Yamaha Is Working On An Updated R7, But Why?

updated r7
It seems like the Yamaha R7 just got here (the 2024 version is pictured above; it debuted in 2022). However, it looks like Yamaha is working on a higher-performance version to compete more closely in racing. PHOTO CREDIT: Yamaha

News from the World of Patent Spying says: Yamaha is working on an updated R7, and it sure looks like they’re planning to wring more performance out of the engine.

The tip comes from Dennis Chung at Motorcycle.com. Chung found patent images of a Yamaha sportbike online, and it sure looks to him (and us) like it’s an R7 with an updated radiator system, and bodywork to match. See his original story here for the full deets.

Why is Yamaha tweaking the R7 formula after it’s barely been on the market a couple of years—doesn’t Yamaha basically do as little change as possible with its budget-friendly twin cylinders?

As soon as we saw the patents, we said—“That’s intended to improve race results.” And in his write-up, Chung raised that same conclusion as a possibility.

Currently, regional, national and international roadracing series are all in the middle of an overhaul (see our recent commentary on MotoGP’s upcoming changes here). The OEMs are tired of losing money building four-cylinder bikes to compete in an arms race that the public has lost interest in. They want to build cheaper twin-cylinder bikes, and to attract attention, they want to race them. That’s why you see a relatively new twin-cylinder series in CSBK (don’t forget, that series starts this weekend!) and similar moves in World Superbike and World Supersport.

The trouble is, when some of those newer twin-cylinder machines like the R7 are forced to compete against their older four-cylinder counterparts due to series rules, there’s no way they can keep up. For proof, check out the finish times of last year’s CSBK Pro Sport Bike series. The new Twins series was on track at the same time, and those racers weren’t able to compete with the four-cylinder bikes’ times.

So, the OEMs want to get more power from their twins, and chances are, that’s what this patent is about. Don’t be shocked to see a racing-oriented version of the R7 very soon, incorporating an updated cooling system…

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