that shortens the overall drivetrain further. A standard clutch couples engine power to the gearbox, and a chain-type final drive makes the connection to the rear wheel. Overall, a fairly uncomplicated plant.

Engine: 689 cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke; 8 valves
Bore x Stroke: 80.0 mm x 68.6 mm
Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: 6-speed; multiplate clutch
Final Drive: Chain

Yamaha MT-07 Pricing

2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-07
- image 799410
2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-07
- image 753026
2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-07
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The 2020 MT-07 is available in Ice Fluo, Matte Raven Black, or Team Yamaha Blue for $7,599 no matter which color you pick and all new bikes come with a one-year limited factory warranty.

Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
Colors:
└ 2018: Team Yamaha Blue, Matte Gray, Intensity White
└ 2019: Ice Fluo, Matte Raven Black, Breaker Cyan
└ 2020: Ice Fluo, Matte Raven Black, Team Yamaha Blue
Price: $7,599

Yamaha MT-07 Competitors

2017 - 2020 Suzuki SV650
- image 664059
2018 - 2020 Yamaha MT-07
- image 753040

For simplicity, style and price, the SV650 ABS from Suzuki seems like a logical competitor for the MT-07, and likely to appeal to the same sort of buyer.

Suzuki SV650

2017 - 2020 Suzuki SV650
- image 664038

Right off I gotta say that the SV650’s headlight is a mixed bag; I always like a round light, but it doesn’t flow into the design quite like the MT’s lamp does. Suzuki dabbles in the blackout treatment, but leaves various parts bright, and paints the frame a conspicuous red that stands out nicely from the darkness. That red ties into the red-shot rims for some continuity of design, and as much as I like black and red together, the Yamaha Blue MT is even sharper.

Suspension is a mixed bag; the Suzuki comes with a spring-preload adjustment on the front forks, but the rear adjustments are limited to same. The SV650 run twin-pot grabbers with 290 mm front discs and ABS protection front-and-rear, but me, I’d prefer the 4-piston anchors on the Yammie.

Performance is similar, but again Yamaha has a slim advantage with its 73.7 ponies and 50 pounds versus 75/47 from the Suzuki. However, Suzuki does manage to work in its Idle Speed Control and Low RPM Assist features for which Yamaha has no answer. The SV650 rolls for a bit less than the $7,599 MT-07, so price may or may not be a deciding factor here.

Read our full review of the Suzuki SV650.

He Said

“Seems clear that Yamaha wins by a nose, unless you really prefer its looks, then it wins by a significant margin. I understand and accept that there are some mighty smart people who decide what names/colors/whatever will sell in any given market, and I know that there are significant cultural differences involved, but I’ve never quite grasped why the MT had to be the FZ here. Looks like someone at Yamaha finally questioned it, too. Now that our FZ name has been put to pasture, the Euros will have to find something else to razz us about. Meanwhile, I’d certainly recommend the MT-07 to anyone looking for an entry-level to first-upgrade kind of ride.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “This bike saw a nice overhaul. Chassis, performance, and rider ergonomics are all improved, though the bike was no slouch before the improvements. It’s a blast to ride. It feels very balanced, agile, and responsive, and even at highway speeds, roll-on is right there when you need it. I was already a fan of the FZ-07 and this new generation is just awesome. It falls in that mid-displacement range that makes for a fun commuter.”

Yamaha MT-07 Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 689 cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke; 8 valves
Bore x Stroke: 80.0 mm x 68.6 mm
Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: 6-speed; multiplate clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Chassis:
Suspension / Front: 41 mm telescopic fork; 5.1-in travel
Suspension / Rear: Single shock, adjustable preload and rebound damping; 5.1-in travel
Brakes / Front: Dual 282 mm hydraulic disc; ABS
Brakes / Rear: 245 mm hydraulic disc; ABS
Tires / Front: 120/70ZR17
Tires / Rear: 180/55ZR17
Dimensions & Capacities:
L x W x H: 82.1 in x 29.3 in x 42.9 in
Seat Height: 31.7 in
Wheelbase: 55.1 in
Rake (Caster Angle): 24.8°
Trail: 3.5 in
Maximum Ground Clearance: 5.5 in
Fuel Capacity: 3.7 gal
Fuel Economy: 58 mpg
Wet Weight: 403 lb
Details:
Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
Colors:
└ 2018: Team Yamaha Blue, Matte Gray, Intensity White
└ 2019: Ice Fluo, Matte Raven Black, Breaker Cyan
└ 2020: Ice Fluo, Matte Raven Black, Team Yamaha Blue
Price: $7,599

Further Reading

Yamaha

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- image 788830

Read more Yamaha news.

TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: yamaha-motor.com, suzukicycles.com

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