Well after 20 years and a few intermittent years of fair-weather riding I got my license and bought a new bike at the ripe ol’age of 45 but this comes with a major commitment. That is we have laws that restrict all new riders to buying a 1000cc bike. I will break this down for those not in NSW Australia.
To obtain a NSW rider licence you must complete various stages of training and testing. The training covers the key skills required for riding on the road and are taught in two stages – pre-learner and pre-provisional. If there is no training centre in your area, you are encouraged to do the rider training, but it is not compulsory. New riders are required to pass through three licensing stages before obtaining a full rider licence.
All new riders are resticted to the type of bike they can buy when on a P1 or P2. This is known as the Learner Approved Motorcycle (LAMS) scheme. There are a list of bikes that are approved for new riders but in essence you can’t buy and ride a bike that has an engine capacity not greater than 660 ml and a power to weight ratio that is not greater than 150 kilowatts per tonne.
So I was/am required to buy a LAMS approved bike for 12 months before I can buy anything above 600ml or pushing out more than 150 Kw.
I chose the 2015 Yamaha MT-07. It cost AUD$8,990.00 + on roads (equates to €6,500.26 or USD$7,026.18).
I’ve done some modifications to it since then. Akrapovik Titanium exhaust (baffles removed), Rizoma clutch & break levers, rear and front wheel lifters and crash nobs.
The MT-07 is an awesome bike. I’m a short rider (162cm @ 68kg. For our North American subscribers that is around 5ft 4 @ 149 pounds) so I sit well into the bike and the acceleration gives the rider the illusion of going faster than actuality due to the up-right nature & naked effect of the bike.
If you twist the throttle in an aggressive fashion it will happily lift the front wheel for you all day if you ask it to but it doesn’t do it in an intimidating way. On back roads it is happy to pull away and it put a smile on my face & still does. If you do open up the throttle the electronic dash will remind you that you are not in ‘eco mode’ 🙂 so the wheelie action will come at a cost to your overall fuel consumption.
That brings me to the digital dashboard. Its simple & well positioned providing all critical information speed, revs, fule, gear, trip distance, outside temp etc & essentials like oil. As to where you put the key? Well that is my biggest criticism. Why you’d place the key in front of the dash & beyond the handlebar is….well….strange. It is just above the headlight for those reading who have never seen this.
Breaking is true with the front dual disc-brakes (I believe the UK model offers ABS) with single disc at the back wheel. The combination is confidence inspiring for braking but you need to be gentle with it or risk losing the front wheel. ABS can get a bad reputation but it would have been a good standard offer here in Australia in my opinion.
As for fuel I’m doing around 215km -22km on a full tank of fuel. (That’s around 134 miles – 137 miles per tank). Tank is 12 litre’s in capacity (3.7 gallons).
The bike accelerates very well at low revs so you can be extremely lazy in the city or its forgiving if starting out and get caught in higher gears. It is this point of excellent acceleration that sets the MT-07 apart from the pack.
I wish that it had down-shifter but hey it would go against the fundamentals of this bike which are old school motorcycling that delivers a real thrill.
So I guess the long term question for me will be do I sell the MT-07 after 1 year and get a super-bike like the R1, BMW1000R or Fireblade 1000RR? Perhaps stay with the naked look at go for a 1000cc naked bike?
I would not sell the MT-07 because it gives you so much more than a simple under powered “learner bike.”
Well done to Yamaha for having the foresight to produce a motorcycle that offers plenty of enjoyment and power beyond a learner period. Now, what will be my next bike? Hmmmm….