Yamaha MT-09

MT-09
Although the MT-09 is priced at a budget £6799, there isn’t a lot about the bike that screams budget.
Manufacturer
Category
Price
£6799
Available from
2013
That price. That engine
Snatchy throttle response in two of the three power modes
Yamaha's first triple for thirty years. Stonking engine and sweet handling belie the budget price tag

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Overall Review

I tried a demo bike. MT09 was smaller that I expected and has quite an aggressive sort of bulldog look. High wide bars makes it feel like a supermoto and foot pegs are set much lower than my GSXR and were very comfy. It was fitted with the comfort seat accessory that lived up to its name. Fly screen was also a benefit on the dual carriageway. I didn't experience the front end vagueness mentioned in some articles but found it felt more planted when I moved forward in the seat and hung off a little whilst cornering rather than sitting further back/upright. Motor is flexible and powerful particularly when driving out of corners. Power always seems to be available whatever the revs making for easy overtakes. I'm thinking of trading my GSXR6 which is very different in terms of sitting position (more cramped), wind protection (lower riding position & fairing) and power delivery (more at higher revs). The MT09 is definitely more fun down twisty roads and absorbs rougher road surfaces better, handling feels 'looser' but this makes it more involving. The MT09 is more comfortable at lower speeds (up to 70mph) but lack of wind protection would be tiring on a long journey. Engine is a gem but the jerky throttle response when opening from closed in anything other than mode B is difficult to control. If it wasn't for the poor throttle response my decision would be easier. Conc: Best naked bike for power, handling. More character than a 4cyl and more flexible than a twin.

Strengths

Torquey motor really fires you out of corners, and is surprisingly flexible at lower revs (just manages 4th gear @30mph) 3 power modes can be selected according to your mood: A=going for it. B = sightseeing. Std= universal = fits nothing! Upright sitting position means you get a great all round view. Wide bars allow you to easily flick the bike from side to side. While footrests are comfortably low (compared to my GSXR6 - I'm 5'11".) Front end feels lovely and smooth when on the brakes - which are progressive with plenty of feel and not too sharp. Instruments easy to read (but wasn't sunny).

Weaknesses

Throttle is definitely snatchy when trying to ease in the power. And can lead to unexpected surges. I found this to be worst in Std mode whereas B mode provides a lovely soft delivery but lacks the 'power everywhere' drive of mode A. Throttle response also seemed more controllable in mode A than Std. Rear shock wallowed over undulations on faster roads but never felt out of control just lively. (I'm about 11 stone, so not that heavy) Not sure if this could be adjusted out. Upright sitting position means wind blast. Fly screen accessory helped but high speeds (>80mph) can't be maintained long.

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Overall Review

Fun, fun, fun... Just take the bike in context.

Strengths

Torque, responsiveness (some people might think this means "snatchy"... But it's not) light weight, fun, chuckable, comfortable (but don't expect to go touring!), the most fun I've has on 2 wheels in ages. Lots of scope to personalise. Once the novelty of bouncy suspension wears off, it will be treated to a proper shock and fork internals, but I'm not there yet. The noise and feel of the bike is worth every penny and improves every day.

Weaknesses

Not a "do everything" bike. It's not a tourer, it's not a sports bike, it's not a cruiser (should that be a "pro"?!).. Suspension is a bit budget but it is a budget bike.

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Overall Review

As a previous Triumph Speed Triple 1050i owner there is a lot of similarities to compare between the 2 bikes. The Triumph has better suspension components but is wider thru the frame, heavier, and more reach to the bars. Power from the Yamaha feels equal to the Triumph even with 200cc less displacement, possibly due to near 40 pounds lighter weight. Sorting out the suspension issues will in my opinion make this a more fun bike for the street than the Triumph, and at a almost half the cost of the Triumph, this is a fantastic deal and a blast to ride.

Strengths

Light weight, flat torque curve, and upright seating position all add up to fun on the street. It feels more supermoto than street bike, and is a quick handling city scratcher. I dare anyone not to be tempted to loft the wheel on 1st and 2nd gear acceleration from stoplights. I'm also getting near 38 mpg with very spirited riding. On long distances (freeway riding) I get an honest to goodness 40 mpg.

Weaknesses

Fueling is a bit abrupt on the 2014 model, but I understand that dealers are flashing the ECU's with the 2015 map for free to resolve this problem. Suspension is far too soft (I weigh 210 pounds) and mid-corner bumps get it out of shape as though there is a hinge in the middle of the frame. Fairly inexpensive suspension upgrades should iron this problem out. Front end feel is excellent. Gas tank is a bit small and another 1/2 gallon or more would be nice to reduce the frequency of fuel stops.

