YAMAHA has done rather well with its MT-10 SP, the high-spec derivative of its naked MT-10. So it’s little surprise to discover that the firm has got plans to make an ‘SP’ version of the MT-09 as well.
On the MT-10, those ‘SP’ letters add more than £2,500 to the bike’s price. In exchange you get semi-active Ohlins suspension and most of the other kit from the R1M superbike. On the MT-09 SP the changes won’t be quite as extreme, but neither will the price difference.
Details of the bike are still scant, but we understand that it’s got the same 115hp engine as the normal MT-09. That means its improvements must be focussed on style and suspension. Surely Öhlins, Yamaha’s favoured suspension supplier, will be called to the fore again, although probably not with anything as exotic as the MT-10 SP’s semi-active stuff.
The bike will also have cosmetic changes to distinguish it from the normal MT-09, potentially including a fly screen.
Yamaha has played with special versions of the MT-09 in the past, with low-volume models like the MT-09 Street Tracker and the MT-09 Street Rally. However, those were really little more than importer-added accessory kits. The SP, in contrast, will be type-approved as a stand-alone model.
We’re expecting it to appear at next month’s Eicma show in Milan, although it’s unlikely to attract much of the limelight at an event where more attention-grabbing bikes will be hogging the headlines. That’s a shame, as an MT-09 with improved suspension could be getting close to being the perfect machine for a huge swathe of the riding population.