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All-new 2021 Yamaha MT-09 Hyper Naked with class-leading specification

All-new 2021 Yamaha MT-09 Hyper Naked with class-leading specification
06 Nov
Written by James Lamb

Increased torque, decreased weight and radical new looks

The Dark Side of Japan
As the first decade of the 21st century was coming to an end, a group of visionary designers together with some of the industry’s most talented engineers were working on what would become one of the iconic motorcycles in the history of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. It was to be the beginning of a whole new chapter in the history of Yamaha, and would see the company break away from conventional Japanese motorcycle design and take a bold new direction – and by doing so would re-establish itself as an innovative and exciting brand within the industry.

The brief was to create a new kind of machine whose primary function was to inspire, excite and impress. A radically different motorcycle that would herald a new beginning, defy convention and be the catalyst for change not just within Yamaha, but also in the world of motorcycling. A bike that was designed to be ridden just for the thrill of the ride, and would instil a real feeling of belonging and a clear sense of identity to a new generation of like-minded individuals.
Rather than looking outwards for inspiration, the close-knit team working on this secret project turned inwards to their Japanese roots and looked at the country’s unique motorcycling subculture to see what was happening on the street. It became clear that the future of motorcycling was going to be all about the emotion, the thrill, the feeling, the excitement.
The rest is history. Yamaha’s team unveiled the results of years of hard work back in 2013. The new bike that had been inspired by Japanese minimalism was about to change everything. Quick, agile and aggressively styled, the naked MT-09 instantly attracted a new breed of younger riders who loved its brutal good looks, big-torque engine and adrenaline-charged ride – and at the same time many experienced bikers realised that this new model had everything that made them originally fall in love with motorcycling back in the day.
With its strong emphasis on the thrill of the ride, together with a focus on premium quality, minimalist design and the use of pure technology that enhances the riding experience – The Dark Side of Japan philosophy has inspired every Yamaha Hyper Naked model since day one, and continues to be the force that makes every MT much more than just a motorcycle.

Yamaha MT-09: The purest Hyper Naked
It doesn't seem very long ago that the original MT-09 arrived on the market and brought a radical new force and a new kind of energy to the motorcycle world. Featuring naked body work, a muscular stance and menacing, in-your-face looks, combined with a torque-rich 3-cylinder crossplane technology engine – as well as a seriously competitive price point – the first generation MT-09 was an instant success for Yamaha.

The original MT-09 captured the very essence of motorcycling and became the definitive all-round sports bike. Not only did this seminal machine prove to be one of Yamaha’s most successful and iconic models of all time, it was also the company’s first bike in the Hyper Naked segment – rapidly followed up by the arrival of the MT-07 in 2014, another extremely successful motorcycle that has established itself as the runaway market leader in the middleweight category.
Today's Hyper Naked line-up includes a total of 8 models from 125cc through to 1000cc, making it one of the widest and most successful line ups ever produced in the 65 year history of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. In fact since 2013 over 250,000 units of MT models have been sold in Europe, underlining the widespread appeal of the Hyper Naked concept right across the market.
For 2021 Yamaha is about to reinforce its dominance in the Hyper Naked category with the launch of the all-new MT-09. Lighter, more powerful and more technologically advanced in every area, this dynamic new motorcycle is the purest expression of the core values that make the MT range Yamaha’s most successful segment, and one of the most successful product line-ups in the European market.

All-new MT-09: Less weight, more power, highest specification
Since the original MT-09 arrived on the scene in 2013 the Hyper Naked market has grown to become one of the largest and most important segments for Yamaha. This game-changing model attracted almost 50,000 European customers between 2013 and 2017. In 2018 the 2nd generation model was introduced, and with its new styling and EU4 compliant engine, it assured the continued success of this iconic model.

