YAMAHA MT-09 (2013-on) Review

Published: 02 January 2014

"Novel middleweight roadster initially blighted by poor fuelling and crude suspension.Still spectacular, though"

YAMAHA MT-09  (2013-on)

"Novel middleweight roadster initially blighted by poor fuelling and crude suspension.Still spectacular, though"

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

Yamaha’s MT-09 middleweight roadster should be spectacular – a worthy rival to Triumph’s mighty Street Triple. Experienced riders will love the power from its 115bhp, 850cc three-cylinder engine, its ability to do easy stunts and the huge reserves of ground clearance available. Newer riders will enjoy the motor’s flexibility, light weight and low seat. It’s as happy doing the daily grind as it is whisking you off on holiday and best of is great value for money. But all this good stuff is let down by poor ride-by-wire fuelling in all but its softest riding mode and crude suspension.  Let’s hope Yamaha addresses these problems because the MT-09 could be the king of the class.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

With a die-cast cast aluminium frame and swingarm the MT-09 weighs just 188kg. This lightness helps maximise acceleration, agility, handling and braking performance. But the rear shock and front forks aren’t as beautifully-controlled as a Street Triple’s. The Yamaha’s front end is high and vague, especially in slippery conditions and if you push hard in the dry, the rear ties itself in knots. New monobloc brakes lack power and feel, too. The riding position is natural, comfortable and the seat low enough for shorter riders – but it’s hard and gives you numb bum after an hour’s riding.

Engine 4 out of 5

Yamaha’s new inline three cylinder 847cc motor produces 115bhp and is the perfect powerplant for a roadster like this. There’s lots of lowdown grunt, a flat power curve and a rasping, Triumph-esque top-end. The sculpted 3-into-1 exhaust is tucked out of the way, allowing over 51° of lean, the same as an R6, but it’s far too quiet. You have three electronic riding modes to choose from (B, STD, A), thanks to the Yamaha’s ride-by-wire system, but the power delivery is very jerky from a closed throttle in the higher of the two modes and spoils the ride.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

Although built down to a price, you’d never know it. The MT-09 is nicely finished and the paint is deep and robust. It’s too early to comment on reliability, but modern Yamahas rarely let you down. 

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

If the MT-09 performed as we’d hoped, it would represent excellent value for money – undercutting the Triumph Street Triple by a couple of hundred quid. But its throttle response and suspension really lets it down.

Insurance group: 14 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

With such a competitive price tag, you wouldn’t expect the MT-09 to be brimming with all the latest biking bells and whistles, but it pretty well-equipped. It has three electronic riding modes, monobloc brakes and the exhaust has a ‘Nanofilm’ coating to keep it free from rust and stains.

Owners' Reviews

5 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA MT-09 (2013-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.

Review your YAMAHA MT-09 (2013-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4.4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.2 out of 5
Equipment 3.6 out of 5
4 out of 5

Welcome to the dark side

19 May 2015 by The Fluke

Out of the box it was a bit disappointing but now the too-hard seat, soft suspension and snatchy fuelling have been sorted this is one magnificent bike. I'd definitely recommend it but only to experienced riders. I'm only not giving it a 5 out of 5... Read more because Yamaha produced an imperfect bike.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
This is probably the fastest-steering bike I've ridden yet it's super-steady at motorway speeds. With the firmer suspension it really inspires confidence through the twisties. I'm happy with the brakes but I've not taken it to the track, yet.
Engine
5 out of 5
I would give this engine 6 stars if I could. It is brutal and responsive from the very bottom and once spinning, it's frightening. The three power modes really make a difference; standard with a passenger or through traffic, B mode in the rain and A mode fleeing the cops.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Early days yet but looks good to me. I've heard of some rusting on other MTs but mine is for dry days only
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
The bike is still too new to have any servicing done so this sum represents the money I've spent correcting Yamaha's shortcomings. Even having spent that money, I still fell this bike is excellent value.
Equipment
4 out of 5
I've given it 4 because even though it's simple and unfussy with the very useful engine modes, I'm furious with Yamaha for choosing to move the horn button. This may sound weird but it's so counter intuitive and infuriating that I've got to mention it. Imperative mods are a replacement shock and fork springs, a remapped ECU and exhaust system and some new foam in the seat. Aesthetically you may want a screen and tail tidy to finish it off.
Buying experience

I bought it second hand from someone who bought it to go touring on then realised he'd bought the wrong bike. Lucky me, I picked up a bargain.

4 out of 5

People forget, this is a budget bike!

