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Yamaha Announces FZ-07 Twin for U.S. Market

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I rolled my eyes, sighed, and then looked over at the lunch table, then looked at my watch. In front of me, covered with black cloth, were two Yamaha motorcycles, waiting for a top-secret, embargoed reveal to the gathered he-men of the motorcycle press, sitting in a private-events room at an indoor go-kart track in Irvine, California. One was obviously an off-road bike—I could see the knobbies. The other looked about the same size and shape as a 2014 Star Bolt. Yawn! The Bolt is a cool bike, but I made a 450-mile trip for Bold New Graphics and an afternoon of go-karting?

And then the cloth came off. Not a tarted-up Bolt: Yamaha is bringing in the all-new FZ-07 (called the MT-07 in other markets) for the USA, and it may shake things up as much as the FZ-09 did last year. Here’s why.

When Yamaha launched the FZ-09, it expected the torquey, light, fun and affordable bike to be a success…but the demand for the bike may have been a surprise. At $7,990, it has a dollar-per-horsepower ratio that’s out of reach for almost every new motorcycle as well as a lot of used ones. According to product planner Derek Brooks, “a lot” of Yamaha’s 14 percent sales growth in its sport category was due to the success of the FZ-09. “We felt it was time to expand,” so Yamaha is bringing in the FZ-07.

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Where the FZ-09 is built for experienced (but budget-conscious) riders, the 07 is for first-time and entry-level ones. That means it needed to be inexpensive, light and easy to ride. To do that, Yamaha designed an all-new tube-steel frame that delivers a narrow seat (it isn’t that low at 31.7 inches) and 397-pound claimed ready-to-ride weight. The 689cc, liquid-cooled 8-valve motor  is all new, and it’s gutsy—output is a claimed 75 horsepower, with 50 ft.-lbs. of torque, but it uses a “Crossplane Concept” 270-degree crank like the 09. First-ride reports from foreign markets are favorable—no complaints about the fuel delivery, in contrast to the kvetching about the FZ-09’s abrupt power delivery.

The bike is laden with classy details. Brakes are four-piston calipers with wave-style discs, the LCD instrument display is jammed with info, the rear shock is preload-adjustable and linkage-equipped (a nice touch for budget-class machines) and the 3.8-gallon tank should offer decent cruising range if the 58-mpg fuel economy claim is true. I actually like the styling better than the FZ-09’s—it seems sharper and more aggressive, with a tail section that looks lifted off the YZF-R6 and compact, underbelly exhaust.

We guessed the new model would retail for around $6,500, based on the Euro and Canadian model’s pricing, so the actual MSRP of $6,990 is a little disappointing…but not very. After all, that’s $5,072 in 1999 dollars, $700 less  than the excellent SV650, which was heavier, had worse brakes and a narrower 160-section rear tire (the 07 gets a 180). Competing machines—KTM”s 690 Duke, Aprilia’s Shiver, the Ducati Monster 696, Kawasaki’s Ninja 650R—are more (but many of them offer ABS, conspicuously absent in both the 07 and 09). Icing on the cake is the FZ-09 remains at $7,990 for 2015…if you can find one.

I took a seat on the bike on display, and found it compact and comfortable, with a narrow seat and reasonable reach to the bars. Build quality is nice, but exactly what you’d expect in this price range. I also noticed how light it is—it’s just 13 pounds heavier than the Kawasaki Ninja 300R, and the weight felt nicely balanced (of course it would with the tank empty).

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So will this bike be the next SV650? Well, it’s got the price, performance and features that give it the bones of a club racer while still being kind of new-rider friendly (I firmly believe your first motorcycle should be one you know you’ll out grow, not grow into) and entertaining for experienced riders. I’m as eagerly awaiting my first ride as Derek Brooks is anticipating dealer orders: “At that price, with those features, it’s definitely going to be a home run for us.” Colors are white, red and graphite and bikes should be in dealers in July.

Another home run may be the other big reveal: reworked YZ125 and YZ250 motocrossers. Yep, in this age of enviro-consciousness, Yamaha doubled down on its two-smokers, as it claims its sales of the oil-burners was up 26 percent from April 2013 to March 2014. And why not? They’re more affordable, easier to maintain, have that killer ring-a-ding exhaust note (and top-end hit) and make your clothes smell awesome. For 2015, both models get a plethora of new parts, including bodywork, airbox, rear sprocket, foot pegs, tires, triple clamps and other odds and ends. Even the little YZ85 gets a similar makeover. Pricing for the 125 is $6,390, the 250 is $7290 and the 85 will ding your college fund $4,090.

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132 Comments

  1. John says:

    If it just had a thinner seat and less wind protection, I’d be all over it.

  2. dave says:

    Needs UDX Forks

  3. Mr.Mike says:

    Thanks Yamaha for having the vision to create a practical yet exciting and stylish bike for a reasonable price. Speaking of vision, this might be a nice replacement for my’82 Yamaha Vision.

    Hey Honda, please fire your product managers and try poaching from Yamaha.

