MT- 09

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Feature -

£65 / bhp, 0.6bhp / kg

Yamaha: “Dis­cover your dark side.” MCN: Best value naked sporty mid­dleweight.

Slim, agile, light­weight and with a hint of su­per­moto in its wide bars and for­ward-bi­ased rid­ing po­si­tion, the MT-09 re­sponds to in­puts so whip­petquick it’s al­most done what you wanted it to be­fore you’re ready. Mostly this is good: turn­ing, stop­ping, gen­er­ally lark­ing about be­tween round­abouts; but some­times it’s bad: when you’ve got a pil­lion and could live with­out ex­ces­sive fork dive, sag­ging shock and a hair-trig­ger.

The MT-09 is a Yamaha suc­cess story. Since its launch in 2013 it’s been a con­sis­tent best-seller across Europe, and the rea­sons are sim­ple – it un­der­cuts ri­vals by many hun­dreds of pounds, and it’s a gid­dily eu­phoric bike to ride. Cheap and fast; what’s not to like about that? And what­ever the MT-09’S short­com­ings – and there are a few; lo-fi sus­pen­sion is soft, throt­tle re­sponse is snatchy and plas­tics feel flimsy – the up­side of pin­ning the wail­ing in­line triple and let­ting its front wheel pitch sky­wards al­most as of­ten as the MT-10’S is an end­less flood of feel­good adren­a­line. The MT-09’S three cylin­der mo­tor (claimed to be cross­plane-de­rived but, in fact, a stan­dard 120° triple crank) isn’t com­pletely vibe-free, but it’s quick-revving and, with well over 100bhp on tap, ca­pa­ble of crack­ing on from any rpm in any gear. The bike’s flex­i­bil­ity is also part of its ap­peal; if it wasn’t for the 14-litre tank, the MT-09 could make a fist of far longer dis­tances.

But where the 09 re­ally ex­cels is cover­ing short, com­mutable dis­tances, and dodg­ing round traf­fic, at an ex­plo­sive, and deeply en­ter­tain­ing, pace. With an MT-09, you’ll walk into the of­fice ev­ery day a cou­ple of inches taller than every­one else.

MT-09 sec­ond­hand values Early 2013 bikes with 10,000-15,000 miles on them are start­ing to dip un­der £5000 with deal­ers and are £4500 pri­vately, which is top value for money. Q See more MT-09 used ad­vice in the

Buy­ing and Sell­ing sec­tion. p54.

‘ The MT-09 is cheap and fast; what’s not to like about that?’

Poor sus­pen­sion is the MT’S ma­jor fail­ing, but it doesn’t stop the fun

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