Advanced Motorcycle Stabilisation Assist System Last year, Yamaha Motor announced its Jin-Ki Kanno x Jin-Ki Anzen Safety Vision, which aims to create a world free of accidents together with their customers. Yamaha’s research suggests that accidents involving motorcycles have been attributed primarily to recognition errors (10%), decision errors (17%), and operation errors (5%) on the […]
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli only have one sleep to go before they get back aboard their YZR-M1s for the first official IRTA MotoGP testing day of 2023.
They plan to work tirelessly during the Official MotoGP Sepang Test, held from 10-12 February.
Massimo Meregalli – Team Director
“It’s been a longer winter break than usual. I think I can speak for everyone when I say we’re very happy to be back at the track. We have a good atmosphere in the garage after the Shakedown Test. It was a shame that rain cost us some time, so we hope for fully dry days during the upcoming test to get through all the testing items, even though the weather forecasts for this weekend are not great.
“I’m impressed with the proactive work done by the Yamaha engineers over the winter: we have many things to evaluate here. The number of items they prepared for this test is really huge! We have an updated chassis, aerodynamics, rear arm, and engine.
“I expect Friday morning to be used for the riders to get back up to speed after three months of no riding. After that, they have an intense working plan. It will be difficult to finish it all, considering the amount of time and tyres available to us as well as the weather conditions playing a key part. But we will try to get as much done as possible to start 2023 off in the right way.”
Quartararo hasn‘t been idling about during the off season. Before travelling to the Sepang International Circuit he has been keeping busy with promotional activities as well as around-the-clock training sessions. The Frenchman is feeling top fit and is determined to make 2023 his year. The positive Sepang Shakedown Test results and the feedback from Cal Crutchlow, the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Test Team rider, have put El Diablo in a competitive mindset straight away.
“The wait is over! This winter break was very long, but in a way that was good for me because it gave me time to train and prepare for the upcoming season. It will be a long one – we know this. We need to put in good work during this test to make sure we are ready for it. I‘m excited to try the 2023 spec and to see what progress we made. I arrived in Sepang a bit earlier and spent some time at the track during the Shakedown Test. I heard and saw positive things, so I can‘t wait to try it for myself.”
Morbidelli arrives in Malaysia happy to be reunited with his crew and his bike. He kept busy training during the winter break, both on and off track, to make sure he would be able to hit the ground running in the first test of 2023. Fully aware of the importance of the upcoming three track days and the high quantity of testing items on his list, Franco is keen to get to work. Besides working on his feeling with the new YZR-M1 bike, he will be putting in a high number of laps to collect as much data as possible for the Yamaha engineers.
“We are finally back together as a crew. This test is a fresh start, and you can feel the excitement. The Shakedown Test went well, so there is a positive atmosphere in our team. During the upcoming test I aim to show a good performance level. We improved towards the end of 2022, and now it‘s time to build onto that and make further steps. We have a lot of things to test in the next three days. We will work hard, as always, to make a good start to the 2023 pre-season.“
The 2023 Yamaha MT-07. The combination of simple design and character-rich engine makes for a great mid-displacement offering. (Yamaha/)
689cc CP2 engine is an absolute gem
Blend of accessibility and charisma appeal to a broad range of riders
Lots of bang for the buck
Only $400 less than Triumph’s three-cylinder Trident 660
Android face may not be everyone’s cup of tea
Budget suspension limits ultimate performance
The MT-07 is a staple in the Yamaha lineup, and in its own way, has become a highly influential motorcycle. Parallel twins with 270-degree cranks are all the rage these days, and the MT-07 was one of the first to popularize the configuration. Approachable, affordable, and fun, the MT-07 taps into the universal virtues of motorcycling.
Yamaha uses the “Dark Side of Japan” tagline to remind you that its MT lineup has an aggressive side too. (Yamaha/)
Introduced to the US market as the FZ-07 in 2015, Yamaha’s crossplane parallel twin-powered naked bike has come to define the modern UJM. And like the best of the breed, the MT-07 transcends its budget-minded origins. Nimble handling, torquey power delivery, accessible ergonomics, and a reasonable price give it bipartisan appeal, winning over novice and experienced riders alike.
