All Tests – First test Yamaha MT-07: well done for you! – Light is right

First test Yamaha MT-07: right for you !

All Tests - First test Yamaha MT-07: well done for you! - Light is right

At only 5,699 euros, can a motorcycle really be dynamically efficient, mechanically fun and aesthetically rewarding? Yamaha proves yes with its new roadster as fun as it is accessible: the MT-07. Try a future bestseller !

Light is right

This formula dear to Colin Chapman, founder of the English sports car brand Lotus, perhaps inspired Yamaha for the MT-07 as the emphasis was placed on its lightness, for the benefit of ease of handling and dynamism. Announced at 179 kg all full, the Yam ‘would be 25 kg lighter than its direct rival, the Kawasaki ER-6n (204 kg). A straw !

"The challenge was clear, both in terms of power and weight gain "", confirms MT-07 project manager Shin Yokomizo."We also decided to create a whole new generation of engine: compact, powerful, much lighter and also less greedy."(up to 334 km with a 14 liter tank according to Yamaha engine manufacturers).

Handlebars in hand, this search for a contained weight is immediately palpable: the MT-07 is a real feather, responsive to the slightest strain on the arms or legs. Besides its low mass, neither its short wheelbase (1400 mm) nor its closed front end (24 ° of caster angle) are not foreign to its pleasant handling. Perfectly balanced, it also shines in a pocket handkerchief … not unfolded !

Two other elements positively reinforce its urban ambitions: on the one hand the comfort induced by the flexibility of its suspensions (holes and cobblestones are gently absorbed), and on the other the pleasure derived from the versatility of its 689 engine. CC. Extremely flexible and torquey, this new "CP2" resumes with frankness and without a hiccup from 2000 rpm on the first reports, with a few hundred additional turns on the next three.

In built-up areas, you can drive on the torque in fourth at 50 km / h at 3000 rpm, then screw the right handle firmly in order to reach quickly and – good surprise! – quite vigorously the "legal" 90 km / h at 5000 rpm (3800 rpm in sixth).

Likewise, this availability makes it possible to negotiate a tight roundabout – or even a square fork – on the third report, well helped by the fine and transparent management of the injection. The young apprentice who will make him "knock" on the slow course of the motorcycle license will really have to put a good dose of ignorance … or unwillingness !

Well, now that it is accepted that this new vertical twin has excellent manners, the time has come to titillate the connecting rods in order to measure its capacities to pack the thrilling! Beautiful, well-paved roads appear under the very good original tires (Michelin Pilot Road 3) … So gas !

The deaf and slightly syncopated backlashes of the engine – until now quite discreet – gain in intensity: from 4000 rpm, the soundtrack is accompanied by a hoarse rattle coming from the exhaust, which is not not without evoking the vocalizations delivered by the Cross plane of the R1.

This delicious sound reinforcement marks the course from which the thrust of the CP2 goes from voluntary to playful: the acceleration becomes much more full-bodied and the times gain in dynamism. At 6500 rpm, the maximum torque (68 Nm) is reached in a very noticeable way: put gas in full in seconds, and the front wheel rises in the air without touching the clutch !

Few twin cylinders of "only" 75hp can do this, although it is obvious that the MT-07 again benefits from its featherweight in this situation. Still, MNC pushed it to about 210 km / h, which proves that this engine does indeed respond. Especially since the last two reports take quite a long time.

Once delivered its first big knocks at mid-speed, the twin does not rest, on the contrary! It continues to strike in a close and constant manner up to the breaker located at 10,500 rpm, which is an operating range wide enough to "KO" many of its competitors. !

As generous as it is addictive, this frank thrust knows no downtime, but no "peak" either: the power is delivered in a virile but continuous way, without explosion in the towers like a 4-cylinder. At high speed, the very slight tingling appearing in the hands and under the buttocks from 5000/6000 rpm are more clearly felt…

Nothing really unacceptable, however, especially since these crackles have the good taste not to extend to the mirrors of the rear-view mirrors, which are also quite effective. The discomfort in the front part of the saddle, so narrow that it becomes unpleasant over the long term, is much more annoying. The rather protruding ridges end up irritating the seat, forcing the driver to step back to improve his condition – as on the MT-09.

