Yamaha’s MT-09 new model barmy

Published: 18 October 2017

A blinged-up MT-09SP and radical three-wheeler look set to shake things up

After a year of rampant success with their hot SP version of the already bonkers MT-10, the Japanese rumour mill suggests that Yamaha are on the verge of releasing an SP version of the MT-09, too.

The logic is without question, not least because the MT-09’s weakest link has always been its (admittedly recently improved) suspension. We’d expect the 09 to inherit the Öhlins semi-active set-up straight from the 10, along with a similarly model-specific paintjob – most likely an evolution of the same classy blue and silver scheme that graces the R1M and MT-10SP.

The other likely addition is the full TFT dash from the Ten – bringing the 09SP into the same tech ballpark as the Street Triple RS it’ll be going head-to-head with for sales supremacy. 

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Crazy threesome

Far more radical than the MT-09 SP is the suggestion that Yamaha’s MWT-9 concept is about to be unveiled as a production model. The wild styling might not all make it through to the showroom undiluted, but there’s not much the firm can do to underplay how radically different it is to a conventional motorcycle. 

What is certain is that the front-end will be dominated by two wheels, each independently hung from the headstock by conventional forks, but used in a somewhat unconventional manor. If the production bike mirrors the concept’s arrangement, each wheel will have two fork stanchions mounted on the outside of the wheel via a single-sided hub. This allows the bike to steer, corner and ride like a conventional motorcycle – but with the added bonus of doubling the front-end grip.

The other apparent certainty is that it will use the three-cylinder engine from the MT-09. 

Yamaha will be the first manufacturer to bring such a motorcycle-centric three-wheeler to the mass market.

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