New Yamaha R9 on the way? MT-09 powered fully faired triple set for 2024 reveal

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Fresh rumours of a three-cylinder Yamaha R9 middleweight sportsbike have emerged from Japan, with sources indicating the bike is set to arrive in the line-up for 2024.

Since the death of the rev-happy 600 supersport class in Europe at the advent of Euro5 emissions regs, performance bike fans have been begging Yamaha to extract the popular 117bhp, 888cc motor from the MT-09 naked and insert it in a fully faired road and trackday tool.

Bridging the gap between the parallel-twin, A2 restrictable R7 and the full-fat 998cc R1 superbike, the R9 would likely offer a more usable package on the road than the old rev-hungry four-cylinder R6 – taking advantage of the MT’s meaty midrange and low-end punch.

Now it looks like those prayers could be answered, with these fresh computer renders giving us a glimpse of what the finished machine might look like.

Barring the winglets (which would likely be overkill on a bike of this capacity) the full fairing mimics the look of the rest of Yamaha’s sports line-up, with the red and white livery paying tribute to the original 1998 R1.

If our contacts are correct, an official release in 2024 would coincide with the R1’s 25th anniversary, so it stands to reason that a livery of this kind would be on the cards for the new Yamaha.

We first got a whiff of a model like this back in the first week of August 2021, when Yamaha filed applications for the name ‘R9’ in the European Union, the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as the ‘YZF-R9’ tag in the Philippines.

What’s more, the Japanese firm’s own range provides further evidence that it will appear, with the faired R125, R3, R7, and R1 all having a naked MT counterpart sharing the same engine platform. The missing piece of the puzzle is the MT-09, leaving the ideal gap.

To keep R&D costs down, the CBT-friendly 125s also share the same frame, and the MT-03 and R3 get the same chassis and geometry. It’s a similar story with the new R7 too, which borrows the MT-07’s diamond structure, with the MT-10 using the R1’s frame.

It stands to reason then that an R9 would do the same, with these design sketches showing the aluminium beam frame and swingarm as the MT. You’re also likely to see the same suspension and braking components from the £11,300 MT-09 SP model – with the springs tweaked for a raised rear end and quicker steering.

Also likely to be carried over from the MT-09 is the same full colour TFT dash that arrived in 2021, plus the lean-sensitive electronics courtesy of a six-axis IMU. MCN approached Yamaha about the model but they were not prepared to comment.

Incoming: Yamaha ‘R9’ sportsbike based on MT-09 looks certain

First published August 19, 2021 by Ben Purvis

The once-dominant four-cylinder 600cc supersports class has now disappeared and in its wake there’s a vacuum for lightweight sportsbikes. Enter the Yamaha R9, an MT-09-based model that’s almost certain to join the range in 2022, bridging the gap between this year’s new R7 and the range-topping R1.

Rumoured earlier this year, the R9’s existence has now been effectively confirmed by new trademark applications. In a three-day period during the first week of August, Yamaha filed applications for the name ‘R9’ in the European Union, the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as gunning for the name ‘YZF-R9’ in the Philippines.

It isn’t hard to see how such a model could be created from existing parts to minimise R&D and keep the price down. Yamaha’s MT-09 – completely refreshed for 2021 with a new engine and die-cast alloy beam frame – is the perfect basis for a faired sports model.

And with a six-axis IMU as standard, three-mode TC, slide control and wheelie mitigation, the MT-09 already offers near superbike levels of rider assists. The Öhlins-suspended MT-09 SP would be ideal, requiring little more than some dropped bars, rearset pegs and a fairing for a convincing transformation.

Yamaha MT-09 engine

Will Yamaha follow such a straightforward route? Evidence suggests that’s precisely the way the R9 will be developed. The pattern was set by the learner-legal duo of the MT-125 and YZF-R125, which share the same 124cc single in an identical frame, with just tweaked suspension to raise the R-model’s tail and give sharper steering geometry.

Stepping up a notch we get the MT-03 and R3, sharing the same engine, frame and geometry. It’s a similar story with the new R7, borrowing the MT-07’s 72bhp twin and diamond frame and at the top of the range, the MT-10 uses the R1’s frame and engine.

It means that on the ‘R’ side of the equation, there’s currently a yawning performance chasm between the R7, with 73.4bhp, and the R1 with 200bhp. In the past the R6, with 117hp and 190kg, filled that gap.

The MT-09 makes a whisker over 117hp and weighs 189kg fully fuelled. With its new die-cast beam frame and around 50% more torque it appears tailor-made as the basis for an R9 that will be not just a successor to the R6, but a real step forward.

Even on price, there’s every reason to believe the R9 will be an improvement. The R6 Race currently costs £12,099, putting it around halfway between the R7’s expected tag and the £17,402 for an R1. However, the MT-09 is just £9002 in base form and £10,202 as the SP, with improved suspension.