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Yamaha MT-03 Naked Motorbike Review

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Yamaha MT-03 motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

Visually stunning and mechanically sound, Yamaha’s trick new “roadster motard” creates its own little niche in the market. Ideally an urban/commuter tool, the Yamaha MT-03 gives you more than enough fun if you want some bendy weekend scratching too. Handling is superb but just a little more horsepower would’ve really broadened the Yamaha MT-03's appeal.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Like Aprilia’s Pegaso, the Yamaha MT-03 takes its engine from Yamaha’s XT660: a proven motor that works in this dinky little chassis. Smooth fuel injection and loads of low to midrange torque mean town and twisty riding is huge fun. The Yamaha MT-03 is a bit breathless up top though: it’s not really up to a long haul.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Stunning agility and a forward riding position bring out the motard aspects of the Yamaha MT-03. Clutch and throttle action are spot on and the brakes (lifted from the Fazer) are excellent. The Yamaha MT-03's  flash, lateral suspension system (with side-mounted shock) takes care of comfort while the rider can cane the bike around town or corners knowing those wide bars give it excellent manoeuvrability.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3

Sharing its genes with the MT-01, the Yamaha MT-03 has angular bodywork, a funky little headlamp and angry twin underseat pipes. The clocks are basic (digital speedo/analogue rev counter) but that suits the motard look. Numerous Yamaha MT-03 aftermarket bits are available, including hand guards, a flyscreen, seat covers and a fetching Akrapovic end can. Yum.

Yamaha MT-03 (2006-current)

Detail Value
New price £7,399
Dealer used prices
£2,690 (2006) - £4,810 (2013)
Private used prices
£2,420 (2006) - £4,320 (2013)
  View full used price info
Engine size 660 cc
Power 45 bhp
Top speed 100 mph
Insurance group 11 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 3
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 3
Value rating is 4 rating is 3.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3

The Yamaha MT-03 is well finished with excellent attention to detail: just look at that beautiful alloy swingarm. The engine’s tried and tested (so should be reliable) and the whole Yamaha MT-03 has been put together with originality, flair and, by the looks of things, without stinting too much on quality. Early days though…

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

A quality motorcycle at this price is good news. Scratchers will love throwing the Yamaha MT-03 around and newbies will learn to corner like Rossi with its brilliant handling. The top end may be a bit lacking, however, and there’s always the Suzuki SV650 or Kawasaki’s ER-6n waiting in the wings, costing less and with around 20bhp more oomph. Find a Yamaha MT-03 for sale

Insurance

Insurance group: 11 of 17

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Model History

2006: Yamaha MT-03 launched, following the 2005 introduction of its (very) big brother: the Yamaha MT-01. The new, little bike is described by Yamaha as a “roadster motard”.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 100 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 14.6 secs
Max power 45 bhp
Max torque 41 ft-lb
Weight 174.5 kg
Seat height 805 mm
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Average fuel consumption 56 mpg
Tank range 185 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 11 of 17
Engine size 660 cc
Engine specification 4v single cylinder, 5 gears
Frame Tubular steel
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes Twin 298mm discs
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

See all Yamaha MT-03 motorcycles for sale

Yamaha
MT-03

10844 miles

£2,995

Yamaha
MT-03

300 miles

£5,495

Yamaha
MT-03

7000 miles

£2,850

Yamaha
MT-03

16279 miles

£2,995

Yamaha
MT-03

1244 miles

£4,294

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(18 reviews)

  • City riding my MT-03

    drnqrk

    Average rating rating is 5

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    Here is the youtube video I'v posted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xziygupgT7o MT-03 is a Fun City Bike that brings a smile to your face :)

    06 June 2012

  • Great fun, but a couple of points worth noting...

