2017 Yamaha MT-09 Preview

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Yamaha launched a new series of naked motorcycles in 2013 with the three-cylinder MT-09 (a.k.a. the FZ-09 here in North America) earning strong reviews from the press and consumers. European consumers in particular took to the MT-09, making it one of Yamaha top-selling models in the continent. Now joined by a family of MT models ranging from 125cc to 1000cc, the MT-09 receives its first update, getting a quick shifter, assist & slipper clutch and (at last) improved suspension.

Our biggest issue with the original FZ-09 was its budget suspension. Hoping to ameliorate those criticisms, Yamaha revised the 41mm fork, putting compression damping to the left fork tube while rebound damping adjustments can be made on the right tube. Yamaha says separating the compression and rebound in different fork tubes should improve the flow rate of the fork oil, allowing more adjustability and more consistent performance. The rear shock remains unchanged however, so we’ll have to see for ourselves if the changes to the fork is enough to address our concerns.

The 850cc Triple returns, fully Euro 4-compliant. The new assist and slipper clutch is designed to ensure stability during heavy engine braking while reducing lever load when downshifting. For 2017, the MT-09 receives a new quickshifter inherited from the YZF-R1. The system has a sensor on the shift rod that cancels drive torque during upshifts, improving acceleration.

The FZ-10‘s polarizing Transformer look makes its way to the MT-09, with a new twin-eye headlight design. Each eye has two LEDs and sits above a small winglet similar to the design on the FZ-10. To accommodate the wider headlight, Yamaha moved the turn signals to the radiator shrouds while moving the multi-function instrument cluster farther forward.

Yamaha also updated the MT-09’s tail, shortening the subframe by 1.2 inches and adding an M-shaped LED taillight. The seat was also redesigned, making it flatter while raising it 0.2 inches. To further highlight the new tail design, Yamaha moved the license plate holder to a new swingarm-mounted rear fender. Other styling updates include larger air scoops, revised radiator fins, side grills on the tail cowl and a flatter muffler with a new end cap.

Follow the rest of our 2016 Intermot Show coverage for more information on new motorcycle announcements.

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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  • MarktheV MarktheV on Oct 06, 2016

    It's great that Yamaha made some progression in the performance department- but also dislike that they felt the looks also had to move towards a sport bike with a tiny seat and crazy angle. The FZ-09 was a hit because it looked like a real damn motorcycle that also had kick-a$$ performance. This looks like the first steps of going down the rabbit hole of chasing the more expensive super-naked crowds... I sure hope they gave the new version a bigger tank!! The first-gen bikes have the same 3.7Gal capacity of the R3(!)

  • Ishabaka Ishabaka on Mar 22, 2017