’14 Yamaha MT09
Having owned the Yamaha 1700cc MT-01, my expectations were set high when Henry of RBS Yamaha offered me this new “little” kicker for a day. You see, the Yamaha MT-09 is a whole new concept in sport bike design. With a compact new chassis and high-torque 3-cylinder engine, this new generation performance machine is designed for riders who appreciate character and soul.
The beating heart of this new kind of animal is a lightweight 850cc 3-cylinder engine that kicks out a wide band of raw, linear torque giving outstanding acceleration that gets your adrenaline flowing.
And for agile handling this dynamic new naked motard-style bike is equipped with a compact aluminium chassis and upright riding position that make light work of everything – from weekday urban riding through to weekend blasts.
To highlight a few features:
- 115hp – 87,5 Nm
- Light and compact
- Raw and linear torque output
- Slim and lightweight CF die-cast aluminium frame
- Asymmetric CF die-cast aluminium swingarm
- Monocross rear suspension with horizontal shock
- Refined ergonomics “full-control” riding position
- YCC-T and D-MODE electronic control systems
- 298mm floating front discs radial-mount calipers
- All-new lightweight 10-spoke alloy wheels
The next generation sport bike
“When we set out to develop the MT-09 our goal was to create a new kind of sport bike with three key elements that would set it apart from other models. First of all we wanted a new kind of engine developing strong and exciting torque. The chassis had to be compact and slim. And this next generation sport bike would need a unique character that would make every ride special.”
With its 850cc 3-cylinder engine, the new MT-09 produces remarkable levels of linear torque that redefine sport riding. The lightweight aluminium chassis is agile and easy to handle. And the naked bodywork with wide handlebars and flat seat gives confidence and control.
Yamaha has been very keen to stress the MT-09 represents the ‘dark side’ of Japan and has its own character and soul while still incorporating all the quality and reliability that you expect. I don’t really care what the bike represents, because after just a few short minutes I was blown away. To me the MT-09 represents the best bike to emerge from Japan in years – it is, quite simply, brilliant. And yes, brilliant as in Street Triple brilliant. Possibly even better.
The riding position is traditional naked bike with wide bars and low (slightly more so than usual) pegs, It’s all pretty standard. Then you fire it up with the funky new switchgear and the triple barks into life. Let out the light clutch and you are away, although at this point caution is required.
You can crank it over as far as an R6 in the turns
Get hasty with the throttle in first and the Yamaha rears up. It’s not intimidating, but if you weren’t aware of the torque characteristics of a triple before then you certainly will be now. Into second and the MT is still pulling strongly. Compared to the Street Triple the Yamaha engine is slightly smoother, however it is considerably more powerful and is best thought of as a mix of the Street and Speed Triple – although with a far better gearbox. Flick the clutch in second and the Yamaha will set off on its back wheel quicker than your next breath. At this point, however, this type of riding is an option and so is a mighty fine; so it is best to get the front down and enjoy the agility that the MT-09 has to offer.
Exiting bends the initial throttle response can feel a little harsh and almost as if the chain is slack (it wasn’t), however, putting the bike in ‘B’ mode calms this feeling down if it really bothers you. To be honest I wasn’t overly distressed by it and Yamaha say this bike is aimed at more experienced riders anyway. The brakes are excellent and I couldn’t fault them at any stage – Smooth and Powerful!
It is hard to say what makes the Street Triple so good, it’s just a wonderful blend of handling, performance and character that makes you smile every ride. Well the MT-09 has all this and even more. I can’t remember the last time a Japanese bike made me grin so much, laugh out loud and thoroughly enjoy the riding experience. Having seen Yamaha go through some tough times of late and revealing an uninspiring line-up year after year, I am overjoyed that eventually it has something worth cheering about.
The MT-09’s styling may not be to everyone’s tastes (in the flesh it looks a lot better), but the build quality and Wow-Factor is there in abundance. I’m genuinely impressed that Yamaha has made such an excellent machine; it deserves to sell by the container loads. I strongly urge you to pop down to Yamaha for a test ride, although don’t blame me if you end up riding one home!
Bike supplied by:
RBS Yamaha – Pinetown
Tel: (031) 701 1311
69 St Johns Avenue, Pinetown