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I’ve had my 58 plate MT for about a month now, so posting my thoughts as I found some of the other reviews on here helpful, but there were a couple of things about the bike I've noticed weren't mentioned. Firstly, as others say, this bike isn't best suited for the motorway. It'll do it, but the lack of fairing, relatively lightweight chassis and low gearing mean that motorway riding is not its forte. My daily commute is all London-based, so this was not a major issue for me. Whilst the MT is best suited for town riding, don't, however, expect smooth filtering like you’d get with a straight four. The characteristics of its big single cylinder engine push you to drive it hard, hammering around the outside of traffic and slamming on the brakes at the lights! In fact, driving the MT smoothly at slow speeds is nigh-on impossible as it surges quite noticeably when doing less than 30mph – a characteristic that, from browsing multiple forums, appears to affect all bikes that this injected big single is used in and for which there is no conclusive fix. Handling is good, but, because of the surging, low speed cornering takes some getting used to, with extra clutch control needed. There's no ABS option though and, with all of the weight at the front of the bike, the rear wheel locks up VERY easily. Think this is made slightly more prominent as the brake pedal is a bit of stretch if you have big feet, which probably means I’m stamping on it a little harder than I would normally. However, if you need to stop in a hurry, I’d advise using the front brake for about 95% of your efforts! Economy wise, I’ve been getting around 50mpg from town driving, but insurance is a bit more expensive than other group 10-11 mid-range bikes. Not having a fuel gauge is a bit annoying, but there is a low fuel light + a couple of trips so, once you know how much you can get out of a tank, it's easy to monitor roughly how many miles you've got left until you need to fill up. Discounting the above idiosyncrasies, this bike has so far actually been a lot of fun to ride. It looks good, feels solid and the raucous stock exhaust is load enough for other motorists to notice you and get out the way (although a louder aftermarket Mivv system is on my wish list). Whilst a bit clonky, the gear change is solid too – I liken it in feel to a big Tonka toy – and a lot better than the ratchety one on a 59 plate XJ6 I did my DAS on where you practically had to sprain your leg to get from 1st to 2nd! Although, on paper, this bike’s short on bhp, the low gearing coupled with decent torque make its power very accessible. With a redline of around the 8k mark, 1st gear is slightly short, but acceleration is still good up to about 70mph. Overall, this is a great bike if you’re planning on fast town and A/B road driving. If you’re more of a slow speed filterer or do lots of motorway driving, I’d recommend going for something with a straight four cylinder engine.

    13 April 2012

  • Restricted MT-03

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Had my 33BHP restricted MT-03 for a few months now. One of the most beautiful bikes I have ever seen. It's fantastic around town. Loads of torque and is almost as agile as the DR125 I was riding before. Wide bars are both a blessing and a curse making the bike nimble at low speed but a little too wide to filter sometimes. Looks and sounds amazing. Out on the A-roads the bike handles well in the bends but will not be powerful enough to satisfy anyone who likes to ride quickly. My only other problem with the bike is that the throttle can be quite snatchy. Not had any problems with build quality, just a touch of rust on the exhaust manifold. Fantastic bike, just know that its about low down grunt for cities and twisting roads and not about power and top speed. A great bike for restricting as it still has bags of torque. Will max out at 85MPH on the flat when restricted, solo or two up.

    24 December 2011

  • MT03

    mariov

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    I got my MT03 1 1/2 years ago. Done 5000 miles on it and indeed is a great "little" bike. The good things: 1. Looks .. Yeah I find its looks amazing. 2. Riding position. Excellent for me... 3. Handling ... Like most said very very good handling. 4. Did I say looks ;) 5. Comfy .. Very comfy 6. Give it bends and traffic and it will smoke it. With a big smile. 7. Engine very reliable. 8. Low revs fun. Bad things: 1. Lets face it, its gutless. Sometimes you have scooters over takes you when you are full throttle. I do 30 miles a day on it and 20 miles are on M4... Prior hitting the highway I am king of the road. Hit the highway and you better move on the left lane ... It goes up to 80 - 90 "easily" but it is tiring 2. It is not make for 2 up .. Very small seat at the back not comfy.. 3. Gear box very very flaky. Gears don't go in correctly have to release clutch few times to engage gear on some occasions. Out of the bad things only one is really bad and that is the performance. I would highly recommend it if you are a city rider . The highway is barebable if you do it every now and then not every day. Will I swap it for anything else? When I bought it, the XJ6 (naked) wasnt out so maybe I would have gone for that but still the looks of the MT03 is something that did it for me and still does.