    • MGNorge says:

      Um, I think you need to take a look at sales figures. Honda ain’t hutin’. You may not like them them but they clearly are reaching mucho customers.

      “In North America the company also dominates, with 153,000 bikes sold, a 43% increase over the previous year. Honda has seen sales boosted by the incredible success of its new NC700X model in North American markets. Look for Big Red to continue its spot as the world’s largest motorcycle company for quite some time.”

      “Honda’s motorcycle division sold nearly 15.5 million motorcycles in 2012, of which 13.2 million came from Japan and other Asian countries”

      Taken from: http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/01/25/5-of-the-worlds-best-selling-motorcycle-brands-do.aspx

      Harley still reigns supreme in the over 600 or 650cc bikes but it’s been that way for years here.

      • Dave says:

        +1, it’s easy to forget that two of the best selling cars in there US (Toyota Corolla and Camry) are the two most boring to drive in their respective categories. Same thing at work with Honda, though in addition to the value oriented products they’ve released recently, they offer excellent high performance bikes and always have.

      • Mr.Mike says:

        MGNorge, I don’t see your point. Are you saying Honda is better than Ducati because they sell more units? Honda might be selling more bikes but they aren’t blazing trails or inflaming passion for a reasonable price like they did back in the 60’s and 70’s. BTW The only NC700X I’ve seen in my area is on Craigslist.

        • Dave says:

          The sales numbers prove they are inflaming someone’s passion. They’re just not inflaming *your* passion. I see NC700x, CBR500’s, and CBR250’s, PCX150’s as well as Ninja300’s popping all over the place in the mid west (Harley country). That’s what reasonably priced, innovative bikes look like today.

        • MGNorge says:

          I’m simply showing that their product managers are finding customers. As I’ve said before, set the hook first, then hope they are motorcyclists for the duration. Can’t sell bikes to people who have (previously) no interest in them. It’s not hard to tell that many (most?) of the posters here have some miles on bikes under their belts. You can tell by the poo-pooing of starter bikes that occurs. Well, they’re not necessarily aimed at the experienced rider, they are there to introduce people to riding and offer an attractive, well built, easy to afford way to start out with. They aren’t what I want at this point in my riding life, but neither are any number of bikes reviewed. It doesn’t bother me and I certainly don’t knock bikes because they don’t meet my criteria. If Honda is finding customers, especially new customers, I think that’s great. For a sport (livelihood)like ours to thrive you have to keep the fires burning and attract up and comers. Offering only hyper bikes capable of eclipsing the national speed limit in first gear, and only at stellar pricing will only maim and kill unnecessarily, it will keep too many from getting their feet wet. Sorry, that’s the way I feel about it.

          • Mr.Mike says:

            Decades ago I worked for IBM when they were innovators. Now they simply make money playing it safe while other companies blaze trails. I see parallels in Honda. Decades ago Honda blazed trails. Now they sell units. I think most of the people who follow this site keep a mental list of bikes they would like to own if they had enough money or a large enough garage. Honda used to top my list years ago but now just a few models I’d like to own come from Honda. A company can be innovative and sell lots of units but it takes vision and guts, which Honda used to have but lost along the way. Anyway that’s just one person’s opinion.

  4. Provlogna says:

    Oh, and Honda? Good luck selling your CBR500RR for $800 less than the FZ-07…Better pick up the pace.

  5. Provlogna says:

    Innovation? How about this: about the same HP (maybe more) as my beloved ’78 Suzuki GS1000cc air cooled I-4, from half the cylinders, 20% less displacement, and about 155 lbs lighter…with fuel injection, I estimate 90% lower emissions (you like to breath, don’t you?), less fuel consumption, better suspension (probably), better brakes, and lower cost in inflation adjusted currency.

    Oh, and looks wise it’s a winner.

    If you’re not impressed, check your pulse.

    Is the crankcase, cylinder, and head generally the 900cc triple minus a cylinder, with necessary obvious modifications (crank shaft, con-rods, timing, etc)?

    • billy says:

      “If you’re not impressed, check your pulse.”

      Why should I be impressed? I think you’ve been lulled asleep by the industry the last ten years and you’ve come to expect nothing. Why shouldn’t I continuously expect new, exciting, and unexpected motorcycle models?

      • Tank says:

        “Too much expectations kills present HAPPINESS”.

      • Provlogna says:

        Being “continuously” excited is unhealthy and not desirable. Good music has rests and dynamic shading, for good reason. Also, “continuously unexpected” is an oxymoron. Eventually things that happen “continuously” become routine and expected.

    • regan says:

      I also have a 78 GS1000 (a 36 years old machine). A GS1000C model with wire spoke wheels and single front disc. According to Suzuki they made 83 horsepower vs. Yamaha’s FZ-07 75 claimed horsepower. So there would be a 8hp advantage for the GS1000. Also there would be a 117 weight difference as the Suzuki’s claimed weight was 513lbs. I would like to keep the facts correct.

