Yamaha MT-09 roadster test


The bête noire of conformism

3 cylinders in line, 889 cm3, 119 hp and 93 Nm, 189 kg, 9,499 euros

With its MT-09, Yamaha revolutionized the market for character roadsters in 2013, reviving a three-cylinder engine, really violent. The return of the three-cylinder since the XS 850 at the end of 1970, a vitaminized engine and a new geometry with a fairly straight riding position ended up making the MT-09 a motorcycle apart..

Iconic flagship of the Dark Side of Japan concept, the Master of Torque-09 is a bestseller. Acclaimed in Europe, which has become the benchmark roadster, the machine even allows the manufacturer to become the European market leader in the segment at the end of 2015. The same year, the successful model is available in a more road version with the MT-09 Tracer, then in a version with a vintage look with the XSR 900. In the end, the success is also family with more than 250,000 MT (MT-125, MT-03, MT-07, MT-09, MT-10) sold in Europe since 2013. MT-09 side, this gives 63,000 motorcycles including 15,000 in France, or about 20% of the segment. In short, a machine which, with each evolution, must ring true for the manufacturer in tuning forks.

For 2016 and Euro4 passage, the MT-09 was fitted with standard traction control and its injection profiles were refined for more flexibility during go-arounds..

But in 2021, the MT-09 returns completely modified, both aesthetically and engine. A spring revolution for this fine mechanical flower, which we take as it should be hard to find around Marseille.

2021 Yamaha MT-09 review2021 Yamaha MT-09 review


Incisive, sporty, the style of the 2017 MT-09 already left no doubt as to the recognized dynamics of the model. The new vintage offers a new breakthrough, less radical, but just as original, also available on the MT-07. Overall, the roadster streamlines its lines, promotes a more elegant and rational integration of its volumes. Its cyclopean eye is framed by two other angular lights dressed in short aerodynamic elements. The whole is very compact and offers, as on the roadster 700, a specific light signature. It also contains the spirit of the MT logo. The whole thing is fixed on a long solid plastic plate overhung by the instrument block..

The new headlight significantly changes the style of the roadsterThe new headlight significantly changes the style of the roadster

The 14-liter tank imposes its volumes. Its shoulders now incorporate the plunging scoops giving strength to the general line. The profile is sportier, compact with more consistency. However, the whole is more bare, less worked at the tank / frame junction. Likewise, the radiator trim is a bit sad. On the other hand, the LED indicators are refined. The tank volumes are reduced towards the frame and the saddle. Monobloc, it is based on a mixed structure made of tube and molded aluminum plates. The stern loses 1.3 kg and supports a sleek trim. The license plate holder returns to its usual place and the fire mimics the MT logo. No passenger handle and the regulator is easily displayed as well as numerous bolted fixing points ….

The MT-09 retains its tank scoops, in a new styleThe MT-09 retains its tank scoops, in a new style

The MT-09 vintage 2021 renews an aluminum perimeter frame type Deltabox, die-cast. Lightened by 2.3 kg, 50% more rigid on the side, the structure is impressive. Adapted to the new engine dimensions, this set stretches into solid arms with flexible and profiled shapes, supporting the famous Yamaha three-cylinder type CP3. Its explosive character increases this year with an increase in displacement, now cubing to 889 cc. Its longer stroke is a factor favoring low revs. Double overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder, fractured-head connecting rods, forged pistons, the heart of the MT-09 also combines quality details. And the “Crossplane” setting of its crankshaft at 120 °, gives the block a special life. Euro5 approved, 1.7 kg lighter, the tuning fork still has the luxury of being more efficient. It now develops 119 hp at 10,000 rpm and above all a torque of 93 Nm at 7,000 revolutions, ie more than 0.5 Nm 1,500 revolutions lower…. In addition, the inertia of the crankshaft increases by 15%. Indeed the master of Torque does not let go !

The Deltabox aluminum frame adapts to the new engineThe Deltabox aluminum frame adapts to the new engine

There is a Ride by Wire type gas control, with 4 injection maps (D-Mode). These profiles make it possible to adjust the engine response to the driving conditions or the pilot’s wishes, while maintaining performance. From now on, sport, normal, soft and rain profiles modulate responsiveness and new assistance ….

Indeed, an important novelty of this vintage, a 3-axis, 6-direction inertial unit (IMU) manages the piloting aids according to the movements and inclinations of the machine. On the menu, three-mode traction control (TCS), glide (SCS), wheeling (LIF) and ABS (BC). What to play the bullies in complete safety.

