Yamaha appears to be testing a new MT-07/FZ-07 adventure bike similar to the hotly anticipated mid-weight T7 concept. Yamaha won the first few Paris-Dakar Rallies, and later had great success in the 1990s with their YZE850T twin-cylinder race bikes, so they know how to make these platforms work. New images recently surfaced from MCN showing what looks to be a slightly more pedestrian version of the T7 concept which got everyone excited.
Taking from the well-liked and affordable MT-07/FZ-07 engine design, this is not just a street bike with spoked wheels and higher ground clearance. We can see modern, inverted forks, dual front brake disks with ABS, off-road-ready 21" and 18" wheels, and room for a passenger on the seat. Space for luggage, removable rubber inserts in the footpegs and a sleek, low fender all point to adventure touring readiness. The tail section and other components look almost ready for production, on schedule with the other new mid-weight adventure models.
We're hoping to see a competitively large fuel tank, a rally-inspired fairing and appropriately adjustable suspension. The 689cc parallel-twin engine will work well in an adventure bike, and if it gets switchable electronic aids and quality suspension, there's reason to believe this will be a success.
While the bike in these spy shots isn't as much of a rally bike as the exciting T7 concept, it should still be highly competitive in this booming market. BMW will have their new F850GS, KTM have been working on a 790 Adventure, and Triumph have had success with their Tiger 800XC. The potential is here for Yamaha to offer a very competitive mid-sized, twin-cylinder adventure bike at an affordable price.
Photos from MotorcycleNews.com