Yamaha Living with the 2021 Yamaha MT-09 | Comfort and ergonomics


After some chunky trips around mainland UK (thanks Covid!), we feel we are now in a position to talk about the Yamaha MT-09 and its comfort

COMFORT is felt by the backside, boots, back, and hands. Sorry, I ran out of ‘B’s. You get the picture, there is more to making a bike good for long-distance than simply slotting on a soggy seat.

Thankfully, the enforced lack of foreign travel is meaning motorcycle manufacturers are having to get creative with their motorcycle launches, and that has had me travelling the length and breadth of the UK on our little grey Yamaha.

We’ve cranked out around a thousand miles or so since collecting it, and while most of those rides have been all about spanking the updated model around the scenery as hard as is humanly possible, the recent months schleps up and down the UK have focused my mind more and more on the bike’s comfort.

A couple of points of note for this new model compared to the previous MT-09. The seat looks feels, and seems more sizable than before. The pillion perch is notably bigger, and even though this isn’t a bike built for pillion mileage, it’s handy to know should you have to take one!

The bike I have has the stock seat, although a plusher comfort seat is available for around £250. It’s a single-seat design, that slides down from the pillion to the rider perch. There isn't a great deal of padding here, and I get the ‘well if they made it that comfortable, nobody would by the accessory seat’ argument, but padding that actually fills the liner would be good.

In the real world, and the real world for this bike in my mind is trips of under an hour, the seat comfort is perfectly adequate, with no real numb-bum scenario to speak of. The ample size of the perch means there is plenty of room to shuffle about and get the blood flowing, whether you like to hug the tank or spread out a little. It’s also nicely contoured around the flanks of the seat, meaning your thighs don’t have to conform to the shape of the bike, it will contour to you, well me, in this case.

For those looking to go further on their MT-09, the comfort will run out right about an hour and a half into your ride – if you are slogging out some motorway work. The numb backside will have you floating around the Yamaha, as you coax the blood flow back into action.

The rest of the bike, from backside to boots is very good. Knees aren’t too bent, pegs are nicely positioned, and you even get a modicum of weather and wind protection from the deeply sculpted fuel tank. The undamped pegs are pretty vibe-free too, with no discernible buzz through them at motorway speeds. There is even the option to adjust the pegs by shifting them up a mounting hole, although I can’t imagine who it is that would need to tweak that.

Up top and at the front, the MT-09 feels more relaxed than some of the other middleweight nakeds in the class. The bars are fairly high and keep my 5’ 7” frame in a compact and comfortable. Ideally, I’d like to turn this into my ultimate MT-09, with the inclusion of a taller screen, comfort seat, and a load of bolt-on luggage. I’m pretty sure that after that, any grumbles of lack of comfort and weather protection would be well and truly put to bed.

All in all, the MT-09 provides you with a decent level of comfort. Take it for what it is, a B-road dream and handy commuting tool, and you’ll never have much to grumble about. If you’re looking for more miles from your MT and maybe some touring ability, you’ll be well advised to stick some accessories onto your PCP deal in the form of the touring or urban packs.

Or better still, grab a Tenere 700!

New 2021 Yamaha MT-09 First Ride | Visordown.com