Yamaha MWT-9 three-wheeler bound for production

MT-09-powered three-wheeler is more than a concept

Posted: 22 February 2016
by Visordown News
Yamaha MWT-9

YAMAHA'S MT-09-powered three wheeler - the MWT-9 - will become a production model, a source at the manufacturer confirmed to Visordown today. 

Unveiled as a concept at the Tokyo Motor Show in October, the MWT-9 uses the 847cc three-in-line engine from the MT-09 but in a chassis with two tilting front wheels, enabling it to lean like a conventional bike. 

According to Yamaha the extra front wheel creates 'exceptional cornering performance'. 

The news it's headed for production was confirmed today in Altea, Spain, where journalists are gathered for the launch of the updated 2016 MT-09 and new MT-03

We expect the MWT-9 could be launched as soon as next year.

Our source said more news on the MT range would be announced imminently. 

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Discuss this story

The front end grip must be immense and the ride quality at the front must be quite plush , downsides I can see is the wheelie potential is probably zero .

Posted: 22/02/2016 at 18:12

I can't wait to test ride one haha

Posted: 22/02/2016 at 18:32

Stoppie potential could be increased. Depending on if you see the glass half empty or half full :)

Posted: 22/02/2016 at 18:34

The front end grip must be immense and the ride quality at the front must be quite plush , downsides I can see is the wheelie potential is probably zero .

Posted: 22/02/2016 at 18:40

I didn't post twice lol

Posted: 22/02/2016 at 18:41

Have to admit that I'd purchase one of these over a Can-Am Spyder.

Posted: 22/02/2016 at 19:35

Nay, nay and thrice nay!

Posted: 22/02/2016 at 19:47

Good job they never posted this on April 1st.

Posted: 22/02/2016 at 20:01

So this thing has four upside down forks?
It'll be heavy and weird, but it does look good.
I ride motorcycles, two wheels and one engine. End of.

Posted: 22/02/2016 at 20:39

I wouldnt buy one now, but if at some age I can no longer ride a 2 wheeler, instead of going for a typical trike or Spyder, I'd go for this as at least you still get the leaning experience. Also probably won't need motorcycle classes. Babyboomers are a huge market, and I think many of these will be selling to 55+ people. Definately looks like more fun than a Harley Trike which is basically equivalent to a 3-wheel convertible.

Posted: 22/02/2016 at 21:05

[Looks at weather forecast]

[Sees that he'll be iced in AGAIN]

[Interest intensifies]

Posted: 22/02/2016 at 21:09

Well, I'd be willing to be converted but the basic functionality seems doubtful:

1:Ratio of sprung to unsprung weight will be dreadful
2: Steering moment arms are off centre by some margin meaning some weighty steering input will be required and while the nett moment of rotation might still be around the headstock, with two offset contact points and independent suspension on each side the odds are this thing will go round corners like a beached whale, when it goes round corners at all.
3: The thrust is still along the centreline so the same problem exists as with the current crop of tilting three wheelers - now you can't straddle a pothole, nor can you easily go around one. The spatial awareness required to have all three wheels miss a hole in the road and the absence of steering accuracy means I'd only want one on a racetrack, and not a nadgery one at that.
4: The sheer bulk of the hing means the performance will be blunted - basically you'll have a MT09 at the price of one and a half MT09's that actually performs only as well as an MT07....

5: Riding in the rain will be a nightmare - the at-least-twice-as-much road spray will be everywhere.

The whole TTW concept only works when you throw away the bicycle forks and high headstock, and design-in ergonomics and aerodynamics that make the most of the concept.

This Ain't It.

Posted: 22/02/2016 at 21:38

Seems mental that you could ride one of these on a car licence.

Posted: 22/02/2016 at 21:39

Personally I think this bike represents a game changer. The power of an MT-09 combined with the handling advantages of a leaning, narrow-tracked three wheeler will make for an absolute monster of a performance bike.

All of the negative comments come from people who have never ridden a narrow-tracked, leaning three wheeler like an MP3. If you had, you would know that all the perceived/imagined negatives (apart from the inability to wheelie) don't really exist when you ride one. They ride just like a two-wheeler until things get hairy, then they shine.

Handling in the wet or on loose surfaces is far superior to a single from wheel. Every reviewer comments on this.

Potholes and tramlines are made much, much safer because you have two wheels and one is usually not in the pothole and so has unbroken grip. If the pothole is so wide that both wheels go in, the exit will be safer and less damaging because having two wheels means the impact loading on each wheel/tyre is halved.

If you want two unbiased opinions on what a leaning three wheeler is like to ride check out these two reviews on Youtube from initially sceptical riders of their first experience on one of these sorts of bikes:

RoadcraftNottingham on his first ride of an MP3


CagerOnTwoWheels on his (very reluctant) test ride of a Yamaha TwinCity. This guy goes from totally hating the whole concept to totally "getting it".


