Shortly after pictures of the 2021 Yamaha MT-09 were leaked on the internet, Yamaha officially unveiled the updated naked streetfighter. Euro5 regulations are going to come in effect from 2021 and taking the same opportunity at hand, Yamaha has given the MT-09 a thorough makeover. Opinions are polarised though, at least when it comes to its looks but we will come to that later. Apart from the debatable looks, the MT-09 has become a better proposition in every aspect.
The changes aren’t limited to the bodywork but they run skin deep. Nevertheless, the MT-09 is expected to carry forward its wheelie-friendly nature which makes this streetfighter a hoot to ride!
Coming to the overall design now, it’s debatable, to say the least. And the main culprit here is the headlamp cluster. While the previous iterations of the MT-09 featured Samurai-inspired headlamps, the 2021 model takes things a little too far in the future. The new MT’s headlight is pretty much a sized-up copy-paste of the MT-03’s design. Instead of the 03’s “angry LED eyebrows”, however, Yamaha opted for a set of slash-like LED strips.
Needless to say, it might look a lot more futuristic than before but not as mean as some people would have wanted it to be. Other redesigned components include the lightweight aluminium frame, the radiator frame and the high-rigidity swingarm.
Looks aren’t everything and when we are talking about a motorcycle like the MT-09 whose main highlight has always been its engine, the looks become all the more subjective. We previously reported that Yamaha might increase the displacement of the engine in order for it to comply with stricter Euro5 norms and that is exactly what has happened. The inline-triple’s displacement has gone up to 890cc from 847cc.
Power is now rated at 117 horsepower at 10,000 rpm and 93 nm at 7,000 rpm. The cylinders’ bore remains unchanged (78mm), but the stroke is slightly longer at 62.1mm. The compression ratio, fuel delivery system, and transmission (six-speed, multiplate assist and slipper clutch) are also unchanged.
Another major change comes in the form of redesigned alloy wheels. The old-petal style wheels are replaced by 17-inch dual-star wheels front and back. Suspension duties are handled by a 41mm KYB inverted fork with adjustable preload, compression, and rebound while there’s a KYB preload and rebound damping-adjustable monoshock at the back. Braking duties are entrusted to a pair of 298mm discs at the front and a single 245mm disc at the back, both equipped with the ABS.
Yamaha also updated the ride-by-wire system with a modified version of the Accelerator Position Sensor Grip (APSG) technology found in its YZF superbikes. The MT-09 also gets a six-axis IMU derived from the YZF-R1′s unit. The IMU manages a host of electronic rider aids, including traction control, wheelie control, ABS, and slide control.
Three ride modes allow the rider to choose varying degrees of electronic intervention. One mode is customizable, allowing riders to change individual settings to suit their preferences. A 3.5-inch TFT display accompanies the new technology suite. A standard up/down quickshifter further evinces Yamaha’s efforts in giving riders a lot of bang for their bucks.