The three-cylinder now delivers 119 hp and 93 NmThe three-cylinder now delivers 119 hp and 93 Nm

Particularly virulent, the mechanics can get carried away without qualms with its assisted limited-slip clutch. Angled cams allow the pressure plate to slide out slightly, limiting rear wheel lockups when stacking gears. And the gearbox is also equipped with a QSS shifter now up AND down gear. It promises. But the first two reports are longer.

Installed as standard, the QSS shifter operates in upshifts and downshiftsInstalled as standard, the QSS shifter operates in upshifts and downshifts

Captured by three-in-one collectors, the breath of the three-cylinder flows into a hyper-compact and lightweight catalyst-silencer assembly (-1.4 kg), placed under the engine. And now the exhausts spit directly towards the ground…. Enough to thrill the crew even more. This arrangement is made possible by the adoption of a horizontally placed Monocross suspension. The Kayaba shock absorber mounted on rods adjusts for preload and rebound via a wheel accessible through a hole in the frame, left side. It manages, over 130 mm, the movements of the semi-banana aluminum swing arm. Its new volumes energize the style of the machine, but the line is less pronounced than before.

The Kayaba rear shock is placed horizontallyThe Kayaba rear shock absorber is placed horizontally

The front axle is one of the biggest evolutions of the MT-09 2021. Indeed, the steering column is lowered by 30 mm! Enough to change the sensations on the steering train. The 41mm inverted fork is also 39 units shorter, but still debates 130mm. Adjustable in spring preload, a screw adjusts hydraulic compression on the left leg, while the rebound is always on the right side. The geometry retains its dimensions dedicated to liveliness, column angle of 25 ° and an even smaller wheelbase: 1,430 mm should further optimize its agility.

The inverted fork is adjustable in preload, compression and reboundThe inverted fork is adjustable in preload, compression and rebound

And we must not forget the rims which have evolved in a major way…. Weighing 700g less than before, the new SpinForged aluminum elements with five split-spokes reduce unsprung masses even more, all shod with Bridgestone S22 hypersport tires, in 120/70 and 180/55. And the inertia of the rear would decrease by 11%.

The new rims are 700 grams lighterThe new rims are 700 grams lighter

To stop their rotation, two calipers with four pistons and radial mounting attack the discs of 298 mm. Their Nissin master cylinder is also radial. Single piston opposed retarder bites 245mm element..

The overall presentation is contrasted, combining quality construction and perfectible integration. Even more than in other vintages, we regret the rather sensitive presence of cables, hoses and other fairly visible elements. A choice assumed by the brand. What about the buyer? The whole, however, makes up an always attractive machine with a more refined style. Less outrageous, the Yamaha MT-09 retains a particularly rewarding build quality.

The MT-09 experienced a great weight loss and now claims 189 kg all full factsThe MT-09 experienced a great weight loss and now claims 189 kg all full facts

Last remarkable point, the machine loses weight. The various optimizations mentioned take it off 4 kilos for a total, ready to attack, of 189 kg.

In the saddle

Wide in the middle, the one-piece saddle heals the rider, at least in appearance. Culminating at 825 mm from the ground, the seat is very narrow. For younger children, the reduced crotch arch keeps the machine easily accessible. In fact, the MT-09 climbs easily and leaves good support on the ground.

The saddle rises at 825 mm from the groundThe saddle rises at 825 mm from the ground

Particularly narrow despite a very wide reservoir at the top, the machine gives the rider a very natural position. Reasonably bent, the legs are supported on slightly set back footrests that can be adjusted horizontally and vertically. The bust therefore remains almost straight when the hands grip a large handlebars of variable diameter. With a lowered column, the extensions supporting the hanger seem disproportionate and even raise it 15 mm higher.

The driving position remains very naturalThe driving position remains very natural

Another notable development: the 3.5-inch color TFT screen, which would have deserved a larger panel. It incorporates bargraph tachometer, gear indicator, clock and of course tachometer. A dial on the right also allows you to configure the display of two additional information to choose from: odometer, two partials, instantaneous and average consumption, engine and exterior temperature. The adjustment of the D-Mode and anti-slip (TCS) and engine modes values ​​is controlled by the left stalk. Finally, the brake lever is adjustable in spacing, but not the clutch. And these orders seem very economical.

