Arturo Rivas

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Arturo Rivas

The Yamaha MT-07 models from 2017 and 2018 in a comparison test.

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2018: The damper was tuned tighter and got a rebound adjustment. Tip: Open a maximum of 0.5 U.

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2018: As always, the LC display is clear, the rev counter is a bit small at best.

Operation via two central buttons.

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2018: The cream of the crop of the MT-07 remained untouched. The engine: a source of pure joy, always pushes, sounds hearty.

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2018: We like to see that: As before, the brake lever can be adjusted five times in width – good for all hands.

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Seldom has 75 horsepower been served as grandly as with the MT-07.

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Bold rear: The rear view of the new Yamaha MT-07 (right) is much tighter and less expansive.

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Please look closely. If you discover differences – except for the neon yellow color – please contact the editor.

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Building wider and not pulled up towards the front of the tank, the new upholstery (left) provides a more comfortable bed for your bottom.

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The new headlight (right) grew in width, covers the fork legs, looks more coherent overall and looks more impressive.

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Both can bend at an angle, but the new one is more stable.

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In the test, the 2018er does not quite reach its nominal output and is already behind the old one. Ultimately, however, everything stays the same in the engine area. Less load changes and a finer clutch would be nice with both. Better engine characteristics? – almost unthinkable. (Image: 2017)

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The biggest difference between the two is in the chassis. The tighter suspension elements give more cornering stability. There are more bias and it is better coordinated especially at the back. More point for the adjustable rebound stage at the rear. Winner frame: the new one. (Image: 2017)

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Both are on by in the everyday category. The current model has a kilo more on its hips and the payload shrinks accordingly. Thanks to the greater range due to lower consumption, however, it compensates for this. (Image: 2018)

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In terms of security, everything actually stays the same. The stoppers bite heartily and ensure short stopping distances. The ABS control behavior should still be finer, with shorter intervals. (Image: 2018)

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In the end, the new one is just 6 points ahead of the old one in the 1000 rating.

Yamaha MT-07 2017 and 2018 in the test

How much better is the chassis?

Yamaha has given the Yamaha MT-07 an update in the 2018 model year. The result: more percent. They don’t affect the combustion chamber, but the chassis. The comparison with the predecessor from 2017 must reveal: Is there a rush of happiness or a headache while driving?

The first important number in this comparison does not require any percentages and is based on five single digits: 68.443. Almost 70,000. This is the number of units of the fast crossplane twin MT-07 that Yamaha has sold in Europe since its appearance in 2013 (as of May 2018). That’s quite a lot. Broken down to the previous year 2017 and only for Germany, she found Yamaha MT-07 made 3,491 new friends during this period. This makes it the undisputed best-selling model with the crossed tuning forks, and overall it only has to rank behind BMW’s big GS.

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Yamaha MT-07 2017 and 2018 in the test
How much better is the chassis?

The engine of the Yamaha MT-07 continues to be a blast

If that was not and is not reason enough at Yamaha to really pop the corks, what kind of occasion should there be? But before they fall too deeply into the joy of their achievements, the Yamaha engineers have put their heads together again. Simply resting on the successes of the past could be a dangerous game in the long run, because the competitors do not sleep, they are constantly presenting new things. And at least one small construction site was not unfamiliar to the Yamaha MT-07 from the start, and it has evoked clear criticism. We are talking about the chassis, to which the percentages now refer.

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Yamaha MT-07 (YOC 2017).

But before they have to withstand an analysis at the brisk curve festival, it is still another pounding percentage point. Just as the best Strohrum slams a seasoned fur seal after a full glass on the planks of his dinghy, the two-cylinder of the Yamaha MT-07 hits the wall – positively intoxicating without side effects. Finally, after enjoying the liquid high-percentage alcohol, the fur seal reaches for a headache pill to get the day off to a great start, while the Yamaha to ride empties one gas glass after the other into the 14 liter tank, not getting enough of the brisk engine. Yamaha has not changed anything about that. Everything stayed as it was.

