Yamaha MT-09 (2024) - Technical Review

Technical Review: Ben Purvis
Riding Review: Simon Hargreaves


Price: £10,100 | Power: 117.3bhp | Weight: 193kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 4.7/5


Hard to believe it’s ten years since Yamaha took the wraps off the original MT-09 and ushered in Yamaha’s post-credit crunch MT era of naked street bikes. The original MT-09 had a ‘street motard’ styling vibe – Yamaha’s own words – with a tall front end which gave it a distinctively funky look, but also compromised its handling dynamic with a high headstock and long forks making the front feel remote – not helped by budget suspension performance and a snatchy throttle. Stability wasn’t great either – the frame was so narrowly waisted at the swingarm pivot, the swingarm arms actually pivoted on the outside of the frame spars.

The 847cc inline triple, however, was and is a fantastic motor; flexible, broad spread of torque, smooth and yet shot through with a joyful vitality. And handling foibles aside, the MT-09 has been a success – practical yet exciting, slightly leftfield but convenient, and the right price. In a decade, Yamaha have sold nearly 100,000 MT-09s across Europe.

In 2021 the MT-09 got overhauled with a significant engine upgrade – longer stroke took it out to 890cc and added even more midrange – and the chassis got revised with a lower positioned headstock, conventional suspension travel and uprated damping, a better shock, and a sprinkling of R1-style electronics including 6-axis IMU, quickshifter, traction control and anti-wheelie.

And so to 2024, and the new MT-09 isn’t a total overhaul – the 117bhp, 890cc inline triple engine and fundamental chassis remain largely unchanged – but the rest of the bike gets a round of tweaks and upgrades that cumulatively shift the MT-09 in a sportier direction, but also make it a more convenient and pleasant experience to ride and own.


Pros & Cons

  • Vibrant, thrilling, flexible three-cylinder motor remains
  • New clocks and switchgear bring even more features and electronic options
  • Sportier riding position and new damping rates add more front-end feel
  • New looks won’t be to everyone’s taste
  • Reshaped tank is still a few litres too small, at 14 litres
2024 Yamaha MT-09 Review

Small upgrades all added together = big changes. Simon Hargreaves rides and reviews the new incarnation of Yamaha’s triple-tastic naked.


Review – In Detail

Price & PCP
For and against
Engine & Performance
Handling & Suspension (inc. weight & brakes)
Comfort & Economy


2024 Yamaha MT-09 Price

The 2024 MT-09 is £10,100 on the road. That compares with £9810 list price for the 2023 model, which some dealers may still have in stock. But it means all the changes and features we’re about to list and describe have only pushed the price by a couple of hundred pounds.

The new bike will be in dealers last week of March/first week of April – check with the dealer for confirmation.

The MT-09 comes in three colours – Midnight Cyan, Icon Blue and Tech Black – the same colours as the 2023 model. The MT-09 SP with higher-spec suspension and brakes will be available later in the year for £11,800.



2024 Yamaha MT-09 Engine, Electronics & Performance

The CP3 890cc 120° three-cylinder engine is mechanically unchanged for 2024 and retains identical performance as before with 117.3hp (119PS, 87.5kW) at 10,000rpm and 68.6 lb-ft of torque (93Nm) at 7000rpm. The engine is compliant with the latest EU5+ emissions regulations.

In an effort to increase the aural appeal of the motor, Yamaha have redesigned the airbox intakes to be fed from the top of the fuel tank through a pair of speaker-style grilles, flanking the fuel filler and ignition key slot. Yamaha say the idea is to “accentuate high-frequency sound and enhance engine feedback”. The idea was first tried out on last year’s MT-10.

As with the previous MT-09, a wealth of electronic options is informed by a 6-axis IMU. With five rider modes to choose from (Sport, Street, Rain and two Custom modes), you can programme parameters for traction control, slip control and anti-wheelie – and, for 2024, you can also set levels of engine braking, either from the dash or Bluetoothed via Yamaha’s MyRide app.

Yamaha have also uprated the transmission, adding dog teeth to the top four internal gear ratios for smoother engagement, and added its third generation quickshifter as debuted on last year’s Tracer 9 GT+. The shifter now allows clutchless shifts up on a closed throttle and down on an open throttle, meaning the system is now essentially clutch-free and seamless from 2000rpm and 10mph.


