Categories: Yamaha
October 2, 2019
| On 1 year ago

2020 Yamaha MT-03 First Look

Yamaha today announced the latest addition to its Hyper Naked lineup, the 2020 Yamaha MT-03. The announcement of a new, baby MT to round out the family really shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who’s taken a close look at the company’s three current offerings – the MT-10, MT-09, and MT-07. Providing an entry-level MT model opens up the possibilities of a rider entering, and staying, within the Yamaha family as they progress up the riding ladder.

Stripped down to its essence, the MT-03 can be thought of as Yamaha’s R3 but without the bodywork. And while it’s true the MT-03 is powered by the same 321cc parallel-Twin as the R3, the styling cues and bodywork surrounding it clearly take after Yamaha’s “Dark Side of Japan” marketing motif.

A naked R3, the MT-03 may have similar underpinnings, but its naked styling is clearly inspired by the rest of Yamaha’s Hyper Naked line.

In short, the Tuning Fork’s marketing team would like you to believe Tokyo’s underground subculture is reflected by the minimal but angular styling of the MT-03, its mass situated near the center of the motorcycle with its wide-shouldered fuel tank and air scoops. As you move further forward, you see the minimalist headlight with dual-position lights and a central LED headlight casting a bright beam forward. At the rear of the MT, the tail and seat section are identical to the R3. It’s not very minimalistic, but at least it’s painted black – because black is thinning.

Yamaha’s hyper naked lineup has long been a hit with the staff and the motorcycling community as a whole, as all three models deliver a level of excitement sorely missing from the Japanese sporty-bike market before their arrival. If the R3 is any indicator, then the MT-03 promises to be a fun small-displacement naked bike. Going back to the 321cc Twin, let’s not forget it has forged pistons and carburized connecting rods, sitting inside aluminum DiASil cylinders for excellent heat dissipation.

On the handling front, things appear to be similar between the R3 and MT, including the 37mm inverted KYB fork, likely with tweaked internal settings. The frame appears similar, as does the swingarm and shock. Likely the biggest difference between the two models will be felt in the rider triangle, as the MT-03 features an upright handlebar.

The view from the cockpit is dominated by an LCD screen providing all the necessary information to the rider. Available in two colors, Ice Fluo and Midnight Black, the Yamaha MT-03 will be available starting in February 2020 with a retail price of $4,599.