In fact, the MT-07 is Yamaha’s highest-selling motorcycle, with sales figures that back up its reputation. Reports show that 27 percent of buyers are first-timers while 36 percent have ridden for 20 years or more.
In spite of relatively modest performance figures, the 689cc twin is the consummate overachiever, earning it a workhorse status in the Yamaha lineup. That it powers motorcycles with very different purposes—from the YZF-R7 sportbike to the XSR700 retro and the Ténéré 700 ADV—is testament to its usability. Excluding the addition of ABS and a new-for-2023 TFT dash, the MT-07 has largely remained devoid of electronic rider aids. Instead, it wins hearts and dollars the old-fashioned way: with sheer mechanical excellence. The MT-07 is not only a Universal Japanese Motorcycle, to many minds it’s an Essential Japanese Motorcycle.
The 2023 MT-07’s new 5-inch TFT dash. (Yamaha/)
Updates for 2023
For 2023, the MT-07 gets a brand-new 5-inch TFT display with two layouts to suit rider preferences. Basic smartphone connectivity using Yamaha’s free Y-Connect mobile app enables the dash to display various information, including incoming calls and messages. The app can also report ride data such as distance, lean angle, fuel consumption, and top speed.
Also new for 2023, the MT-07 comes prewired for Yamaha’s quickshifter to provide simpler installation at the dealership.
Pricing and Variants
The MT-07 is available in three color schemes (Cyan Storm, Matte Stealth Black, and Team Yamaha Blue) for $8,199. The price has increased $300 over the 2022 model, but still offers a very enticing cost value proposition. That the cost is the same for all color schemes makes it nice for those who prefer the rather stylish Cyan Storm option, with colored wheels.
The middleweight naked bike segment is as strong as it’s ever been, so the MT-07 faces tough competition from its Japanese and European rivals. The competition includes the Kawasaki Z650 ($7,749), the four-cylinder Honda CB650R ($9,399), the all-new Suzuki GSX-8S ($8,849), and the Triumph Trident 660 ($8,595). The Aprilia Tuono 660 could be added to the list but it’s far better equipped and significantly more expensive at $10,499.
Yamaha’s CP2 engine originated in the MT-07 (née FZ-07) before being used in the Ténéré 700, YZF-R7, and XSR700. (Yamaha/)
Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The MT-07′s 689cc parallel twin was updated in 2021 to meet Euro 5 emissions standards. On the CW dyno it produced 67 hp at 8,700 rpm and 46.3 lb.-ft. of torque at 6,250 rpm. The characteristics of the 270-degree crank give the engine a similar feel to a 90-degree V-twin. It was a novel concept when it debuted in 2014 and since then has become the way forward for many manufacturers developing parallel-twin engines of their own.
The MT-07′s CP2 engine is engaging for riders of every skill level. With a proportionally longer stroke than that of the three-cylinder MT-09, the MT-07 delivers exciting low- and midrange grunt. Coupled with relatively short gearing, the incorrigible middleweight will happily display its hooligan streak when prodded. At the same time, a linear powerband and predictable throttle response make it suitable for novices hoping to gain confidence. Cruising at freeway speeds is no problem, though it gets a bit buzzy above 80 mph.
The MT-07 is nimble and easy to handle, making it loved by novice and expert riders alike. (Yamaha/)
The MT-07 uses a tubular steel double backbone frame with the engine as a stressed member. Conventional 41mm KYB fork is nonadjustable while the KYB monoshock is adjustable for preload and rebound. While spirited riding can overwhelm the budget-oriented suspension, many riders will find the setup perfectly adequate for everyday riding.
The MT-07 is a nimble motorcycle, carrying its claimed wet weight of 406 pounds well thanks to a balanced center of gravity and low 31.7-inch seat height that inspires confidence during low-speed maneuvers through town. A wide handlebar gives the rider leverage in high-speed transitions.