      • Provologna says:

        I bought a new ’78 GS1000C, then later a GS1000S, then a ’78 GS1000E w/forged Wiseco 1100cc kit that would dislocate your shoulder it pulled so hard in low gears, then another GS1000S. I also have extensive personal riding and service experience for ’76 GS750C.

        I’ll challenge any reader to post more reliable information for GS1000C weight than this apparent photo copy of page from Cycle World Magazine, who actually weighed bikes on a scale rather than accept “puffery” (look up the word) from OEM marketing division: http://books.google.com/books?id=i8_7wR77B1UC&pg=RA4-PA200&lpg=RA4-PA200&dq=Suzuki+GS1000+curb+weight&source=bl&ots=5ZLd1ibdzV&sig=4xonHJyldIzFz2X6SUL5fZIX3iM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pimXU9fTEJWjyATSuoC4DQ&ved=0CEQQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Suzuki%20GS1000%20curb%20weight&f=false

        The GS1000 was born directly from the GS750: bored, stroked, w/softer cam, and same carb diameter for huge mid range bump and still good top end power. Obviously the 1000 required larger/heavier electric system and starter. The 1000 frame had thicker tubing, slightly larger fork tubes, stronger swing arm with larger pivot diameter, for the best handling OEM liter bike of its time, by large margin. Crank cases could be swapped easily between 750 and 1000 frames, with same mounting points.

        For both 750 and 1000, C suffix = spoke rims/single front disc, E suffix equals cast wheels/dual front disc. 750C had chrome steel rims, 1000C had lighter alloy rims. Even so, a 1000C weighs more than a 750C because every single thing except the rims adds weight to the 1000 vs. the 750.

        If you look at the CW weights, you’ll see the 750E weighs more than the 1000 lacking suffix. This indicates the 1000 must be the C version, and could not be the E version.

        Add about 15 lbs for full fuel tank to the 1000’s 536 lbs, for 551 lbs full fuel tank GS1000C.

        Sorry to burst your bubble.

        • Dave says:

          1 gallon of gas = ~6.5lb (depending on temperature) so your wet weight might be a little light yet.

        • regan says:

          So you are using Yamahas claimed weight and I am using Suzukis claimed weight. And you are giving up on your boogis horsepower argument. Checkmate

          • Provologna says:

            Yes, as a matter of fact, due to present legal liability lacking decades ago (more unemployed lawyers), OEM now specifically qualify “curb weight full tank” because lacks all ambiguity. Such qualification was unknown in 1978. I owned about 70 bikes and would know.

            In 1978 OEM posted “Weight” lacking all qualification and totally ambiguous. OEM could omit battery, oil, coolant, etc, etc. This is exactly why CW put the bikes on a scale with a particular quantity of fuel in the tank, because the OEM spec was pure horse feathers.

            Cycle World is considerably more independent than your weight spec made up from thin air or Suzuki unadulterated puffery (the same thing). Your “checkmate” descriptor is about as accurate as your weight spec.

          • Provologna says:

            Looks like the GS1000 may indeed have made mid-80hp, after inputting 700 lb weight (550lb bike + 150 lb test rider) + 11.8 second 1/4 mile ET at this website calculator: http://www.ajdesigner.com/phphorsepower/horsepower_equation_et_method_horsepower.php#ajscroll

  6. azi says:

    Looks like the Husqvarna Nuda’s portlier little brother – the one that prefers instant ramen to tagliatell

  7. Norm G. says:

    Michelin, tyre, dealer. check check copy copy. Gabe is there an embargo on posts containing these words…? is MD feuding with France…?

  8. todd says:

    Notice how the front fender extends down to shroud the fork tubes. Except this has conventional forks. Maybe the fender is off something else?

    • Dave says:

      This look has been common for years. Honda and Kawasaki use it a lot on conventional forks a lot.

  9. vince says:

    I test rode the FZ 07 a few days ago in Kamloops, BC. The demo ride took us through town onto a highway for a good 20 minute blast. The fueling is spot on. Ample top gear passing torque. There were no issues with the seat. I’m 6’2′. The seat allowed me to slide back a bit to give me leg room. The seat doesn’t lock you in one position. Suspension worked fine for this price point.

  10. billy says:

    I guess this might be a pretty good bike but remember folks, it is almost 2015. Where’s all of the innovation? What do all of those engineers at the big four do all day? Are there any engineers left or are all of the employees accountants and marketers?

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Where’s all of the innovation?”

      stuck back in the year 2008 with the Global Financial Crisis. both the housing market and Wall Street got “struck by lightning”.

    • KenHoward says:

      Your “innovation” resides in the $12,000-to-$24,000 range. ‘Still interested? ‘Didn’t think so.
      This bike’s innovation lies in it’s light weight and simplicity and powerful but smooth (from what I’ve read) twin, along with its bargain-basement price.

    • Curly says:

      The innovation is providing this much motorcycle that’s made in Japan for a relatively affordable price. Sure you could put on Ohlins forks, rear shock and Brembo brakes then pump up the engine to 100hp at 12,000 rpm stick it in an all alloy frame with a single sided rear arm and have it come in at 365lbs wet with all of today’s top line electronics and ABS but would you pay $14K for it? Yeah, I thought not.