Posted: 22/02/2016 at 22:37

I'm with Manic Wombat, this could be amazing. I've read/watched a bunch of reviews of the various leaning 3 wheelers, and they are mostly very positive apart from the fact they are a bit slow due to the weight and puny scooter engines. They often mention total confidence in the front end when breaking and cornering in dicey conditions.

Imagine having the confidence to push the front in the wet and the only consequence when you push too hard is a bit of understeer, instead of sliding down the road on your face. Maybe the steering will feel different, but that doesn't mean it will feel bad.

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 01:27

Three wheels, 847cc...sounds like my Granddad's Reliant Robin to me...

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 02:09


Posted: 23/02/2016 at 07:01

"Imagine having the confidence to push the front in the wet and the only consequence when you push too hard is a bit of understeer, instead of sliding down the road on your face"

I've already got a "bike" like that, it's brilliant there's two wheels at the front like this Yamaha, but even better than that there's two at the back as well! Also it has a roof to keep the rain off and the kiddy can go in the back in her booster seat. I love my "bike".

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 09:00

Except you feel a bit pissed when someone goes past on a bike, I know.

Funny how theres no mention of price, anyone fancy a bet on £12,999?

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 09:30

Dunno, that looks like a lot of metal for £12999.
Anyway it's a trike, this site is supposed to be for bikes.

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 09:53

It's a mistake to think of these three wheelers as able to compensate for the limitations of physics.

When there's no grip, you crash. Two wheels or three. The ability comes from the confidence to push closer to those limits in tricky conditions. An offroad riding course will achieve the same objective without the compromises. And then you can fit between the potholes.

And Manic Wombat old son, not only have I ridden ALL of the current TTW's, I've been involved in the development of some you've never even seen, much less heard of...

Name one that uses telescopic forks - other than the Yamaha Tricity...

...the reason they (Yamaha) are using this bastardised construction is simply because they can't get round the patented steering and suspension systems any other way. I don't know about this MWT, but the second forks on each leg on the Tricity are actually empty. There to compensate for the absence of torsional rigidity otherwise present in this compromise design.

What I'm willing to bet is that the disadvantges of this design will be exacerbated by the power, speed and weight of the MWT. I'm sure it will stop like hitting a brick wall. upright in a straight line. But the cost will be in the cornering and steering ability caused by the fundamental limitations of such a design - and even Yamaha can't design around those. If you don't separate braking and cornering forces, it is simple physics that adding weight slows steering.

And what is the predilection with making the machine look motorcycle-like - this is actually what they should NOT be doing if they wanted to encourage drivers out of their cars. And anyone really believe this is what this is for?

Bollox, it's an ego-boost for a manufacturer that's been on the back foot for the past several years. Because they `can`, not because they `should`.

It'll have the aerodynamics of a house brick so with that extra weight the already average fuel consumption of the MT will suffer even more.

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 10:29

Yamaha, "back foot"?

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 11:55

Just one question though....is it the ugliest bike ever produced, or is it the ugliest thing ever produced anywhere????

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 12:04

> Yamaha, "back foot"?

They have been, past tense. With their recent resurgence, this could very well be a doomed but affordable folly done just for shits and giggles. Think DN-01 and Vultus, although not the BMW C1 as I believe they had genuine hopes that it would get people out of their cars.

I'm not averse to trying a three wheeler. Lots of inclement weather to deal with round here. And adding a third wheel to a scooter makes sense, as it's making a practical commuter vehicle sold to practical commuters even more usable.

This though, I dunno. Perhaps it'll appeal to geezers and crashouts who still want a proper bike but have bad legs. But not bad hips. And there will be a few Colin Hunts who will buy them because they're craaaaazy. Other than that, it'll be a tough sell.

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 13:56

When I see inclement weather, I take the four wheeler that I already have. When the yellow thing is visible, I take the two wheeler. I'm not sure there's really space in my life for a thing with the disadvantages of both two and four wheels, considering I already need the four wheeled thing and already have the two wheeled thing.

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 14:16

If Suzuki did a 1500cc 250 bhp one with 2 wheels up front and 2 at the rear that leans and weighs less than 300kg then it would be good,
Short wheelbase too so wheelies and stoppies still possible

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 14:35

I'd settle for one with 115bhp that doesn't rely on enforced, outmoded, dino-age technology of the Victorian motor-bicycle and instead recognises the opportunity to enhance performance by engaging the best of many modern worlds - bike, car, plane

Adds a sophisticated aerodynamics package that protects and cossets the rider while enhancing their ability to handle the increased forces - basically defining a semi-reclined riding position, back rest, side controls, non headstock-based front end (to lower the wetted area and optimise the rider weather and wind protection while reducing or eliminating the requirement for the rider to put a foot down at rest and improving passive and dynamic safety.

Just those few changes (and none of them are innovative or revolutionary - most go back to 1950's understanding or 1970's ergonomic research) we'd have a three wheeled machine that outperforms most current two wheelers, attracts a new class of rider, allows for actual benefit from the modern electronic aids and massively improves protection, safety, comfort, and fuel miserliness.

