Yamaha’s MT-07, FZ-07, and XSR700 are all good bikes—but a suspension upgrade would make them even better. Progressive Suspension saw an opportunity there, and just announced new fork internals and a new rear monoshock for Yamaha’s sensibly-priced, middleweight line.
Yamaha’s 700 series is powered by a 689cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, eight-valve mill with a fancy crossplane crankshaft. It puts out a reliable 74-ish horsepower, more than enough for any real-world situation. With dual discs and ABS-equipped four-piston calipers up front the 700s also have excellent braking (single disc in rear, with much less exciting single-piston caliper). They’re also pretty light (surprisingly so for Yamaheavy). The MT-07 has a curb weight just under 400 pounds, and the XSR700 weighs just over 400 pounds. That’s an excellent power-to-weight ratio, unthinkable in the econobike category a few years ago.
Yamaha usually has excellent pricing on these machines, no matter the market, and they’re popular with both beginning and experienced riders. Unfortunately, there’s always a compromise if you want to have a low MSRP. Ever since the MT-07 debuted (under the FZ-07 name in North America), many reviewers have panned the suspension. Same for the second-gen MT-07 and the XSR700.
Progressive’s solution is a drop-in fork cartridge replacement kit and an all-new rear shock. According to Progressive, the motorcycle is more comfortable with the new parts, and handles better.
“The suspension system is designed to improve the quality of the XSR/MT/FZ ride, as well as offering greater front-end stability, improved cornering, front brake dive and bottoming control," says the press release. “The setup eliminates bottoming and shaking in sweeping corners, giving the rider a smoother, more nimble riding experience.” Sean Delshadi, brand manager for Progressive, says “We think our system unlocks the real performance potential of the bike, making it a whole new animal for the rider to enjoy.”
Progressive’s front suspension upgrade kit converts the stock dual damper rod setup to high-performance, gas-charged, monotube dampers with custom-tuned fork springs. It fits all the MT-07, FZ-07, and XSR700 models from 2015 through 2020. MSRP is $339.95
For the bike’s back end, Progressive offers a swap-in 465 Series shock with gas monotube design. The new shock has a five-position rebound adjuster, and is specifically tuned for the 2015-2020 MY 700-series machines. The MSRP for the rear shock is $649.95. For more details, visit ProgressiveSuspension.com.