      The unaffordable stuff can all be done and is available to those who want to pay for it but the object of the MT/FZ-07 is to get as many butts on the seats of these bikes as Yamaha dealers can roll out of their showrooms. Hopefully, reanimation of the moribund bike market is the innovation you’re looking at in the 07. Can’t wait to try one myself.

      • billy says:

        Totally missed my point, Curly.

        • Curly says:

          I believe some of the others may have thought, as I did, that you were calling for a higher tech, more expensive bike. What sort of innovation did you have in mind? Please elaborate.

    • Dave says:

      The innovation is in recognizing that the market still wanted an SV650 but with a simpler I-2 instead of a v-twin, then making it at a price at which it should sell well for.

      • billy says:

        Can’t believe you mentioned the crusty old SV. So you’re claiming this new Yamaha will be a bigger seller than the SV ever was?

        You guys are thinking inside a really tiny box. It’s not about gold fork tubes. It’s about the fact that this new bike still has telescopic forks at all. Two wheel drive, pneumatic valves, seamless shifting, direct injection, etc.

        Okay, so this isn’t a cutting edge bike due to price point. I’ll just assume it has some of the old tech then like adjustable levers, adjustable suspension, abs, adjustable seat and foot rests, hid headlight, gear driven cams, tire pressure warning system, etc. Huh? Most bikes don’t have these features either? Okay, well it is only 2014 I guess. Then just give me a wide choice of colors and at least a standard two year warranty.

        • Dave says:

          Billy, that’s a lot of words and we still don’t get your point. Are you saying that innovation = all of those features for $7k? We may be thinking in a tiny box but our tiny box includes reality among its contents.

      • Curly says:

        Agree. I always wanted an SV because it had such a good balance of qualities to it but I bleed Yamaha competition yellow and couldn’t bring myself to buy one or the equally interesting 650 Kwaker. So this bike has me excited that we are seeing a second coming of the giant killing twin from Iwata.

  11. Cyclemotorist says:

    Very attractive motorcycle! Power to weight ratio should make it a good performer too.

  12. MG3 says:

    Yes this is a really nice entry from Yamaha. I think they will sell a lot of them, and good for Yamaha if they do. Beginner Bike? Not in my opinion. A beginner bike is a 450cc, maybe 500cc, with no more than 50 hp. That’s enough power to get you OUT of trouble if needed, but not enough to really get you INTO trouble, unless you’re hell-bent on testing your medical insurance that is. If I had a kid who was learning to ride I would want them on a bike WITHOUT ABS. Much of the skill of riding comes from understanding the relationship between mass – speed – angle of attack – traction (surface conditions) and breaking.

    With ABS an important component of the process is hidden from the rider. There is also the valuable skill of ‘knowing your limitations’. I have found this to be very instructive, and not just in the world of motorcycle riding. Remember how many close-calls you had where you walked away and thought ‘I’m not going to let THAT happen to me again!’. ABS might avoid the close-call, but also the lesson to be learned.

    Anyway, I plan on taking a long hard look at this new 700 from Yami. Might be a great machine to replace my Katana 750.

    • Neil says:

      On the other hand, that Honda Rebel or Suzuki 250 may not get you out of harm’s way fast enough, especially on the highway. I was buzzing down the highway on my TU250 and there was nowhere to go but into the very dangerous right lane to get out of the way of people wanting to rear end me while chatting on their cell phones. A Boston Motorcycle Cop said that power is exactly what you need to get out of harm’s way sometimes. The highway might get me home before the Thunderstorm that will force me to ride in heavy rain or get hit by lightning or a falling tree limb. Used the highway for that many times! – Yes 75 HP is perhaps a bit much, but, it also means you don’t have to sell the bike when you are no longer a beginner. When you’re 50 it’ll still be in the garage like an old classic.

      • MGNorge says:

        Having ridden for almost 50 years now I got to thinking about whether or not I felt I ever saved my cookies because of engine power. It’s a lot of riding over a long time and I just don’t recall accelerating out of harm’s way. If I did it didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. Off the top of my head it seems to me that by the time I recognize that I’m in doom’s way it may already be too late to do much about it? I mean unless one always checks their mirrors for approaching vehicles and always moves to the side, just in case, where can you go, especially if you’re sandwiched in front also? I do check as I slow to try to see that whoever is behind is also slowing but I also have to watch what’s going on ahead. We all deal with this situation but I’m not convinced that staying away from smaller displacement bikes will help save your bacon.

        • Bocker says:

          I have excellent examples of power getting me out of harm’s way: numbskulls failing to check mirrors or blind spots before changing lanes into my bike. The wealth of midrange on my 919 lets me punch ahead of inattentive drivers, leaving me safe and sound in front of the blithering idiots. This has happened three times in as many weeks.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Riders won’t learn anything from lessons they don’t walk away from.

