2021 Yamaha MT-09 Getting Larger Engine to Meet Euro 5 Standards

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Yamaha‘s MT-09 is getting a larger engine for 2021, as part of an update to allow the “Master of Torque” Triple to meet Euro 5 standards. The new engine will increase from the current 847cc to close to 890cc and increase its maximum power by 4 hp to a claimed 118 hp while reducing its emission output. At the moment, we can only confirm the MT-09 will receive the updated engine, but we expect other Yamaha models that share the three-cylinder engine, such as the Tracer 900, XSR900 and Niken to receive the new powerplant as well.

The information comes to us from Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority which has published the emissions test results for a Yamaha motorcycle going by the model code “MTN890D”. The model code is new, but it follows Yamaha’s typical nomenclature for its MT family. The current 847cc MT-09, for example, goes by the code MTN850. The 689cc twin-cylinder MT-07 likewise goes by MTN690 and the 998cc MT-10 has the codename MTN1000. Following this logic, we can infer that the MTN890D refers to a new MT-09 (or more specifically, perhaps, a new MT-09 SP as a D in the codename refers to the SP version of the current model.)

The testing data lists the MTN890 as outputting 88 kW (118 hp) while spitting out 366 mg/km of carbon monoxide (CO), 34 mg/km of unburnt hydrocarbons (HC), and 9 mg/km of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), all falling within Euro 5 requirements. These figures compare favorably to the 847cc engine which claims 85 kW (114 hp), 525 mg/km of CO, 103 mg/km of HC and 40 mg/km of NOx.

What we don’t know yet is the exact displacement of the engine, though the codename suggests it will be close to 890cc. Increasing the displacement is one method manufacturers have used to get their models to meet Euro 5, with other recent examples including the Honda Africa Twin CRF1100L, Ducati Multistrada 1260 and BMW R1250 boxers. Typically, more restrictive emission controls have a negative effect on performance, so manufacturers make up for it by increasing the engine size. This isn’t always necessary, but for more competitive segments, it’s a lot easier to market a new engine if it offers more power than the old one.

The Tracer 700 (which unfortunately isn’t offered in the U.S.) was the first Yamaha to adopt a Euro 5-compliant version of the MT-07’s 689cc engine. The engine updates should trickle down to the MT-07 and its derivatives like the XSR700 and Ténéré 700.

It’ll be interesting to see what other changes Yamaha has planned to get its models Euro 5 ready before the standard becomes mandatory for all new motorcycles by the end of the year. At the moment, the only Yamaha models that we can verify as meeting Euro 5 are the R1, Tracer 700, and TMax scooter (the German emissions test results also list Euro 5 test results for the entry-level MT-125). We expect the MT-10, MT-07 and Ténéré 700 will meet Euro 5 easily by adopting the updates made to get the R1 and Tracer compliant.

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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  • Zaffe1 Zaffe1 on Sep 22, 2020

    I'm getting a Tracer 900 GT next year. Let's hope it's get updated as well!

    • Motonirvana Motonirvana on Sep 23, 2020

      I'm hoping for a color combination I can finally stomach. Maybe the red/white with gold wheels combo found on this year's XSR models.

  • Eric Eric on Sep 23, 2020

    What an opportunity, Yamaha, to finally fix the universal complaints to this model. Give it 17L tank. Put a real shock on the back with proper spring rate. Put switchgear on the bars that isn't crap and has button locations like bikes have had since the 60's. Put a display on it that's at least as good as the R3. Put some foam under the seat so riders aren't stretching their butt cheeks rearward like some medieval torture device. Replace those stupid pumpkin signal stalks already. Your 1990's supply bin must have run out by now. Get rid of the flimsy do-nothing plastic tabs, fins, bits, bobs around the radiator and headlight.

    I feel the 890-ish CC will be welcome power, albeit probably hampered by Euro5.

    I can speak, I own an '18 model for a few years. I still believe the Z900 is the better deal.