Why would anyone make such a thing to be motorcycle-like? Do you not know how conservative your customers are..? That ever-dwindling number of customers with arthritic hips, rickety knees, a positive paunch... and decreasing amounts of residual spend.

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 14:56


Posted: 23/02/2016 at 17:24

"Adds a sophisticated aerodynamics package that protects and cossets the rider while enhancing their ability to handle the increased forces - basically defining a semi-reclined riding position, back rest, side controls, non headstock-based front end (to lower the wetted area and optimise the rider weather and wind protection while reducing or eliminating the requirement for the rider to put a foot down at rest and improving passive and dynamic safety."



Posted: 23/02/2016 at 17:50

Spot on with that! Maybe next century or if I had the money I'd build it myself.

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 18:27

I think a reverse leaning trike would be a great slippery surface/ off-road / dune bike and still allow decent motor size to travel comfortable long distance. It might allow us mortals to take a 600lb bike into the bush!

The rest of you motorcycle gods who handle your GS1200 like a trials bike of course won't need it.

Give it knobbies and 8" of travel!

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 21:44

All I can say is what an utter abomination. Give that a backwards glance after a ride and a bucket will be required - to vomit into.

Posted: 24/02/2016 at 09:47

It's a very interesting concept but given how moronic a lot of car drivers are (the ones who don't ride) I'd be rather worried about how safe one of these idiots would be on one of these. I bet they'll be a lot of accidents when this comes out.

Posted: 24/02/2016 at 10:29

Polaris, if you think this thing has more in common with a car than a bike, you need to have a closer look.

Snave, I don't think it will be impossible to lose the front and tip over, but surely when it slides and leans all the way to the "lean stops" there will be more chance of saving it as the inside front wheel won't be nearly as far out from underneath you. I'm happy to admit that I may well be wrong having never ridden a leaning trike.

Posted: 24/02/2016 at 17:23

Actually that is the misunderstanding of the way the TTW works - think of it more like this:
1: Double the contact patch increases the grip available - but not by double
2: The doubled-up contact patch creates a `virtual` centre of steering about the centreline of the machine- there's some complicated math involved but basically as neither contact patch is on the optimum centreline location for conventional slip/drag steering
3: A bike only turns when the combined centre of mass (bike AND rider) falls to the inside of the turn at rate and angle that meets the requirements for the velocity and radius of that turn.
4: With the inside wheel to the inside of this ideal, initial steering or `breakout` forces are greater - and the effect of the outer wheel is to provide further off-centre resistance to that movement
5: As the lean continues your notion of the inside front wheel coming closer to the ideal centre of mass is correct - however the outer wheel continues to have an effect and is now further from the centre of rotation
6: In most cases it will be the outside wheel that will break traction first. This places immediate increased load on the inside wheel and can lead to breakaway or significant understeer.

You can't consider each wheel in isolation as they are part of the overall. And combining steering and braking forces as Yamaha are doing with the MWT simply means that you will ease out of the comfortable performance envelope with sudden, irretrievable forces. In scooter applications this won't matter as the margins for safe performance are hardly pushed by the power-to-weight ratio, but this is a wholly different stupid design. And it has 115hp trying to push the rear around the front...

My prediction is that it will perform well, albeit with heavy steering and some bump compliance issues, right up to a certain point in the performance envelope. Beyond that point it will offer little or no warning before letting go and the instantaneous and large change in centre of mass will make it far more likely that the breakaway won't be telegraphed, and when it does go it will be irretrievable front tuck or worse still, if the outside recovers grip it will cause an instantaneous, vicious highside because of the necessarily high CofG...

But what do I know..?

Posted: 25/02/2016 at 11:09

OK OK you don't like it, Move on. Why sit here writing endless shit ?
look at the utter crap that Snave writes , point 1, point 2 point 3 yawn yawn yawn. mate, if you don't like bikes , join the fucking knitting forum.

Posted: 25/02/2016 at 18:47

Yeah! But no! Not yeah! But...

Posted: 26/02/2016 at 19:08

I'd test ride one for meself before making any comment..........

Posted: 28/02/2016 at 15:06

I would rather stick pins in my eyes, and eat my own faeces that be spotted by my mates on one of those.....

Posted: 08/03/2016 at 13:12

I hope that Yamaha achieve the wheel spacing necessary for the Trike classification, a I would really love to try it. I own a Quadro 350s three wheeler and ride on my car licence (my Motorcycle category was removed mysteriously from my licence), and can attest to the fact that this configuration is great fun to ride and much safer than two wheels. The predjuice shown by some bikers toward three wheelers is not only ignorant but childish too. It's these silly macho egos that cause problems on the road and give motorcyclists a bad name - grow up!for God's sake. The Problem is the Quadro is a scooter and only 350cc. I would like more power,in a motorcycle set up, just sayin !

Posted: 18/04/2016 at 22:39

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