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Yamaha R7 vs Mid-displacement Sport Bikes: Specs Compared


How tempting is Yamaha’s mid-displacement sport bike?

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” The death of the 600cc supersports, like the Yamaha R6, the Honda CBR600RR, and the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, gave rise to a whole new segment of mid-displacement sport bikes that are more versatile. Kawasaki has enjoyed much success with the Ninja 650 and so did Honda with the CBR650R. However, the Aprilia RS660 has made a lot of people sit up and take notice of how the future of sport bikes would look like. Following suit, Yamaha too has launched the YZF-R7, the Japanese bikemaker’s contender in this class. How does it fare in the segment?

Engine

Specifications

Yamaha YZF-R7

Kawasaki Ninja 650

Aprilia RS660

Honda CBR650R

Engine

689cc, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled, 8-valve engine

649cc, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled, 8-valve engine

659cc, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled, 8-valve engine

648.72cc, inline-four, 16-valve engine

Power

73.4PS @ 8750rpm

68PS @ 8000rpm

100PS @ 10,500rpm

87PS @ 12,000rpm

Torque

67Nm @ 6500rpm

64Nm @ 6700rpm

67Nm @ 8500rpm

57.5Nm @ 8500rpm

Gearbox

6-speed

6-speed

6-speed

6-speed

Aprilia has truly built a spectacular machine. Given that it is derived from the RSV4’s 1100cc V4 mill, this 659cc twin is a high-strung unit with a 270-degree crankshaft, giving it a punchy V-twin-esque engine characteristics. The Yamaha CP2 engine too has a 270-degree crank and is known to be quite torquey and revv happy. Its performance is unlikely to be as explosive as the RS660’s but amongst its other peers, the Yamaha stands tall.

As far as aural pleasure is concerned, the CBR650R belts out a signature inline-four tune from its short side-slung exhaust. In comparison, the other three sound gruff and not as hair-raising.

Underpinnings

Specifications

Yamaha YZF-R7

Kawasaki Ninja 650

Aprilia RS660

Honda CBR650R

Frame

Tubular steel diamond with aluminium centre brace

Tubular steel trellis

Twin spar aluminum 

Tubular steel diamond

Front suspension

41mm KYB USD fork, compression and rebound adjustable

41mm conventional telescopic fork

41mm KYB USD fork, preload and rebound adjustable

41mm Showa BP-SFF USD fork

Rear suspension

Linked monoshock, preload and rebound adjustable

Preload-adjustable link-type monoshock

Monoshock, preload and rebound adjustable

Monoshock, preload-adjustable

Front brake

298mm discs, four-piston radial calipers

300mm discs, twin-piston sliding calipers

320mm discs, Brembo M4.32 monobloc calipers

310mm discs, Nissin four-piston radial calipers

Rear brake

245mm disc, single-piston caliper

220mm disc, single-piston caliper

220mm disc, Brembo twin-piston caliper

240mm disc, Nissin single-piston caliper

Front tyre

120/70 - R17

120/70 - R17

120/70 - R17

120/70 - R17

Rear tyre

180/55 - R17

160/60 - R17

180/55 - R17

180/55 - R17

Tyre Make

Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22

Dunlop Sportmax Roadsport 2

Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa 2

Dunlop Sportmax D214

Once again, it is quite neck and neck between the RS660 and the R7. Both motorcycles get adjustable front suspension, with the R7 offering a bit more sophistication. Conversely, even though both bikes have radial front calipers, the RS660 uses higher-spec Brembo monoblocs as well as a Brembo radial master cylinder.

The Ninja feels quite simple and barebones in this company. Minimal adjustability, no fancy USD fork, and no radial brake calipers. Even the tyres aren’t as grippy as the other two bikes but the Roadsport 2s are certainly better than the Honda’s D214s.

Dimensions

Specifications

Yamaha YZF-R7

Kawasaki Ninja 650

Aprilia RS660

Honda CBR650R

Wheelbase

1,395mm

1,410mm

1,370mm

1,450mm

Ground clearance

135mm

130mm

NA

132mm

Fuel tank capacity

13-litres

15-litres

15-litres

15.4-litres

Seat height

835mm

790mm

820mm

810mm

Kerb weight

188kg

196kg

183kg

211kg

One must really commend Aprilia on packaging the RS660 as tightly as possible. It is lighter than the R7 despite being able to carry more fuel on board and having a comprehensive set of electronic rider aids. The seat height is relatively accessible, unlike the R7 which is frankly a bit too high for the segment.

The Ninja’s accommodating dimensions make for a neat starter big bike. It is a bit plumpy and could certainly do with a little weight loss so as to improve its handling dynamics.

Packing two extra cylinders means more parts and hence more weight. In fact, the CBR650R is a whopping 28kg heavier than the RS660.

Price & Verdict

Yamaha YZF-R7

Kawasaki Ninja 650

Aprilia RS660

Honda CBR650R

Rs 10 lakh (estd)

Rs 6.54 lakh

Rs 13.39 lakh

Rs 8.89 lakh

(all prices ex-showroom India)

The Kawasaki Ninja 650 might be the least powerful and also the simplest of the lot but that’s for a good reason: low cost. There’s simply no beating the Kawasaki in this regard as it has been one of the highest selling mid-displacement bikes in the country. We are waiting for Aprilia to officially launch the RS660 in India but thanks to our dealer friends, we were able to know that the Italian sport bike arrives at an eye-watering Rs 13.39 lakh. Even the price tag of the Honda CBR650R feels a bit too steep but Honda tries to make up for it with low maintenance and spare costs.

Hence, if Yamaha were to bring the R7 to India, it would have to be via the CKD route and get its pricing strategy bang-on. Given its past record, we estimate that the Japanese manufacturer might price the supersport at around Rs 10 lakh. However, if it does want to step up its big bike business in the country, Rs 9 lakh would be suitable for it.

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