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.
Every year Motorcycle.com gets invited to the press introductions for several new motorcycles – it’s the biggest perk of our job, and the reason all of us have stuck around as long as we have! The cycle goes like this: at the end of one year or the beginning of the next, manufacturers talk a big game about a new model launch, and/or the internet goes wild with social media rumors and opinions about a new bike. In turn we, the media, can’t wait to be the first to throw a leg over said bike to see what the fuss is about. Sometimes the motorcycle in question is a dud, other times it exceeds beyond our wildest dreams. Then you get the rare model that didn’t get much fanfare but turns out to be unexpectedly awesome.
We’ve heard the term “crotch rockets” thrown around but in this case, “crochet rockets” might be more appropriate. In what may be the most Yamaha thing you’ll see this week, the Japanese manufacturer wants to teach people how to knit their own mini-Niken three-wheelers out of yarn, either by the Japanese art of amigurumi crocheting or by a technique called needle felting.
Yamaha says sport-touring is its most booming segment lately – responsible for more than 70% of its sales. And the Tracer 900 GT (new in the US market) makes up 64% of that. It also says that since introducing the Niken three-wheeler last spring, and having given test rides to over 5,000 riders, even the skeptical have been convinced; now everybody realizes the benefit of having two front contact patches.
To be honest, I didn’t pay any more attention when Yamaha announced it would actually produce the Niken than I do to the unicorns that occasionally wander into the back yard as I’m semi-dozing on the patio after a nightcap. Fanciful creatures of the imagination. But I snapped to fully woke when the invite came in over the email transom to come to Austria and ride the thing. What, it actually exists? Sure, why not?
We’re approaching the fall motorcycle show season and while most of the industry is focused on next month’s EICMA show, we can’t overlook the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show which begins next week. Naturally, Tokyo is an important show for the Japanese manufacturers, and Yamaha, for one, looks to have a big presence with six models – either concepts or production models – set to make their world premieres in Tokyo.