For Yamaha fans, the end of 2020 was met with some devastating news. The poster child of middleweight Yamaha supersport bikes, the legendary YZF-R6, would no longer see production in street-legal trim for the succeeding years. With the loss of the R6, a gaping hole was left in Yamaha’s sportbike lineup—one between the beginner friendly YZF-R3, and the fire-breathing, wheelie-popping YZF-R1.
Shortly after the demise of the YZF-R6, the rumor mill in Japan began churning out all sorts of speculations about the successor to the R6. Right off the bat, it was clear that there would be a successor. However, that successor undoubtedly had some big shoes to fill. As the months went by, it was indeed confirmed that Yamaha had a middleweight sportbike under development. With multiple teasers dropping here and there, it was clear to see that Yamaha wanted to try its hand in the twin-cylinder sportbike game—a game in which Aprilia has a strong contender in the form of the RS 660.
What better platform to use than Yamaha’s iconic CP2 engine? Equipped with a crossplane crankshaft, the 689cc parallel-twin offers a meaty powerband characterized by a torquey low-end and impressive mid to top range. After all, it does power Yamaha’s most popular naked bike, the MT-07. For years, the Yamaha MT-07 has dominated the middleweight naked streetfighter segment in Europe and the USA. As one of the best-selling motorcycles in the market, Yamaha was definitely doing something right. That said, Yamaha has added the all-new YZF-R7 as the latest model to sport the CP2 motor.
Perhaps the best part about the new Yamaha YZF-R7 would be its incredible value proposition in the middleweight sportbike market. Just like the MT-07 which has been lauded for its impressive performance at a rather affordable price tag, the same can be said for the new YZF-R7. Launching in the US market just two days ago, the new R7 comes with a retail price of just $8,999, or around P450,000. Now, assuming it does make it to the Philippine market, we could see this price rise to the ballpark of around P550,000 to P600,000—still pretty good value, all things considered.