Brakes were also updated in 2021, with the front disc growing to 298mm. Advics supplies the front brake setup and Nissin the rear. Braking performance is everything you’d need from a bike in this class: enough stopping power but not the immediate action to overwhelm the front end. ABS is standard.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The MT-07 is claimed to get 58 mpg.
Full LED lighting. While the headlight arrangement has an unconventional look, illumination is an improvement over earlier versions. (Yamaha/)
Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility
The 2021 update included ergonomic refinements. The handlebar is 1.3 inches wider than earlier models and positioned higher and closer to the rider. The more upright riding position gives the bike a “full-size feel” compared to previous generations that had a shrunk-in-the-wash kind of vibe. To keep styling streamlined, there are no rear grab handles for a passenger or for lashing on luggage. A luggage rack and top case are available through Yamaha’s accessory catalog. A short windscreen is also available. Otherwise, the MT-07 is delightfully basic.
Other than non-switchable ABS, the MT-07 is devoid of electronic rider aids. It even uses a cable throttle instead of an increasingly common ride-by-wire setup, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The competition has a leg up here, as the Triumph Trident 660, Suzuki GSX-8S, and Honda CB650R have ride modes and/or traction control. It’s worth noting that the MT-07′s Street mode and Touring mode are merely different display layouts and have nothing to do with rider aids or throttle maps. Street has a bar-style tach, digital speedometer, and gear selection information while Touring has a circular tachometer on the right and a digital speedometer on the left.
The new dash is a sensible update in keeping with the times and meeting consumer demand. Without electronic rider aids to adjust, the dash is icing on the cake rather than a necessity, but it does offer smartphone connectivity. However, unlike the Triumph Trident 660, for example, it doesn’t support on-screen navigation or music control. Though, it must be said, the Triumph makes do with an analog and LCD setup.
The MT-07 is equipped with full LED lighting. A quickshifter is available as an add-on at the dealership.
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The MT-07 has a one-year limited factory warranty.
The MT-07 has typical Yamaha fit and finish and reliability, and provides a lot of bang for the buck.
Yamaha Australia has recalled its MT-09 range due to a software fault that can cause engine stalling.
The official notice says a software fault in the vehicle’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU) may cause the engine to stall “resulting in an unexpected loss of vehicle control accompanied by a warning light on the instrument panel”.
“A loss of vehicle control increases the risk of an accident causing injury or death to the rider and/or passenger or other road users,” it states.
Owners of the 835 affected bikes (MT09A, MT09ASP, MT09TRASP) from 2020 to 2o22 should contact their authorised Yamaha dealer to schedule an appointment to have the work carried out free of charge.
VINs of affected vehicles are lusted at the end of this article.
This is the first recall for Yamaha this year after last year scoring only one recall which was a substantial change over 2020 when it “top scored” with eight recalls.
There were official 46 safety recalls of motorcycles in Australia last year, the highest number monitored since 2009 and significantly more than the previous high of 37 in 2018.
Yamaha have a long history of lending their engine building know-how to car makers going back more than four decades with the release of the Toyota 2000GT in 1967. That partnership continued with Yamaha supplying engines for various Lexus and Toyota models right up to the present day. Yamaha have also supplied engines to Ford and Volvo and in the 90s also provided Formula One engines to the likes of Brabham, Tyrrell, Jordan and Arrows.
Now Yamaha has been commissioned by Toyota to develop a 5.0-litre V8 fuelled entirely by hydrogen. In Japan, Toyota and other automotive-related companies are about to begin a collaborative effort to expand the range of fuel options for internal combustion engines.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Yamaha Motor have also started considerations toward the joint development of a hydrogen engine for possible use in two-wheeled vehicles. Going forward, they are planned to be joined by Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and Suzuki Motor Corporation, and the four companies intend to jointly explore the possibility of achieving carbon neutrality through the use of internal combustion engines in two-wheeled vehicles. To maintain a distinct line between cooperation and competition, they intend to proceed after establishing a framework that will clearly define areas of cooperation and collaborative research.