While remaining absolutely true to the fundamental values that underpin the Hyper Naked philosophy, the all-new 2021 MT-09 is a higher specification motorcycle that is lighter, more powerful and more advanced in every area. The key development goals were firstly to achieve Kanno Seino (exhilarating performance) that would boost the excitement factor on every ride – and secondly to enable the rider to explore the machine’s outstanding engine and chassis performance while retaining a comfortable and natural ride quality by the inclusion of the most comprehensive package of electronic rider aids.
New MT-09 delivers even more dynamic performance, as well as more agile handling. Equipped as standard with class-leading electronic control technology and top level equipment – the all-new MT-09 offers the ultimate package with the most competitive pricing in the 900cc Hyper Naked class.

New EU5 889cc CP3 engine: More cc, more power, more torque, more fun
Increased levels of feedback and control. A key factor in the runaway success of the MT-09 is the exciting performance of its CP3 3-cylinder crossplane technology engine. After 8 years of providing the most exciting and rewarding riding experience to European owners, the time has come for the much-loved 847cc engine to make way for a new design that delivers higher levels of power and torque at all engine speeds.

To achieve a more torquey and agile feel the 2021 EU5-compliant engine has been completely redesigned and reduced in weight. Virtually every major component is new, including pistons, connecting rods, camshafts and crankcases, and despite its larger capacity and higher power output, the 2021 powerplant – including the new exhaust – is 1,700g lighter than the current design.
Engine capacity is enlarged to 889cc by increasing the stroke by 3mm to 62.1mm, and the extra 42cc boosts maximum horsepower by 4PS to 119PS at 10,000rpm. However, the most significant improvement – and one that is key to the dramatically enhanced performance and more dynamic character of the new bike – can be seen in the CP3 engine’s higher torque output. Maximum torque on the new engine is 93 Nm, and peak torque is achieved at only 7,000rpm – a full 1,500rpm lower down the rev scale.
Higher levels of linear torque at lower engine speeds increase the ‘real world’ performance of the new MT-09 by enabling the rider to fully utilise its road-focused power delivery at everyday riding speeds. The larger-capacity EU5-compliant CP3 engine makes the new MT-09 an even more exciting and rewarding motorcycle that is able to deliver stronger performance in every type of riding condition, fast or slow, wet or dry.
Whether weaving through urban traffic on the daily trip into the city, cruising to the café or pushing hard through some twisty back roads, the new big-torque 889cc engine makes a real difference on every ride – and together with its new up and down Quick Shift System, the 2021 MT-09 is the main contender for top honours in the important 900cc Hyper Naked category.

New fuel delivery system: Strong torque and power with increased economy
One of the key design features in the new 889cc engine is the completely new fuel delivery system. While the current MT-09 features its fuel injectors attached directly to the cylinder head, on the all-new model the fuel injectors are mounted to the throttle valve side, and fuel is injected onto the back of the intake valve heads.

This system gives better fuel atomization and also reduces the adhesion of fuel to the intake port walls. This new system produces outstanding combustion efficiency, and contributes towards the new model’s 9% increase in fuel efficiency.

New APSG ride-by-wire throttle: Lower weight, excellent feel
The MT-09 the Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) is upgraded for 2021 with the addition of a new Accelerator Position Sensor Grip (APSG). Similar to the unit featured on the YZF-R1 and R1M and equipped with model-specific friction and throttle opening settings, this lightweight ride-by-wire system replaces the previous model’s pulley set-up to give excellent feel and reliability.

New intake and exhaust systems: enhanced sense of torque and acceleration
The all-new 889cc engine is equipped with a redesigned high-efficiency air intake system and a newly designed exhaust that are designed to enhance the sense of acceleration and torque felt by the rider. Newly designed stainless steel header pipes each have a different curvature to create an excellent pulse effect, and with tail pipes exiting on both the left and right sides, the rider feels the intoxicating roar in full ‘stereo’ mode.

