2021 Yamaha MT-09 First Look Preview
Yamaha is giving its hugely popular MT-09 a thorough update for 2021, with a new engine, chassis, electronics, and more.
Yamaha revealed today that its fan-favorite MT-09 will be getting the full upgrade treatment for the 2021 model year. That means a new engine, chassis, electronics, and other revisions aimed at providing a smoother, more powerful, and more agile ride.
The new 890cc crossplane triple is larger than last year’s edition, with a 47cc increase over the 2020 model. Yamaha’s designers were also able to make this larger engine weigh less than the previous iteration thanks to a thorough redesign that includes new pistons, camshafts, and crankcases.
Fuel injectors were moved to the throttle valve side of the engine for optimized fuel atomization and to decrease fuel adhesion to the intake port walls. This change also contributes to better fuel efficiency, with a claimed 11 percent increase in the MT-09′s mpg performance. The intake system overall was redesigned as well, with a new three-duct layout that Yamaha promises will help to boost low-end torque. The exhaust system was refined also to maximize the effectiveness of the new air-fuel systems.
The changes to the engine also prompted engineers to update the transmission, raising the ratios on first and second gear. There’s also a better assist and slip clutch which makes use of an updated cam angle and new friction plates for a lighter pull at the lever and a more seamless feel when downshifting. That now couples with a new electronic quickshifter that has both up and downshift functionality. Yamaha also fit a new Accelerator Position Sensor Grip derived from the unit used on the YZF-R1 and R1M, allowing for more accurate throttle feel and response.
The 2021 MT-09 also gets a completely updated die-cast aluminum Deltabox frame which comes with larger beams running from the steering head assembly down and back to the swingarm pivot, which has been moved to help reduce unsprung weight. The subframe and swingarm are new as well, to improve lateral, torsional, and longitudinal rigidity balance throughout the entire bike. This results in better straight-line stability and front-end feel through the turns.
Yamaha is using new KYB suspension on the MT-09, with the 41mm fork adjustable for compression, rebound damping, and preload and the rear shock adjustable for preload and rebound.
Braking is handled by a new, YZF-R1-inspired front system, with a Nissin radial master cylinder and dual 298mm discs. Out back, you get a single 245mm disc. The entire package rolls on new spin-forged, 17-inch, 10-spoke wheels. Riders can find the perfect feel in the cockpit thanks to adjustable handlebar clamps and footpeg mounting points.
All told, the 2021 MT-09 is 8 pounds lighter than last year’s model.
Yamaha upped the game in the electronics department too, fitting a new six-axis inertial measurement unit to the MT-09, making it the first hyper naked in Yamaha’s lineup to have such technology.
As with other aspects of the new MT, this IMU is based on the unit used on the YZF-R1. However, the MT-09′s IMU is substantially smaller than the one used on the brand’s literbike. The information gleaned from this new unit helps power a number of other electronic aids on the bike, including a lean-sensitive traction control system, slide control, wheelie control, and a brake control system that modulates braking pressure in a straight line or at lean.
Changing between the three available traction control modes alters the behavior of the other electronic systems, with Mode 1 providing moderate intervention, Mode 2 giving strong intervention, and Mode M allowing riders the opportunity to select their own settings.
Yamaha uses LED lighting throughout the front and rear of the motorcycle.
All the ride info will now be displayed on a new 3.5-inch, full-color TFT instrument panel.
The Bottom Line
All this updating comes at a slightly higher price though. The MT-09 will no longer be the best deal under nine grand, with the 2021 model pricing at $9,399. However, that increase is only a modest $300 over last year’s MSRP, which, considering the refinements this machine is packing, isn’t too shabby.
You’ll be able to get yours from authorized Yamaha dealerships starting January 2021.
2021 Yamaha MT-09 Technical Specifications And Price
|Engine:||890cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, inline-three; 4 valves/cyl.|
|Bore x Stroke:||78.0 x 62.1mm|
|Fuel Delivery:||Fuel injection w/ YCC-T|
|Clutch:||Wet, multiplate assist and slipper clutch w/ Quick Shift System|
|Frame:||Die-cast aluminum Deltabox frame|
|Front Suspension:||41mm KYB inverted fork, adjustable for spring preload, compression, and rebound damping, 5.1-in. travel|
|Rear Suspension:||KYB shock, adjustable for spring preload and rebound damping, 4.8-in. travel|
|Front Brakes:||NIssin master cylinder, 298mm discs w/ ABS|
|Rear Brake:||245mm disc w/ ABS|
|Wheels, Front/Rear:||Spin-forged, 10-spoke aluminum|
|Tires, Front/Rear:||120/70ZR-17 / 180/55ZR-17|
|Seat Height:||32.5 in.|
|Fuel Capacity:||3.7 gal.|
|Claimed Wet Weight:||417 lb.|
|Warranty:||1-year limited factory warranty|