Motorbike

Yamaha MT-09 review

Yamaha's first triple for thirty years. Stonking engine and sweet handling belie the budget price tag
Details
Manufacturer:
Yamaha
Category:
Naked
Price:
£ 6799
Overall
4
Although the MT-09 is priced at a budget £6799, there isn’t a lot about the bike that screams budget.
That price. That engine
Snatchy throttle response in two of the three power modes

If you’ve ever been on a motorcycle internet forum, you might have noticed that the question ‘Do you nod to other bikers?’ is the most heavily debated topic but in a close second place is the impossible to answer question: ‘What’s the perfect motorcycle engine for road riders?’

Look hard enough and you might find a few people reluctantly agreeing with each other and more often than not, they’ve decided that an 800cc triple is what the world needs.

Now Yamaha have delivered.

The new MT-09, with its 847cc triple, presented in a no frills package at the bargain price of £6799 looks like it’s put an end to one of the oldest internet debates.

Back to debating about whether we should nod to GS riders, Harleys and scooters, I suppose.

The MT-09 is a solid but slightly curious looking motorcycle. Curious is in its family DNA and Yamaha are keen to push home the point that this isn’t a Universal Japanese Motorcycle, it’s something a bit different.

The first of the MT series, the MT-01, was introduced as a concept all the way back in 1999 and looked nothing like any motorcycle before and not much has looked like it since. Does that pave a decent path for the MT-09 to follow up, almost 10 years later? I’m not so sure.

But I’m not so sure it matters either. Most didn’t really buy into what the MT-01 and MT-03 stood for. They offered individual looks but the performance didn’t stand out as much as the price. The MT-09 isn’t expensive, and thanks to its three-cylinder engine, it’s a unique Japanese offering. It makes more power than an R6 and weighs less too. It’s a vastly different offering to the MTs we already know.

The MT-09 doesn’t look as light as the specification sheet tells you it is. The air intakes and sculpted tank add visual bulk and a top-heavy appearance. However at 188kg wet, just 5kg heavier than the Street Triple and 41kg lighter than the Z800, it’s clearly a lean machine.

Although the MT-09 is priced at a budget £6799, there isn’t a lot about the bike that screams budget. There are a few savings here and there, the suspension isn’t fully adjustable, the brake discs are slightly smaller than what you’d get on a sportsbike, there’s no slipper-clutch and the clocks are functional but minimal. From an electronics viewpoint, the MT-09 isn’t bursting with gadgets but it does features a ride-by-wire throttle and 3 riding modes. There’s no traction control and ABS is a cost option.

While you can see the savings, they’re countered by the aluminium chassis, forged aluminium pistons and stylish aluminium wheels. That’s a lot of aluminium where Yamaha would be forgiven for using steel. So it’s no wonder the MT-09 is as light as it is but it is a wonder how Yamaha make any money on it.

Sitting on the bike, the first thing you notice is how narrow the seat is at the front and yet how wide it is at the back. It’s almost triangular in shape. Sit at the rear and you feel like you’re on a park bench, sit at the front and you feel like you’re on a bannister.

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests-first-rides/first-ride-yamaha-mt-09/23372.html#ixzz2dif4yA4c

If you’ve ever been on a motorcycle internet forum, you might have noticed that the question ‘Do you nod to other bikers?’ is the most heavily debated topic but in a close second place is the impossible to answer question: ‘What’s the perfect motorcycle engine for road riders?’

Look hard enough and you might find a few people reluctantly agreeing with each other and more often than not, they’ve decided that an 800cc triple is what the world needs.

Now Yamaha have delivered.

The new MT-09, with its 847cc triple, presented in a no frills package at the bargain price of £6799 looks like it’s put an end to one of the oldest internet debates.

Back to debating about whether we should nod to GS riders, Harleys and scooters, I suppose.

The MT-09 is a solid but slightly curious looking motorcycle. Curious is in its family DNA and Yamaha are keen to push home the point that this isn’t a Universal Japanese Motorcycle, it’s something a bit different.

The first of the MT series, the MT-01, was introduced as a concept all the way back in 1999 and looked nothing like any motorcycle before and not much has looked like it since. Does that pave a decent path for the MT-09 to follow up, almost 10 years later? I’m not so sure.

But I’m not so sure it matters either. Most didn’t really buy into what the MT-01 and MT-03 stood for. They offered individual looks but the performance didn’t stand out as much as the price. The MT-09 isn’t expensive, and thanks to its three-cylinder engine, it’s a unique Japanese offering. It makes more power than an R6 and weighs less too. It’s a vastly different offering to the MTs we already know.

The MT-09 doesn’t look as light as the specification sheet tells you it is. The air intakes and sculpted tank add visual bulk and a top-heavy appearance. However at 188kg wet, just 5kg heavier than the Street Triple and 41kg lighter than the Z800, it’s clearly a lean machine.

Although the MT-09 is priced at a budget £6799, there isn’t a lot about the bike that screams budget. There are a few savings here and there, the suspension isn’t fully adjustable, the brake discs are slightly smaller than what you’d get on a sportsbike, there’s no slipper-clutch and the clocks are functional but minimal. From an electronics viewpoint, the MT-09 isn’t bursting with gadgets but it does features a ride-by-wire throttle and 3 riding modes. There’s no traction control and ABS is a cost option.

While you can see the savings, they’re countered by the aluminium chassis, forged aluminium pistons and stylish aluminium wheels. That’s a lot of aluminium where Yamaha would be forgiven for using steel. So it’s no wonder the MT-09 is as light as it is but it is a wonder how Yamaha make any money on it.

Sitting on the bike, the first thing you notice is how narrow the seat is at the front and yet how wide it is at the back. It’s almost triangular in shape. Sit at the rear and you feel like you’re on a park bench, sit at the front and you feel like you’re on a bannister.

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests-first-rides/first-ride-yamaha-mt-09/23372.html#ixzz2dif4yA4c

That price. That engine
Snatchy throttle response in two of the three power modes