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New Yamaha MT-09 850cc triple breaks cover

By Rich Newland -

New bikes

 11 June 2013 15:10

An all-new 850cc street-focused triple for just £6799? Meet the future of Yamaha…

Yamaha have released details of one of their most important new bikes in decades, the MT-09. It’s an all-new naked middleweight designed specifically for the European market with a brand-new 850cc transverse three-cylinder engine, upright riding position, distinctive styling – and a hugely attractive price tag of just £6799.

Yamaha took the unusual step of publicly admitting at the 2012 Cologne motorcycle show it wasn’t doing enough to bring out exciting motorcycles, wasn’t selling enough bikes and was losing customers as they went elsewhere.

Now Yamaha wants the world to understand its back.

At the heart of the new bike is the 850cc motor which the firm promises will deliver instant throttle response with lots of low and mid-range torque. Peak power is a claimed 115bhp at 10,500rpm with 62lbft of torque at 8500rpm. This puts it almost bang in the middle of the sort of performance from the Triumph Street triple 675 and the Speed Triple 1050.

Engine highlights
• 850cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke 3-cylinder DOHC 4-valve
• ‘Crossplane philosophy’ for linear torque output
• 115hp @ 10,500rpm
• 85 Nm @ 8,500rpm
• 78mm x 59.1mm bore x stroke
• 120º crank with firing sequence at 0º, 240º and 480º
• Forged aluminium pistons and direct-plated cylinders
• Newly-designed 6-speed transmission with compact clutch
• Yamaha D-mode switchable mapping

Yamaha’s vice-president sales and marketing (and a former boss of Yamaha UK) Andy Smith spoke exclusively to MCN to explain just what is going on, why the MT-09 is so exciting… and why Yamaha doesn’t mind if you don’t like it.

Smith said: “Some people may not like this bike, some people may not get it, may not get what we are doing with this bike but we are willing to accept the risk that some people don’t like it because we think that is better than the current situation where 100% of people think we make nice bikes but don’t buy them.”

What Yamaha wants is to take a slice of the large European market for naked bikes dominated by the European manufacturers. If you want a clear idea of the sort of bikes Yamaha has in mind then think Ducati Monster, Triumph Speed Triple, BMW F800 and even the KTM 990 Super Duke.

Smith added: “Yamaha used to lead the market in lots of different categories and areas and we want to get that back. The MT-09 is the dawn of a new era for Yamaha and over the next five years everyone will see we are serious about motorcycles and we are going to reverse the fact we haven’t been as focussed on markets like Europe as we should have been.”

Pick up the Wednesday 12 June issue of Motor Cycle News to get the full inside story, interviews, and analysis on the new MT-09.

Tech Specs
Engine: Liquid-cooled, 120-degree, 847cc (78 x 59.1mm), inline triple, 12v, 6 gears, chain drive.
Claimed power: 115bhp @ 10,500rpm
Claimed torque: 62ftlb @ 8500rpm
Chassis: Aluminium die-cast sectional frame, aluminium die-cast asymmetrical  double-sided swingarm
Suspension: Front: Inverted 41mm fork, rebound adjustable Rear: Link type monocross with horizontal shock, rebound & preload adjustable
Claimed kerb weight: 188kg
Brakes: Front: 2 x 298mm front discs with radial mounted 4-piston
calipers. Rear: 245mm rear disc with
pin-slide caliper 
Front tyre: 120/70 R17
Rear tyre: 180/55 R17
Fuel capacity: 14 litres
Contact: www.yamaha-motor.eu/uk