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

12 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 4.1 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.8 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.3 out of 5
Equipment 3.8 out of 5
5 out of 5

Yamaha MT09 not made for the wet weather

11 November 2017 by vinnychoff

I wanted to buy the first version when it came out. The disadvantage is that there are some points which need a bit of improving or are not found out until a few people own the bike and feed back the good and bad. This being the mark 3 has improved... Read more suspension, quick shifter, improvements on the dash location and angle. All the bits that have needed fixing have been carried out on this model leaving very little to complain about. As always it is up to you if this type of bike is for you and if you like the looks? There are so many other bikes that could be compared to. The choice is yours.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
It is a well known fact the seat is very hard and in all the reviews this has been mentioned. After 3 thousand miles i would say that mine is okay now. In the beginning I was thinking of buying the alternative seat they sell. Its good the sales people suggested to stick with it for a while. Brakes are very good and could be one finger pressure. I have fitted adjustable levers which aid comfort. Abs is a nice addition which means if ever you stamp on the brakes it will not lock up the brakes.
Engine
5 out of 5
I enjoy the quick response due to the gearing. The acceleration is awesome. Yamaha uses their expertise with all the models to make a great motor.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
I was very upset that one day on the way to work, it rained so hard that i was soaked through plus a engine management light appeared. When I spoke to the local service dealer, he mentioned another bike had been jet washed and it was a sensor that set it off. He then mentioned it would be a chargeable item. To me this seemed to be an issue with the design and upset me now end. I turned up at the dealers one Saturday and asked if they could fit me in. After a long discussion they managed to look at it and found a O2 sensor which failed. A reset cleared the engine management light and i was back on my way. A couple of hundred more miles and it has not returned. I intend to do the work myself as it seems not everyone wants to put the same attention to detail. I have already taken the brake calipers apart, used red grease on all the floating joints to ensure they work one hundred percent. I also fitted a Scottoiler which in 3 thousand miles i have not adjusted my chain yet.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
The bike should be serviced at 600 miles first service then every 6k or one year. I have only just over 3k on my bike.
Equipment
5 out of 5
The engine seems very responsive and quick. The gearing has a large amount of this as the top speed is brought lower with the benefit of very quick acceleration. I use the bike to commute to work and go through town onto the motorway. I find it fine with the gearing at both situations.
4 out of 5

04 November 2017 by Ian C

Engine is the star of the show but standard suspension needs upgraded if you push on a bit. The riding position is great with plenty of leg room and the bike is small an light. Easy to handle at all speeds and and the engine sounds great when you... Read more give it some stick!

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
Suspension is the weak link, not to bad if you're riding is on fairly well surfaced roads at moderate speed but soon goes south when you pick up the pace on bumpy back roads. The rear is harsh and lacks damping and the front fork springs are to soft allowing it to dive to much on the brakes. A new shock and front springs work wonders and is not to costly. Brakes front and back are good, the back brake is one of the best I've used as they seem to be more for decoration on a lot of bikes.
Engine
5 out of 5
The engine is fantastic, miles better than a speed triple including the new version. Pulls hard from the minute you drop the clutch and just keeps on pulling. This is the easiest bike I've ever owned to wheelie and I've owned most versions of Triumph's triples and a 990 Superduke. Love the instant throttle response and use mine in A mode all the time as I can't see the need for the others.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Seems well put together and no faults so far
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Servicing should be no worse than anything else in this class and fuel consumption is good, gettting over 50 mpg most of the time.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Has everything you could need on this type of bike. I bought mine used a couple of months back, 3 years old and only 1400 miles in the clock. It came with heated grips, tail tidy, Yamaha fly screen and a Scottoiler. All of them are great additions to the bike and works well. It had Bridgestone S20 tyres fitted that were excellent but were done by 2400 miles so fitted Avon Storm XD sport touring tyres for a bit more mileage. So far the Avons have been great in the wet and dry. Safe and secure in all conditions so can recommend them for this bike.
Buying experience

Bought from our local independent dealer Mitchells Motorcycles in Inverness who are always a pleasure to deal with

5 out of 5

Mcn need to update their review

17 February 2017 by Robin

After training on Honda CBF 500s and Kawasaki Er6n's for several months passed test went out and bought this after watching visor down reviews etc. The throttle has been sorted and this bike is untouchable value for money. Its acceleration in higher... Read more gears is amazing. Love the 180 rear tyre, smooth clutch and gear change, induction noise. Don't love using it as a commuter in rain, that tyre throws all sorts of stuff on your back and helmet etc. I've fitted hugger extensions and nothing stops it!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Abs kicked in multiple times in slippery conditions, soft suspension great for uk potholed roads
Engine
5 out of 5
Outstanding torque rips your arms off
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
None yet, header exhaust had rust forming until polish.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Getting easy 55 mpg during run in
Equipment
5 out of 5
Traction control, abs, rider modes for a £6k new bike forgetaboutit.
Buying experience

Claycross werent great but excellent price for pre reg.

4 out of 5

26 October 2016 by Julian

Great sold and good quality bike; worst let down feature is the hard saddle. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 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
Hard seat
Buying experience

Dealer bought - £4.5k with 14k on clock

4 out of 5

Fast, fun and frugal.

02 March 2016 by JR

Fantastic great allround bike with genuine fun factor. Suspension is a little limiting when pushing hard. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
I love the slightly softer set up and the very relaxed riding position. The breakes are as good as the suspention can cope with. My only fault would be that the ABS kicks in way too soon.
Engine
5 out of 5
A great engine with loads of managable power, cant think of a better bike for road riding and and having fun. Very easy to conserve front tyre wear ;-)
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Good quality and very reliable even in the worst of Scottish weather.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Only extra cost is back tyres dont last long when you like to make progress but well worth it. Use the bike in B mode and tyres and fuel last for ever.
Equipment
4 out of 5
The bike is well equiped especially for the price.
Buying experience

The Yamaha supprt has been excellent however the dealler has not been intouch sice bying the bike. They said they would keep in touch and they never sent the original exhaust to me.

4 out of 5

22 February 2016 by A Coombes

Great for short rides and twisty bits. Seat is uncomfortable after an hour and throttle still a bit snatchy even though this model year has had the adjustment. Traded it in for a new VFR800 Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
Fine hacking around town and country blasts not sure about anything longer.
Engine
5 out of 5
Brilliant engine and sounded great with the Akroprovic exhaust.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
No issues but only had it 10 months,
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Not brilliant on fuel and tank is only 14 litres
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
Buying experience

Bought from Fowlers in Bristol good deal on the new one bad deal on the trade in!!

3 out of 5

gary haredman

21 November 2015 by Gary Hardman

A pig in suburban traffic. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Brakes are superb. Ride quality is not an issue as this is not meant as a tourer.
Engine
3 out of 5
Performance is epic (I am a 'born again'). However, the way the performance is delivered can be very tiring in anything other than 'b' mode. Loads of power, loads of torque - but very snatchy delivery.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Given a 5 as it has given me no problems yet....
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 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
-
Read all 12 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2013
Year discontinued -
New price £6,799
Used price £4,500 to £9,100
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 14 of 17
Annual road tax £85
Annual service cost £570
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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