      If the ABS engages, I assure you the rider realizes they are in a close-call situation: he/she is braking really hard at that point. ABS eliminates the need for one’s hand to know how to modulate the brake, true, but I’ve seen VERY experienced riders fail to execute that skill during a panic situation. The ABS system doesn’t care if you panic or not.

      Owning the front brake is a tough skill to master. It takes lots of practice and needs to be reinforced regularly. I am certainly better than average. But I suspect a modern ABS-equipped bike in real world situations with real world variables would do an equal or better job than me nearly every time.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “I suspect a modern ABS-equipped bike in real world situations with real world variables would do an equal or better job than me nearly every time.”

        electrons move close to the speed of light. human beings…? not that close.

      • MG3 says:

        YEah, these are all good points. ABS is ‘accepted goodness’ now, and I don’t really disagree with that. But ideally, if a beginner did their learning on a bike where you could turn it off (ABS), then ride a little in the dirt where you can safely test your breaking tactics, I think they would be a better rider when they returned to the street with the ABS engaged.

        There was an older guy who commented a few weeks ago about never letting yourself get into those ‘ABS Required’ situations, and I still think his comments have a lot of validity. Some day I may have ABS on my bike, and I’ll probably love it after that happens, but for now I feel more secure knowing the bike is totally under my control (for better or worse). But I am old too (64), and it is tough to teach us old dogs new tricks.

  13. LLOYD says:

    Nice bike! Yamaha don’t you get it? Adventure bikes are the hot sellers right now. Look at BMW and KTM sales up up and up. Please give us a light middle size ADV bike. Please

  14. Joe Bogusheimer says:

    No, I don’t think this or any 400 lb, 75 HP bike is a great choice for most beginners. Especially since it would be a new bike which would be damaged if dropped. However it would make a great second bike to step up to for a beginner that’s spent some time on something more suitable.

    I think this, and the FZ-09, are great options to have. I’d still like to see half-faired versions so as to have a little wind and weather protection. I’ve also read, from someone around my size (6’3″ for me, 6’4″ for him) that my knees may not fit into the cutouts on the tank on the FZ-07 which would be uncomfortable.

  15. John says:

    This is actual progress. While I like the Honda 500s conceptually, this bike is much more powerful and notably lighter. The fact that a 30 year old 500cc bike weighs the same or less than the new Hondas is disappointing. But a 700cc bike that weights less than a new 500cc bike is awesome.

  16. John says:

    Tenere, please.

  17. 70's Kid says:

    The bizarre fake air scoop styling continues to be a perplexing choice by Yamaha. Still, this one looks a lot better than the FZ-09.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “The bizarre fake air scoop styling continues to be a perplexing choice by Yamaha”

      it’s the bikeworld equivalent of what adding spoilers and wings were to the automotive industry in the 80’s and 90’s.

    • Curly says:

      They cover over electrics and where the ABS pump goes on the Euro models.

  18. todder says:

    Love seeing Yamaha continue making the competition uncomfortable. Radiator looks better than on the fz9 and black/blue painted frame looks great. Way to go!

  19. Larry says:

    Hot Dog and Gronde, what about ABS?

    Its obviously all about you. Your own self importance is very impressive. Congrats for making it this far without ABS, you are clearly self confessed hero’s.
    In fact you are so good that your advice for beginners is, they should not have access to, or even consider ABS. What about all of the motorcycle enthusiasts who were not so lucky, maybe they did make a little mistake, but paid a big price. Because their front brake feel was only developing, they didn’t just get up off the ground and dust themselves off…. Can’t you see that not every young rider makes it to the dizzy heights of your status and ABS may actually be a good thing. Think about the generations before you, who rode without helmets or disc brakes. Do you think they are banging on that everyone should do the same as them? Please don’t apply for a job at NASA……….

    • Tank says:

      I never had ABS on any of my bikes when I was younger, but I never had to deal with people on cell phones. I didn’t need ABS on my first bikes because they didn’t have anywhere near 75 HP. Like I said earlier, this ain’t no beginner bike. ABS is a good idea for new riders, 75 HP bikes, not such a good idea.

    • Gronde says:

      Cool your jets, Larry. I’m only implying that learning to control the brakes skillfully should be learned by anyone venturing out on the streets. Perhaps the new rider begins with ABS and then hops onto a friends bike with no ABS. A dangerous situation for anyone not familiar with “Flintstone” brakes (as you seem to view them). BTW- you can get Chill Pills at any Walgreens, so be sure to stock up.

    • Hot Dog says:

      Easy Larry, take a deep breath, hold it and count to 1000, you’ll feel much better. I’m not at all opposed to ABS, in fact my 24th bike that I currently own, is a DL650 with ABS. I’m sure it’s a very good option for a inexperienced rider and yes, the experienced ones also. I think Yamaha had a price point to hit and they did it, no matter what they had to cut. Yep, I’ve been down because of locked wheels but I’ve also learned to pay attention to my environment. Oh, I rode long ago, with drum brakes and without a helmet. I was dumb as a box of rocks, had a arse of leather and balls of steels. I survived by pure dumb luck only because I love to ride so much.