Toyota is now collaborating with Fukuoka City, which is to supply Toyota hydrogen derived from sewage biogas. Since 2015 and as a world first, Fukuoka City has been taking on the challenge of producing and commercialising hydrogen from domestic wastewater sewage. The city is producing non-CO2-increasing green hydrogen from biogas generated during sewage treatment at the Fukuoka City Chubu Water Treatment Center and has a daily hydrogen production capacity of 3,300 Nm3 (which is roughly equivalent to the daily amount of hydrogen used by 60 units of the Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, based on a per-unit daily hydrogen requirement of 55 Nm3). The city is also conducting verification tests with corporate partners, such as supplying green hydrogen to fuel cell-powered trucks, motorcycles, and power supply vehicles.
Yamaha began developing a hydrogen engine for automobiles about five years ago. Takeshi Yamada from the Technical Research & Development Center’s Automotive Development Section is a member of the hydrogen engine development team and he began to sense the depth of potential in the powerplant as the project progressed.
“I started to see that engines using only hydrogen for fuel actually had very fun, easy-to-use performance characteristics,” Yamada explains. “Hydrogen engines have an innately friendly feel that makes them easy to use even without resorting to electronic driving aids. Everyone who came to test-drive the prototype car would start off somewhat skeptical, but emerged from the car with a big smile on their face at the end. As I watched this, I started to believe that there is actually enormous potential in the characteristics unique to hydrogen engines instead of simply treating it as a substitute for gasoline.”
In November last year, the five companies of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Subaru Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation, Mazda Motor Corporation, and Yamaha Motor jointly announced they would begin discussions for conducting collaborative research into possible avenues for expanding the range of fuel options for internal combustion engines in the quest for carbon neutrality.
And at the announcement venue, the V8 hydrogen engine shown above, which was developed by Yamaha for Toyota, was unveiled to the public. The unit is based on the 5.0-litre engine in the Lexus RC F luxury sport coupe, with modifications made to the injectors, cylinder heads, intake manifold, and more, and delivers up to 450 hp at 6,800 rpm and a maximum 540 Nm of torque of at 3,600 rpm.
Yamaha Motor President Yoshihiro Hidaka
“We are working toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, at the same time, ‘Motor’ is in our company name and we accordingly have a strong passion for and level of commitment to the internal combustion engine. Hydrogen engines house the potential to be carbon-neutral while keeping our passion for the internal combustion engine alive at the same time. Teaming up with companies with different corporate cultures and areas of expertise as well as growing the number of partners we have is how we want to lead the way into the future.”
Another thing that Yamada and the team value in the development process is Kanno Seino, meaning sensual or exhilarating performance. One example is the harmonic high-frequency exhaust note produced by the engine’s 8-into-1 exhaust manifold. “This is a challenge we can sink our teeth into as engineers and I personally want to pursue not just performance but also a new allure for the internal combustion engine that the world has yet to see,” declares Yamada.
What he and his fellow engineers believe in is the potential of a fully hydrogen-powered engine. Working together with his gradually expanding network of partners, Yamada undoubtedly feels they have one hand on the door to unlocking that potential.
This third member of the Ténéré 700 family is euipped to go further than any previous Ténéré, and featuring up-spec’ longer travel suspension, improved ergonomics, rally-inspired styling and multi-mode instruments with incoming call and text message notifications, the Ténéré 700 World Raid will no doubt be a huge hit with Aussie adventurers. Aussie enthusiasts will have to wait until the first quarter of 2023 to get out and about adventuring on one.
Ténéré 700 World Raid Key Features
23 litre capacity dual side-mounted fuel tanks
Flat Rally inspired two-piece seat
5” colour TFT meter with mobile notification connectivity
USB type A3-mode switchable ABS
High specification 43 mm KYB front forks, 230 mm travel
Öhlins adjustable steering damper
Aluminium piggyback rear shock, 220 mm wheel travel
High windscreen, easy to remove side deflectors and LED flashers
Fully new cockpit area and new front cowling
New larger rider footrests with easy-to-remove rubber inserts
3-piece aluminium engine guard
New aluminium die-cast engine support
New radiator grille
Ténéré 700 World Raid / Ténéré 700 / Ténéré Rally Edition Shared Features
Quad LED headlights, LED taillight
Position adjustable (5 mm) front mudguard
282 mm dual wave front discs, Brembo calipers, ABS
245 mm rear wave disc, Brembo caliper, ABS
High tensile steel tubular backbone/double cradle frame
New 23-litre dual side-mounted fuel tanks are designed to bring peace of mind on the longest trip and eliminate the range anxiety that every rider has experienced when the reserve light starts to flash. In typical usage conditions these new tanks are estimated to be able to give a range of up to 500 km, giving a higher level of autonomy.