Featuring a new 1.5 chambered design incorporating left/right symmetrical tail pipes, the lightweight exhaust system is 1,400g lighter than previous, and has been specifically tuned to create an enhanced feeling of torque when the rider is accelerating from a stop or powering out of a low-speed corner.
As engine speed increases the intake sound becomes more dominant and heightens the feeling of acceleration felt by the rider, and the new intake system is specifically designed to further enhance the MT-09’s torque-rich riding sensation. This has been achieved by equipping the high-efficiency air cleaner box with an all-new three duct layout, with each duct featuring a different cross section and length.

Optimized transmission and uprated A&S clutch: Smoother and easier
To match the 2021 model’s increased engine performance the transmission has been optimized by slightly raising the ratios on the 1st and 2nd gears, and for a good feel when shifting gear a newly designed shift fork is fitted. To handle the increased torque the A&S clutch uses a new material for its friction plates, and the cam angle is changed to give a lighter pull at the lever, together with even gentler chassis behaviour when downshifting.

Die-cast aluminium Deltabox chassis: Lighter, stronger, more agile
The 2021 MT-09 has been improved in every area, and features an all-new lightweight CF die-cast aluminium Deltabox chassis that has been developed in unison with the larger capacity 889cc big-torque engine. Yamaha is a world leader in CF (Controlled Filling) technology, a high-tech die-casting process which has enabled the company to produce extremely light and strong aluminium structures such as the new MT-09 frame and swingarm.

Yamaha’s CF technology has enabled the thinnest wall section on any Yamaha Die Cast frame ever. Featuring larger twin beams that run directly from the steering head assembly through to the swingarm pivot to give optimal strength, the newly-designed aluminium frame, subframe and swingarm are 2.3kg lighter than the previous structure, making a significant contribution towards the increased agility of the 2021 MT-09.
For enhanced handling characteristics, the frame’s longitudinal, lateral and torsional rigidity balance has been refined, with a 50% increase in lateral rigidity providing high levels of straight line stability.
To match the more compact frame and shorter front forks the head pipe position is lowered by 30mm, giving an increased feeling of front end grip when cornering, together with improved levels of rider feedback. Handling agility is also enhanced by the use of a newly designed CF die-cast aluminium subframe that is 1.5kg lighter than the previous model’s steel design.

High-rigidity swingarm: Lower weight, better stability
Compared to the current design which has a ‘banana’ shaped right section, the new 250g lighter aluminium swingarm has a much straighter right side for a more symmetrical appearance that complements the next generation body design. To achieve better stability when cornering and also riding in a straight line, the 2021 swingarm pivot is mounted between the frame structure, rather than the pivots being mounted on the outside of the frame as before. This new swingarm design and layout reduces unsprung weight, and complements the revised rigidity balance of the new frame.

Next generation coverless body design: Bare, beautiful, and pure MT DNA
With its bare, beautiful and functional look, the new MT-09 represents the next major step in the ongoing evolution of the MT DNA. The design concept was to strip away everything but the essentials and present an exterior that would reveal the honest mechanical beauty of the bike’s functional components.

Yamaha’s designers have been faithful to the essential character of the MT, while at the same time creating a next generation Hyper Naked that visually expresses the machine’s defining qualities: namely the bike’s sound, torque, freedom and agility.

Conveying a sense of torque
The sense of torque is conveyed by the extreme level of mass centralization that accentuates the bike’s muscular looks and creates a feeling of pent-up power. By locating the headlight, tank, seat and exhaust as close to the engine as possible, the overall impression is one of a tightly compacted mass of components that are ready for action. New details such as reinforcing ribs on the crankcase cover express the feelings of mechanical strength, and the new Crystal Graphite colour of the frame was developed to highlight the material qualities of the mechanical parts, and to convey an impressive and highly refined appearance.

Minimalist ‘coverless’ design
This new lightweight Hyper Naked is also about agility, and to express the outstanding handling performance of the all-new MT-09, Yamaha have developed a coverless design in which all unnecessary bodywork is removed to give a dynamic and agile new look from every angle. The compact front fender and minimalist headlamp nacelle are the only other pieces of bodywork on this muscular naked chassis, highlighting the beautifully styled chassis and giving the bike a strong, purposeful and mechanically pure look, all of which is accentuated by the Crystal Graphite frame colour.