    22 April 2010

  • great bike-if you use it as intended

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Had mine for a year now from new. Paid £3999 over 3yrs interest free - they're nearly £7000 now!!!. Totaly reliable (covered 11,000 inner-city miles without a glitch). Pretty good build quality (apart from some flaky paint on the oil sump). Huge fun because of its super agility, wonderful noise (akras a must), and good low to mid-range punch. But it's not meant to be a high speed bike and it is not intended for anything but the shortest of motorway hops.Overal, I would recommend the Mt-03 to anyone looking for an involving, well built and rare-to-see (on the roads of London anyway) bike. But buy a well kept 2008 bike with akras already fitted and save a fortune.

    01 March 2010

  • Italian electrics?

    xape

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Great little handling bike, but I wish I'd been able to take it on some faster roads when I test drove it. I traded my CBR600 in for the MT-03 as I wanted something with more low down torque for traffic but once I got used to it I found it severely lacking. I have no idea how mcn gave the engine 4 stars. The MT-03 is great from 0-30 but from 40-90 it's stupidly slow. I would open it up on bigger more open roads and accelerating cars could still overtake me, very embarrassing. I also had nothing but problems with the MT-03, especially electrics. Bought it for 3k in Oct 2008, and by Oct 2009 I had spent just under 1.5k on repairs (my fault for going to official yamaha garage). Went through three batteries at £150 a time from due to the rectifier/regulator keep blowing (£75) on a monthly basis (was covered under warranty subsequent times, but it spent ages in the garage). It constantly stalled on me, and I never got this fixed I just had to live with it apparently it's a single thing, but I suspect the electrics as it always improved after getting the wiring loom replaced (3 times). Although not quite as bad, it's also has very dodgy fueling from the on board computer which makes it surge/hunt between 3-4k rpm. Apparently there's nothing yamaha can do about this, but it makes it very annoying to drive at 30mph in the right gear as it's constantly changing speed. The last most annoying thing was overtaking on the MT-03. with the red line at 7.5k rpm you will more often than not have to change up a gear while overtaking. I constantly had to abort overtakes as the gear change would slow me down too much. Admittedly that's a side effect of my ex dispatch riding, but it's still annoying and forces you to drive likes it's sunday all the time. When you're riding it, it sounds great. But I realised when riding behind another MT-03 one day it actually sounds like a ball bearing in a tin can to everyone else. A lot of complaints here, but if you don't mind the total lack of power (new rider) and you get one without reliability problems (or have warranty) then you could be very happy with the MT-03.

    07 January 2010

  • Not good reading...

    Hedgehog5

    Average rating rating is 2.5

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    Full report reads... warranty replaced items list :- front wheel + bearings(x2), left fork leg, left caliper, front brake disks & pads, headlight unit, odometer, left & right handlebar switches, battery(x2), wiring loom (x2 or 3), rectifier, all locks & keys, engine rebuild including new barrel, piston, etc, rear wheel + bearings(x3), silencer, tail light unit (x2), pillion footpegs (x2). Off the road for 12 wks in 26 months & 32k miles of ownership. At the end I was just waiting for the next thing to go wrong & had no faith whatsoever in the bike being able to get me to my destination... still great handling tho'. I was left high-&-dry by Yamaha UK, net result I will never buy a Yamaha again. Shame really, I liked it when it ran.

    16 December 2009

  • Not good reading...

    Hedgehog5

    Average rating rating is 2.5

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    Full report reads... warranty replaced items list :- front wheel + bearings(x2), left fork leg, left caliper, front brake disks & pads, headlight unit, odometer, left & right handlebar switches, battery(x2), wiring loom (x2 or 3), rectifier, all locks & keys, engine rebuild including new barrel, piston, etc, rear wheel + bearings(x3), silencer, tail light unit (x2), pillion footpegs (x2). Off the road for 12 wks in 26 months & 32k miles of ownership. At the end I was just waiting for the next thing to go wrong & had no faith whatsoever in the bike being able to get me to my destination... still great handling tho'. I was left high-&-dry by Yamaha UK, net result I will never buy a Yamaha again. Shame really, I liked it when it ran.