The color TFT meter looks a bit small with its 3.5 inchesThe color TFT meter looks a bit small with its 3.5 inches

In the city

With its exhaust vents brushing the tarmac, the MT-09 roars through the air to the rapid pace of its three-cylinder. The low growl of the CP3 is a warning about the capabilities of the Yamaha block. The roadster takes off quickly and goes through the narrow streets of the Marseille capital. The agility is there and the machine can be seen between the lines. Flexible, the mechanics easily tolerate low revs, even on the highest ratios, unlike the first MT-09 of the name. 50 km / h in 6 at less than 2,000 laps is no big deal. Finally calm, the injection does not jerk acceleration, especially in mode 3 or 4. The whole is supported by a precise and soft gearbox which ensures serene urban evolutions. The only stumbling block is the roadster’s truckish turning radius. Also, the clutch point is quite far away.

If the engine is flexible at low speed, the MT is always ready to pitch up at the slightest deviationIf the engine is flexible at low revs, the MT is always ready to pitch up at the slightest deviation.

The MT-09 therefore delivers an obvious grip and always deceptively easy. Because the slightest sustained acceleration rears the machine, throwing the crew forward with force. Sneaky, the beast inside her only asks to be awakened with a quarter turn of the handle…

Motorway and expressways

We may know him, this three-cylinder surprises every time. In its 889 cm3 version, it is always more expressive, carrying yours, your points and your good resolutions in its breath. Yes, it will still arsouiller…. The MT-09 waves to the heavens on the first three gears. The shifter adds up the reports faster than a police court, and you go the double hecto kilometer / hour without thinking about it. And you still have 2,000 laps before the red zone…. Yes, it is wrong. But it’s good.

The MT-09 holds 130 km / h without too much vibration at 5,200 rpmThe MT-09 holds 130 km / h without too much vibration at 5,200 rpm

Flagging is tiring and the legal highway is more relaxing. The Wicked Ringworm takes its troubles patiently at 5,200 rpm. The vibrations are honestly filtered out, but we are already starting to find the saddle a bit hard. At this rate, the bloc is relaunching without difficulty. In case of numbness, enter three gears, twist the handle: orbit guaranteed. The planet Virolos is in sight, cut hyper-speed and take off the piloting.


Streaming onto the secondary network, the Japanese woman sends all decorum and consideration of respectability waltzed. Full pot and gas on all floors. Eloquent from 4,000 laps on the intermediates, the block wickedly tows 1,000 revolutions higher and wallows in a hoarse exuberance beyond 7,000 rpm. The airbox with expertly worked ducts also dresses the evolutions of the Yam ’. It sounds more like military music, but it’s good practice to attack the curve.

The three-cylinder is full at all speedsThe three-cylinder is full at all speeds

This machine requires skill so as not to be surprised and also requires a living cycle part. Understand by this that MT communicates its overflowing life to its pilot. But by now remaining healthy in all circumstances. The new Yamaha MT-09 adds two weapons to its artillery: a precise chassis and cybernetic cat agility. What to put down the rebellion of the curves. With its stiffer frame and lighter rims, the roadster shifts from angle to angle effortlessly. Very responsive to the handlebars and footrests, the machine is carried away by instinct. Now more poised, less fickle with its lower column, the front axle shows an appreciable rigor in the fast and tight sequences. Neutral, it communicates more information and allows excellent entry speed into the corners. In addition, the roadster leaves full latitude to correct the trajectory. And the even shorter wheelbase gives the sulphurous MT an ever-cheerful liveliness.

Thanks to its sharper chassis, the MT gains in agilityThanks to its sharper chassis, the MT gains in agility

Firmer damping provides better angle stability, reinforced by high-performance tires. These allow the full force of the three cylinders to be transferred to the ground. Especially since the injection is now much smoother, even in mode 1. Straightforward, the go-around is no longer chaotic and allows you to keep a trickle of gas when cornering. Each millimeter of handle rotation then seems to increase the acceleration tenfold. And this feeling has a reality: a maximum torque available 1,500 rpm lower…. enough to undermine the rubber of the Bridg S22 and to work the traction control and the IMU. Another advantage of this more available force is that it is quite possible to maintain a higher gear in turns and to extract it quickly. We therefore play less of the selector. Especially since the shifter and a fast and precise gearbox contribute to the enjoyment of sustained driving. The Yamaha triple’s extension is also very useful. The 2 goes at 145 km / h…. At 8,000 rpm, the 119 nags took over and swept over the asphalt. This thing is a bad boy, black vest toy…. rebel? Yeah !