The slimline seat and pointed tail – along with the total absence of sidepanels and other unnecessary additions – serve to emphasize the bare and beautiful good looks of this high specification Hyper Naked.
The compact body design emphasizes the pure and athletic character of this definitive Hyper Naked which weighs in at just 189kg – 4kg less than the current model and significantly less than its closest competitor in the 900cc naked class.

Flexible riding position: Accommodating all riders
The riding position was designed to accommodate riders of varying physiques, allowing riders to set a riding position that gives them a feeling of fit the moment they get on the bike. In particular, the shapes of parts like the fuel tank and seat have been refined through repeated Kanno Hyoka (evaluating motorcycle performance based on test rider perceptions and feedback) to give the rider a feeling of being one with the machine.

6-axis IMU: R-Series Supersport technology for ultimate performance
The new MT-09 is the first Yamaha Hyper Naked model to be equipped with a high-tech 6-axis IMU, one of the most sophisticated pieces of intelligent electronics in the industry. Developed from the system used on the YZF-R1 since 2015, the 6-axis IMU on the new MT-09 is 50% smaller and 40% lighter thanks to a thorough review of the sensor layout.

Constantly measuring acceleration in the forward-backward; up-down and left-right directions – as well as the angular velocity in the machine’s pitch, roll and yaw directions – the 6-axis IMU is able to send data in real-time to the ECU which controls the electronic rider aids. The class-leading array of rider aids includes lean sensitive Traction Control System (TCS), Slide Control System (SCS) as well as a front wheel LIFt Control System (LIF) and Brake Control system (BC).

Lean-sensitive rider aids: Total controllability in all conditions
By monitoring the speed difference between the front and rear wheels, the lean sensitive TCS helps to optimize the drive force of the rear tyre during acceleration. Developed from the system that has proved to be so popular with YZF-R1 riders, the SCS adjusts power when a rear wheel slide is predicted, allowing the rider to focus on their riding. Similarly, the LIF enables the rider to concentrate on the road ahead by adjusting engine output to control front wheel lift and smooth out machine behaviour when pulling away and accelerating. The fourth electronic rider aid is the BC that works with the ABS and independently controls and modulates the front and rear brake pressure, helping to prevent wheel lock-up during hard braking when riding upright as well as when banking.

Three TCS modes: Intervention levels to suit every rider
The TCS has three switchable modes, and each mode integrates three of the rider support systems, meaning that the intervention levels are all changed at once in Modes 1 and 2. Mode 1 delivers moderate intervention, while Mode 2 gives strong intervention and Mode M enables the rider to select manual settings.

By preventing wheel lock-ups and slides, as well as wheel spin and wheelies, these electronic aids reduce the workload of the rider, allowing them to concentrate more fully on the road ahead and enjoy the riding experience.

3.5-inch full colour TFT instruments: Modern, clear and precise
The new 3.5-inch TFT instruments feature a full colour display that shows clear and precise data. Its lightweight construction and mid-sized layout has been chosen to blend seamlessly with the new LED headlight assembly and maintain the compact and agile feeling from the rider’s viewpoint.

The bar-type tachometer changes colour as rpm rise and falls, and the display includes a clock, gearshift indicator, water and air temperature and more. The new display is linked with the 6-axis IMU, and riders can switch between displays and also select their preferred mode for the electronic aids via a handlebar-mounted switch.

LED projector lighting: Compact, powerful and pure MT design
Compact, powerful and modern, the MT-09’s new headlight design is pure MT, and works perfectly with the next generation looks and special feel of this new Hyper Naked.

The full LED headlight assembly features a single central bifunctional projector headlight with multiple LEDs that provide a broad, even and powerful beam with soft edges for both low and high beam settings. Twin LED position lights present a bold new face for the MT-09, and they project a signature Y-shape icon to give the bike a predatory stare that represents the future direction of MT design.
The theme is continued at the rear, where the lightweight LED taillight projects a Y-shape illumination that confirms the bike’s next generation MT DNA.