On the road

The new MT-09 retains all the lively performance of the previous model. It’s always a joyful revelation to ride – from tick over to top gear, torque and power blend into one long, smooth, seamless arc of urgent momentum, and the bike flies off the throttle with a snappy, but not snatchy, flood of performance. It’s an engaging, electrifying motor, whether you’re just surfing its midrange, driving from the bottom-end, or chasing its rev-happy top end. It’s an engine that obeys whatever mood takes you – from smirk to smile to scream. But it’s also not a complete headbanger – the MT-09 is just as satisfying when you’re feeling lazy because it’s also smooth, tractable, and civilised. It’s a broad range of talent that showcases the best of an inline triple’s compromise between a twin and a four-cylinder.

In an effort to understand what makes the CP3 such an exciting motor, we put last year’s MT-09 on a dyno and compared the rider’s action at the throttle to the actual amount of throttle the bike then decides to give the engine. All manufacturers control this interplay between what the rider asks for and what the rider gets – even CV carbs basically did the same thing before fuel injection, so it’s not a new idea. But electronics have allowed manufacturers to ‘build-in’ characteristics and, to a degree, limitations, to a bike’s power delivery – sometimes to help make the bike feel nicer to ride, to improve emissions, to improve fuel consumption or sometimes just to give the engine desired character or feel.

Yamaha do something very specific with the MT-09’s power delivery – in Sport mode (or equivalent modes on other models such as the Tracer), for a large proportion of the throttle matrix (or ‘map’; a table that instructs the ECU how much fuel to deliver relative to actual throttle position) the CP3 motor gives more throttle than the rider asks for. So, for example, if the rider has the throttle open at 60% in fifth gear at 5000rpm, the ECU will be giving the bike 70%. It does this for a large part of the map, and it’s a big part of why the CP3 motor feels so energetic and responsive – it’s constantly delivering a bit more performance than you ask for at the throttle (of course there’s a lot more to it; ignition and cam timing etc).

On the early MT-09, this eagerness manifested as throttle snatch, which isn’t the same thing as throttle ‘snap’. On this bike, Sport mode is snappy – it’s lit from the moment you start to turn the grip. But it’s not snatchy; no lurching or choppiness. It’s just joyfully usable. The remaining modes soften power delivery considerably – Rain mode (which we got the chance to use on the launch in Lanzarote) is comparatively docile and easy to manage in damp conditions (still quick though!).
I took the opportunity during the test ride to ask a Yamaha engineer to confirm our findings – he smiled, pulled out a notebook, and quickly sketched a graph showing the relationship: the engine throttle gives more than the rider throttle asks for. He then tapped the side of his head and said, “Yamaha, crazy!”. This is the company that gave the world the 350LC, the VMax, the R1 and the GTS1000. They’re still a bit nuts sometimes, and it shows.

They also build what is probably motorcycling’s finest anti-wheelie system – no other manufacturer manages to give the rider the option of “how high?” without the electronic intervention resulting in a dramatic front wheel crash-landing (at least on a bike costing considerably more than the Yamaha). On the MT-09, the motor lifts the front end under power to what feels like (and may well be) a prescribed height, it holds it there, then gently drops back down again naturally. It’s a great system for generating those little change-of-direction wheelies under power; the sort of wheelies that feel great but won’t land you in trouble with the law (don’t take my word for it, but surely that’s a safety feature doing what it's supposed to do, officer?).

Also present on the MT-09 is the world’s best quickshifter – no small claim, but it’s true. Now in its third iteration, it allows clutchless up-shifting on a closed throttle and down-shifter on an open throttle. No other shifter allows such a range of gearchange conditions – you can pretty much use the quickshifter anytime, and it even integrates with old-school clutch draggers like me to allow clumsy half-clutch, half-quickshifter changes without complaint.