Thanks to its sharper chassis, the MT gains in agilityIf the injection is smoother, the roadster is still full of life and liveliness

Rebel, but not crazy and there you have to really slow down… .. We will not hesitate to hit the brakes. Master cylinder and radial calipers work remarkably. Under control of the inertial unit, you can keep braking on the angle. And the grip of the lever in a curve barely stiffens the steering. Of course, we stack up gears shamelessly, the anti-dribble clutch swallowing everything without flinching. Be careful, however, of possible false dead points between the two and the first.

Radial calipers, anti-slip clutch and assistances perfectly manage the braking phasesRadial calipers, anti-slip clutch and assistances perfectly manage the braking phases

Under deceleration, the fork dives a bit quickly, but absorbs mass transfer well. Closing the rebound on the shock improves things noticeably. Admittedly, the MT-09 is not a flying carpet and beats the vertebrae a bit on the goat roads. Nothing really abnormal in this range. Engineers may have confused flexibility and progressiveness. And that saddle doesn’t help. On that 10 or 15 mm of quality foam would make the evolutions very different.

The comfort of the roadster is in the image of its appearance, brutalThe comfort of the roadster is in the image of its appearance, brutal

At a slower pace, the MT-09 delivers excellent approval. With less constraints, its suspensions are quite acceptable and the ample and flexible mechanics make the connections of the most pleasant..


More rigid frame and lower column give the MT better control of the front end. Firmer cushioning is ideal on good roads. We will be more heckled on the wrinkled, but the machine remains healthy and the possible hydraulic adjustments optimize the evolutions..

The cycle part has improved significantlyThe cycle part has improved significantly


The equipment lives up to the exuberance of the machine. The new radial master cylinder brings better control to the power of the decelerations. The rear clamp is excellent and also provides excellent control over its implementation..

Braking is up to the performance of the three cylindersBraking is at the height of the performance of the three cylinders

Comfort / Duo

The general position is pleasant, making the Yamaha a very frequent companion on a daily basis. Damping is less pleasant when the asphalt is more brittle and the saddle is too thin and affects comfort. No grab handle, high perched footrests. For the duo…. be rebellious until the end: screw on the throttle and the problem is solved.

The saddle is very firm and the absence of passenger handles is not conducive to the duoThe saddle is very firm and the absence of passenger handles is not conducive to the duo


With 6.6 liters raised on average when driving a little hard, the 200 km of autonomy is easily achievable. In discovery or backup mode enabled, the computer admitted 5.5 units…. With almost two faces if you know how to be wise on the handlebars, the MT-09 is a thrifty brute..

Yamaha MT-09 Video Test


This major evolution of the Yamaha MT-09 brings a new homogeneity to the machine and ever more efficiency in dynamics. More rigid, more agile, offering better control of its movements and in particular of the front axle, the MT-09 is also equipped with welcome electronics. These assistances, an up & down shifter and efficient braking enhance the mechanical performance of the roadster. We will rail against a perfectible comfort and especially a minimal integration of cables and other elements.
La Yam ’passes the € 9,000 mark, now asking € 9,499. This increase, comparable to that of 2017, seems justified as the machine has progressed.

The Yamaha MT-09 is available in three versionsThe Yamaha MT-09 is available in three versions

In front of it, the Kawasaki Z900 is priced at € 9,699, without IMU and shifter…. The Triumph Street Triple 765 R at 9,900 € displays exemplary finishes and an exemplary cycle part. But neither IMU, nor shifter and a much lower torque ….

Faced with these friends, the Yamaha MT-09 has developed relevant and above all powerful arguments. Strong in mouth as in character, the tuning forks roadster is more efficient and therefore more formidable…. If you have the profile of the gang leader, make your darkness shine on his handlebars.

Strong points

  • Strong aesthetics
  • Explosive nature and engine availability
  • Lively part-cycle
  • Quickshifter up & down
  • Fork adjustable in any direction
  • Homogeneous suspensions
  • Electronic assistance
  • Powerful and flexible braking

Weak points

  • Reduced progressiveness of the shock absorber
  • Saddle too hard
  • Turning radius
  • TFT screen a little small

The technical sheet of the Yamaha MT-09 2021

Test conditions

  • Itinerary: winding roads with variable surfaces, dry
  • Weather forecast: sunny, from 7 ° to 15 ° C
  • Mileage: 180 km on the road
  • Problem encountered: ras

Test equipment

  • HJC Rpha 70 Helmet
  • Vanucci Tiffoso jacket
  • Jean Vanucci Armalite
  • Dainese Fulll Metal Gloves
  • Vanucci RV4 Boots

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20 thoughts on “Yamaha MT-09 roadster test

  1. Another test in "more" real conditions: [standblog.org]

    List of tickets:

    Road trip: a dumb (electric) idea

    Electric road trip: the itinerary (part 1 of 2)

    Electric road trip: the itinerary (part 2 of 2)

    Knowing how to drive eco-friendly to save energy

    What applications to travel far with an electric motorcycle ?

