MT-09 - anyone ridden one?


UKGSer Subscriber
Nov 4, 2003
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Howe of Fife
I read the glowing test in Bike Magazine in which they exhort you to "Buy one now" and several other glowing reports on the web. With the exception of some references to the front end feeling a bit vague and a restricted fuel range, most pundits are raving about them.

So...has anyone tried one and would like to report back? I sat on the dealer's demo bike a couple of days ago and as soon as my injured left foot has healed I'll be going for a test ride. I've been thinking about getting something smaller and lighter than a GS for a while.....

MCN says "It's The Best Bike since the Fireblade was introduced"....


Now, do you mean that in a derogatory sense, Christopher or is that a recognition that motorcycles are all toys.....? :augie

Anyone who doesn't use a bike as their primary form of transport has a "toy".

Some of us have practical toys.

Anyone who doesn't use a bike as their primary form of transport has a "toy".

Some of us have practical toys.


I think the MT-09 could be quite a practical commuting machine. There's already a comfy seat for it and a flyscreen. No doubt there'll be bigger aftermarket screens, handguards, luggage, heated grips and all manner of things to cosset the sybaritic tendencies of the appropriate demographic group. Although, having said that, I suspect that Yamaha are aiming at riders a bit younger than folks like me who nearly bought their last three cylinder offering in 1980.
If looking at a bike like the MT-09 ,what would be the benefits over a fazer 1000?
The FZ1 is already an accomplished all rounder.
If looking at a bike like the MT-09 ,what would be the benefits over a fazer 1000?
The FZ1 is already an accomplished all rounder.

It's smaller, lighter, more econmical, different riding, i.e. more upright, position. It's a replacement for for the FZ8 rather than the FZ1 which comes in at £10K whereas the MT-09 is just under £7K with the ABS version likely to be about £7,400 when it's available. That's apart from, I suspect, the very different feel of the 850 triple as opposed to a detuned R1 four cylinder motor.
Just watched mcn's review on MT-09 , pretty positive only negatives seem to be slightly snatchy throttle and front end a bit vague.
Be good to hear what you think once you test ride it.Price wise it seems a winner.
But it's bound to be a bugger riding on a cold rainy day,doesn't look to be a lot of weather protection.
I had a short ride on a demo bike today....

I'm not a 'streetbike' rider, but took the bike for a spin with more of an interest in the new engine. And I reckon it's a peach. In this bike and configuration, I reakon it's a bit of a hooligan. Very strong low down power and revs quickly and freely through the gears - a sort of four cylinder twin, if you get what I mean.

It sounds great on full chat and I would love to see it in sports bikes and adventure bikes with different states of tune. The yamaha dealer agreed and winked as he said "watch this space".
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i did a lot of miles on the old XS750 triple with a 3-1 Alfa pipe on it - gorgeous.

a mate had the 850 and was much torquier but not as much 'fun'.

this looks like a fun bike
Not ridden one but had a look at one yesterday and heard it running, very impressive!

Friends daughter is running one in for Yamaha UK and she says its a nice bike, she races a Kawasaki 400 and has ridden all sorts of bikes including a V-Max so she knows what she's talking about.
Tank too small for it to be anything other than a toy, a great tot, but still a toy.

A version with an extra 4-5L tank capacity and some weather protection would make it a real all-rounder.

I think Honda's CB500 versions is the way forward in an age where manufacturers cannot come up with new unique models in many segments every two years.

A faired "sports" version with and roomier "adventure" version would give them a range that would suit the majority of riders out there.

The hypersport market is dying fast and far fewer people have the big budgets for bikes like the large BMW / KTM offerings these days, plus the ageing biker population seem to want better value and more flexible machines, a bike you can ride to work in the week, blast about at the weekend and ride across Europe for your holidays are going to be the ones that sell IMO, especially if the price is right.

£7k - £8k is a much better price point than the current "flagship" machines which are all £12k+ these days, I can see this selling well within the "toy" segment, but think variations of this bike could be even better.
Incredible value for money. Turn your speakers up:
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I had one for 2 days from my local dealer to take down to the club and ride around a bit. Some people miss the point of this little bike. It is a toy with a practical side to it if you want to commute in town. More power than the Triumph and it sounds better. Three modes of power delivery of which the B-mode is better in town as it masks the on off fueling that the Euro emission laws are to blame for. In this mode it delivers the fueling 20% slower than standard. A-mode is a hoot that brings out the bikes character (20% faster fueling than standard) and you'll find that twisting the throttle enthusiastically will make the front go light. The engine is the focus of this bike. You get that induction turbine sound and then the exhaust throaty sound as you accelerate, very addictive. First thing you notice when pulling away is how smooth everything is, no vibrations and once on the throttle the power delivery is very linear. It has got a bit of engine braking so no problem doing your IAM thing. The bike is light and manoeuvrable, the seat is a welcome low compared to the GSA. The riding position is upright and comfortable. That said going a bit faster than the speed limit and you'll feel the wind pressure and you'll have to lean well forward at any speed above the ton to alleviate the pressure. It helps that the seat is rather flat so can change body position easily. The only other naked I've ridden that lets you forget about the speed is the 1098 Streetfighter from Ducati, it has a more aggressive seating position. Because of the frame design the seat is narrow but not uncomfortably so. There is an option for a plusher seat from Yamaha. The clocks are easy to read once you have accustomed yourself to the layout. Revs at the top, gear indicator lower left, speed bottom centre, above that the time and odo or whatever function you choose to display from the menu. Mirrors is good, and foot pegs is spot on for me (178 cm or 5'10'' with size 10/45 Euro boots). Brakes are good for road riding, rear brake is effective. The action on the levers is light and positive and you can dial in as much braking as you want accurately. I like it very much and it will bring out the nasty in you.

Now the not so good. The headlight on this particular bike is not very good. I guess a bit of adjustment might fix it. The clocks are quite bright at night but easy to read in the daylight. I don't know if this brightness might tire you at night if you do some distance but it didn't distract me. The rear brake and gear lever could do with a bit of adjustment for me, a bit too high to my liking. The rear suspension was lacking in the damping department being quite responsive to the undulations in the road. I have not pushed the bike on the road so cannot comment on the vague front end. May have to ride it on track to find the shortcomings of the machine but unlikely to happen.

Overall a very good bike from Yamaha, in the USA it is badged as the FZ-09 and is the replacement for the FZ8. I really like the orange paint. It is so easy to ride and for the people that sat on it at the club all of them liked it, one of them a 675R owner. The first thing they noticed was how light it is. There is quite a few accessories available from Yamaha like the fly screen (don't expect any better wind protection if any at all) and the full Akrapovic system, levers, adjusters etc. A big thanks to my local Yamaha dealer for letting me have a go on it.

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