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Fluke777's picture
Submitted by Fluke777 on Wed, 22/04/2015 - 18:30

Overall Review

I love my MT but as you've heard, Yamaha didn't get it quite right. The problems are the snatchy throttle and soft suspension. There are three power modes and 'A' mode is just too twitchy at low revs so coming out of a tight corner was never fun, it always felt like the back end was going to light up and slide out. Couple that with way too soft suspension and the coming out of corners was simply unpleasant; as the power was unleashed, the rear would wallow around vaguely and you had no idea where you were heading but with the mods in place, you fire up the engine and the carbon barks into life. The quick spinning triple heralds it's intentions and gives a hint of the urgency that's coming. Swing your leg over and the riding position says supermoto; the bars are wide so elbows out, your nuts meaningfully close to the headstock, tap into first of the light gearbox and as soon as the clutch lever drops, it's away! Hold on or fall off acceleration from the lowest revs, ultra quick steering and no weight to think of make this the getaway vehicle of choice for the discerning bank robber. Where Yamaha have done an excellent job though, is that if you want to cruise gently down the motorway, (and I did say, 'if') then it's very relaxed, steady and quite effortless. Want a sensible, cheap commuter that gets you from A to B without any drama but turns into a howling banshee on the weekends that would not be out of place on a trackday? Then look no further. But be careful, she bites!

Strengths

An utterly unusable power delivery system, too soft suspension and a rock hard seat all provide opportunity to fettle and improve this good effort from Yamaha. Once the fiddling has been done, the rough edges smooth away revealing a diamond of an excuse for road legal transport. Handling that would outfox an X-wing fighter and acceleration that leaves lightning in its tracks, this is no bike for novices. Can't wait to get it on track to have the living daylights properly scared out of me.

Weaknesses

Out of the box it is a little bit of a disappointment and once set up, some may find it a bit focused. However, it's worth every penny spent on fine tuning, which won't cost you a grand if you're patient and a bit lucky. A real shame that Yamaha, with all their experience, didn't get it right but we're the winners because once set up correctly, it's a way better bike than any manufacturer would dare to release.

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Overall Review

If you want a fun bike, and have the money, buy it. You will not regret it. Except for the wet bum!

Strengths

It looks very modern and aggressive, and it is very competatively priced. The MT09 has coped admirably with two tours (Lake District, and Scottish Highlands) and keeps up with, or even out performs the majority of the bikes i was riding with. It is very light the riding position is very comfortable, this bike loves being ridden on twisty roads and roundabouts. Mark my words, this bike makes you smile. A mode is great. Standard is fine for commuting. B mode is great ice, snow and difficult riding conditions. This bike is ultra responsive, not snatchy!

Weaknesses

Your bum will get wet if you fit a tail tidy, which you will because it improves the look of the bike greatly. The finish on some of the parts leaves a bit to be desired, but all parts have been replaced under warranty

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Submitted by James 1990 on Sun, 29/11/2015 - 00:33

Overall Review

No thanks I'll have the fz8 any day over the mt

Strengths

The engine is a gem

Weaknesses

Seat is no good if you have testicles. The controls are fiddly. Pegs are in the wrong place.

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Submitted by steve mt09 (not verified) on Tue, 26/01/2016 - 21:30

Overall Review

Bought it October 2013, as soon as they came out after a brilliant test ride. Had an R1 previously, and mostly sport 600's before that.I use the MT daily, whatever the weather, and after 2 1/4 years and 13500 miles, no corrosion, everything still looks good, chain/sprockets and brake pads all still original with loads of life left. Tyres dont last that long, the same as my R1 (about 3000 miles on the S20's) I did try the BT023's, but they caused a high speed wobble/weave, although they did last 6000 miles. All my previous bikes did around 3000 miles a year, with the MT its 6000 a year, purely because its fun to ride, and I use it much more. A lot of my riding is with mates on sportbikes, and around the roads I ride it easily keeps up (twisty B roads). its equally as good with the wife on the back pottering to the coast (something she would never do on the R1) Fuel consumption good, mostly around 50mpg, have managed 60mpg on a slow rideout once. Mine is on the original flash, I like the aggressive throttle, it was one of the main reasons I bought the bike. A mode is the most aggressive, but if your not in the mood then B mode is great in poor weather. L like the look of the standard exhaust, some of the aftermarket ones dont look right to me, so I modded my standard one, looks standard, but some of the internal pipework has been removed (£20 for a local welder to weld back up), sound went from 88db at tickover to 94db, not as load as the akrapovic, but nicer than stock.

Strengths

Looks, low down power, acceleration, road manners, complete package, reasonable comfort, even 2 up, sound, fuel economy

Weaknesses

I found it didnt like Bridgestone BT023's, they caused a horrible wobble/weave at speed, but lasted 6000 miles. You get covered in crap when it rains. The horn is in a stupid place, even now after owning for 13500 miles and over 2 years, still not used to it

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