Quick Shift System: Fast and smooth upshifting with new downshift function
For the ultimate acceleration the MT-09 gets a Quick Shift System (QSS) that ensures seamless and clutchless full-throttle upshifts and smooth downshifts. Together with the A&S clutch, this electronic aid transforms the riding experience and enables the rider to optimize the increased torque levels for more thrilling acceleration as well as higher levels of chassis stability and control when downshifting.

10-spoke Spin Forged wheels: Yamaha’s lightest ever
Developed by Yamaha, this exclusive spin forging technology involves the cast wheels being heated up and spun at high speed while pressure is applied via rollers to the rims to reduce their thickness to just 2mm, while retaining their immense strength.

Any weight saving gives an immediate performance advantage, and this is particularly true when it comes to unsprung weight, where even the smallest reduction makes a significant contribution towards improved handling, steering and suspension performance. The new Spin Forged front and rear wheels are 700g lighter than previously, and this gives a decrease in the gyroscopic moment of inertia of the wheels – with a significant 11% decrease at the rear wheel making a big contribution to the new model’s agile handling character.

Fully adjustable front suspension: Premium specification KYB® system
Featuring 41mm tubes that give smooth suspension action and maintain their high levels of flex resistance even under the heaviest braking, the new lightweight high specification KYB® front forks are fully adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping, and run with revised factory settings that match the character of the compact new higher rigidity frame and reduce the tendency to pitch.

The rear suspension linkage design has been changed and the new adjustable KYB® rear shock is set up to suit the all-new chassis with its significantly reduced unsprung weight.

Front brake with radial master cylinder: Linear power, total controllability
Every major part of the new MT-09 has been significantly redesigned and uprated for 2021, and to match the higher engine performance and more dynamic chassis character, this high-tech Hyper Naked is only the second Yamaha model to be equipped with this YZF-R1-type front braking system.

Featuring a Nissin radial master cylinder in which the piston moves in a direction that’s parallel to the brake lever travel, this Supersport-class technology gives a more linear supply of hydraulic pressure to the dual front disc brakes for excellent controllability.

Technical highlights
New 889cc inline 3-cylinder 4-valve DOHC liquid-cooled EU5 engine
More power at all engine speeds
7% increase in maximum torque at lower rpm
4PS increase in maximum power
New 2.3kg lighter CF die-cast aluminium Deltabox chassis
Lower 189kg wet weight – 4kg reduction and the lightest in 900cc naked class
Shorter wheelbase for more dynamic handling
New lightweight aluminium swingarm
Bare and beautiful ‘coverless’ new generation MT styling
Premium quality throughout, with Crystal Graphite frame finish
Full LED lighting with Y-shape brand signature icon front and rear
New Quick Shift system with up and downshift functions
Refined A&S clutch
Light and compact new 6-axis IMU
Lean-sensitive rider aids: TCS, SCS and LIFt with three intervention modes
ABS and Brake Control system (BC)
D-MODE switchable engine running modes
New ultra-light SpinForged 17-inch 10-spoke wheels
Larger 180/70-17 rear tyre with 120/70-17 front tyre
Fully adjustable KYB® 41mm USD forks with revised settings
Adjustable KYB® rear shock with revised settings
Full colour 3.5-inch TFT instruments with remote handlebar switch
Radial front master cylinder, 298mm dual front discs

Colours, availability and price
The new MT-09 will be available in three colours: Storm Fluo, Icon Blue and Tech Black. Deliveries to European Yamaha dealers will commence from March 2021. Prices vary per region, so please contact the national Yamaha distributor for full information.
All-new 2021 Yamaha MT-09 Hyper Naked with class-leading specification
All-new 2021 Yamaha MT-09 Hyper Naked with class-leading specification
All-new 2021 Yamaha MT-09 Hyper Naked with class-leading specification

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