Travelmoto test the Yamaha MT-09 2021 – Japan’s dark side strikes back!

Travelmoto test the Yamaha MT-09 2021 – Japan’s dark side strikes back!

Travelmoto test the Yamaha MT-09 2021 - Japan's dark side strikes back! 1

More electronics, more power, less weight.

When a successful model is attacked, the manufacturer is under particularly strict control. However, it appears that Yamaha has correctly fitted the right bolts in the redesign of its popular mid-range naked. And that’s what Travelmoto wants to see.


The lively CP3 unit is drilled to 889 cubic centimetres.

This is a trick that many manufacturers now use to comply with the strict Euro 5 requirements. What is the advantage for the biker? An increase in power of 4 hp and an increase in torque of 5.5 Nm. This may not sound spectacular at first glance, but those who knew the old bike know that the trio was not a child of grief and, with its 115 hp, was the reference in the sporting middle class for many years. The main difference with the old engine is that the maximum torque of 93 Nm is available at 7,000 rpm instead of 8,500 rpm as before. 119bhp is a good average when you look at the power: Triumph fills its Street Triple R with 118bhp and the Mattighofen Herzog 890 R has 121bhp.


Due to the reduction in weight and consumption, the MT-09 will be even more manoeuvrable in 2021.


The mid-range naked bike weighs 189 kg when fully refuelled, which is 4 kg less than before. This saving was achieved by reducing the weight of the frame and engine. In addition, thanks to a new production method, the wheels have been made 700 grams lighter per wheel, making them the lightest in their class according to Yamaha. We expect this reduction in unsprung masses to result in an even more agile ride than before. The lower weight is due not only to the optimised fuel injection, but also to the MT-09’s 9% reduction in fuel consumption. If some people say that they do not care, I must in any case remind Europeans that both one-off and recurrent taxes (motor-related insurance tax) are calculated on CO2 emissions and therefore on fuel consumption.


Travelmoto test the Yamaha MT-09 2021 - Japan's dark side strikes back! 2

Newly developed swing arm, frame and exhaust, light mask with full-LED.

Numerous small improvements and new developments can be seen on both the frame and the swingarm. In addition, the appearance has also been fundamentally altered, one thing it has to be said is that just as with its predecessor, the appearance of the current MT-09 will polarise. The most striking innovation is the cyclope-like light mask with LED daytime running light. However, the rear (also fully LED incl. indicators) looks relatively unspectacular but pleasantly designed. Yamaha promises improvements in ergonomics, which we hope to be able to check during the press test in February. The 3-1-2 floor exhaust system does not win a beauty prize, although we have seen worse designs thanks to Euro5. But for centralising the masses and a low centre of gravity, the position of the rear exhaust silencer certainly makes sense. For those who want to sharpen here, Yamaha will certainly offer more possibilities with its accessories.


Travelmoto test the Yamaha MT-09 2021 - Japan's dark side strikes back! 3

The real revolution of the MT-09 2021 takes place inside.

The electronic highlight of the MT-09 is certainly the built-in six-axis IMU (a further development of the R1 module), which enables functions such as ABS in bends, anti-wheelie control and lean angle-dependent traction control, enabling Yamaha to be lifted to the Olympus of the helpers. The quickshifter has been upgraded with a blipper function. It also features ride-by-wire and four ride modes, which are shown on the new 3.5-inch TFT colour display and can be changed via a switch on the handlebar. However, unlike the competition, the long-awaited module does not offer a connectivity function. Even MT-09 drivers still have to manage without cruise control, but who cares!


Travelmoto test the Yamaha MT-09 2021 - Japan's dark side strikes back! 4


Fully adjustable chassis, improved brakes.

The chassis has always been the Achilles’ heel of the MT-09 predecessor, but that is now coming to an end. Suspension forge Kayaba delivers an adjustable chassis with a fully adjustable 41mm USD fork at the front and a rear shock absorber with adjustable rebound and spring preload. The Yamaha’s braking system is equipped with radially bolted calipers. No compromises are made on the first tyres either: with the Bridgestone S22 in sizes 120/70/17 at the front and 180/55/17 at the rear, you can rely on a top quality product.

With an unchanged stationary sound at 93 dB, the Yamaha MT-09 is ready to be used for our Travel Moto Tours in 2021.

Travelmoto test the Yamaha MT-09 2021 - Japan's dark side strikes back! 5Good news for Travelmoto customers, the Yamaha MT-09 is available for rent and tour from 2021.





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