Posted: 19 Jun 2013
When Yamaha showed the new three-cylinder motor last year everyone thought that it would be used to power a new range of sports bikes along the lines of the R6 and R1. Now that the first of the new models is revealed the MT-09 we can see not only a new bike, but a new direction in sports bikes with a naked upright machine as the company continues to innovate with new concepts and new technologies.
According to the factory the MT-09 is totally new from the ground up and has been ‘engineered to deliver a whole new riding experience where the focus is on controllability, torque and agility’.
Heart of the matter is the new 850cc across the frame liquid cooled three cylinder motor producing 115bhp. Crossplane technology has been used in the fuel injected motor which is controlled by a ‘fly by wire throttle’ with a three mode switchable programme to suit different riding conditions.
Fuel economy has not been forgotten with acclaimed fuel range of 150 plus miles from the 14 litre tank helped no doubt with the considerable weight paring throughout the bike, it weighing just 188kg at the kerb.
The motor is mounted in a new lightweight frame featuring CF aluminum die-cast components with a die-cast asymmetric swing-arm which has externally-mounted swing-arm pivots for reduced chassis width. This is controlled by a Link-type Monocross rear suspension with horizontal shock.
At the front are 41mm inverted forks while the bike rolls along on 17- inch newly-designed lightweight 10-spoke cast aluminum wheels. Staying with the sports theme stopping power is provided by dual floating 298mm front discs gripped by Radial-mount 4-pot opposed piston calipers.
Four colour options will be available and overall the styling is angular and the bike is very minimal in appearance some ways similar to a Supermoto with good ground clearance to allow spirited riding pleasure. At first glance it is sure to find favor with those riders looking for sports performance, without the forward leaning riding position or acres of plastic covering the engine.