Since 2013 the Yamaha MT-09 has been one of the best middle-weight naked’s on the market offering pretty good performance and everyday usability. Throw an awesome sounding and characterful 3 pot engine and you have a recipe for a great all-round bike. For 2021 Yamaha has decided that its time for an update. Pretty much every aspect of the new MT-09 has been upgraded and changed. The all-new lightweight die-cast aluminium Deltabox frame has been made 2.3kg lighter and also boast’s 50% better lateral rigidity. The Subframe is also now made of aluminium instead of steel shaving a further 1.5kg. To match the more compact frame and shorter front forks the head pipe position is lowered by 30mm, giving an increased feeling of front end grip when cornering.
The team at Yamaha then turned their attention to the CP3 engine. It was never a bad engine to start with. Although based on the original 3 cylinder, Yamaha claims that almost every major component is all new. The piston’s, connecting rods, camshafts and crankcases have all been upgraded. This has reduced the weight of the engine by 1.7kgs which considering the 42cc increase in capacity is pretty good. The increase in engine capacity and slightly longer stroke not only increased power to 119ps at 10,000rpm but also means the 93nm of maximum torque is available at 1500rpm lower in the rev range. The torque hitting from lower down the rev range should make for punchy corner exits. There is also a new lighter exhaust system. The fueling is taken care of by a new ride-by-wire system which shares some tech with its R1 stablemate.
The new MT-09 is the first Yamaha Hyper Naked model to be equipped with a high-tech 6-axis IMU, one of the most sophisticated pieces of intelligent electronics in the industry. Developed from the system used on the YZF-R1 since 2015, the 6-axis IMU on the new MT-09 is 50% smaller and 40% lighter thanks to a thorough review of the sensor layout. Constantly measuring acceleration in the forward-backwards; up-down and left-right directions – as well as the angular velocity in the machine’s pitch, roll and yaw directions – the 6-axis IMU is able to send data in real-time to the ECU which controls the electronic rider aids. The class-leading array of rider aids include lean-sensitive Traction Control System (TCS), Slide Control System (SCS) as well as a front-wheel LIFt Control System (LIF) and Brake Control system (BC).
KYB provides the fully adjustable front suspension featuring 41mm front fork tubes. Nissin provides the braking system and in this case the front brakes have been designed to match the R1’s system. With all these new and improved changes to the MT-09 this is surely going to be close to best in class.