1 year ago

Dirt & Trail Aug2020

  • Text
  • August
  • Racing
  • Suspension
  • Bikes
  • Yamaha
  • Rear
  • Riders
  • Rally
  • Kawasaki
  • Motorcycles


SOME KEY SPECS: Engine type: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, 4-valves, DOHC, 2-Cylinder Displacement: 689cm³ Maximum power: 54.0kW@9000rpm Maximum Torque: 68.0Nm@6500rpm Seat height: 875mm Wheel base: 1,595mm Min ground clearance: 240mm Wet weight: 204kg Fuel tank capacity: 16L No frills .... just thrills. The CP2 parallel twin engines is both torquey and revs well. No, we didn’t really hi-jack the T7. We grovelled, pleaded and begged and eventually our wailing and gnashing of teeth finally grew too much for the bosses at Yamaha South Africa and they conceded to a quick 30 minute ride with a very grievous warning of extreme physical harm if we chucked it at the scenery - and vague promises that we might get it for longer at a later stage. No second chances to make a good first impression Off the mark, I really liked the T7. It comes equipped with a similar Yamaha CP2 parallel twin engine to the one found in the very popular MT07. Hitting the start button results in a very sexy off-beat burble from the exhaust, reminiscent of the torquey, long throw engines from days gone by, stirring up all sorts of emotions and primal instincts in the very deepest parts of my soul. It then proceeds to rev up through its range like the short stroke screamer it is based on. I have always maintained that if an engine sounds good it just makes the bike that much more desirable, I can only imagine how beautiful the T7 would sound with a gruffer exhaust fitted. But, before you go talk to that girl on the other side of the dance hall, restaurant and etc. there has to be that special something that makes you look twice and really want to go introduce yourself. Just looking at the T7 gave me the proverbial ‘motorcycle woody’. I am a big fan of the colour blue in any shade, to the point I generally try to buy all my vehicles and bikes in blue regardless of their make and model. If I recall correctly, this particular shade of blue is known internally at Yamaha as DPMBC, Deep Purpleish Metallic Blue Cocktail, and has been used for many years and on many top selling models and it compliment and hi-lights the lines of the T7 gorgeously with the matt black and grey. The anodised blue wheels just give it that extra little bit of … HUBBA! HUBBA! HUBBA! Quick ride impressions As you may or may not know I tip the scales at about 115kg’s, (which is important to remember when I chat about the suspension just now), and I generally have to duck through most door ways at just on 2 metres tall in my boots, so I generally have a hard time fitting on most bikes, especially mid engine size bikes like the T7. They all end up looking like trouser decorations under me, and to be honest some of them really feel that way. Not so with the T7, which is great news for us ‘normal’ size people and possibly a bit of a concern for the more vertically challenged among the populace. The T7 is tall, comfortably so for someone of my stature, with the distance from the foot pegs to the seat being a perfect fit for my lanky legs so I did not have to tuck them up into my armpits to fit on the bike, which will make for comfortable long days in the saddle. The same can be said for the distance from the pegs to the handle bars … almost, but I do kinda suspect that the short arses at Yamaha SA adjusted them down a bit so they could reach the controls. Overall, the ergonomics are both intuitive and comfortable with a great flat and comfortable seat that give you a lot of manoeuvrability while seated in off road conditions or trying to scrape a foot peg on tarred surfaces. Admittedly, because of the stern requests from Yamaha SA we kept to the allotted 30 minutes and didn’t take to many wild chances with the T7, but we are really looking forward to a proper test ride some time soon. Now, this is where my girth and weight come into play. Apparently the suspension is set up ideally for an anorexic 75 kilogram racing snake and not my 115kg, 5 meals ahead and twenty dumps behind mass. Although we were taking it easy and trying not to damage the bike, we did aim it at a few interesting bits of the landscape and were fully expecting some objection from the chassis and suspension because we were told about the suspension set up before we headed out. From what I experienced, the suspension is fine for a little bit of aggressive riding over rougher terrain for anybody touching 100kg’s or thereabouts. Admittedly we didn’t catch any big air or barrel sideways into a corner on this ride, but the obstacles No problems here with power delivery or suspension 32 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE AUGUST 2020 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE AUGUST 2020 33