2018 model a little heavier

Okay, the new Yamaha MT-07 is on the test bench two measly horsepower behind its 2017 counterpart. You won’t notice any of this while driving. As always, the crossplane twin with its 270 degree crank pin offset pushes forward extremely good-naturedly and really committed from the lowest engine speeds, already at 3,000 rpm it hangs greedily but predictably on the gas. There is no trace of the slight break-in after 4,000 revolutions, but there is already a feeling of vigor from 5,000 revs. And then it goes on and on, higher and higher, until the performance peak waits just before 9,000 rpm. More speed would still be possible, but more speed doesn’t bring any extra power. It doesn’t have to be, because the MT-07 engine works so well up to the horsepower peak that you can only criticize the somewhat too hard load changes. Otherwise, the following applies: This is still the best drive in this class – and probably not only here. A pure giver of joy, good-natured and always available for a one hundred percent high of joy. Both the current and the older MT-07. But now it should get even better. The chassis percent comes to the fore. They are divided as follows: six and 16 percent in the front and eleven, 27 and 40 percent in the back. They only understand train station, maybe even think that this is not about fork and damper, but that Yamaha has entered into the distribution of sake?

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Yamaha MT-07 (YOC 2018).

No wrong. All percentages have nothing in common with spirits, they rather indicate how much tighter the fork and shock absorber of the Yamaha MT-07 are now. As before, a 41 millimeter Kayaba fork guides the front wheel of the mid-size bike. What is new is that the spring rate is now six percent harder, and the rebound has even increased by 16 percent. The changes at the back are even more striking. The spring strut, which can now also be adjusted in the rebound stage, has a spring rate increased by eleven percent, the rebound stage increased by 27 and the compression stage by 40 percent. The fact that the changes were made more blatantly at the rear than at the front is due to the fact that the weight of the pilot and a possible passenger put significantly more stress on the rear shock than on the fork. The MT-07 weighs 185 kilograms with a full tank, which means it has gained 1,000 grams compared to the previous model. Without a driver, 48.8 percent (90.3 kg) of these total kilos are on the front wheel, the rest on the rear.

Space really suits everyone

It quickly looks different with a passenger. If a driver who weighs around 75 kilograms climbs up, a good 118 kilograms, an increase of almost 28 double pounds, press on the front wheel, while the rear now carries around 149 kilograms. This clearly shows that the central spring strut has to hold much more weight up than the fork. With an additional passenger, the values ​​shift even further towards the rear. So much for the theory, which is known to be rather gray. Let’s go to the practical test. In order to assess the high percentage changes to the chassis, the new Yamaha MT-07 has to prove itself against its predecessor. And like this one, she takes the pilot casually and relaxed in her midst. The space really suits everyone, from dwarfs to giants.

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2018: As always, the LC display is clear, the tachometer is at most a bit small. Operation via two central buttons.

Positive: The driver’s bottom reports more joy with the 2018 MT, because the bank accepts the very best. Longer tours are easy, while the previous version gets through faster. The new bench of the Yamaha MT-07 also dispenses with the ascent towards the tank, which until now has protected the fuel drum from scratches like a tank pad, and is wider in this area. But don’t worry, your feet will still find a secure hold on the floor because the cushion is still placed nice and low with a height of 800 millimeters. The knee closure: really narrow. The distance to the notches: pleasantly open. The place for the boots: perfect. The grip on the handlebars, which are at best a little too narrow and a little too strongly bent backwards: relaxed. After a few turns through the dense city traffic, the first bends out of town follow.

Motorcycling can be wonderfully easy

The 2017 MT marches ahead, targeting the first change curve of the day. Loosely pushed in an inclined position – the handiness of the old and new Yamaha MT-07 is still fantastic – and then the entry of the next bend is initiated by a handlebar impulse at the first corner exit. The 690 Yamaha hits the line when going back and forth quite precisely, but it gautscht comfortably and swaying through the spring travel – especially at the rear. The centrifugal forces compress the chassis deeply in the course of the radius, when it is turned the pressure decreases, which is why the fork and damper now rebound. However, this happens a clear trace too undamped, there is clearly a lack of a defined rebound stage that would prevent this rocking. Nevertheless, it should be noted with appreciation: Despite too much movement, the Yamaha MT-07 masters all of this casually and easily, makes a lot of fun and proves that motorcycling can be wonderfully easy.

