News: 2021 Yamaha MT-07 Reveals Updated Styling And Better Performance

2021 Yamaha MT-07
(Photos: Yamaha)

The extremely popular Yamaha MT-07 gets an overhaul for 2021. Among the highlights: An updated engine, new look, new cockpit, and some performance improvements.

The lightweight naked sport bike segment is extremely saturated. Yamaha’s MT-07 has always been a good pick, but Yamaha needs to keep the bike fresh to stand out from the competition. 2021 brings some welcome changes to the bike, both in terms of performance and cosmetics.

A new engine

It’s no secret that Euro5 emissions regulations have been forcing the world’s motorcycle manufacturers to update their engines and make them cleaner. That’s exactly what happened here. With the new emissions standards going into effect on January 1st, 2021, Yamaha was running out of time to make the MT-07 Euro5 compliant.

This new engine looks very similar to the old one, and that’s because it is. You still get a 689cc parallel twin, with the 270-degree crank that we’ve all come to know and love in the MT-07. It makes 74hp (down 1hp from last year) and 50lb-ft of torque (same as last year). According to Yamaha, they redesigned the intake duct and exhaust, modified the ECU, changed the fuel injection settings, added new valve seats and repositioned the catalytic converter and O2 sensor, which all helped to make the new MT-07 Euro5 compliant. Yamaha says the new bike also has an improved gearshift feel, thanks to different angles cut in the gears.

Copycat styling

2021 Yamaha MT-07

The design looks extremely similar to the MT-09, which is the bigger brother to this MT-07. Yamaha refreshed the MT-09 last week with an all new look, among other things, and the new MT-07 follows that design language closely. I think its only a matter of time before we see the MT-10 updated to carry this same new look.

To add to the new look, Yamaha said goodbye to halogens (finally). LED turn signals now come standard, which is one less thing I’d have to change in the aftermarket. I’ve owned a number of Yamaha’s, and the pumpkin turn signals are always one of the first things to go.

Performance enhancements

Braking power is increased for 2021. The new MT-07 now sports dual 298mm brake rotors up front, compared to the 282mm discs from last year. The rear braking system is unchanged, and the bike still ships standard with ABS. Some hoped for new suspension components on the new MT-07, but there’s no changes to report there. You do however, get a set of Michelin Road 5 tires from the factory, which I’ve actually worn through a few sets of on my old FZ-09 and MT-09. They’re really grippy, last a long time, and evacuate water very well, so it’s a welcome change.

The new cockpit incorporates an all new dash with a black on white appearance (similar to the MT-09 SP’s dash). Although it isn’t a TFT display, I love the look of the new dash. It sits in between the two handlebar grips, which have also been revised to sit a touch higher and wider than the outgoing model.

Lots of competition

The 2021 Yamaha MT-07 will be available in early 2021. The bike has an MSRP of $7,699 (a $100 increase over last year). That’s a lot of bike for under $8K, but is it enough to top the competition in an extremely competitive segment? The MT-07 has to compete with bikes like the Kawasaki Z650, The KTM 790 Duke, Husquvarna Vitpilen 701, Honda CB650F, and the all new Triumph Trident. We’ll just have to wait and see how it rides to make that call.

You can check out our full coverage on the new Yamaha MT-07 by checking out the TFLbike YouTube Channel: