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Yamaha MT-09 Naked Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 3

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.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

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.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

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.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

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.

Yamaha MT-09 (2013-current)

Detail Value
New price £6,799
Dealer used prices
£6,110 (2013) - £7,300 (2014)
Private used prices
£5,500 (2013) - £6,570 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 847 cc
Power 115 bhp
Top speed 145 mph
Insurance group 14 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 3 rating is 4
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 3.5
Value rating is 3 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

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. 

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

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

Insurance group: 14 of 17

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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.

Specifications

Top speed 145 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 115 bhp
Max torque 88 ft-lb
Weight 188 kg
Seat height 815 mm
Fuel capacity 14 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 14 of 17
Engine size 847 cc
Engine specification 12v, inline-triple
Frame Cast aluminium perimeter frame and double-sided swingarm
Front suspension adjustment 41mm USD forks adjustable for preload and rebound damping
Rear suspension adjustment Single rear shock adjustable for preload and rebound damping
Front brakes 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

See all Yamaha MT-09 motorcycles for sale

Yamaha
MT-09

674 miles

£6,495

Yamaha
MT-09

1 miles

£7,195

Yamaha
MT-09

1430 miles

£5,995

Yamaha
MT-09

1897 miles

£5,994

Yamaha
MT-09

1 miles

£6,795

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3.5(2 reviews)

  • Trail-king or street cool?

    PaulM29

    Average rating rating is 2.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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 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?

    25 June 2014

  • Really enjoying it!

    steve burrows

    Wymondham , UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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. 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

    09 June 2014

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Adzy1981

Adzy1981says

So.. I bought one :-)

Hi Guys,

 

 I'd received a letter from Yamaha one bright sunny weekday informing me that my 2010 R1 was subject to a recall for the headlight connector. In a flash, I got onto my local dealership (Arnolds Yamaha Burton) and booked it in for the 20 min fix. While I was waiting, the guy suggested I might light to test ride the MT-09 they had parked out side. To cut a long story short, I thought why not.. time to kill and it's better than spending money on something else I didn't really need so off I went.

I arrived back from the 40 minute test ride convinced that I'd been missing out on nakeds all of my life it was such a revelation. Yes! It's not perfect and Yes! a fly screen as standard isn't much to ask but for the price.. I couldn't say no! 

I rolled out of the showroon on 6th June on my brand new Mt-09 (ABS) with a massive grin on my face and have since covered 650 miles on it. The first service went without a hitch and the bike has performed amazingly. 

Bad points: Seat too hard, indicator and horn too close, fly screen not standard, suspension too soft from factory and throttle a bit snatchy unless mode B selected.

Good points: much of what's listed above is fixable because the main structure of the bike is perfect. Riding position, price, Engine, light weight.

Overall.. I would say that Yamaha have done a great job with this bike. Bearing in mind I also ride their flagship crossplane R1 it's surprised me just how good it is and I really don't notice the snatchy throttle since  the R1 is exactly the same. Over time I think my throttle control has been fine tuned and I imagine the Mt-09 would feel like a bit of a handfull if you were jumping on from less powerful stuff.

I agree with all MCN's comments regarding this bike but in the end there's no substitute to chucking magazines, websites and reviews aside and getting out there to try it yourself.

Book a test ride people and forget the top trumps approach because that stuff doesn't matter when your on your favourite bit of B road on a Sunday afternoon!!

 

Adzy has spoken ;-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 July 2014 21:41

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