Is Yamaha preparing the YZF-R9 sports bike for imminent launch?

Yamaha's CP3 engine is utilised in almost every category, but one omission for now is the sports class. However, that could change by next year.

Yamaha YZF-R7 front-on. - Yamaha

Yamaha appears set to launch a new bike utilising its three-cylinder 890cc CP3 three-cylinder engine, with a new YZF-R9 potentially on the way for 2024.

A Yamaha YZF-R9, or simply R9, would be a totally new model for the Iwata manufacturer, although its origin would be rooted in the manufacturer’s recent past.

The R9 would take the 890cc CP3 engine used in the Yamaha MT-09, Yamaha Tracer 9 range, and Yamaha XSR900, and add to it a fairing and a more sporty riding position and chassis specifications. 

It would not be dissimilar to the way in which the current Yamaha R7 is derived from the Yamaha MT-07. Both use the same CP2 engine, for example, as would be the case between the R9 and the MT-09.

The Japanese publication Autoby, whose Shinji Miyakubo has produced some renders of what the bike might look like, predicts that the R9 will be announced at EICMA this year, and be ready for marketing in 2024.

Adding to the potential for a YZF-R9, as Motorrad notes, is that the patent for the name “R9” has been taken by Yamaha in Japan, Europe, and India, amongst a number of other similar names such as “R2” and “R4”, and their respective “YZF” versions.

There is of course no obligation to use a patent once it has been acquired, although in Japan a period of three consecutive years where the patent has been used would allow for the patent to be cancelled if a request is submitted. It must therefore be assumed that Yamaha has not only acquired these patents to prevent other manufacturers or companies from using them, but because it also wants to use them itself. 

While “R2”, “R4”, and many others remain almost totally baseless as potential motorcycles for the future, the R9 - because of the path Yamaha took to bring the new R7, and because of the similarities between the R7’s CP2 platform and the CP3 platform that would power a, for now hypothetical, R9 - is a more realistic possibility.

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