YAMAHA MT-01 (2005-on) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"Has radical, straight-from-show-concept-bike styling"

Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Riding

"Has radical, straight-from-show-concept-bike styling"

  • At a glance
  • 1670cc  -  90 bhp
  • 38 mpg  -  116 miles range
  • Medium seat height (825mm)
  • £12,849

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

The Yamaha MT-01 has radical, straight-from-show-concept-bike styling allied to monstrous road presence which gives this motorcycle a kick-in-the-teeth visual appeal like no other. Build and detailing is fabulous and the thunderous engine sounds like no other. Shame performance is merely average yet the price stratospheric, then.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

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.

Engine 4 out of 5

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.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

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.

Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5

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

Insurance group: 16 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

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.

Owners' Reviews

23 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA MT-01 (2005-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.6 out of 5
Engine 4.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.5 out of 5
Equipment 4.4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Distant Thunder

12 March 2014 by winty57

I have owned a 57 plate MT01 for 2 years now. Bored with the linear power delivery of my Triumph Tiger 800Xc I wanted something different. I got it ! Best bike I have ever owned. The MT is absolutely awesome. In real world roll on overtakes it has... Read more no peer mine has 108 ft lbs at rear wheel ( 84hp)'and it has a distinct rush of power from 3 to 5k. It handles well enough to embarass lots of wannabe fast lads and its build quality is fabulous. Mine has professionally modded exhausts and sounds like distant thunder when its 1/2 mile away. When its close by the concussion causes small mammals and children to explode. Lovely

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Smile you're on a MT-01

28 October 2013 by Gallax

The only people who slate the MT-01 are those that want raw power, talk to anyone who either owns or has owned one to get the real story. I bought mine in order to slow me down a bit, it's done just that and yes it's missing a bit of top end if... Read more you're on a track, but on the road....is 130mph not fast enough for you...I still got round Cadwell in less than 2 mins and have a massive smile on my face every time I ride it. The brakes are great, it handles a treat and sound just fricking awesome, nothing will leave you behind in the twisties but don't expect to keep up with the boy racers on the straights. Fabulous bike for those who want to have fun, go scratching but not break the sound barrier.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Boom, there it is!

09 April 2012 by Anonymous

I bought my 2009 MT-01 a couple of years ago from the dealer. She sat on the floor for over a year. I read the reviews and finally rode her - great bike. MT-01 has fantastic power down low and mid range. Higher up (170km/hr and up) performance is... Read more very good but not quite the same as the 5 valve 4 cyl bikes I've ridden. I'm in my late 30s and wanted to my bike to handle sporty and be able to pass traffic quickly with just a flick of the wrist at the same time looking very unique. This bike more than delivers! I get the whole KODO thing and it really is about the whole package - looks, feel, and performance. My back never hurts and the seat is very comfortable but I would hate to be a passenger on the pillon. I'm 5'6" tall and about 155 lbs and the bike feels great - short riders don't feel too intimidated as long as you have some riding experience. I'm on the balls of my feet but the bike is very balanced. Not everyone has this bike, especially in Canada, so if you can get a good deal on one it is definitely a keeper.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

What a bike!

07 November 2011 by Dman001

I have ridden many bikes from ZXR400's to Bandits to TL1000'S. The engine on this bike is absolutely awsome, so much torque, unique sound and pleanty fast enough. The quality of the parts considering it is a Jap bike is fantastic, the paint is... Read more thick, and the detail of the engine is superb. The seat is comfortable and the bike really handles, much better than the TL. It never fails to impress and you don't see many on the road. And did I mention the brakes... absolutely awsome. Go try one..

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

If Carlsberg made bikes....

06 September 2011 by invertedmatt

This is the bike that all riders should aspire to. Its everything that i have ever wanted. It is not just about the amazing looks, the muscle styling, the imposing engine, the incredible pipes and mufflers, nor is just about the superb build quality,... Read more nor the feel and noise of the 1700cc v-twin, nor the agile sports handling or stop on a dime brakes, its about how it makes you feel. Its a total experience of joy, of every sensation that you've ever had all rolled into one. Its like being groped under the dinner table by Angelina Jolie as your mum sits opposite you: Its a complete assault on the senses, a Kylie Monogue bitchslap while eating chillied lemons. Its completely different, completely original and unforgetable. Ingore the price or the fact that its not made in some hard to pronounce European city, this is the real deal, true exotica. Its power, panache, pose, and porn. Its the best bike that i've every owned, ridden or even seen. Disregard the 90 BHP quoted on the spec sheet, this rhino chargers at blistering pace and makes a mockery of trainspotters and anoraks alike. If you like to be centre of attention, experience a slight sense of massive superiority, and want to take the focus off the Ducati and Harley boys, then this is for you. This is the bike that James Bond keeps at home in the garage away from the camera crew. So don't leave this earth until you have at least ridden one. Afterall, if you are not religulous then this may be as spiritual as you will ever get.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

nice bike

03 September 2011 by sheephead

I have owned a MT 01 for 2 years, had a test ride on a sports bike today. Thankfully i will be keeping the MT 01, the sports bike did not handle any better than the MT, and the acceleration was about the same, the Mt is a lot better ride though and... Read more still as me grinning like cheshire cat.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

nice bike

03 September 2011 by sheephead

I have owned a MT 01 for 2 years, had a test ride on a sports bike today. Thankfully i will be keeping the MT 01, the sports bike did not handle any better than the MT, and the acceleration was about the same, the Mt is a lot better ride though and... Read more still as me grinning like cheshire cat.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Superb

10 July 2011 by Roadrunner007

This is a cross between a B-King and a cruiser, awesome sound with akrapovic pipes, well sorted chassis, very sharp brakes need some getting used to. Also weighs a fair bit, but it's hidden well a when you get on the move. Very comfy and you don't... Read more see many on the road. Excellent build quality and paintwork.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Unique

11 June 2010 by Fifty

I bought a 3 year old MT two months ago. What a bike! It looks and sounds like nothing on earth. Every time I park up someone comes over for a look and a chat. It's comfortable, easy to ride and full of character. The ideal combination of... Read more jaw-dropping looks, air-cooled V-twin simplicity, and Japanese reliability.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Amazing bike

10 September 2009 by niallo

I've had one for three weeks now. It's an incredible bike. It looks amazing, sounds amazing and is just so much damn fun to ride. The only problem I have with it is that the mirror stems are too short, my elbows take up most of the view. Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 23 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2005
Year discontinued -
New price £12,849
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 16 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 90 bhp
Max torque 110 ft-lb
Top speed 131 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.9 secs
Average fuel consumption 38 mpg
Tank range 116 miles
Specification
Engine size 1670cc
Engine type 8v V-twin, 5 gears
Frame type Steel spine
Fuel capacity 15 litres
Seat height 825mm
Bike weight 240kg
Front suspension Preload, compression, rebound
Rear suspension Preload, compression, rebound
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 267mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/50 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2005: Yamaha MT-01 launched.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

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  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha MT-01 motorcycle review - Riding