Yamaha MT-07 is perfect for India but not coming here
When I sat on the MT-07 at the Yamaha stand at EICMA in Milan, two things became clear. First, in size, dimension and intent, the MT-07 will be a great little motorcycle to punt about in our conditions. And two, because it so perfect, as Vikrant put it, we will never get to buy one in India.
First, in size, dimension and intent, the MT-07 will be a great little motorcycle to punt about in our conditions
At least not any time soon. We believe there may be more scooters in the pipeline at Yamaha and after that, maybe a new motorcycle though it is too early to speculate. What we do know for sure is that despite the obviously emerging market-friendly nature and displacement of the MT-09 and now the charm of the MT-07, neither is on Yamaha India's radar. Both may show up as display models at the Auto Expo in February, but you can be sure that Yamaha India currently is busy shoring up market share and not focussing on the middle-weight motorcycle market in India.
The displacement of the MT-09 and now the charm of the MT-07, neither is on Yamaha India's radar
The new MT (that's Masters of Torque), revealed in Milan the day before the show is a new 689cc parallel-twin-engined street bike that will take on the likes of the Kawasaki ER-6F (the bike we know as the Ninja 650) and the Suzuki SV650. Yamaha say the 270-degree crank gives the MT the same crossplane nature which usually means excellent torque along with equally effortless traction. With 75PS of max power and 68Nm of torque on tap and a kerb weight of just 179kg, the MT-07 promises lots and if the MT-09 is any indication, it will deliver on its promises as well. Why? Well, both the Kawasaki and the Suzuki not only make 3-4PS less, but happen to weigh as much as 20kg more.
The MT-07 has a new 689cc parallel-twin-engined street bike that will take on the likes of the Kawasaki ER-6F
The frame for the MT-07 is a diamond type steel job with basic suspension - right side up forks with 130mm of travel. At the rear is a single shock mounted horizontally directly to the engine crankcase, which saves space. A shorter swingarm, says Yamaha, also enhances the sense of connection between the throttle and the rider's hand. Twin 282mm brakes are up front along with a 245mm rear disc. Seat height is purposefully held low at 805mm and the fuel tank will hold 14 litres.
As with the MT-09, we expect the MT-07 to turn out to be an effortless motorcycle, vastly more than the sum of its budget parts. The MT-09 was quite the hit in the published tests with the testers reporting brilliant delivery, light weight and agility that created a thrilling and affordable motorcycle. We expect the MT-07 to be every bit as much fun though slower overall and of course, more affordable.
The MT-09 and MT-07 say that Yamaha understands the importance of thrilling, affordable, mid-weight motorcycles in the global picture
If Yamaha is to establish itself in India in the ever growing middleweight segment - and almost every manufacturer worth their salt is busy at this very game - it has to start thinking beyond its slew of scooters and commuter motorcycles. While Yamaha globally had been seen as having slowed down, the MT-09 and MT-07 say that Yamaha understands the importance of thrilling, affordable, mid-weight motorcycles in the global picture. It stands to reason that the MT-07 will also eventually find its way here but the wait is likely to long.
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