Installed more on the back, we then enjoy much better comfort because this part is wider and better padded. A false problem, then? Yes and no, because bypassing it implies being large enough to "unfold" backwards: the smallest riders are doomed to suffer … or to buy a comfort saddle !

More comfortable than sporty suspensions

Supple but not soft, the suspensions nonetheless lose some of their superb in sporty driving. The fork’s depression curve notably lacks consistency, especially at the start of the race. This results in a fast and deep dive during very heavy braking, which slightly affects the directional precision..

It is difficult in these conditions to "let go" completely when entering curves, in particular by releasing the right lever just before tackling the bike towards the rope. "Pity", will consider the most bloody, because the diabolical agility of the MT-07 and its intoxicating mechanical performance justly encourage this type of" arsouillesque "maneuvers !

At the rear, the horizontally installed mono-shock absorber spring also offers a fairly flexible setting, while the oil could be better braked by the valves in the expansion phase. Placed under strong constraints, this suspension tuning ends up letting some movements escape and struggles to effectively absorb the most violent mass transfers..

When coming out of full-throttle curves, the steering – until then imperturbable – can then become a slight suspicion, because temporarily relieved under the effect of the compression of the rear suspension. Here again, these characteristics are only noticeable in very sporty driving, when the motorcycle is pushed to its ultimate limits. The opportunity also to highlight a ground clearance that is relatively easy to fault.

The rest of the time, the more "comfort" than "sport" orientation of the suspensions fulfills its role very well and presents sufficient rigor to afford a "good slice" in peace. And when the asphalt crumbles, beginners and experienced riders alike will appreciate not being tossed around sharply with each irregularity. !

Same story about braking, whose power needs to be called up to the front. Not very biting on the first third of its race, the right lever then delivers a more convincing and measurable response. At the rear, the device fulfills its role correctly, on the condition again to press frankly on the pedal.

Verdict: thank you the crisis ?

Without rejoicing in the economic difficulties that Europe has not managed to get rid of for several years, we can however recognize a positive aspect to the crisis: it forces the players in the motorcycle world to be inventive and to "shed" to design packages that are certainly economical, but also attractive.

The competitors (twin cylinder) of the MT-07

  • : in-line twin, 471 cc, 47.5 hp and 43 Nm, 192 kg all full, € 5,799

  • : in-line twin, 649 cc, 72.1 hp and 64 Nm, 204 kg all full, € 5,999

  • : V-twin, 645cc, 72 hp and 65 Nm, 202 kg in running order, € 5,699

  • : V-twin, 647cc, 82 hp and 62 Nm, 189 kg dry, € 4,999

We could also have cited the and the, but their sportier philosophy and especially their significantly higher price (respectively € 8,500 and € 8,550) place them in another category. Likewise, the is a possible alternative, but its more "utility" vocation, in our opinion, is aimed at a more mature audience, a feeling confirmed by Honda’s choice to only offer it with the DCT double-clutch transmission in 2014..

Certainly, the MT-07 will count in this new generation of motorcycles that are at the same time fun, accessible and well born. So well born even that its "cousin" XJ6 probably has to worry about … More expensive (6,599 euros without ABS), heavier (210 kg) and mechanically less "alive", the small Yamaha 4-cylinder roadster risks to be one of the first victims of this sparkling novelty…

Present at this press launch, the, did not shy away from his pleasure on the way back: "I come to the head of YMF with excellent product dynamics: the MT-09 and the MT-07 are exactly the models we needed !", he tells us with a big smile.

For its part, Site’s little finger – as intuitive as it is always well informed – tells him that Eric de Seynes’ successor should experience similar reasons for satisfaction in the relatively near future, as it seems clear that the "MT" family just begs to grow…

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