2016 Yamaha MT-03 revealed

New 321cc naked ready to tempt A2 licence-holders as it heads for Britain 

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Yamaha is poised to extend its successful MT naked range to include this MT-03 – shown here in pictures released by Yamaha Japan in advance of the major bike shows.

The official line is that the MT-03 will form part of Yamaha’s domestic line-up for 2016 but UK sources are adamant the bike will also go on sale in Britain where it will appeal to growing numbers of riders holding A2 licences.

There have been many rumours about the existence of the MT-03 over the past 18 months, but this is the first time the bike has been seen in finished form, and been confirmed by Yamaha.

The MT-03 takes the 321cc parallel-twin motor from the existing YZF-R3 middleweight sportsbike but strips away all of the bodywork to create this sharp urban roadster, which will slot in between the recently-launched MT-125 and the MT-07, as Yamaha continues to reinvigorate its range of bikes, spearheaded by the reinvented MT range, and the all-new R1.

Yamaha are enjoying a phenomenal change of fortunes globally since rethinking their range, and flipping their longstanding ‘premium-pricing’ strategy – which made the bikes look very expensive next to many rivals – on its head. The MT series will now comprise bikes from 125cc through to the 900cc MT-09, with multiple style variants. With burgeoning small-capacity interest in European markets, filling the gap between 125cc and the MT-07 has become crucially important.

MCN’s Japanese source though told us: “The MT-03 has been built as a global bike and it will be sold everywhere it can be. This bike will be sold for sure across Europe, and will be unveiled at the Milan show later in 2015.”

While the MT-03 has been confirmed in Japan, Yamaha in the UK are yet to officially do the same. Spokesman Jeff Turner told MCN: “Yamaha Motor
Europe are evaluating the MT-03 for the European market.”

As a result, there is no accurate steer on UK pricing, but Yamaha have been very aggressive with pricing of new models since the launch of the MT-09, and the
MT-03 is certain to follow that pattern. The YZF-R125 costs £4349, while its naked sibling, the
MT-125, costs £3899. Working to the same parameters, we would expect the MT-03 to arrive in dealers for around £4299 (the YZF-R3 is currently priced at £4799).

The MT-03 is going on sale in Japan alongside the MT-25 – the 250cc version of effectively the same bike but with a pair of sleeved-down cylinders– as that small-capacity market is so important to domestic sales. Both the MT-25 and MT-03 will be built in Indonesia.

Technical Specification  

321cc, Parallel-twin, liquid-cooled 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valves

Power 42bhp @ 10,750rpm
Torque 21.8ftlb @ 9000rpm
Frame Diamond Steel
Front tyre 110/70 R17
Rear tyre 140/70 R17
Seat height 780mm
Weight 165kg (kerb)
Fuel capacity 14 litres
Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter