The dark side arrives: Yamaha’s MT-09

by MotoGusto Editor

Inspired by Japanese minimalism, Yamaha has unveiled a quick, agile and aggressively styled, naked MT-09. Its strong emphasis is on the thrill of the ride. Together with a focus on premium quality and minimalist design, the use of pure technology enhances the riding experience. The Dark Side of Japan philosophy has inspired every Yamaha Hyper Naked model since day one and continues to be the force that makes every MT much more than just a motorcycle. 

Since the original MT-09 arrived on the scene in 2013, the new MT-09 delivers even more dynamic performance, as well as more agile handling. Equipped as standard with class-leading electronic control technology and top-level equipment, the all-new MT-09 offers the ultimate package with the most competitive pricing in the 900cc Hyper Naked class.

New EU5 889cc CP3 engine: More cc, more power, more torque, more fun

With increased levels of feedback and control, a key factor in the runaway success of the MT-09 is the exciting performance of its CP3 3-cylinder crossplane technology engine. To achieve a more torquey and agile feel the 2021 EU5-compliant engine has been completely redesigned and reduced in weight. Virtually every major component is new, including pistons, connecting rods, camshafts and crankcases, and despite its larger capacity and higher power output, the 2021 powerplant – including the new exhaust – is 1.7kg lighter than the current design.

Engine capacity is enlarged to 889cc by increasing the bore size by 3mm, and the extra 42cc boosts maximum horsepower by 4PS to 119PS at 10,000rpm. However, the most significant improvement – and one that is key to the dramatically enhanced performance and more dynamic character of the new bike – can be seen in the CP3 engine’s higher torque output. Maximum torque on the new engine is 93 Nm, and peak torque is achieved at only 7,000rpm – a full 1,500rpm lower down the rev scale.

Higher levels of linear torque at lower engine speeds increase the ‘real world’ performance of the new MT-09 by enabling the rider to fully utilise its road-focused power delivery at everyday riding speeds. The larger-capacity EU5-compliant CP3 engine makes the new MT-09 an even more exciting and rewarding motorcycle that is able to deliver a stronger performance in every type of riding condition, fast or slow, wet or dry.

Whether weaving through urban traffic on the daily trip into the city, cruising to the café or pushing hard through some twisty back roads, the new big-torque 889cc engine makes a real difference on every ride. Together, with its new up and down Quick Shift System, the 2021 MT-09 is the main contender for top honours in the important 900cc Hyper Naked category.

New fuel delivery system

One of the key design features in the new 889cc engine is the completely new fuel delivery system. While the current MT-09 features its fuel injectors attached directly to the cylinder head, on the all-new model the fuel injectors are mounted to the throttle valve side, and fuel is injected onto the back of the intake valve heads.

This system gives better fuel atomisation and also reduces the adhesion of fuel to the intake port walls. This new system produces outstanding combustion efficiency and contributes towards the new model’s 9% increase in fuel efficiency.

New APSG ride-by-wire throttle: Lower weight, excellent feel  

The MT-09 the Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) is upgraded for 2021 with the addition of a new Accelerator Position Sensor Grip (APSG). Similar to the unit featured on the YZF-R1 and R1M and equipped with model-specific friction and throttle opening settings, this lightweight ride-by-wire system replaces the previous model’s pulley set-up to give excellent feel and reliability.

New intake and exhaust systems: an enhanced sense of torque and acceleration

The all-new 889cc engine is equipped with a redesigned high-efficiency air intake system and a newly designed exhaust that are designed to enhance the sense of acceleration and torque felt by the rider. Newly designed stainless steel header pipes each have a different curvature to create an excellent pulse effect, and with tailpipes exiting on both the left and right sides, the rider feels the intoxicating roar in full ‘stereo’ mode.

Optimised transmission and uprated A&S clutch: Smoother and easier

To match the 2021 model’s increased engine performance the transmission has been optimised by slightly raising the ratios on the first and second gears, and, for a good feel when shifting gear, a newly designed shift fork is fitted. To handle the increased torque the A&S clutch uses a new material for its friction plates, and the cam angle is changed to give a lighter pull at the lever, together with even gentler chassis behaviour when downshifting.

Die-cast aluminium Deltabox chassis: Lighter, stronger, more agile

The 2021 MT-09 has been improved in every area and features an all-new lightweight CF die-cast aluminium Deltabox chassis that has been developed in unison with the larger capacity 889cc big-torque engine. 

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, together with improved levels of rider feedback. Handling agility is also enhanced by the use of a newly designed CF die-cast aluminium subframe that is 1.5kg lighter than the previous model’s steel design.

