Yamaha's fully-faired YZF-R7 is coming off a major rebuild from just one model year ago, so the 2023 model is a direct carryover. This model qualifies as “new” through a number of improvements over its predecessor that start with a tuned-up suspension and the addition of a slipper clutch for extra traction security and ease of use. The proven parallel-twin mill reprises its role, and it all comes wrapped in the slimmest bodywork yet for this mid-range, race-capable machine.
This current YZF-R7 replaced the YZF750, but across the board, this family is fully race-homologated right from the start, so it's nearly ready for track days right out of the box. Yamaha also has an accessory line that will complete your racing package or just let you make your own mark on the streets.
2023 Yamaha YZF-R7
- 689 cc Parallel Twin
- Power Output
- 72.4 HP
- 49.4 LB-FT
- 6-Speed Manual
- Raceworthy Design
- Plenty Fast For Street Or Track
- Solid Pedigree From Real Racing Experience
- No Ride-Control Or Safety Electronics
- Forced Aggressive Riding Posture
2023 Yamaha YZF-R7 Performance And Capability
Power for the YZF-R7 comes from an eight-valve, DOHC, parallel-twin engine that runs in an oversquare configuration. It has an 80 mm bore and short, 68.8 mm stroke for a 689 cc total displacement. Compression is pretty spicy indeed with an 11.5-to-1 ratio that will demand high-octane fuel, no matter if you use it on track or street. The 2023 Yamaha YZF-R7 produces 72.4 horsepower and 49.4 pound-feet of torque.
Slick little ram-air ports in the fairing pressurize the intake tracts for a cheap boost to the volumetric efficiency and a concurrent increase in output. Honestly, the effect is marginal until you get up around the 100 MPH mark, so this is pretty much a track-focused feature.
This mill rocks a 270-degree-out firing order. This gives it a lope at idle, and because of the long interval between the first and second ignition event, the rear tire has longer to gain purchase between those power pulses for improved traction. There's a reason that such engines dominate the hill-climbing races.
This latest iteration of the “R7” comes with a new slip-and-assist clutch that brings a lighter clutch-lever pull weight and broader friction zone to the table, all in the service of contact-patch integrity and improved control. YZF-R7 top speed is 143 mph, so you'll never do it justice on public roads.
Sleek and aggressive, the YZF-R7 sports purpose-driven bodywork that draws heat away from the engine, exhaust headers, and radiator with low-drag penetration built right in. At its essence, it's an MT-07 with more bodywork.
Dual, stacked LED headlights come with an adaptive feature that reads vehicle lean angles and shines the light where you need it in a curve or turn. Abreast of the beams are the intake ports that feed pressurized air from the front of the bike into the intake tract for a nice boost in performance at the top end. The rest of the lighting likewise comes with LED tech for effective, round-the-clock visibility.
A sporty bubble screen plows a groove in the wind, but you'll have to tuck all the way in to find the pocket. Clip-on handlebars help out with that, though they also prevent you from shoving off to a mostly-upright riding position.
Deep knee pockets in the 3.4-gallon fuel tank let you tuck your stems in and leaves room for the most dramatic body English techniques. Seat height measures 32.9 inches off the deck, so most riders will be able to touch the ground on both sides at once, though shorter ones will be in tiptoe country. Pillion equipment comes stock if you want to share the fun with a friend, but if you are trying to get down to race weight, the fold-up foot pegs are removable.
Yamaha YZF-R7 Specs
The forward members of the YZF-R7 frame are high-tensile steel, but the center brace is aluminum to keep weight down and strength up. A gull-wing swingarm completes the skeleton with a new, Monocross shock that sports spring-preload and rebound damping adjustments that let you dial in the ride out back. The front end is even better with inverted, 41 mm KYB forks and the full trinity of tweaks on board. Both ends rock 5.1 inches of travel meant to handle rough roads, or when squatting in the corners at speed.
Cast-alloy, 17-inch wheels mount Bridgestone BATTLAX HYPERSPORT S22 hoops in a 120/70 ahead of a 180/55 with a race-capable speed rating and fat contact patches. Dual, 298 mm discs and a new, radial-mounted front brake provide the bulk of the braking power, while out back, a 245 mm disc and single-pot caliper take care of business.
Chassis & Suspension
Front Suspension/ Travel
41 mm KYB telescopic fork, adjustable for preload, rebound and compression/ 5.1 in
Rear Suspension/ Travel
Linked-type Monocross shock, adjustable preload and rebound/ 5.1 in
120/70ZR17 Bridgestone® BATTLAX HYPERSPORT S22F
180/55ZR17 Bridgestone® BATTLAX HYPERSPORT S22R
Dual 298 mm hydraulic disc
245 mm hydraulic disc
2023 Yamaha YZF-R7 Price And Availability
The 2023 Yamaha YZF-R7 costs $9,199. In addition to the Team Yamaha Blue and Performance Black colorways available last year, Yamaha adds Intensity White to the color choices for 2023.
Pricing & Features
One-Year Limited Factory Warranty
Team Yamaha Blue, Performance Black
Intensity White, Performance Black, Team Yamaha Blue
Rather than grabbing something from one of the other Big Four companies, I wanted to see what Europe could offer. I landed on the RS 660 from Italian giant Aprilia, so let's get to it.
Aprilia RS 660
Like Yamaha, the Italians stick to the racing side of the build, even though it's also a street-legal machine. The bodywork is more about efficiency and less about aesthetics, as well as it should be, so the RS 660 comes fully faired with similar coverage to the Yammie.
Aprilia brings the hurt with its 659 cc mill that cedes a few cubes to the Yamaha but puts out way more power with a 100-horsepower top end against a paltry 72-horsepower for a significant advantage. The Aprilia meets Yamaha point for point until we get to the electronics. Aprilia bestows a robust ride-control electronics package for which the R7 has no answer. You'll pay for that advantage though, to the tune of $11,699, so there is a little bit of daylight between the two at the checkout.
“The YZF line has long been a race fan favorite, and with good reason, though in truth there is little to choose between this model and its domestic competition. Since it was just updated in '22, I don't expect to see another significant rebuild for at least a couple of years yet.”
My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says,
“Folks have figured out by now that the R7 is not a replacement for the awesome R6. Nope, sorry. However, the R7 is everyday friendly for the sportbike rider that wants a manageable bike with tractable power. It's fast and race-worthy, but plenty of fun even if you don't plan to hit the track.”
Q: How much will the Yamaha YZF-R7 cost?
MSRP on the 2023 Yamaha YZF-R7 is $9,199, up from $8,999 for 2022.
Q: Is the R6 or R7 faster?
The R6 is quicker than the R7. In first gear, the R6 tops out at about 75 MPH whereas the R7 tops out at about 50 MPH. The R6 can easily hit 60 MPH in first gear.
Q: How fast can a Yamaha R7 go?
With the 689 cc CP2 engine, top speed of the YZF-R7 is around 143 MPH.
Q: Is Yamaha YZF-R7 good for beginners?
If you're on tiered licensing, no, the YZF-R7 is not suitable for new riders. Outside places with tiered licensing, it can be part of your progression to liter bikes, or you can land in this mid-displacement range to stay. The bike is manageable with tractable power, though the seat height is a bit tall for shorter riders. The slim proportions allow for the easiest path to put your feet down, but unless you're average or taller as a man or taller than average for a female, you'll be doing the tip-toe bounce when at a stop, which may shake the confidence of new riders.