Yamaha just confirmed the rumours of a new MT-09 for 2021. The naked bike is getting a significant overhaul, including a new engine, frame and electronics package.
The MT-09 previously used an 847cc liquid-cooled triple. Now, Yamaha’s running an 889cc triple, with 3mm larger bores. The pistons, connecting rods, fuel injectors, camshafts and crankcase and many other parts were also updated, and the new engine makes 117 horsepower at 10,000 rpm. That’s a four-horse gain, and Yamaha says peak torque is now up seven percent, to 68.6 pound-feet of torque at 7,000 rpm. That torque peak kicks in 1,500 rpm lower than before, and Yamaha says it’s available across a wider range of rpms, which is something all the OEMs are trying for these days.
The new engine is also lighter than the previous mill, and comes with a slipper/assist clutch. An up/down quickshifter comes as standard equipment, too, thanks to a new ride-by-wire throttle. And because there’s a new ride-by-wire throttle (supposedly similar to the R1 superbike’s arrangement), Yamaha was also able to program in lots of other electro-trickery, in conjunction with a new six-axis IMU.
Now, the MT-09 comes with multiple riding modes, lean angle-sensitive traction control, ABS, a slide control system (good news for supermoto fiends!), wheelie control and other smart safety systems to save your butt when you do something stupid. There’s also a new TFT dash, and an LED headlight. Yamaha wants this to be a proper modern bike, not a budget-friendly cheapster.
Yamaha’s previous MT-09 had a steel frame, but the new bike has an aluminum frame and swingarm, as well as alu “SpinForged” wheels. There’s a new set of adjustable KYB forks too. Yamaha also restyled the bike; no doubt opinions will vary on that move. However, the design team seems to have avoided the insectoid look that plagues some of the other Japanese naked bikes …
There’s also a new radial front brake master cylinder, and larger 180-70-17 rear tire. Yamaha’s paid attention to the smaller details here, not just the big ones. All in all, it looks like a big step forward; the MT-09 is priced at $9,399 in the US, $10,799 in Canada. Find more details and photos at Yamaha’s website.