    • Neil says:

      ABS adds cost and weight.
      ABS fools you into slamming on the brakes in the rain.
      ABS lets you not worry about the car that might cut you off.
      ABS is another thing to go wrong mechanically.
      ABS get us waaay off topic!

      • Tank says:

        You forgot- ABS saves lives.

        • Dave says:

          I have not seen any compelling evidence supporting that.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            “Results: ABS was associated with a 31 percent reduction in the rate of fatal motorcycle crashes
            per 10,000 registered vehicle years. The 95 percent confidence interval for this effectiveness estimate
            was (9 percent, 48 percent). Both the updated estimate and its confidence interval were within the
            confidence interval of the 2003-08 estimate due largely to the precision afforded by larger sample size. ”

            Effects of Antilock Braking Systems on
            Motorcycle Fatal Crash Rates: An Update
            May 2013
            Eric R. Teoh
            Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

          • Gronde says:

            A report prepared by the Insurance Institute, eh. Sure, my insurance company would NEVER lie to me!

          • Stella says:

            Why would insurance companies lie about ABS brakes? They give discounts for vehicles with ABS brakes.

          • Dave says:

            Still haven’t seen compelling evidence. There are a few figures with numbers and percentages not rooted in reality. The below link to a consumer reports article claims potential for 37% fatality reduction but based on the list of ABS equipped bikes and the word “optional”, we can generously guess that 10% or fewer of the bikes on the road are abs equipped and ridden by older, safer riders who are less likely to ride into trouble themselves.

            ABS may save a few but on dry pavement, if it engages, the rider has already gone too deep and is on their way to a crash.

            http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/06/guide-to-the-2013-motorcycles-and-scooters-with-abs/index.htm

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “Still haven’t seen compelling evidence.”

            remind me to show you a video of my riding someday.

          • VLJ says:

            “ABS may save a few but on dry pavement, if it engages, the rider has already gone too deep and is on their way to a crash.”

            Hmmm. During my last ride, which was on dry pavement amid 90-degree temps, the ABS on my ’14 Street Triple R engaged three times. There was no problem avoiding a crash.

      • Larry says:

        Hey Neil, Obviously your last name isn’t Armstrong is it…

  20. ApriliaRST says:

    I have my eye out for a more powerful bike to replace the KLR I carry on the back of a motor home. The off-road capability of the KLR is not as important to me as is the bike’s 400 pound weight and its full-size stature since I carry my passenger near 100% of the time. She would like the higher seating of the FZ-07, but that seat would need more padding. We’re going to have to check this bike out to see if it would fit our needs or if there is something deal-killing “wrong” about it.

    We have looked at most of the list of bikes that comprise it’s market competition, eliminating each as either too small for two-up riding, too heavy (we have to load the thing via a ramp), or not enough additional power to warrant the money.

    I like the styling; my sense of aesthetics is not stuck in the past.

  21. John A. Kuzmenko says:

    Looks like a fun bike.
    Also makes me see how inflation now has a $6,990 price as being considered cheap.

    Beginner’s bike?
    Not in my opinion.
    Just a marketing term to me.
    I do not see a 700 twin with a claimed 75hp as a beginner’s bike, and not just because there was a time where this would have been Superbike performance.
    Have beginners gotten that much better?

  22. RD350 says:

    I love middle weight twins. I have an SV650. I owned a Honda Hawk before that. I want to love this bike, I really do. BUT, I freaking hate the styling! What is with Japanese and these ugly seat/ tank/ headlight shapes. The proportions all wrong.

    Do us a favor Japan. Go back to the classics for styling cues .. Or hire some Italians.

  23. todd says:

    That would look perfect with a round headlight…

  24. JPJ says:

    I commend Yamaha for stepping up and building both the 09 & 07 bikes. I hope there a huge sales success for Yamaha dealers. The Japanese manufactures have been somewhat slow to bring new bikes to market.

  25. goose says:

    On second thought, where is the ABS option? That seems mandatory for a beginner bike. I checked Yamaha’a US web site, no mention of ABS. Checked the Yamaha UK site, ABS is listed as an option.

    I can only conclude Yamaha USA is run by morons.

    Goose

    • Hot Dog says:

      Come on, you want a $500 to $1000 blip to the price? Didn’t we all learn to ride without all of the electronic wizardry? Does that constitute Morons run the marketing of Yamaha in America? Really? I think their direction is spot on.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Lots of people are paying the premium for the option. It doesn’t need to be standard, but I would think it would have been prudent for Yamaha to offer ABS as an option.

        I’ve met three people on CBR250R’s, and all three opted for the ABS. So clearly there is some value to ABS in the beginner to intermediate market. Not that I would cal this a beginner bike.

    • Gronde says:

      How have I survived almost almost 40 years of riding without ABS on my bikes? I should be dead by now. Let new riders learn to use the brakes instead of relying on technology all the time.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Let new riders learn to use the brakes instead of relying on technology all the time.”

        it’s a 21st century spin on the old chicken vs. egg conundrum. without the technology, will you even have NEW riders…?