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Please look closely. If you discover differences – except for the neon yellow color – please contact the editor.

Same place, but new motorcycle. The new 2018 Yamaha MT-07 handles cornering with noticeably more stability. Your extra compression damping counteracts the centrifugal forces more strongly, and the plus in the rebound prevents it from oscillating too much. But there is a small catch. So that the 2018 MT is fuller, its rebound should be closed quite far. When rolling normally on country roads, it is advisable to open it only half a turn. It can then be completely closed when riding with a pillion or taking a fast lap on the home track. There are no reserves left – and heavy or wild curve gamblers would still want them to get even more calm in the rear. Next test: Rumpelbahn. The following section of the route awaits us, peppered with all kinds of road construction failures such as waves and breaks. Here the old MT-07 shines from the first meter, its soft chassis tuning ensures a lot of comfort with a lot of movement in the chassis.

The new MT-07 is more stable

At the same, slower pace, the new Yamaha MT-07 completes the same test a little more jerkily. As before, the differences are less noticeable in the fork than in the shock absorber. The more tightly tuned 2018 copy reacts a bit more reluctantly to slight impulses, passes more impressions from the road surface to the popometer than the 2017 version. At a faster pace, however, the advantage of the old MT-07 quickly turns into the opposite. From comfortable to underdamping, then the shock absorber swings almost from stop to stop – especially when driving with a passenger, which still requires a slim passenger with a load of only 170 kilograms. The new MT-07 is more stable, lies fuller, hits the desired line better. Your new chassis reserves have a positive effect. Here, too, the following applies: The changes to the fork have less of an impact on driving behavior. Both models work on a similar level, which is still a bit too soft, while the adjustments to the damper are more noticeable.

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The biggest difference between the two is in the chassis. The tighter suspension elements give more cornering stability.

In addition to the chassis updates, Yamaha has also tailored all kinds of optical retouching to the new Yamaha MT-07. The intake manifolds to the left and right of the tank now come more into the foreground and are more massive. At the rear there is the exact opposite: the pillion seat and the new taillight mark its end, before there was some plastic paneling behind the seat in the second row. On the other hand, the headlight, which with its small plastic parts now extends over the fork tubes, has grown more coherently into the front than the smaller light source before. And like this one, it still offers the option of attaching accessories such as the pane that can be seen in the 2017 model using defined attachment points.

New model only 100 euros more expensive

Regardless of the design language, the high percentage update of the chassis clearly turns the good Yamaha MT-07 into an even better MT-07. It stays that way when looking at the price. The 2018 MT costs 6,795 euros. A fair surcharge of just 100 euros compared to the predecessor. And the extra euros are quickly recovered because the current crossplane twin is more cautious when it comes to consumption. 3.6 liters per 100 kilometers are enough for him, with the 2017 MT it was 3.9. Time for the conclusion: The MT-07 is still the flat-rate party for all motorcyclists. All you can drive – without any side effects, a high of happiness without a headache. And if they now tackled the ABS at Yamaha, fine-tuned it, made the control behavior more sensitive, we would raise our glasses even higher for this great two-wheeler. But who knows what percentage screw Yamaha will turn next time. We stay excited and have so far been indulging in the high-percentage cornering frenzy.

MOTORCYCLE test result

1. Yamaha MT-07 (2018)
Yamaha has taken on the criticism of the chassis of the MT-07, the fork and especially the damper tuned tighter. A successful suspension treatment for an all-round successful motorcycle.

2. Yamaha MT-07 (2017)
Second winner and not first loser. The old MT-07 remains a great two-wheeler. Those who do not weigh too much and do without a pillion can still access it without hesitation.

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