Yamaha MT-09 long-term test update one | Carl gets reunited after falling in love on the launch

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Although I sway between just about everything from big bore adventure bikes to small capacity supersport, super-nakeds are my favourite, go-to machinery right now.

They’re ridiculously fast, offer a reasonable level of comfort and best of all, they deliver serious amounts of fun, thanks to big high ’bars, quality components and most importantly for me, their brilliant engines.

But do you really need a super-naked to scratch that itch? After riding the Yamaha MT-09 at its launch earlier this year, I was convinced that Yamaha’s sub litre naked punched well above its capacity, backed up with a host of electronic goodies and a more aggressive riding position.

Rear view of the 2024 Yamaha MT-09

And having got my leather mitts on it in the UK, it’s just as impressively capable as I remembered. The engine is the star of the show, and even after a few long days in the saddle on road tests, I’ve still been taking the longer way home just to experience the sheer ferocity of that Yamaha CP3 motor.

The noise and the delivery of torque is utterly addictive, assisted by a sensational quickshifter that just completes the whole package -especially as I’ve found the perfect setting for the throttle which comes with the map dialled back a level to ‘Street’.

It’s a little less ferocious on the initial twist than in ‘Sport’ mode, yet still delivers that same direct connection that Yamaha have worked so hard to develop. It’s the best of both worlds.

2024 Yamaha MT-09 cornering right

And then there’s the way it handles, with more poise and precision than ever before, although over the next few months I’m going to spend a bit of time tweaking the suspension (to make it slightly calmer) alongside sticking some slightly more responsive rubber on board.

Although those OE S23s offer a great amount of feel and feedback when the tarmac is warm and the sun is shining, I have been struggling to get the feedback and confidence I’d like from cold, especially in damp or wet conditions.

But, one massive pain in the backside has been fuel range. I’m not one to be put off by poor range (if the engine experience is that good, it deserves the juice!) but the Yamaha MT-09 does feel wildy thirsty.

Cornering on the 2024 Yamaha MT-09

Although I have been a little throttle giddy, the next stop will be some long days in the saddle to see if the ’09 truly can handle longer journeys, especially as the riding position is slightly more focused and aggressive than before.

What I’ve noticed so far is that a screen would go a long way for taking of the strain, so I’ve got one on order, alongside a set of handguards.