    16 December 2009

  • Licence friendly fun

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Down sized from a ZZR600 due to not being able to safley exploit engine performance on public roads! I'm not boring, I just value my licence!!! Bought the Mt-03 1 1/2 years ago and have covered 10,000 miles. Apart from replace the cush drive at 4000 miles she has been no problem. Survived a 5 day 2600 mile trip around Scotland carrying all required kit + camping gear! Yes it is compromised due to lack of fairing and only having 1 lung and if you bought one of these for high speed cruising then you would be sorley disappointed.....but that's not the point. If you want something that's a little quirky and stands out from the crowd and have been there and done that with the speed thing and are more into 'riding' motorcycles, then you'd probably enjoy the MT-03. Handling is spot on, engine performance pokey, cruises at 75-80mph all day and gives you a commanding view of the road ahead. No better bike for blasting around the Dales (or Scotland!). A very soulful (for a Jap bike!!!) motorcycle.

    07 December 2009

  • 18 month update...

    Hedgehog5

    Average rating rating is 2

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    ... a string of major faults have continued to leave this bike off the road for longer periods of time (8wks in 18 months of ownership)... I haven't rode it yet this year because it's in having warranty work done. A letter to Yamaha reveals that they are not unaccustomed to bikes being off the road for this period of time & are unwilling to do anything about replacement transport. My advice holds.. do not buy a Yamaha if you need your bike as reliable transport. Full report will follow.

    20 January 2009

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boybergs

boybergssays

5 years and faultless

Bought mine new in 2008. Not one single problem so far (90, 000 miles up). During my time with the mt, I've bought and sold on a street triple, a Ktm duke and currently own an fz1. Throughout this period I've continued to enjoy the mt and will never sell it on. All bikes have their own character and the mt is just simple, unfussy fun always. And obviously the fz1 Is ultimately waaaay faster, but 0 - 40 (where it matters most in town) the mt is just as effective. A great little bike and looks good too.

25 February 2013 17:14

FatFifer

FatFifersays

Ideal winter commuter?

A unique bike, lots of character, fun, oddly closer in feel to some of the old British bikes than Triumph's born again and over-sanitized Bonneville...a Panther for the 21st century?Clocked up 12k happy miles over the last 14 months. A smaller rear sprocket (45 tooth) from a Tenere was a useful mod keeping the revs a little lower through the 70's. Akras too expensive. Great bike for commuting, torque and superb engine braking makes picking off long queues of traffic a doddle and easy on brake pad wear.  50mpg, but warning light comes on too early. I fill up 50 miles after light on, but have stretched it to 70. Used bike through two winters, taking it out on icy days when I would never have dared use my previous bike (Sprint 1050). Took its toll on the finish though. The mass distribution and nature of its power delivery makes this a brilliant winter commuter, so long as you don't mind it looking like crap by March. Local Yamaha dealer are putting in a warranty claim as long as your arm to replace corroded parts. Not such a great bike on the open road when you need to get a bit of a shift on. It will go faster, but really it's happiest in the 70's with the odd push to 85. Bike cost me £4820 in Dec 08 plus £250 for heated grips and anti roll thingmys. Just traded it in at £2700 against an older Fazer 600. MT03 is a bit slow for the summer. Can't say it cost too much to run at 6000 mile service intervals. Went through one tyre at each end, 1 set rear brake pads and a chain plus warranty claim on leaking coolant resevoir. Certainly didn't have the problems with mine that some have encountered though it did cut out on me once duting an overtaking manouvre when I strayed over the red line. Had no option but to coast to the offside verge. No-one coming towards me, just as well really, you might not be reading this otherwise. New price for bike now £6,600, nice as it is within its limitations I don't know who Yamaha think they're kidding. A GS 800 costs less. And yeah...the wide bars can be a pain when filtering.

 

19 March 2010 23:12

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