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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

300 miles

£5,995

Yamaha
MT-03

7000 miles

£2,850

Yamaha
MT-03

16279 miles

£2,995

Yamaha
MT-03

1244 miles

£4,294

Yamaha
MT-03

18000 miles

£2,995

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(18 reviews)

  • After 1 year...

    Hedgehog5

    Average rating rating is 3

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    ... this bike has proved itself not to be the all-rounder that it's made out to be (unless you do 4000 miles a year)... constant problems... wheel bearings, 2 wiring looms, new clocks, battery, & a chain made of elastic. The overall build quality is appalling... this bike is not up to all year use. On the plus side you won't find a better handling bike & the engine is spot on & faultless.

    25 October 2008

  • Great fun

    Martinthevet

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Engine

    Great fun around the lanes and town. I had hoped to commute on it but felt vulnerable on the motorway.Big problem with engine cutting out when hot and filtering in traffic, told by local dealer this was 'an unresolvable problem with this single'. Very jerky at constant speed, engine constantly 'hunting' up and down the revs. I could't live with this but its the first injected single I've had. Just swapped it for the ZX9

    18 October 2008

  • fun bike

    mibattack

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    A very good beginger or back to bike Very easy , very funny, ride as Supermotard or sports bikes. And good for your driving license. You do not loose to much points with this one. Good equipment, good breakes, engine a bit low HP. Fast on corners. the price is a bit to high.

    23 June 2008

  • Flippin Heck

    lahDdah

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Value
    Engine

    I have just spent an hour and a half on one of these blasting round the lanes and A roads in Kent. Top fun all round. The MT-03 has plenty of go and even with my huge bulk could top 98 with enough of a run up and me sitting bolt upright. There would have been a bit more but I didn't want to get down to it.. seemed a bit futile on this kind of bike. I was easily able to keep up with motorway traffic. 80 is easy, 85 is a bit vibey but perfectly possible. The handling was very light and stable even though I was on and off the power. There is tons of leverage available through the wide slightly turned out bars and their position plus the fact that there is very little of the bike in front of you gives you a feeling of flying through the countryside. (Think Leo & Kate in that scene in Titanic but with a motorcycle soundtrack instead of Celene Dion + lots of squashed flies on your teeth and you won't go far wrong) The sound is another thing. Surely Yamaha must be slipping the type approval people a bung for the noise this thing makes. The twin silencers give out a lovely throaty bop bop and you get the full benefit overtaking or riding through roads with walls or built up areas. Coming off the power and shifting down they even pop on the overrun. Brake and running gear is excellent. The front brakes can easily lock the front wheel but feel sensitive and progressive. They are floating rotors so you would expect them to be good. There is plenty of rubber up front and the rear can be slid perfectly under control super-moto stylie. Tubeless tyres on pretty alloys complete the set. The instrumentation is spartan but the tacho is prominent to keep the motor in its sweet spot. I didn't look at the speedo much but its clear and easy to read albeit a bit small. Everything glows red at night. Build quality seems very good indeed and the whole package hangs together very well indeed. You can also trick it out with Akra's and lots of hi-tech goodies to customise yours from the official Yamaha catalogue. I am told the service intervals are 6000 miles apart so running costs should be minimal with only one of everything to service (except tyres of course) I recommend everyone rides one as soon as possible. I liked it so much I have just bought one on the UK 0% over 30 months deal and have traded in my much faster, more in yer naked sports bike. I may regret not having both but the MT-03 is a stonking bike that I can ride just as fast 90% of the time and saves me money on tyres, insurance and running costs all the while. The other 10% I was breaking the law anyway and it was getting hard to hold on to the triple and my licence! Now I have had mine for about a month. I agree it could do with a bit more top end speed but everything else is a total hoot. Chicken strips disappeared whilst running it in!

    19 August 2007

  • Flippin Heck

    lahDdah

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I have just spent an hour and a half on one of these blasting round the lanes and A roads in Kent. Top fun all round. The MT-03 has plenty of go and even with my huge bulk could top 98 with enough of a run up and me sitting bolt upright. There would have been a bit more but I didn't want to get down to it.. seemed a bit futile on this kind of bike. I was easily able to keep up with motorway traffic. 80 is easy, 85 is a bit vibey but perfectly possible. The handling was very light and stable even though I was on and off the power. There is tons of leverage available through the wide slightly turned out bars and their position plus the fact that there is very little of the bike in front of you gives you a feeling of flying through the countryside. (Think Leo & Kate in that scene in Titanic but with a motorcycle soundtrack instead of Celene Dion + lots of squashed flies on your teeth and you won't go far wrong) The sound is another thing. Surely Yamaha must be slipping the type approval people a bung for the noise this thing makes. The twin silencers give out a lovely throaty bop bop and you get the full benefit overtaking or riding through roads with walls or built up areas. Coming off the power and shifting down they even pop on the overrun. Brake and running gear is excellent. The front brakes can easily lock the front wheel but feel sensitive and progressive. They are floating rotors so you would expect them to be good. There is plenty of rubber up front and the rear can be slid perfectly under control super-moto stylie. Tubeless tyres on pretty alloys complete the set. The instrumentation is spartan but the tacho is prominent to keep the motor in its sweet spot. I didn't look at the speedo much but its clear and easy to read albeit a bit small. Everything glows red at night. Build quality seems very good indeed and the whole package hangs together very well indeed. You can also trick it out with Akra's and lots of hi-tech goodies to customise yours from the official Yamaha catalogue. I am told the service intervals are 6000 miles apart so running costs should be minimal with only one of everything to service (except tyres of course) I recommend everyone rides one as soon as possible. I liked it so much I have just bought one on the UK 0% over 30 months deal and have traded in my much faster, more in yer naked sports bike. I may regret not having both but the MT-03 is a stonking bike that I can ride just as fast 90% of the time and saves me money on tyres, insurance and running costs all the while. The other 10% I was breaking the law anyway and it was getting hard to hold on to the triple and my licence! Now I have had mine for about a month. I agree it could do with a bit more top end speed but everything else is a total hoot. Chicken strips disappeared whilst running it in!

    19 August 2007

  • Big Thumper...

    Hedgehog5

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Engine

    I moved from larger bikes in search of something different & I found it in the MT. Great handling, solid engine, but no good on m-ways. Made for tight bends & less than perfect roads... a good real world bike.

    12 August 2007

  • MT-03 well put together, dealer was really great.

    douetilr

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Nice to be back on a bike again, despite mild state of tune pulls well & on our crowed London streets is more than enough. Brings a smile to my face on every ride, however accessories are way over priced, £87.99 for a fly screen, tut tut Yamaha! Strengths: Light clutch, manouvreable, great low speed balance, adequate power & great looks. Loves corners too. Weaknesses: Fuel injection not brilliant, wide bars can be a pain whilst filtering, mirrors not to good either.

    20 September 2006

  • Ex-demo with all the extras. Havent smiled so much in years

    crustyclan

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
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    Value
    Engine

    Love sports bikes? Fed up of looking out for speed cameras? Want a laugh, just like when u first learnt to ride? Take one for a test ride. Re-tune your brain. Nail it round your town/city centre, or down a back lane. Just smile. Strengths: Nimble steering. Grunty motor and still looks kind of cool. Weaknesses: You wont want to go to far to fast (saves your licence).

    30 August 2006

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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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