16 November 2014 by ant761

I bought one in burnt orange on launch last year after 30 + years riding GSXR'S, CBR'S and an R1. I had to wait until Oct for the orange colour even though i ordered it in the August before the September launch. Remember, this is a budget bike so... Read more it's not going to have the best brakes or suspension that people complain about, if you want top of the range kit then spend a few grand more on a naked BMW S1000R instead. You get what you pay for, it's your choice to penny pinch or splash out, it's why i bought one instead of the BMW S1000R that would have been my choice if was lucky enough to afford one! As for the jerky throttle, it's no worse than any sports bike i've ever rode, and as with experience comes good throttle control so it's not really a problem, i ride in A mode every day. All in all, this is a great fun bike to ride with a great riding position and acceleration, and with all it's so called faults, i have no regrets giving up the sports bikes for it. Test ride one, make your own mind up!

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

What a blast

21 October 2014 by Gengy123

Got it 5 weeks ago after sports bikes for last 20 years love the thing well pleased with it Read more

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

Trail-king or street cool?

25 June 2014 by PaulM29

Took an MT09 for an extended demo ride yesterday. On paper it looks like a smart and sassy street alternative to other triple roadsters. It rode like a trial bike and looks like some attempt at emulating the trial bike concept but without the chunky... Read more tyres required for off road venturing? The seat looked wide and long and comfortable but numb bum set in at the 2 hour point. I notice a comfort seat is available as a Yam accessory but should have been as standard. There's no starter switch you merely tumble the kill switch? The indicator and horn were dangerously clumped together making swift indicator selection difficult. The ignition switch was wedged down and behind the lamp and fiddly to get to. The instrument cluster looks like an add on after all the other bits have been fixed around the bike. Offset to the right it just looked out of place. The rev counter can only be compared to a caterpillar walking upside down under the roof of the instrument cluster. An LCD tacho that's just plainly ridiculous... I never really felt that safe throwing this bike around a corner as I never rated the old trail bikes as surefooted but to be fair around 70mph it does sit down well on the road. There's plenty of grunt there but open her up and you're sliding all over the rather flattish seat. OPTION B on the throttle sensitivity mode seemed to be the less twitchy of the throttle settings as the A setting was so jerky.Fuel by wire? I'm not convinced. Twas' a fun ride but my conclusion to the rep was - nice bike if you're renting it for the day in Gran Canaria but not a bike you would want to live with for the other 50 weeks of the year?

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
2 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Really enjoying it!

09 June 2014 by steveburrows

Bought new in October 2013 after a brilliant test ride. Have ridden sports bikes for years, fancied a change, as I wanted a real world bike that would do everything. Riding position is great, comfy and gives a great view of whats going on around you.... Read more I get between 50mpg (fast ride outs with sportbike mates) and 58mpg commuting etc. I have firmed both front & rear suspension, and find it great for the UK roads, miles better than my R1 (cant comment on the track yet, although know of people who have and they have no problems). Have added a screen,rad gaurd, radiator covers and short levers. Mines fitted with the Bridgestone S20, not far of wear limits at 2400 miles. The throttle is fairly snatchy on A & standard mode, does get better with mileage, but no worse than current R1 & FZ8/1, which are all slightly snatchy. For the roads I use it on (ie UK B roads) its great, I have no problem keeping up with sportsbikes, with the added bonus of not as many aches at the end of a ride. Finish seems good, no better or worse than other manufacturers, its already seen 1 winter with no problems. Only thing I can fault is an occasional rattle, sounds like coming from cam chain. Hopefully get CCT fixed under warranty, shame it never rattles when dealer has it! Overall very happy with it, makes more sense than my previous sports bikes, and nearly as quick when required

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

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2013
Year discontinued -
New price £6,799
Used price £4,300 to £9,300
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 14 of 17
Annual road tax £81
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 115 bhp
Max torque 88 ft-lb
Top speed 145 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 130 miles
Specification
Engine size 847cc
Engine type 12v, inline-triple
Frame type Cast aluminium perimeter frame and double-sided swingarm
Fuel capacity 14 litres
Seat height 815mm
Bike weight 188kg
Front suspension 41mm USD forks adjustable for preload and rebound damping
Rear suspension Single rear shock adjustable for preload and rebound damping
Front brake 2 x 298mm discs with four-piston monobloc radial calipers.
Rear brake 245mm single disc with single-piston caliper.
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2013 – MT-09 arrives in dealers end September 2013.

Other versions

MT-09 Street Rally – Flat track/supermoto-styled version, with revised tank shrouds, side number plates, fork covers, a higher/flatter seat, headlight cover and hand guards.

Photo Gallery

  • YAMAHA MT-09  (2013-on)
  • YAMAHA MT-09  (2013-on)
  • YAMAHA MT-09  (2013-on)
  • YAMAHA MT-09  (2013-on)
  • YAMAHA MT-09  (2013-on)
  • YAMAHA MT-09  (2013-on)
  • YAMAHA MT-09  (2013-on)
  • YAMAHA MT-09  (2013-on)
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