In Europe, the Yamaha FZ-09 is getting a little brother. The 2014 Yamaha MT-07 is powered by a 689cc parallel-twin and should cost considerably less thanks to its steel-tube frame and more basic components.
That's not to say that this is a budget motorcycle. The all-new engine produces strong power and torque at relatively low revs and the whole thing is surprisingly lightweight. Think of it more as a more city-oriented take on the FZ-09.
The new "Crossplane Crankshaft" engine uses a V-like 270-degree firing order for strong low-down torque and to increase feel at the rear tire. It makes 74 bhp at 9,000 rpm and 50 lb.-ft. of torque at just 6,500 rpm. The bars that make up the tachometer in the digital dash are "taller" through the 4-8,000rpm range where torque is strongest.
Weight is kept to an extremely low 394 lbs, a figure which includes a full 3.7-gallon fuel tank. That will help deliver excellent handling and around-town maneuverability, while helping make the bike accessible for newer riders. In comparison, the 847 cc FZ-09 weighs 414 lbs (wet).
The MT-07's low weight is made possible by a simple, steel tube backbone frame and diminutive proportions.
Like the FZ-09, the MT-07's preload-adjustable shock lays horizontal, bolted to the swingarm via a linkage at the rear and to the crankcase at the front. Front forks do not appear to include adjustment.
ABS brakes will be optional, adding 6.6 lbs to the all-up weight.
Sadly, it's not expected that the MT-07 will make it to the American market.