Yamaha MT-09 First Ride

Published: 25 February 2016

The Yamaha MT-09 was the first bike in the revamped and now hugely successful MT range. Over the last two years Yamaha has sold over 20,000 MT-09s, paving the way for a wider range of capacities under the MT banner. Updated for 2016 the MT-09 has a softer engine map to smooth out the jerky throttle, a three-stage traction control system and a new colour scheme - all for the same £7349 price tag as the 2015 model.

According to Yamaha, the MT-09’s three engine maps have all been refined and are softer than before. Setting A has the sharpest throttle response; the change isn’t really noticeable and is still pretty aggressive. Setting B hasn’t changed much either, but is certainly far softer than A and easier to get along with. The Standard setting gets the biggest change and is the softest of the bunch, friendlier and far more manageable than the 2015 model.

The MT-09’s new traction control system has three settings, 1, 2 and off. The bike has to be at a standstill to flick between the system unlike the throttle modes. Setting 1 allows for light intervention while 2 is max intervention. Due to the aggressive throttle and torque driven three-cylinder motor, it’s pretty easy to spin the rear up, especially in the wet making traction control a welcome addition.

And finally, Yamaha is offering the 2016 MT-09 with three new colour schemes; Lava Red, Matt Grey (which now has gold forks and a black frame) and Night Fluo, which is the same scheme as the MT-10.

Overall, the updates aren’t mind-blowing, but we weren’t expecting them to be. The addition of traction control, a long awaited softer throttle map and a funky new colour scheme – all for no extra money - is a worthy addition and makes the already popular MT-09 an even more tantalising prospect, especially for such an incredibly competitive price. 

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