        ABS is no different than all 1/4 liter bikes being created. it’s just another “carrot” to dangle in front of “the horse” in the hopes of getting a portion of the non-motorcycling 97% OUT of their cars and ON to a bike.

        high entry cost (read lack of financing) and safety perceptions are 2 of the biggest hurdles.

        • xlayn says:

          ” will you even have NEW riders…? ”
          Yes and Yes and Yes, what in this life would fulfill the sensation of the rumbling while you admire the road?
          Maybe it’s more to make the already owner of a bike buy a new one

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “will you even have NEW riders…? Yes and Yes and Yes”

            let me rephrase…

            Q: will you have enough NEW riders to keep the lights on and sustain into the future…?

            A: No, No, and No.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I think most people overestimate their skill (not saying that is the case with you.) I learned to modulate brakes in the dirt – best way in my opinion. I have been in several emergency braking situations on the street and never tucked the front end. However, having ridden a CBR600RR with ABS around a track without the ABS ever engaging (at least not that I could perceive), I have a difficult time believing my braking skills supersede the ABS circuit on that bike.

        I suspect there are plenty of deaths that ABS could have prevented, and certainly many more injuries. Like a helmet or good riding gear, it is a safety net for when a situation overtaxes one’s skill level. People should have it as an option, especially new riders.

        • John says:

          Agreed. Everyone should learn to ride a dirt bike, the skills acquired are invaluable on the street. Especially braking skills.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “I think most people overestimate their skill”

          “your ambition outweighed your talent”.

          not my words. Casey Stoner’s, Jerez 2011.

      • GKS says:

        Funny, I seem to remember the same sort of comments when ABS was first introduced in cars. Many did not trust the new technology and wondered why we needed it. Well, fact is, it works, and has just gotten better and better and saved countless lives. Now it is an accepted (and mandatory) part of all cars and we don’t think twice about it.
        I believe that motorcycle ABS will continue to be refined and there is talk of becoming required on new streetbikes, soon enough it likely won’t even be a discussion item.

    • goose says:

      Guy all I’m saying is the OPTION for ABS is available in the UK. Why not here? For a bike marketed to new riders that seems really, really dumb. If you don’t want it nobody if forcing you to buy it.

      The debate over ABS will not be solved here, I’m a big fan even though neither of my currents bike has that feature. Like the old BMW adds said: If you don’t have ESP you need ABS. Your opinion will probably very.

      Goose

  26. red says:

    By the way, I agree definition of “beginner bike” has gone crazy.

    About 1989, not long out of college, one of my roommates bought a brand new fzr600. I had only been riding old cb twins (which ARE great beginner bikes) When I got a ride on that thing, thought it was so fast I almost peed myself – which was a good thing back then. :)

    I think it had about 75hp and weighed about 400lbs.

    • Curly says:

      The FZR600 made 88hp at the crank and weighed 443lbs. wet. So, this bike with the 270 crank should be a bit tamer and easier to handle with the lighter weight and more upright riding position. Still, I have to make myself remember that when I was young a Honda CB750 made just 67hp and a 75hp H2 Kawasaki was a ‘Superbike”! Entry riders might want to wait for the YZF-R3 if Yamaha decides to bring it here.

  27. red says:

    This looks like the one I’ve been waiting for! And a 270° twin to boot. I had plans to make one of my old XS650’s into one but never did.. (well 277° – easier to do and close enough)

  28. RichBinAZ says:

    You should be able to add the BMW 800 into the comparison as well.
    The FZ07 will be a great bike for sure, just like my FZ09 is. I just hope they have the right camchain tensioner in it from the start and the right oil in the suspension components.
    P.S. After getting the new tensioner installed, after 300 miles, the fueling at low speed has smoothed out. Must have a learning computer.

  29. relik says:

    If you are thinking of buying an fz 7, do not try the fz 9.

  30. Chaz says:

    The price of used bikes just went down. That’s bad because I am hoping to sell three to buy an FZ-07, which appears to be versatile enough to replace a sport-tourer, a cruiser, and a standard.

  31. Joe B says:

    i like the V-Twin idea of the 270 degree crank, its a V-Twin, but instead of rotating the cylinders like the new Street Harley, they twisted the crank instead, making a compact engine. neat.

  32. skybullet says:

    Looks like another great try by Yamaha. If it does not have the “FZ-09′s abrupt power delivery” and is otherwise well sorted, it could be a bike for beginners and enthusiasts. I will not consider the FZ-09 or FZ-07 until they get good reviews. Seems like Yamaha and others would get it right out of the box. Why wait until they get bad press on a new model before they solve all the problems?

    • Curly says:

      They’ve both received great reviews, especially the MT-07. Several good Youtubes of testers with great praise on the 07 saying it fuels perfectly and is a gas to ride. I’ve ridden the -09 and feel that the fueling and front fork issues have been blown way out of proportion.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “I’ve ridden the -09 and feel that the fueling and front fork issues have been blown way out of proportion.”

        group think. welcome to the dark side of the internet.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Completely agree.

