Softer op­tion?

In search of smooth­ness on new MT-09

Motorcycle News (UK) - - New Bikes - By Andy David­son STAFF WRITER

The MT-09 was the first bike in the now hugely suc­cess­ful MT range. In the last two years Yamaha have sold over 20,000 MT-09S, paving the way for a wider range of ca­pac­i­ties un­der the MT ban­ner. But that doesn’t mean the three-cylin­der Yam is per­fect; on the world launch back in 2013 MCN Se­nior Road Tester Michael Neeves wasn’t con­vinced by the snatchy ride-by-wire throt­tle re­sponse and soft sus­pen­sion, two fac­tors which let down an oth­er­wise fan­tas­tic ma­chine. Yamaha re­leased a re­vised en­gine map last year but it wasn’t a sig­nif­i­cant enough change. So now, for 2016, the MT-09 has fi­nally been treated to a softer map to smooth out the jerky throt­tle, it also comes with trac­tion con­trol and a new colourscheme, but no up­dates to the sus­pen­sion. And all for the same £7349 price tag as the 2015 model.

Ac­cord­ing to Yamaha, the MT-09’S three en­gine maps have all been re­fined and are softer than be­fore. Set­ting A has the sharpest re­sponse; the change isn’t re­ally no­tice­able and it’s still pretty ag­gres­sive. Set­ting B hasn’t changed much ei­ther, but is cer­tainly far softer than A and eas­ier to get along with. The stan­dard set­ting gets the big­gest change and is the soft­est of the bunch, friend­lier and far more man­age­able than be­fore.

The MT-09’S trac­tion con­trol sys­tem has three set­tings, 1, 2 and off. The bike has to be at a stand­still to flick be­tween the three-stage sys­tem, un­like the throt­tle modes. Set­ting 1 al­lows for light in­ter­ven­tion while 2 is max in­ter­ven­tion. Due to the de­cent torque de­liv­ered by the three-cylin­der mo­tor it’s pretty easy to spin the rear up, es­pe­cially in the wet, mak­ing trac­tion con­trol a wel­come ad­di­tion. While you can feel level two kick in when blast­ing the throt­tle from stand­still, the first set­ting is far less re­stric­tive, al­low­ing for more fun with a re­as­sur­ing safety net.

And fi­nally, Yamaha are of­fer­ing the 2016 MT-09 with three new colour schemes; Lava Red, Matt Grey (which now has gold forks and a black frame) and Night Fluo, which is the same scheme as the MT-10. In pic­tures the flu­o­res­cent yel­low is rather gar­ish, but in the metal, es­pe­cially when lined up next to the other colours, it stands out and suits the bike’s hooli­gan im­age.

New MT-09 Night Fluo colourscheme looks amaz­ing in the metal

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