Used street bike bar­gains

If Suzuki’s GSX-S750 has you in the mood for a sporty naked, there’s plenty of used-bike choice for half the price

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Yamaha MT-09 2013-2016 > £3900-£6200 > 113bhp > 191kg > 847cc in­line triple

FEW ROAD­STERS CAP­TURE the raw essence of two-wheeled fun so suc­cess­fully as Yamaha’s MT-09. It’s play­ful, joy­ous, will­ing, ex­cit­ing and ex­citable and on top of that, it’s in­cred­i­ble value too. Its 847cc three­cylin­der en­gine of­fers up a tor­rent of torque, that in­stant, liq­uid shunt boosted beau­ti­fully by sen­si­ble, use­able gear­ing. The quirky, off­set dig­i­tal dash in­cludes a gear-po­si­tion in­di­ca­tor but the whole driv­e­train is so flex­i­ble and for­giv­ing that you barely need to re­fer to it – what­ever revs, what­ever speed and what­ever gear, just open the throt­tle and that glo­ri­ous mo­tor picks up and roars off.

The MT-09 is not per­fect though. The very first bikes had a snatchy throt­tle re­sponse – par­tic­u­larly no­tice­able in the most ag­gres­sive of its three maps. Yamaha of­fered a free remap for early ma­chines, though bet­ter re­sults can be found with a full ECU re­flash. The sus­pen­sion is on the soft side – the forks move around through their longer-than-av­er­age travel and the damp­ing isn’t su­per-so­phis­ti­cated. The 14-litre fuel tank needs re­fill­ing ev­ery 100 miles too, so it’s def­i­nitely for quick blasts.

Stick to what the MT does best: mak­ing mel­liflu­ous mince­meat out of twisty back roads, fizzing be­tween bends with its light steer­ing, strong brakes and raspy ex­haust note. Don’t take it too se­ri­ously or ex­pect mil­lime­tre-ac­cu­rate pre­ci­sion, and don’t ex­pect to spend hours on end in the firm sad­dle. Don’t even try to pi­geon­hole it – the MT-09 doesn’t slot neatly into any tra­di­tional classes, with too much en­gine to count as a mid­dleweight, but less bulk than a burly mus­cle­bike. It’s of­ten com­pared to Tri­umph’s three-cylin­der nakeds, the Street and Speed Triples but it’s not a di­rect ri­val for ei­ther: the MT is faster and more flex­i­ble than a Street, but slim­mer and lighter than a Speed.

The first bikes ar­rived in late 2013 and could be had with or with­out ABS. It was up­dated for 2016 with softer throt­tle maps and trac­tion con­trol, plus a liv­ery with fluro yel­low wheels. A restyled MT-09, with twin LED head­lights and im­proved sus­pen­sion, was re­leased for 2017. Check wiring har­ness and han­dle­bar mount­ing re­call work has been done.

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