The R7 is an imposter

Submitted by Jo on Sun, 09/10/2023 - 22:11

Yamaha revealed the R7 in 2021, which everyone anticipated would be the R6's replacement.
A perfect example was when my friend asked me if I had seen the new R7 when it came out. Being on the forfront of motorcycle news I replied that I had, but that it was a disapointment that I was upset about it. 
He was surprised and the messages that followed made it clear that he didn't to do any research, assuming the R7 was build to succeed the lustirous R6.
And that is exactly my issue with it. Consequently, this is my petition to alter the R7's name. 

In 1999, World Superbikes raced 750cc motorcycles, specifically motorcycles that you would buy in the showrooms.
The rules required that a manufacturer sells at least 500 units of a given model to the general public in order to be eligible to race that specific model in World Superbikes.
Yamaha then introduced the R7, which was essentially a full-on race bike with Ohline suspension, titanium valves, and conrads. 
Only 500 were sold, which was just enough to get the R7 race-ready homologation. Since then, the name R7 has symbol for outlined track ready motorcycles.

Due to the increasingly tight emission standards, nobody wants to buy 600 any more, and manufacturers are finding it difficult to even maintain their present power output.
You can only purchase an R6 these days if you intend to drive it on a racetrack, and only their. The R6 isn't legal for use on public roads anymore.
For such a small engine, the R6 is known for revving to the moon to produce its horsepower, and all of that effort results in 116 horsepower.
With the R6 no longer available for the street, there must be a bike that would bridge the gap between the R3 and the R1.

Given you have a basic understanding of motorcycles and displacement, you can easily understand that, for instance, an Yamaha R3 is faster than their R125.
Or that an R6 is quicker than an R3, and the R1 is the fastest in the line. The latter is a little trickier because one is smaller than three, but you can figure that out.
And if you follow that logic, the R7 name is "correct" because it has 689cc instead of the R6's 599, which makes it technically larger than the R6 in terms of displacement.

So, you'd think the parallel twin on the R7 would be very similar, but you'd be mistaken.
The new R7 only produces 72 horsepower, and I know you'll criticize me for not caring about the torque numbers. 
But this is the R series, it says it in the name right their. This bike should be all about performance, raw horsepower, and track speed.

Ok, you want torque? Then buy an MT model, it actually means "masters of torque".
Naturally, Yamaha wants to include the letter "R" in its name because it helps them sell more bikes. This is also why it has the same styling as an R1, R6, or an R3. Gorious, I know!

People will end up strolling into dealerships with little understanding and being sold on the idea if they sound the same and look the same since more people will want them.
Much as my friend from the intro, who didn't realize it was slower than an R6.

They're trying to create a segment, but in my perspective, the R7 is a serious error.
The direction we're going seems to be between the Honda CBR 650r, Kawasaki Ninja 650 and the Aprilia RS-660.
Unlike the other brands, Yamaha and Aprilia at least made an effort to be inventive in this market.

It felt like the logical next step to release a 750 inline 4 cyclinder bike that revs to the moon after years of dropping 600cc sales and manufacturers having to increase their power output owing to stricter pollution rules.
But the R7 was absolutely not that.
To be fair, I have no issues with the motorcycle itself—in fact, but the problem I have with it is that they shouldn't have called it the R7 in the first place. 
When it comes to the R series, Yamaha's naming conventions are simple to understand and goals are clear, track ready motorcycles.

Since I'm still upset, I'll be honest and say that I haven't had a chance to ride the new R7 yet, so my comments on it are pretty useless. 
Nevertheless, I would suggest rebaching the R7 to something else, like euhm, well, the MT07-R or something similar. Giving it the extra R at the end (only one R, Honda your listening?) you aren't lying for some reason.
Yamaha obviously won't do that because they don't read our stories and even if they did, they wouldn't care because they have their own justifications for calling it the R7.

I have no doubt that naming these bikes is challenging; but you can't re-use an iconic model name like the R7, and stamp it any model in your range.
The name implies racing heritage and fast accelerations.

Despite the fact that they belong to the same category, I am not as annoyed by the Aprilia RS660 as I am by the R7.
Mostly because it doesn't feel like they violated the Aprilia name system, but somewhat because this bike produces 100 horsepower, which is much more acceptable.
It's not confusing because we have our top-of-the-line RSV4 and an RS660 is still quicker than an RS250 or an 125.

Having a R7 above the R6 that just isn't the same, and we may have heard rumors of Yamaha releasing the R9, which would include the inline three-cylinder engine from the MT-09, which may serve as the true R6 replacement. 
Sadly, it wouldn't rev to the moon, but the famed CP3 engine, which is also featured in the XSR900, Tracer 900 and everyone's favorite three-wheeled monster, the Niken, would make it sound different.

However, now that I've gotten that off my chest, I feel better. Let me know if you agree or if you believe that we should simply take the Yamaha line up as it is.