Allow me to say it before you do: this is cheating. I know. The Ducati Streetfighter V4 SP is bonkers. And while it technically meets our rules of being available for purchase by the time of posting, it also kinda doesn’t because each of these were spoken for within a week of its release. Sorry.
When you see Yamaha’s MT-09, your gaze doesn’t go away very quickly. You end up staring at it. Granted, there’s not much to look at, but what is there is eye-catching. From the hunched shoulders of the gas tank to the creases and natural lines of the frame, you can’t help but look at it. But what keeps your vision stuck on it is the face you see staring back at you when you look at it head-on.
Yamaha Motor Europe announced a new XSR900 model, giving the retro-styled roadster updates similar to the changes received by the MT-09 last year. That includes an 889cc inline Triple and new Deltabox-style frame. As of this writing, the new 2022 Yamaha XSR900 has not been announced for the U.S., but we expect to get news on that front soon.
Don’t look now, but the field of naked bikes slotting in just below the 1000cc mark is starting to rise – and we’re all the better for it. Maybe the OEMs have figured out that those big beasts in the upper echelons of naked bike performance are just too much for the more sensible among us. They’re too big, too fast, too powerful, with too much electronics, and too much of a price tag. For those of us still with a desire for naked bike fun, but at a slightly more moderate pace, we bring you the assembly of motorcycling you see before you.
Akrapovič had been offering full exhaust systems for the MT-09 since 2016, but the bike’s recent upgrade to a 890cc engine called for a new product. Enter the new Akrapovič Racing Line full exhaust system, an upgrade that claims increased engine performance and a pure racing sound.
There are just a few days left in 2020, which means there’s enough time for yet another year-end list. We’ve already gone through our most read reviews and shootout comparisons of 2020, and now we continue with the most read motorcycle news from the past 12 months.
Yamaha announced a new SP version of the updated 2021 MT-09 revealed two weeks ago, featuring higher-end suspension and cruise control plus a black and blue color scheme. Joining the MT-09 SP are the MT-10 and MT-03 which return for 2021 with new color options.
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.
News flash: OEM suspensions are designed to a price point. So, unless you’re riding a flagship literbike, those suspenders are full of compromises. The stock suspension on the vast majority of bikes out there is designed for an average rider, going an average pace, over an average road. Get outside of those parameters, and the suspension’s performance is compromised.
Not every model needs a complete makeover every year, and today, Yamaha released the information about its 2020 carryover models. Here, you’ll find three classes of motorcycles. First, the Touring models of adventure and sport persuasions. Then we get Yamaha’s Hypernakeds. Finally, the Sports Heritage models for you Faster Sons (and Daughters) out there.
A segment of our sport that’s seen plenty of attention recently is the “hyper-naked” segment, standard-styled motorcycles that offer more performance and edgier styling than your run-of-the-mill standard. Yamaha Motors USA made that designation official, giving its FZ-07, FZ-09 and FZ-10 models the “MT” moniker, as well as announcing some updates to its FZ…oops, MT-07 for 2018.
Yamaha has filed a trademark application in Europe for the name “Tracer GT,” suggesting a new touring model is on the way. The application was filed April 19 with the European Union Intellectual Property Office for use of the name for “motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, three-wheeled motorcycles, three-wheeled scooters, three-wheeled mopeds and parts and fittings for all the aforesaid goods.”
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.
While the new Yamaha R1 and R1M are stealing the Tuning Fork headlines this year at EICMA, Yamaha also introduced another new model: the FJ-09, or MT-09 Tracer for the European market. Based on the FZ/MT-09 naked bike, the FJ-09 slots in below the FJR1300 as a more Sport-Touring machine for the entry level crowd. To meet the S-T needs for which it was designed, the FJ gets a host of new items like an adjustable windscreen, larger fuel tank, traction control, ABS and provisions for saddlebags, among others. E-i-C Kevin Duke is on hand at EICMA, where he gives us his first impressions of the FJ-09 after its worldwide unveiling.