    • KenHoward says:

      The Canadian reviews I’ve read of the FZ-07 state that the fueling abruptness of the -09 is not present in this model. Also, that the suspension is better, and that the seat doesn’t cause the rider’s delicate parts to slide into the tank.

  33. beasty says:

    Love the wheels, tires and brakes. Everything above and in between them, not so much. Lots of ugly there.

  34. xlayn says:

    way to go Yami…
    Now someone should do the “Best Overall for the Average Joe” bike comparison:

    Ninja 650/every other model that shares the architecture (engine, chassis)
    SV650 (the chosen one of MD)
    Honda Something?

    this would with time become a landmark that would migrate to motard, race café, dirt track and retro

    • xlayn says:

      on a second thought a race with the mt09 would also be nice, how much time you gain for X dollars

      • Dave says:

        These aren’t racers. A used 600ss would beat either of them in most ways for $1,000’s less.

        • xlayn says:

          in fact, but it’s always nice to know how much performance the package has.
          Heck, even Rossi “raced” the new Yami R250
          (still trying to forget the “this a baike really packs a panch”)

        • vince says:

          A used 600 would be less comfortable if you are over 5’10’…

  35. Jeremy in TX says:

    Like the FZ-09, 400 lbs is pretty amazing for this displacement and price point. Despite being so similar in design to the FZ-09, this bike manages to look better for some reason.

    • 70's Kid says:

      “Despite being so similar in design to the FZ-09, this bike manages to look better for some reason.”

      I agree. With the exception of it’s performance figures, I find almost nothing attractive about the FZ-09. I can’t really explain why the design of the FZ-07 is much more pleasing to my eye.

  36. stinkywheels says:

    Yamaha is setting the bar at an uncomfortable level for the rest to clear. These are good looking, snappy performing, bargain bikes. Hondas bargain bikes just took a step back, but no one is gonna mistake these for a tourer. I was disappointed at the gas capacity on the 09, I guess it’s too hard to get some gas in them and look sleek, but I guess everybody’s gotta have a nit to pick.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      The tank size is actually the only reason I don’t own an FZ-09. An extra gallon would put the FZ-07 bike over the 400lb wet mark, which I am sure Yamaha is very conscience of. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that wet weight figures had at least some to do with the tank size choice. For the bike’s intended mission, I suppose that is enough fuel.

  37. Tank says:

    Seems like a lot of bike for first-time and entry-level riders.

    • goose says:

      You mean like back when I started a beginner bike made 5 or so HP? And any bike that made 75 HP would have been called a Superbike? Things have changed a lot, I’m not sure for the better, but 75 HP beginners bikes are the new normal.

      From what little I can tell this sounds like a great bike for a lot of people, not just newbees. I’ll be anxiously waiting to learn more.

      Goose

  38. TexinOhio says:

    Will have to get my hands on a demo really see what this is. First sight it seems to just be another run of the mill mid size displacement twin. The FZ-09 was intriguing right off the bat just by being a triple.

    The FZ-07 seems a bit more common, but a demo would sort it out for certain.

  39. mkv says:

    Cool bike, needs an ADV version like a mini Tenere following the twin cylinder theme

  40. Joel says:

    Looks great. I just sold my TDM850, and have been on the lookout for an SV1000. But I think this will be a better solution. I have the means to buy way more, but I don’t need it. I just want to have fun going back and forth to work. I think it’s great that they didn’t decide cover up all the spaces with ridiculous plastic add ons (though there are a couple). And, I love the steel frame…very cool. For reference, I’m forty something, with a wife and a couple kids, and I sit in my office all day.

    • Curly says:

      I’m in nearly the same boat as my beloved TDM is on the block too. I’m a 60 something that sits in a cubicle and needs something a bit lighter than my old 850 which can feel just a tad ponderous will a full tank of fuel and a loaded tank bag. A great bike to be sure but I’m up for something newer and easier to handle. Now to get a test ride on one of these beauties and see if it’s a good fit. From the tests I’ve seen on Youtube it should be just what I’ve been looking for.

      • Joel says:

        Curly…I felt the same about the TDM. Great bike, but rather top heavy. A trade off for long travel suspension and ground clearance.

  41. Hair says:

    It really is a nice bike.

    Can some brands get to branded? Why does this bike and just about every other blue bike fail to excite me. After all I really do like motorcycles.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Can some brands get to branded? Why does this bike and just about every other blue bike fail to excite me.”

      elaborate.

      • Hair says:

        Sure, I like the styling although Asian styling even with cars is to refined. To smooth. Even their “bad ass” bikes are to finished.
        But beyond that I feel that every bike coming out of Yamaha is “starter” bike. The controls tend to be low end. Same with the suspension. I think that I heard one time that Yamaha owns Olins but yet not a bike or an option includes high end suspension. I love the reliability. But as a seasoned motorcyclist I want more up scale more performance from the entire bike.

    • Neil says:

      “Why does this bike and just about every other blue bike fail to excite me”

      Have you tried Viagra for motorcyclists?!

  42. Bob says:

    Great looking bike. I would love to own on, for sure.