The unique twin side-mounted design offers a number of significant advantages compared to simply making the tank higher and wider in order to increase its capacity. By having two separate tanks that are positioned lower,and locating the fuel pump in a lower position in one of the tanks, the bike’s centre of gravity can be kept almost the same as with the existing Ténéré 700 that has a 16-litre tank – helping to maintain agile handling despite the increased weight of a larger fuel load. The vehicle mass is further centralised, with an ideal weight distribution between front and rear.
An important feature of this new layout is that the highest point on the new twin side-mounted tanks is lower than the top of the tank on the Ténéré 700, reducing the height difference between the tank and seat to give a much flatter profile for increased rider mobility and easier front/rear weight shifting when riding off road.
Another benefit of this dual tank design is that the movement of the fuel is limited, compared to a one big tank layout and this gives benefit especially while cornering. And finally, the Ténéré 700 World Raid’s dual side-mounted fuel tanks are not only a reminder of the bike’s desert rally heritage, but are also clear evidence of the DNA this new adventure model shares with some of Yamaha’s most successful factory race bikes.
As well as the reduced height of the new dual tank design, the Ténéré 700 World Raid also benefits from a new 890 mm high seat that gives a much flatter profile for a smoother transition between the seat and tank. This design enables the rider to move backwards and forwards with minimal effort when shifting their body weight to maintain control on rough terrain, and the new ergonomics are suited to both sit down and stand up riding positions.
The seat’s two-piece design allows for the easy removal of the rear section to enable the fitment of accessories such as a rack or luggage. The seat is made from two different kinds of leather, with a high grip zone in the centre and a smoother zone that enables freedom of movement while riding.
The new 5” colour TFT meter is linked with the bike’s Communication Control unit (CCU) which talks to the MyRide app, giving connectivity in the form of text message and incoming call notifications that are displayed on the instrument panel – and mobile battery status is displayed as soon as a connection is established.
This connectivity and the ability to identify any technical issues that need rectifying provide added peace of mind and reassurance to adventure riders, especially when they are taking part in long distance trips in unfamiliar territory.
Access to the relevant information is crucial on every long distance expedition, and Ténéré 700 World Raid riders can choose from three different themes on the new 5” colour TFT meter. The ‘Explorer’ screen layout features a modern digital design that provides all of the machine’s key running data in a contemporary and easy to read style. The ‘Street’ screen features a tachometer with a circular dial and needle that give a more conventional look from the analogue era, and the ‘Raid’ screen is inspired by a typical rally racing roadbook and features two independent countdown tripmeters that enable the rider to see the distance to the next waypoint. Located to the right of the dashboard area there is a USB type A socket that can power navigation systems or charge mobile devices.
For optimal controllability in varying riding conditions the new Ténéré 700 World Raid is equipped with three-mode ABS that can be selected when the bike is stationary, via a specific menu available in the meter, operated by the right handle switch. Mode 1 is fully on, with both wheels benefitting from ABS as required legally while riding on public roads. Mode 2 and 3 have been introduced for non-public roads riding. In detail, Mode 2 (new function developed for Ténéré 700 World Raid) is front wheel on, rear wheel off, and this is the recommended mode for terrain such as gravel tracks, where low levels of grip are likely to be experienced. Mode 3 is fully off, suitable for experienced riders who want to enjoy pure off road riding. The instrument panel shows when Mode 2 and Mode 3 are active, and the rider can return immediately to Mode 1 at any time when moving or standing still by pressing a button on the left side of the instrument panel.
