Much to everyone's surprise, Yamaha has just unveiled the 2021 MT-09. Already sporting a fairly unique design, Yamaha has made it stand out further with a new look, particularly for its facade.
The new MT-09 deviates from the current twin-headlight design of the MT series for a single, central LED headlight. On either side are two vertical LED DRL strips. Perhaps this is the new look of all future MT series models.
For the rest of the bike, Yamaha has stripped back the bodywork to reveal more of the frame and engine. After all, the aluminum deltabox chassis has received extensive work, gaining a redesigned frame and lightweight but rigid swingarm. The 14- liter fuel tank has intake scoops carved into it. The exhaust system is now under the chassis, ending with an underbelly muffler.
Powering the bike is a new 889cc engine, bigger than its predecessory by 49cc. It produces 4 hp more and is now Euro5 compliant. Being an MT, torque is Yamaha's true focus and the MT-09 has peak torque now at 93 Nm at 7,000rpm, a full 1,500rpm lower than before. Power is a full 119 PS at 10,000 rpm. It's paired to a six-speed, multiplate assist and slipper clutch.
Besides the power bump, the engine also gets a revised fuel injection system, repositioned for improved atomization and combustion of fuel.
Managing all that is Yamaha's Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) and an Accelerator Position Sensor Grip (APSG) from the R1 and tuned for the 3-cylinder engine. It also comes with a new 6-axis IMU that manages its lean-angle sensitive traction control system, slide control system, lift control system, and brake control system.
Keeping it on the ground are new 41mm KYB adjustable front forks. The rear also gets a new linkage and KYB shock. Besides that, the MT-09 boasts of a shorter wheelbase, higher ground clearance, and lower overall weight. Yamaha says the bike has been made significantly lighter, with a wet weight of 189 kg. Much of it comes from savings in unsprung weight, improving its agility and dynamics.
Much of the unsprung weight savings is thanks to the new 10-spoke Spin Forged wheels. Made using the flow-forging technique, these wheels are lighter than cast wheels but also strong.
The final addition is a new 3.5-inch TFT display with a remote handlebar switch to easily toggle through the various modes.
The new MT-09 comes in three colours: Storm Fluo, Icon Blue, and Tech Black. We might have to weight a while as it's expected to arrive in Europe in March 2021 and in Asia much later than that.