For Yamaha enthusiasts, 2020 couldn’t have possibly ended on a worse note. The iconic Japanese manufacturer had announced that it will be discontinuing its most popular sportbike which had been dominating the race tracks of the world for nearly 2 decades now. Alas, the demise of the Yamaha YZF-R6 came like a thief in the night. With no replacement in sight, what could possibly be worthy enough to take the place of this iconic sportbike?
All things considered, Yamaha has a pretty impressive platform in the form of the MT-07. In fact, this bike has become the foundation for quite a number of Yamaha’s successful models in recent years. The XSR700 neo-retro naked bike, as well as the Ténéré 700 both make use of the MT-07’s punchy mill. Equipped with a 689cc parallel twin engine that features a 90-degree camshaft, Yamaha’s CP2 (Crossplane 2) engine combines the compact packaging of a conventional parallel twin with the power delivery of a v-twin engine. That said, this motor would definitely be a perfect fit for a sportbike platform.
Several Japanese publications seem to agree that the launch of a Yamaha R7 is imminent. On top of that, the introduction of some notable middleweight sportbikes such as the Aprilia RS660 have opened up a gaping hole in the market. A hole that Yamaha is more than capable of filling. Indeed, the Yamaha R7 would make for the perfect middle child in Yamaha’s sportbike lineup, with the YZF-R3 being the entry-level machine, and the YZF-R1 continuing its reign as the big, bad, fire-breathing beast.
Although everything is just speculation at the moment, multiple sources suggest that Yamaha will indeed be rolling out a replacement for the R6 sometime in the second quarter of this year. Subsequently, the new bike is expected to begin hitting the market by the tail end of 2021. That said, sportbike enthusiasts, be sure to keep your eyes peeled!