For refined off road handling performance the suspension system on the Ténéré 700 World Raid features a number of significant upgrades. Newly designed 43 mm KYB front forks give 230 mm of wheel travel – 20 mm more than the Ténéré 700 – offering increased shock absorption potential on rough terrain. The new forks are equipped with a spring preload adjuster, in addition to the rebound and compression damping adjusters and air bleeding screw already featured on the Ténéré 700, enabling the rider to set the suspension to suit different terrain and loads.
For increased durability with reduced internal friction, the longer travel 43 mm front forks feature a resilient Kashima coating applied on outer tube, with a distinctive dark bronze colour, while lightweight fork internal components are used in order to minimise weight, despite the longer stroke.
For better controllability – particularly in off road riding situations – an Öhlins steering damper is fitted as standard equipment. Mounting position is close to the top triple clamp, allowing the rider to quickly adjust the unit to his preferred levels of feel and feedback on a variety of terrain, thanks to 18 different damping settings.
The rear suspension has also been upgraded to match the new front forks, and features a revised linkage design with a piggyback type shock absorber with longer stroke. The rear suspension’s damping characteristics, spring rate and linkage ratios have all been optimised in order to give a comfortable ride on the road together with the ability to take some hard hits during off road exploration.
For consistent damping performance the new shock features an aluminium body for good heat dissipation, while the separate piggyback type oil reservoir prevents cavitation – and like the forks, the new shock gives 20 mm more wheel travel, and is fully adjustable for spring preload, as well as compression and rebound damping. A new rubber bumper has been introduced as well to increase performance on energy absorption in case of bottoming.
Yamaha’s iconic 689 cc liquid-cooled in-line two-cylinder engine is the driving force behind the new Ténéré 700 World Raid. Featuring a 270° crankshaft that gives it a characteristic uneven firing sequence, this ‘crossplane concept’ CP2 engine is renowned for its strong linear torque output as well as its ultra-responsive and easily-controllable performance that makes it so enjoyable and rewarding to ride at all speeds.
Compact dimensions and low weight make the CP2 unit ideal for the demands and requirements of adventure riding – and with a linear torque delivery providing plenty of low to mid-range pulling power, this rugged, reliable and economical engine is particularly suited to the varied on and off road terrain typically encountered by adventure riders. Already proven with the best-selling Ténéré 700, this engine is one of Yamaha’s most legendary powerplants, with more than 221,000 CP2-engined units sold since introduction.
The Ténéré 700 family has a new air cleaner box, specifically designed to handle the extreme off road terrain that this long distance adventure bike is built for. The Ténéré airbox has been equipped with a forward-facing intake duct that is designed to prevent ingress of dust and debris thrown up by the rear wheel.
For additional wind protection on long distance adventures the bike is fitted with a 15 mm taller screen with easy-to-remove side deflectors, and LED flashers are original equipment. The front panels surrounding the radiator and the interior panel around cockpit area are manufactured from tough fibre glass composite material. These are designed to be able to handle rugged off road riding.
The larger foot-rest area gives greater grip for the rider’s boots, and also reduces pressure on the soles when riding on extreme terrain. A larger surface area also prevents mud and sand build up, and the removable rubber inserts improve the boot/peg stability in wet conditions. The rubber inserts can be removed when things get muddy.
For increased protection when riding off road, the bike is fitted with a new three-piece aluminium engine guard that helps to prevent accidental damage caused by rocks, stones and any other debris. Thanks to the new suspension with longer stroke, ground clearance is 250 mm.
To ensure that the radiator maintains its high levels of cooling efficiency during off road riding, a new radiator grille is fitted. Featuring vertical louvres like Yamaha’s off road competition models, this new grille is designed to protect the radiator from debris thrown up by the front wheel.
Australian stocks of the new fully-featured Tenere World Raid are not expected until the first quarter of 2023 and the pricing is yet to be announced.
After a year of record safety recalls for motorcycles in 2021, Yamaha Australia is the first Australian motorcycle company to issue a recall in 2022.
