And not just because of this full-bodied Yamaha statement. Because we have already been able to test many motorcycles and each test has its own charm. Some, however, especially much of it. And just such was the test of Yamaha's MT-09 in 2019. Of course, many boundary conditions also contribute to the fact that a test is particularly fun. Be it the weather or the personal daily form of the testers. But one thing can still be said for sure: The test bike always plays the main role. So it is no wonder that Dietmar and I have now entered the race with a certain expectation after the experience gained in 2019 with Yamaha's MT-09. Do we have as much driving fun as we did 2 years ago?
The answer to this question was quickly found: YES, we did! So there is one thing the machine can definitely do: convey driving pleasure. But what else? Now the legendary CP-3 engine is lighter, more powerful and offers more torque in the lower speed range. On top of that, the 889 cc three-cylinder engine has been made EU 5 compliant and its sound is still a real pleasure. The new die-forged alloy wheels are 700 g lighter, which supports the outstanding agility of the MT-09. The new CF die-cast aluminium frame design ensures greater torsional stiffness and thus stability and even more dynamic handling. The new 6-axis IMU controls the standard high-tech assistance systems such as an inclined 3-mode transaction control, the Slide Control System, front-wheel LIFT Control and the brake control system. Speaking of the brake system: Here the machine has a radial front master cylinder, which controls the hydraulic pressure to the two 4-piston brake calipers linearly and actuates the two 298mm discs at the front. By the way, the MT-09 is only the second production motorcycle from Yamaha to have this technology originally developed for racing. Also standard is the Quickshifter which performs its service reliably. The suspension of the machine is adjustable and if that is not enough for you, the MT-09SP has the possibility to build on even higher quality spring elements. Control center of the MT-09 is an unfortunately somewhat small but still fine 3.5-inch color cockpit. Its readability is okay and all important information will find its place there. Now to the styling: Fesch and modern, the Hyper Naked bike is always and skilfully stages frames and structural components through its nudity. The new MT-09 has to take the most criticism for its cyclops-like front mask, which does not want to please everyone right away. Nevertheless, the compact LED headlight ensures a very good light output, which is also its actual task. Appearance is important – but even more important is how the MT-09 drives it. So now we finally saddle the horses!
And no less than 119 of them at 10,000 rpm to be exact. The maximum torque is 93 Nm at 7,000 rpm. Doesn't sound exaggerated these days, but it really feels like a lot! Because there are only 189 kg that need to be advanced here and that happens if you want in no time (3.1s). The machine also cuts an impressive figure when pulling through. If you want to protect your front tire, you can easily avoid unnecessary rubber abrasion on the asphalt by actuating the throttle grip accordingly. Of course, you should be careful that the passenger stays on board! In any case, there is room for improvement when it comes to pillion comfort – but a comfort seat is available as an accessory. As soon as the front wheel has contact with the ground again and you want to turn on the spot, you quickly notice that the MT-09 (like so many naked bikes) has a rather large turning circle due to the low steering impact. But it is only annoying when manoeuvring, when driving the MT-09 is a rather manoeuvrable vehicle. And that's just a lot of fun! It's hard to say how Yamaha manages to get such a lively riding fun into the bike but they succeeded and that's the main thing. And to ride a little more on it: That's what we like so much about the MT-09: Driving fun without end!
From this point of view, the MT-09 is quite a worthy, revolutionary heir to the throne and takes over the performance sceptre of the MT dynasty. Certainly one or the other tour is fun with it, because you can load a whopping 225kg and there are also suitable luggage solutions in the accessories. For the really big trip, however, you will probably rather try the kinship in the form of the Tracer 9. All in all, however, a really successful motorcycle that offers its rider a lot of fun at a fair price.
Our thanks go to Motorrad-Ruser for the test bike.