In search of smoothness on new MT-09
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