And finally, the sound of the bike is louder, thanks to the strategically placed “acoustic engine feedback” grilles on the tank, connected to a pair of intake trumpets feeding the airbox. Induction noises aren’t as deep or exciting as exhaust notes; the higher-frequency noise can get tiring. The last time I remember a manufacturer claim to have specifically tuned the airbox to make a nice sound was Kawasaki’s ZXR750 L1 in 1993 – it had a chamber, called a Helmholtz resonance chamber, moulded into the underside of each of the side Ram-Air intakes, to add more depth and growl to induction. It seemed to work – the ZXR had a lovely gurgle when you pinned it.
The MT-09 doesn’t gurgle so much as moan – hard to tell how much difference it makes to the overall sensation of riding the bike, but it makes ear-plugs a must if you want to preserve your hearing. I never thought to ask what effect a tank bag might have.



2024 Yamaha MT-09 Handling & Suspension (inc. Weight & Brakes)

Although the essence of the bike’s chassis is, like the engine, carried over from the last generation, the 2024 MT-09 still gets some changes.

The aluminium Deltabox-style frame remains, with thicker engine mounts and a revised headstock brace for better front-end feel. Swingarm is as before – mounted conventionally inside the frame spars (the original MT-09 frame tapered at the swingarm pivot, with the swingarm arms pivoting outside the frame plates).

Suspension is updated. The front still gets fully-adjustable 41mm KYB forks, but now with stiffer damping rates and stiffer 15Nm springs (instead of 14Nm previously). The KYB shock, adjustable for rebound and preload, also gets new, softer damping rates, and a revised linkage ratio which puts more weight on the front and reduces rear wheel travel from 122mm to 117mm. Steering geometry is unchanged bar a 0.3° steeper rake angle. Weight is up 4kg to 193kg (mostly, say Yamaha, as a result of extra electronics).
Brakes are the same Yamaha four-pot radial calipers on 298mm discs, but now with a 16mm Brembo radial master cylinder. Tyres are Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 M tyres instead of the previous S22s.


On the road

Combined with the result of a riding position change (see below), the suspension changes tilt the 09 ever-so slightly further onto its nose for a more controlled, defined steering dynamic compared to last year’s bike – which still, on its ear, had a minor tendency to understeer. Now there’s tons of feel and feedback – and while the Yamaha hasn’t quite got the ‘plugged-in’ feel of Triumph’s Street Triple, it’s less harsh and unforgiving. And, unlike KTM’s 890 Duke R, you don’t have to be at riding above eight tenths to get feel from the suspension – the Yamaha has a poised suppleness that fit perfectly at the kind of road speeds most of us are prepared to ride at.

And it's a world away from the first MT-09 – there’s no instability, no skipping about under full acceleration, no hint of wayward behaviour. The roads in Lanzarote are nowhere near as degraded as most UK roads, so it remains to be seen how the Yamaha copes with potholes and ruptured tarmac – based on gut feel, I’d say it’ll be at least as good as either the Street Triple or equivalent KTM and maybe a bit better. I’d choose the Triumph over the Yamaha for a track day at Cadwell – but not by much and by a lot less than I would have previously.

Brakes are plenty powerful, although I heard a comment that ABS chimes in fairly early – not something I can attest to because it never happened to me. Didn’t get the pegs down either, but the razor-sharp lava fields either side of the road in Lanzarote focus the mind about staying on the grey stuff.

Agility is also superb – always an MT-09 strength. As the result of tank re-style (see below), steering lock has been increased on the new bike – the previous model was a sod to turn round in the road, often needing a 5-point paddle to get round where other bikes would comfortably handling a U-turn in one. No more – the new bike has plenty of lock.



2024 Yamaha MT-09 Comfort & Economy

As mentioned above, a redesigned fuel tank is 30mm lower, flatter and 60mm wider, with larger cutaways allowing more steering lock. Capacity remains a rather skimpy 14 litres. Yamaha also claims the new version offers more freedom for the rider to move about – specifically when changing direction, from hanging off one side to the other. This is in keeping with the 09’s sportier bias.

The tank is made using a new press-moulding method that’s claimed to give sharper, more defined edges than before (from a 20mm radius to 5mm) and is joined by a new two-piece seat and redesigned headlight, headlight cowl and tail section for a revamped look.