    Zero SR / S electric motorcycle road trip: my answers to your questions

    Of the 6 banknotes, it is therefore especially the n ° 1, 2, 3 and 6 which are important from a "test" point of view. Notes 4 and 5 are more about electric driving.

  2. more than 20,000 balls for something without autonomy and with which you will be crushed or eat a pedestrian / bike / scooter / skater / etc .. in 2s in town. No thank you as far as I’m concerned.

    If I lived in the countryside on the other hand, for daily trips, imagining that I was rich, I would find that pleasant I think.

  3. I find that the real interest of an electric motorcycle is for "always running", not for slap-bang use every other weekend, in summer, in "I do sport on a motorcycle and in silence" mode. . The only pleasure of the occasional biker is to hear and smell his bike.

    When an electric motorcycle for the biker who rides every day and who makes milestones (there is a real ecological impact) Who needs real protection, heated grips at a decent price, comfort, a speed regulator, a standard top case and autonomy. Admittedly, there is now at ZERO the DSR / BF model, but at what price !! Not to mention that we are still far from a motorcycle that protects.

    I’m not a scooter, but frankly, I might as well buy a scooter.

  4. Thank you for this article.!

    This is the first time that I read something about this motorcycle.

  5. Same for me, motorcycle unknown to the battalion … Were there any copies exported to the continent to shine on our circuits? Apparently not according to the article.

  6. Excellent article, well done. I also discover the brand but also this period of Bill Ivy’s career on the English national championships before the GP with Yamaha. Very informative, thank you.

  7. RAHAAHA! This is the original passion at this stage! Lucky those who lived it!

    Superb article by Alan Cathcart … as always!

  8. Not bad, but who will risk buying this ?

    Reliability? Resale ??

    The fact that there are no electronics (apparently) is rather a positive point for me !

  9. What about after-sales service ??? On which network in France or even in Europe ???

  10. A great motorbike. I hope the brand goes

    Rebound. I had tried the old version … unforgettable.

  11. A great bike I don’t know, but a crazy engine that’s for sure.

    Finally, the old one, with the brutal engine.gnarf

  12. When will the zz test? I can not find any on the internet to date.You are all the first to mention engine differences between the 2 versions.

    What about consumption?

    Moto Morini had spoken of improvement

    On new versions..

  13. Eriko> With 3.8L / 100, you should even be familiar with or exceed 350 km of autonomy wink.

  14. Moto at the top that’s for sure.

    Regarding the question of reliability, Moto Morini does not necessarily have a bad reputation. I have done 30,000 km in a Corsaro without worry and we sometimes find it with many, many kilometers. For the after-sales service, we have to hope that it develops a little but it remains a small mark. Afterwards if everyone hesitates because it’s a small brand that’s on it will never work and you will miss something that no longer really exists on the character side. ‘is more than correct compared to the competition.

    In any case, I’m looking for a second-hand Corsaro because after having driven several motorbikes since I sold mine, none of them hit their ankles.

  15. The Gran Canyon is a motorcycle that should have been better known … Maybe a little too far ahead of the big trail fashion. ?

    Too bad, as well as for its successor, the Navigator which kept the same look but traded its Ducati mill for a much more powerful DL1000 engine …

  16. i had 2 gran canyon, and had the pleasure of trying this gran passo a few years ago. It is true that it is very reminiscent of the cagiva, but better! the engine is breathtaking. I find the test unrealistic in terms of performance. Out of the cagiva (74 hp), the test was a bit surprising. I almost turned over in the acceleration! I cut the throttle when the wheel was almost vertical! Then I passed the 2, and it started again! The 3 was still going up a bit. So I stopped and simulated a cross country start. Lying on the reservoir, I slowly released the clutch and accelerated hard. Same, the front wheel is mounted, I passed the 2 in stride and it went up again … incredible. Then I quickly shifted gears. Within seconds I was 200. The strong braking brought me back to more legal speeds. By bringing the motorbike back, the slightest gas stroke in 1 or 2, around 4000 revs, the motorbike started wheeling again! And the sensations, and the noise! like a stronger Ducati DS. On the other hand, it was really high for my 1m74, and had jerks towards the slow motion. If I had the means, it is the big trail that I would take, a monument this millstone!

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