The company has recalled their current 29022 YZ125SPN and YZ125N junior motocross motorcycles for a gear selection issue and asked owners to not ride them until parts arrive later this month or until they have been inspected and modified.
According to the official recall notice issued through the Federal Government, the shift selector detent spring may “dislodge while riding, causing the gear to shift unexpectedly or inhibit gear selection”.
“If the gear shifts unexpectedly or cannot shift properly, there is an increased risk of an accident resulting in injury or death to the rider or bystanders,” the notice says.
While all safety recalls are important, this is alarming as most riders will be young people, so parents should pay particular attention.
The notice says theparts for repair will not be available until next month.
In the meantime, owners should contact their local Yamaha dealer to arrange for a free inspection and temporary modification.
For more information, contact Yamaha Motor Australia on 1300 277 137.
Despite an ominous weather forecast, 46 intrepid WR250R owners fronted up at Chris Watson’s Motorcycles in Cessnock for the fifth annual WR250R Rally on Friday 19 November.
Rain was a certainty with Saturday looking bleak but Sunday even wetter – and that’s exactly how it panned out. So the aim was to pack all the fun in on day one by exploring over 360 kms of backroads between Cessnock and Nundle.
The annual bLU cRU WR250R Rally organised by RideADV attracts a wide range of riders with an even wider range of setups – but all on the cult classic WR250R tuned for adventure. Oversize fuel tanks, screens, Barkbusters, big footpegs and aftermarket bars featured heavily – along with a GPS to navigate the route.
As usual breakfast was provided by the Rally’s number one supporter and Yamaha dealer Chris Watson, which set up both riders and crew for a memorable ride up through Crawney Pass and on to Nundle’s Peel Inn where the heavens opened as soon as the sweep riders rolled in.
The rain was torrential all night and heavy through Sunday which swelled the creeks and forced the Rally onto the tarmac for the return ride to Cessnock. Tackling the elements is part of the adventure and once again all the bikes and riders completed the round trip with no dramas.
62-year-old Robin Bradfield from Sydney via South Africa was rewarded with a prize pack for attending all five Rallies and spoke about his passion for the event and Yamaha’s bulletproof single.
He owns two WR250Rs – one of which has been inherited by his son – and the rarer WR250X motard that is used for cutting around town.“It’s such an incredible bike in so many ways,” says Robin, who was so impressed by the performance and reliability of the 250cc bikes that he purchased a Ténéré 700. “And I’m loving that too,” he adds.
The next WR250R Rally is scheduled for March 2022 and is based on loop rides out of Wauchope, NSW. Once again the Rally will be organised by RideADV with support/luggage vehicle and the best sweeps in the business.
Look out for a movie of the fifth annual bLU cRU WR250R Rally – coming soon!
To celebrate the legendary MotoGP career of the biggest star to grace the sport, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Motor Europe has produced a special R1 GYTR VR46 Tribute, designed with unique specs, to give to the nine-time world champion for the many successful years spent at the pinnacle of motorcycle road racing with Yamaha.
Having made his debut 26 years ago, Rossi rose to become the most prominent figure in MotoGP history, producing some of the most mesmerising and memorable performances that influenced and inspired an entirely new generation of motorcycle racing stars.
To commemorate his illustrious achievements, which included nine world championship titles across the MotoGP, 250cc and 125cc classes, 115 wins, and 235 podiums over 425 race starts, Yamaha have built this unique R1, donning a special livery produced by Aldo Drudi, Rossi’s long-time helmet designer and friend.
The R1 GYTR VR46 sports upcoming 2022 GYTR spec’ parts and unique features that are all a direct result of Yamaha’s WorldSBK development, which helped Yamaha achieve the 2021 WorldSBK Triple Crown, culminating in the highest spec R1 GYTR ever produced for track day usage. A special gift that the Tavullia legend will have the opportunity to enjoy at the Misano circuit soon.
A new carbon-fibre fairing kit and full carbon rear sub-frame have been produced, with the tank capacity increased to 22 L, all designed with weight saving in mind.
