Used MT- 09 guide

Does Yamaha’s bril­liant triple make a great used buy?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Feature - By Phil West MCN GUEST TESTER

Bar­gain thrills with Yamaha's no-non­sense triple

What we said then

“It’s a lovely ma­chine to ride – easy and in no way in­tim­i­dat­ing. The three­cylin­der en­gine is a peach, of­fer­ing lots of low down grunt, a strong midrange and a grin-in­duc­ing top end. It’s comfy, con­trol­lable, han­dles and brakes well. It’s as happy around town as it is pulling easy wheel­ies and skid­ding up to round­abouts. The per­fect bike for the ex­pe­ri­enced and new­bies but the ride-by-wire throt­tle isn’t per­fect. I’m hav­ing to con­stantly tog­gle be­tween the three modes to get a smooth re­sponse around town and enough power on the open road.” MCN launch re­port | Au­gust 29, 2013

But what’s it like now?

Three years doesn’t dull the shine of one of the best bikes so far this cen­tury – and even less on one of the best ver­sions of the best bike. This 65-plater, for sale at Wheels Mo­tor­cy­cles of Peter­bor­ough for a tempt­ing £6495, is one of the rarer, fac­tory ac­ces­sorised Street Tracker ver­sions and, with just over 2400 miles on its clocks, and ben­e­fit­ting from fur­ther de­sir­able ac­ces­sories such as an Akrapovic can and be­ing in vir­tu­ally mint as-new con­di­tion, is not just one of the best around it rep­re­sents great value, too.

Rid­ing it em­pha­sises those im­pres­sions. Crisp and im­mac­u­late it feels vir­tu­ally new. Light and up­right it’s a dod­dle to ride; the three-cylin­der de­liv­ery is punchy, lively and ad­dic­tive; the ex­haust note a hooli­gan­is­tic de­light and over­all it’s both easy and en­ter­tain­ing for rel­a­tive novices and a joy­ful toy for more ex­pe­ri­enced types. Few mod­ern bikes are as much fun.

On the slight down­side, as an up­right road­ster, the rider feels fairly ex­posed and long-haul com­fort and prac­ti­cal­ity isn’t its strong suit (if you want that you’re bet­ter off with the Tracer vari­ant). But as a short-haul toy there are few bet­ter bikes.

Any­thing wrong?

Not here. Al­though gen­er­ally re­ceiv­ing amaz­ing uni­ver­sal ac­claim, the very first MT-09S did re­ceive mi­nor crit­i­cism for slightly iffy fu­elling and over­soft forks – the for­mer be­ing rec­ti­fied via an ECU up­date stan­dard­ised on later mod­els. As this is a later model it isn’t af­fected. Cos­met­ics, too, can be an is­sue on any bike so in­spect closely for cor­ro­sion and wear and tear. This ex­am­ple, how­ever, be­ing both late and ul­tra-low mileage, is im­mac­u­late with barely worn orig­i­nal Dun­lop Sports­max tyres, clean head­ers (de­spite its dinky car­bon front mud­guard) and mint pegs (which are usu­ally dirt traps).

Any ex­tras?

Plenty. While the stan­dard MT-09 re­mains a fairly ba­sic road­ster (to keep it af­ford­able), in this Street Tracker form it got: spe­cial matt frame paint plus a black en­gine fin­ish, alu­minium num­ber boards, gold-fin­ished forks, a mini car­bon front mud­guard and classy two-tone seat. While this one’s even bet­ter yet thanks to its owner also fit­ting the op­tional Akrapovic si­lencer plus heated grips.

So it’s still a win­ner?

Very much so. In fact, you could say this one is a win-win-win. First, the base MT-09 re­mains sim­ply one of the best mid­dleweight road­sters around (al­though don’t for­get the 2017 ver­sion has just been facelifted and im­proved fur­ther). Sec­ond, for me at least, in this Street Tracker form the MT-09 is both bet­ter specced, bet­ter look­ing and classier all round – not to men­tion more ex­clu­sive, too. And third, and the fi­nal cherry on top is that, be­ing a late, low mileage used ex­am­ple, this ver­sion is still ef­fec­tively as new but yet at an even cheaper price. In other words: why buy new?

Thanks to

Wheels Mo­tor­cy­cles, Peter­bor­ough where this bike is for sale at £6495. More in­for­ma­tion: 01733 358555 or www.wheelsmo­tor­cy­cles.co.uk

Note how Phil has matched his jacket to the paint

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