High-rigidity swingarm: Lower weight, better stability

The new 250g lighter aluminium swingarm has a much straighter right side for a more symmetrical appearance than the previous model which complements the next generation body design. To achieve better stability the 2021 swingarm pivot is mounted between the frame structure, rather than the pivots being mounted on the outside of the frame as before.

Next-generation coverless body design: Bare, beautiful, and pure MT DNA

With its bare, beautiful and functional look, the new MT-09 represents the significant next step in the ongoing evolution of the MT DNA. The design concept was to strip away everything but the essentials and present an exterior that would reveal the honest mechanical beauty of the bike’s functional components.

Conveying a sense of torque

The sense of torque is conveyed by the extreme level of mass centralisation that accentuates the bike’s muscular looks and creates a feeling of pent-up power. By locating the headlight, tank, seat and exhaust as close to the engine as possible, the overall impression is one of a tightly compacted mass of components that are ready for action. New details such as reinforcing ribs on the crankcase cover express the feelings of mechanical strength, and the new Crystal Graphite colour of the frame was developed to highlight the material qualities of the mechanical parts, and to convey an impressive and highly refined appearance.

Minimalist ‘coverless’ design

Yamaha have developed a coverless design in which all unnecessary bodywork is removed to give a dynamic and agile new look from every angle. The slimline seat and pointed tail – along with the total absence of sidepanels and other unnecessary additions – serve to emphasise the bare and beautiful good looks of this high specification Hyper Naked.  

6-axis IMU: R-Series Supersport technology for ultimate performance

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. Constantly measuring acceleration in the forward-backward; 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 includes 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).

Three TCS modes: Intervention levels to suit every rider

The TCS has three switchable modes, and each mode integrates three of the rider support systems. Mode 1 delivers moderate intervention, Mode 2 gives strong intervention, and Mode M enables the rider to select manual settings. By preventing wheel lock-ups and slides, as well as wheel spin and wheelies, these electronic aids reduce the workload of the rider, allowing them to concentrate more fully on the road ahead and enjoy the riding experience.  

TFT instruments: Modern, clear and precise

The new 3.5-inch TFT instruments feature a full-colour display that shows clear and precise data. The bar-type tachometer changes colour as rpm rise and falls, and the display includes a clock, gearshift indicator, water and air temperature and more. The new display is linked with the 6-axis IMU, and riders can switch between displays and also select their preferred mode for the electronic aids via a handlebar-mounted switch.

LED projector lighting: Compact, powerful and pure MT design

Compact, powerful and modern, the MT-09’s new headlight design is pure MT, and works perfectly with the next generation looks and special feel of this new Hyper Naked.

The full LED headlight assembly features a single central bifunctional projector headlight with multiple LEDs that provide a broad, even and powerful beam with soft edges for both low and high beam settings. At the rear, the lightweight LED taillight projects a Y-shape illumination that confirms the bike’s next-generation MT DNA.

Technical highlights

  • New 889cc inline three-cylinder four-valve DOHC liquid-cooled EU5 engine
  • More power at all engine speeds
  • 7% increase in maximum torque at lower rpm
  • 4PS increase in maximum power
  • New 2.3kg lighter CF die-cast aluminium Deltabox chassis
  • Lower 189kg wet weight – 4kg reduction and the lightest in 900cc naked class
  • Shorter wheelbase for more dynamic handling
  • New lightweight aluminium swingarm
  • Bare and beautiful ‘coverless’ new generation MT styling
  • Premium quality throughout, with Crystal Graphite frame finish
  • Full LED lighting with Y-shape brand signature icon front and rear
  • New Quick Shift system with up and downshift functions
  • Refined A&S clutch
  • Light and compact new 6-axis IMU
  • Lean-sensitive rider aids: TCS, SCS and LIFt with three intervention modes
  • ABS and Brake Control system (BC)
  • D-MODE switchable engine running modes
  • New ultra-light SpinForged 17-inch 10-spoke wheels
  • Larger 180/70-17 rear tyre with 120/70-17 front tyre
  • Fully adjustable KYB® 41mm USD forks with revised settings
  • Adjustable KYB® rear shock with revised settings
  • Full colour 3.5-inch TFT instruments with remote handlebar switch
  • Radial front master cylinder, 298mm dual front discs 

Colours, availability and price

The new MT-09 will be available in three colours: Storm Fluo, Icon Blue and Tech Black. Deliveries to European Yamaha dealers will commence from March 2021. Prices vary per region, so please contact the national Yamaha distributor for full information.

For more information, click here.

#mt-09 #mt09 #yamahamt09 #motogusto

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