Yamaha has also revised the MT-09’s riding position with 34.4 lower bars and 9.5mm higher, 30.6mm more rear-set pegs than before, giving a sportier posture. The bars and pegs are both adjustable, too, each with two possible positions to choose from to tailor the posture to suit riders of different sizes.

The new seat splits the rider and pillion sections, introducing a noticeable step between them and tapering downward into the tank while retaining the same 825mm seat height. There are also new alloy brake and gear shift pedals, intended to be easier to use. The adjustable clutch lever is also new.

Fuel consumption and emissions are unaltered, with the same claimed 5l/100km (56.5mpg) economy as before, and while the tank is reshaped it’s still got the same 14-litre capacity so the bike’s overall range to empty is still a theoretical 280km (174 miles).


On the road

Along with the new clocks and styling, the riding position is perhaps the most noticeable change to the new MT-09. The pegs and bars may only have moved a few mm, but it’s enough to put the rider’s weight more firmly over the front end. But this isn’t a wrist-heavy bike – it’s nowhere near as on-the-nose as Triumph’s Street Triple, and for all the talk of making the MT-09 more sporty, which it is, it’s definitely not a sportsbike – it’s a comfy and natural riding position, not in the least wrist-heavy. If the MT-09 had a fairing and a decent tank volume (capacity, not decibels) you could happily ride it a long way. Ah, hang on, that’s a Tracer.

From the moment you slide into position on the bike – knees tucked but not cramped, body tilted into just the right poise for action – you think ‘ah, this will be fun’. The new seat is firm but not hard, nicely shaped, and puts the rider’s groin at the base of the tank in a classic ‘Right, let’s do this’ riding position. It feels a bit 1990s, in a good way.

Body position is just about right for balancing against the wind, too – of which there is plenty on Lanzarote. With no fairing or screen to deflect pressure, the forward-canted body position makes a lot of sense – even pulling three-figure numbers (a big stretch of the coast road was closed for repairs, and Yamaha had persuaded the local council to let us use if for photography), there’s little sense of hanging onto the bike, more just trying to tuck down into it.

Fuel economy spent most of the day hovering around 43mpg, and the reserve light started flashing at 115 miles (I think it’s one of those fuel gauges that only shows full until half empty, then starts dropping – at 50 miles it was still showing a full tank, then dropped like a stone for the next 50. At least the MT-09 has a remaining range trip option). At 43mpg, 14 litres will last 130 miles. Which isn’t really enough. I asked a Japanese engineer why they fit such small tanks – he said, “You want to ride further without stopping?” I pointed out stopping at a petrol station more than you have to is the pain in the arse, not riding 150 miles in one go.



2024 Yamaha MT-09 Equipment

A new colour TFT dash is at the heart of the 2024 MT-09’s equipment improvements – 5-inches across and mounted horizontally it offers four different themes and gives access not only to the improved rider-assistance technology but also to a suite of smartphone-connected tech including the usual media controls and a Garmin StreetCross navigation system. An under-seat USB-C socket brings the bike’s power supply options up to date.

The are also new bar switch units associated with the instrument panel, giving fingertip control for the riding modes and smartphone functions. These also add self-cancelling indicators with two functions (a soft-click gives three flashes for lane changes, a harder press keeps the indicators on for 15 seconds or 150 meters, whichever is sooner) and add a cruise control system, previously available only on the MT-09 SP.


On the road

The new clocks are small, but not so far away this ancient old rider has to squint to read them. The colours are a bit pastel and washed-out – I like a bit more vibrancy in the colours – but there are four layouts to choose from: central speedo with rev-bars at the side (a bit like Triumph’s old Tiger 900 dash; hard to read the revs), a sports-style tacho strip across the top of the speedo (better), revs rising across a piano-style bar (which is quite cool) and another sports-style set-up. At least you get a lot of choice. You can also invert all the above into a night display with black background, so that’s eight display choices.

The sat nav function is cool – a button-push brings up the connected phone and Garmin map, which is very nice. The phone is connected via a USB-C port under the seat, which is a bit of a faff – I prefer USB ports by the dash.

