Despite the Yamaha MT-01's top-quality suspension (multi-adjustable front and rear), brakes (same as the R1) and cycle parts, the MT-01 can’t hide its weight and size and so is more lumbering roadster than naked sports. Minimalist styling means it lacks comfort for long hauls, too. Roomy though for bigger riders.
The Yamaha MT-01 is powered by a huge, slow-revving push-rod V-twin is derived from that of Road Warrior custom motorcycle. It’s big, lumpy, massively torquey and, with the optional Akrapovic pipes, sounds absolutely awesome. Oddest of all, though, is how slow the Yamaha MT-01 revs. It takes off at 1500rpm and it’s all over by 5000rpm. Brisk rather than quick due to its weight, but uniquely endearing.
In a nutshell: the Yamaha MT-01 is superb and so far so good. It was intended as a flagship model so build quality of the MT-01 is among Yamaha’s best ever. There's fantastic attention to detail, too. No reliability issues yet, but the Yamaha MT-01’s finickity metal finishes demand laborious cleaning. Due to massive vibes, nuts and bolts need to be regularly checked, too.
The Yamaha MT-01's £9K price tag is a lot of money seemingly justified by its build quality, style and materials. In reality, however, few were prepared to pay that for a motorcycle so difficuly to pigeon hole and yet so average in terms of practicality and performance – which is why it’s since depreciated massively. Year-old, 1100-milers can already be had for less than £5500. Find a Yamaha MT-01 for sale
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If lack of performance and practicality defies the £9K price tag, the Yamaha MT-01’s equipment goes some way to compensate. Top quality suspension front and rear is accompanied by superior brakes, fabulous switchgear, clocks, headlamp, mirrors etc and later versions of the Yamaha MT-01 came complete with a £1000 Akrapovic system, too.