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R7 Cup: Death of the supersport, rise of the supertwin




Supersports are dead, but not the idea of middleweight motorcycle racing. With Yamaha effectively canceling its R6 for 2021, we now see the R7 sportbike taking over as the company’s middle-of-the-road sportbike. Now, Yamaha’s just announced a roadracing program based around the bike.

Wait—what’s an R7? If you missed the new sportbike’s announcement back in May, you can see the write-up below. Basically, it’s a sportbike built around the same engine and chassis as the MT-07 naked bike, which is also the same engine used in Yamaha’s Tenere 700:

Yamaha R7 is the T7’s sporty cousin

The R7 might not be as cutting-edge as a technologically advanced 600 supersport, but it is a big step up from the R3 and other similar 300-400 class sportbikes.  The DOHC 689 cc parallel twin (crossplane crank, with four-valve heads) makes approximately 74 horsepower at 9,000 rpm, and 50 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm. Fully-adjustable Kayaba forks come standard, and a laydown rear shock attached directly to the engine crankcase.

New race series

With a new sportbike coming, Yamaha’s next sensible step is to figure out how to get it on-track. It doesn’t really fit into many proper international roadracing series—what to do? There’s the Supertwins category at the IOMTT or the Twins championship in MotoAmerica, but Yamaha wanted more than that. Now, it’s put together a series of national-level Yamaha Cup events for 2022; these spec races are focused on the R7, running in Europe. They’re intended to provide a transition from track days to actual racing.

At the end of the 2022 season, the 30 top riders from those Yamaha Cup events will be invited to a showdown at a World Superbike race weekend. This event, called the Yamaha R7 Series European SuperFinale, will see these riders pitted alongside the stars of WSB, and running a doubleheader on the race weekend’s Saturday.

Sounds very fun, and it points to a way forward for the growing twins class. Judging from what happened with the 300-400 sportbike class, this Yamaha R7 series is almost sure to kickstart interest in the 650-700 twins category, and may replace the old 600 supersport class within a few years. Or maybe, it will just serve as the next step up from that 300-400 class, an enthusiast-driven race series for teams with smaller budgets. There’s nothing wrong with that—in fact, it might be exactly what motorcycle racing needs.

Vezi sursa


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