The new switchgear is big and easy to use, and condemns the tiny scroll wheel of the previous bike to the bin. A stubby joystick on the right bar is easy to use, and sits just below the cruise control – a welcome addition in these days of average speed cameras. Even on a naked bike. Indicators are now on a push-to-cancel rocker switch, which is intuitive to use (although judging by the number of horns going off when the launch riding group were turning, not everyone found it so easy).

On the opposite side to the sexy new Brembo radial master cylinder lives an equally foxy clutch lever, mounted on a waisted, bronze alloy mount, which is a quality finishing touch.



2024 Yamaha MT-09 Rivals

The MT-09’s three-cylinder layout and appealing cost/performance balance mean it’s always been a hard bike to beat in the middleweight roadster class, but consider these alternatives too:


KTM 890 Duke GP | Price: £10,699

Power/Torque: 114bhp/67.9lb-ft | Weight: 169kg (dry)


Kawasaki Z900 | Price: £9,799

Power/Torque: 123.6bhp/72.7lb-ft | Weight: 212kg (kerb)


Triumph Street Triple 765 R | Price: £9,595

Power/Torque: 118.4bhp/59lb-ft | Weight: 189kg (kerb)


2024 Yamaha MT-09 Review Details Price Spec_227


2024 Yamaha MT-09 Verdict

The 2024 MT-09 completes its transition from the flawed, motard-styled original to a properly focussed sporty naked bike – and in that sense, it brings the 09 into line with the MT-07 and MT-10.

But it’s not overly-sporty – Yamaha haven’t sacrificed any of the original bike’s appeal (apart from maybe its looks). The new bike still doesn’t feel as committed, hardcore headbanger or as single-note demanding as a KTM 890 Duke, and it doesn’t feel as sporty and intense as a Street Triple. You’d probably take either of the former to a track day, but for almost every other riding scenario the MT-09 might turn out to be a lot more fun and flexible.

The engine is a delight to use in any scenario – it’s got an ability to match your mood, rather than dictate to you how it wants to be ridden. The suspension is equally forgiving – ride quality is good, the poise of the bike and its handling dynamic is all about control and feel, without getting vague or sloppy when you start to push on. The riding position is equally well balanced – no fatigue sets in after a day’s thrashing about and the seat feels as comfy when you get off as when you get on.

Nice new toys as well – on a modestly priced street bike you’re getting topflight IMU traction control, slide control, world-class anti-wheelie, engine brake control... plus a top drawer quickshifter and cruise control – all fitted as standard; you don’t have to pay more to ‘unlock’ extra features already fitted to the bike.

Great bike. Now, about those looks...


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2024 Yamaha MT-09 Review Details Price Spec_228


2024 Yamaha MT-09 - Technical Specification

New price




Bore x Stroke

78.0 × 62.1 mm

Engine layout

In-Line Three-Cylinder

Engine details

4-stroke, Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valves


117.3 bhp (87.5kW) @ 10,000 rpm


68.6 lb-ft (93.0Nm) @ 7,000 rpm


Constant Mesh, 6-speed, chain drive, quickshifter

Average fuel consumption

56.5mpg claimed

Tank size

14 litres

Max range to empty

174 miles

Rider aids

IMU-assisted cornering ABS, cornering traction control, slide control system, wheelie control, brake control, back-slip regulator. Five riding modes, cruise control.


Diamond die-cast aluminium

Front suspension

41mm USD KYB forks

Front suspension adjustment

Fully adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping

Rear suspension

KYB monoshock

Rear suspension adjustment

Adjustable rebound and preload

Front brake

298mm discs, four-piston radial calipers, radial Brembo master cylinder

Rear brake

245mm disc, single piston caliper

Front wheel / tyre

Spinforged alloy wheel, 120/70ZR17M/C (58W) Tubeless Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 M

Rear wheel / tyre

Spinforged alloy wheel, 180/55ZR17M/C (73W) Tubeless Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S23 M

Dimensions (LxWxH)

2090mm x 820mm x 1145mm



Seat height



193kg (kerb)


2 yrs unlimited mileage parts and labour

MCIA Secured Rating

Not yet rated




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2024 Yamaha MT-09 Review Details Price Spec_18


What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars (three stars for bikes of 125cc or less), based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.