New Yamaha MT- 09 means busi­ness

Can a fresh look and up­rated sus­pen­sion cure the Yamaha MT- 09’s flaws?

Performance Bikes (UK) - - Contents -

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

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