Along with scaled-down models of superbikes, it has become a trend for motorcycle manufacturers to dish out aggressively styled, street-spec variants of their fully-faired machines. Almost all the fully-clothed, sporty motorcycles out there have a naked version and the Yamaha R3 is one of them. Its street-spec variant, the Yamaha MT-03, has been updated for 2020 and gets a new fascia among other things.
A street fighter, the 2020 Yamaha MT-03 has more upright ergonomics but continues to use the same powertrain and hardware like the R3. It now features a new set of LED headlamps, similar to the ones seen on the MT-09 and the MT-15. The facelift version now uses twin pilot lamps as compared to the previous version which used a single pod headlamp which mimicked the MT-07. Like the updated R3, the fuel tank on the new MT-03 is also redesigned for better ergonomics. Other than that, the rest of the bike is similar to the previous version in terms of design.
Besides these cosmetic upgrades, the 2020 MT-03 also gets new 37 mm USD forks, replacing the conventional front suspension system and a reworked pre-load adjustable monoshock. The swingarm is also new and is slightly longer than the previous model. Seat height on the MT-03 at 780mm remains the same as the R3 but instead of using lower set clip-on bars as R3, the MT-03 uses a wide flat handlebar giving a more upright and comfortable riding posture.
The powertrain on the new MT-03 is carried over from R3 which is a 321cc, parallel-twin engine producing 42hp and 29.6Nm of torque. Braking duties are taken care of by a 298mm front disc and 220mm rear disc governed by a dual-channel ABS system. The 2020 MT-03 is expected to carry a price tag of around $4,599 (approximately Rs 3.27 lakh) in the US. There’s still no official announcement on the launch of the MT-03 or the updated R3 in India. If the MT-03 makes its way here, it will be up against other motorcycles like the KTM Duke 390, HondaCB300R, the BMW G310R, the Benelli TNT 300 and the Royal Enfield 650 Twins.