New Yamaha MT- 09 means business
Can a fresh look and uprated suspension cure the Yamaha MT- 09’s flaws?
WHEN THE ORIGINAL MT-09 appeared in 2013 it impressed with its feisty three-cylinder engine and bargain price tag. But it was far from perfect. Cursed with an abrupt throttle connection and suspension that was too soft and wallowy, it was a good bike but it needed refinement.
Not that this stopped people buying it. The MT-09 sold very well (as did aftermarket shocks and ECU re-maps) and went on to spawn a family of three-cylinder bikes that includes the Tracer 900 sports-tourer and retro XSR900. Which is the bike the new MT-09 owes much of its updates to.
We’re not huge fans of the whole hipster chariot scene, but surprisingly the XSR900 was one of our favourite bikes of 2016. Not only did the triple wheelie well, but it also looked cool aandd handledaded decently. Far better than the MT-09 in fact, aside from the fact it was also a touch soft at the rear end. Well this is no longer the case because for 2017 Yamaha have effectively given the MT-09 all of the XSR900’s suspension updates and ECU maps, as well as a quickshifter and a styling refresh. Even better news is that, despite all these changes, and the pound’s value falling through the floor, the 2017 MT-09 is only £450 more than before. So what are you getting for your extra investment?
While the MT-09’s chassis and swingarm remain the same, the Euro 4-compliant engine is taken from the XSR900, and that means three-stage traction control, variable fuel modes and a slipper clutch as standard, as well as a new quickshifter. The forks now have compression damping in the left leg and rebound in the right as well as variable spring preload, and while the shock still only has adjustable rebound and spring