The Brembo brakes have been developed for incredible stopping power, while the high performance ECU REX 140 Marelli produces world class power delivery.
The full list of the special parts coming from WorldSBK Championship winning experience is listed below, and are additional to the GYTR parts such as the Ohlins suspension and GYTR front and rear sprockets.
The R1 GYTR VR46 Tribute was given to Valentino Rossi for the One More Lap event at the EICMA 2021, which the Italian star attended for the first time, as Yamaha pay tribute to VR46 and his historic legacy.
The R1 GYTR VR46 Tribute was built with carefully selected parts which, among others, include the following.
From the 2022 GYTR catalogue
GYTR Electronic throttle
GYTR Slipper Clutch
GYTR Head Gasket
GYTR Radiator Kit
GYTR Air Funnel Set
GYTR Handlebar Set
GYTR Handlebar Switches
GYTR Front Brake Protector
GYTR Adjustable Rear Set
GYTR Akrapovic Factory Line System
GYTR Marchesini Wheel Set
Special parts from WorldSBK development
22 L Factory Fuel Tank
Full Carbon Rear Subframe
Underslung Swingarm Assy
Adjustable Triple Clamp Kit (Offset adjustable 22.5mm x 27mm)
Yamaha Motor Europe has announced the formation of the Yamaha Racing Heritage Club, which was launched officially during the 2021 EICMA show in Milan this week.
Designed to protect and share with younger generations Yamaha’s racing history, the Yamaha Racing Heritage Club (YRHC) will bring together selected collectors from around the world who count some of the iconic racing machines from Yamaha’s storied racing history amongst their collection.
The YHRC will be open to owners of bikes from every discipline. From Grand Prix racing the club will admit machines raced between 1955 and the end of the two-stroke era in 2003, while registrations from World Superbike and the Endurance World Championships will be open to machines raced in any of the production classes from 1987 until 2009. From the off-road world the YRHC will be open to motocross bikes raced before 1998 and Paris Dakar machines that raced in Africa prior to 2007.
Collectors will be able to register their historic Yamaha machinery with the YRHC, gaining access to technical information and support from the engineers who were involved in either the development or maintenance of these bikes when they were racing, or who currently work within Yamaha’s racing infrastructure.
YRHC members will also enjoy discounted access to genuine Yamaha parts, and assistance with identifying suitable replacements when genuine Yamaha parts are no longer available due to the age of machinery.
But the YRHC is about much more than just the machinery, it will also bring together those riders that wrote Yamaha’s name large in the history books, reuniting them with the machines on which they achieved their greatest successes.
The collectors and riders will be ambassadors of Yamaha’s Racing Heritage, guardians of the racing history that started at the Mount Fuji Ascent Race just 10 days after the company was established by Genichi Kawakami on July 1st 1955, and which remains an essential part of Yamaha Motor’s corporate culture.
The YRHC will also involve Yamaha’s current crop of racers from all disciplines, providing an opportunity for both them and their army of fans to experience Yamaha’s racing history and the people who made it first-hand, rather than through the pages of a book.
Through a number of exclusive events held throughout the year, the YRHC will bring together collectors and riders, both past and present, to showcase Yamaha’s storied racing history and to share the passion and determination that established Yamaha at the forefront of racing across all disciplines.
For collectors looking for more information on registering for the Yamaha Racing Heritage Club, please email [email protected].
Paolo Pavesio: Director, Marketing and Motorsport, Yamaha Motor Europe
“We have founded the Yamaha Racing Heritage Club not just to commemorate Yamaha’s rich and storied racing history, but also to safeguard it and to bring it alive for future generations to enjoy in person. We want these bikes to be seen and heard once again, not just to sit idle in a collection, which is why supporting collectors to restore and maintain their bikes is one of the primary objectives of the YHRC. Another objective is to relate the human side of Yamaha’s racing heritage, telling the stories of the riders who raced these iconic machines and the people who both developed and worked on them. We want to share our racing heritage with as wide an audience as possible, which is why the YRHC will attend a number of events each year to showcase these historic bikes, bringing them together with riders both past and present to keep our heritage alive.”