2021 Yamaha MT-09 Video Review

John Burns
by John Burns

LED Lights, TFT display, action

Videos by Ray Gauger Edited by: Sean Matic

The three sacred pillars of its 90%-new Generation 3 MT-09, says Yamaha, are value, torque, and agility. Value-wise, the bottom line has crept up $400 to $9,399, but that’s not bad for a brand new Yamaha with all the gewgaws this one’s got. As for torque, the retuned-for-Euro 5 Triple goes from 847 to 890 cc, gaining 6% more twisting force in the process.

2021 Yamaha MT-09 Review – First Ride

Yamaha UK’s website pegs that at 68.6 lb-ft at 7000 rpm, and 117.4 horsepower at 10,000 rpm. That’s slightly less than a nice Kawasaki Z900 four-banger or KTM 890 Duke, but definitely in the ballpark.

Agility-wise, the new MT weighs just 417 pounds, says Yamaha, which is a whopping 51 fewer than a 468-lb Z900 – and only 9 more than our 2020 Motorcycle of the Year KTM Duke 890 R. Lightness is expensive; the KTM is quite a bit more money than the Yamaha. Heck, Yamaha says the new MT-09 is only 11 pounds heavier than a MT-07.

Along with that light weight and power, an all-new Controlled Fill aluminum frame continues the agility theme, adds stability at speed, and makes the new bike way easier on the orbs than the outgoing model. The new frame that ties the MT’s headstock to its (new) swingarm is a really graceful work of engineering art. Yamaha says the frame is but 1.7mm thick at its thinnest point, and designed for 50% more lateral stiffness as well as greater strength torsionally and longitudinally.

Throw in better suspension than the 09’s ever rolled on before, a standard up/down quickshifter, a 6-axis IMU controlling the new traction control and lean-sensitive brakes – and the newest Master of Torque looks like an even better bargain than it’s always been since the first FZ-09 in 2014. And, the new MT-09 SP, which should be here shortly, might be an even better one, since it adds cruise control and upscale suspension including a fully adjustable Öhlins shock for only $1600 more: $10,999.

Anyway, it wouldn’t be a road test without a video would it? So here it is. And here’s the written road test from last week in case you missed that. No trees were harmed in publishing it.

Become a Motorcycle.com insider. Get the latest motorcycle news first by subscribing to our newsletter here.

John Burns
John Burns

More by John Burns

Join the conversation
  • Starmag Starmag on Mar 15, 2021

    "If you don't like the video, I'll try harder next time". I went to the laborious process of clicking many sign in's etc., ( oh, my button pushin" finger! - George Jetson), to upvote you for that comment. I find the determination of strivers inspiring. I'm an artist that's faced plenty of rejection, as all do, so I know what that's like.

    The attitude of determination is "Oh yeah, well how about this then?"

    As for the Yam, my brain loves it but my eyes hate it. Still. The XSR is better but still no. I'll take the 51 lb. $2000 penalty of the Z900RS, but these are desirable.

    • See 20 previous
    • Born to Ride Born to Ride on Mar 22, 2021

      Illegal, but not obnoxious.

  • Imtoomuch Imtoomuch on Mar 16, 2021

    2022 MT-09 - Just like the 2021, but with all new and improved looks.