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Yamaha Unveils Redesigned 2021 MT-09

Yamaha has introduced a new 2021 MT-09 naked bike that is completely redesigned, including both the engine (now a larger displacement at 890cc) and the chassis (new frame, swingarm, suspension, instrumentation and lighting).

Undoubtedly, compliance with Euro 5 emission standards has been one driving force for the redesign. Yamaha claims a small increase in horsepower and a larger increase in torque (delivered at lower rpm).

The new model will be in dealers next January priced at $9,399. Here is the full press release from Yamaha.

MARIETTA, Ga. – October 27, 2020 – Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA, today introduced the 2021 MT-09 as the new model in the company’s Hyper Naked motorcycle segment. Featuring a torque-rich engine, decreased weight and radical new looks, the all-new MT-09 fully showcases Yamaha’s signature Master of Torque design.

The Dark Side of Japan

As the first decade of the 21st century was coming to an end, a group of visionary designers and 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.

The idea 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 instill a real feeling of belonging and a clear sense of identity to a new generation of like-minded individuals.

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. 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. 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.

New MT-09

Lighter, more powerful and more technologically advanced in every area, the dynamic MT-09 is the purest expression of the Hyper Naked core values. The new MT-09 delivers an even more dynamic performance as well as more agile handling. Equipped with advanced electronic controls and an all-new chassis, the 2021 MT-09 is the ultimate package that delivers outstanding value in the 900cc Hyper Naked class.

New CP3 engine

To achieve a more torquey and agile feel, the 2021 MT-09’s 890cc engine has been completely redesigned and reduced in weight. Virtually every major component is new, including the pistons, connecting rods, camshafts and crankcases. Despite its larger capacity and higher power output, the 2021 powerplant is lighter than former models.

The torquey CP3 engine delivers ‘real world’ performance, enabling the rider to fully utilize its road-focused power delivery at everyday riding speeds. The larger-capacity engine makes the 2021 MT-09 an even more exciting and rewarding motorcycle that delivers stronger performance in every type of riding condition, whether it’s fast or slow, wet or dry.

Strong torque and power with increased economy

One of the key design features of the new 890cc engine is the completely new fuel delivery system. For 2021, the fuel injectors are mounted to the throttle valve side – versus attached directly to the cylinder head – for a better fuel atomization that also reduces the fuel adhesion to the intake port walls. This new system produces outstanding combustion efficiency and contributes towards the new model’s 11% increase in fuel efficiency.

New APSG ride-by-wire throttle

The MT-09’s Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) now features a new Accelerator Position Sensor Grip (APSG). Similar to the unit featured on the YZF-R1 and R1M but 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

The all-new 890cc engine is equipped with a redesigned high-efficiency air intake system and a newly designed exhaust. These systems are designed to enhance the sense of acceleration and torque when the rider is accelerating from a stop or powering out of a low-speed corner.

As the engine speed increases, the intake sound becomes more dominant and heightens the feeling of acceleration felt by the rider. This is accomplished via a new intake system with an air cleaner box featuring an all-new three duct layout, with each duct having a different cross section and length, further enhancing the MT-09’s torque-rich riding sensation.

Optimized transmission and uprated A&S clutch

To match the 2021 model’s increased engine performance, the transmission has been optimized by slightly raising the ratios on the first and second gear. To handle the torque, Yamaha’s Assist and Slipper (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 for an even gentler feeling when downshifting.

Die-cast aluminum Deltabox chassis

The 2021 MT-09 features an all-new lightweight CF die-cast aluminum Deltabox chassis that has been developed in unison with the larger capacity 890cc big-torque engine. Featuring larger twin beams that run directly from the steering head assembly through to the swingarm pivot to give optimal strength, the newly designed aluminum frame, subframe and swingarm are lighter, 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 have been refined, with a 50% increase in lateral rigidity for 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.

High-rigidity swingarm

The new 250g lighter aluminum swingarm has a straighter right side for a more symmetrical appearance that complements the next-generation body design. To achieve better stability, the 2021 swingarm pivot is mounted between the frame structure to reduce unsprung weight and enhance the rigidity balance of the new frame.

Next-generation MT design

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 strips away everything but the essentials and presents an exterior that reveals the mechanical beauty of the bike to visually express the sound, torque, freedom and agility.

Flexible riding position

The riding position was designed to accommodate riders of varying physiques via adjustable handlebar clamps and footpeg mounting points, allowing riders to set a position that gives them a feeling of fit the moment they get on the bike. The fuel tank and seat have been refined to give the rider a feeling of being one with the machine.

6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)

The new MT-09 is the first Yamaha Hyper Naked model to be equipped with a high-tech 6-axis IMU. Developed from the system that has been used on the YZF-R1 since 2015, the MT-09’s 6-axis IMU is 50% smaller and 40% lighter.

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 sends 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

By monitoring the speed difference between the front and rear wheels, the lean-sensitive TCS optimizes the drive force of the rear tire during acceleration. 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 behavior when pulling away and accelerating. The BC system 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

The TCS has three switchable modes, and each mode integrates three of the rider support systems so that the intervention levels are changed all 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. These electronic aids reduce the workload of the rider for more concentration on the road ahead.

3.5-inch full color TFT display

The new 3.5-inch full-color TFT display shows clear and precise data. Its lightweight construction and mid-sized layout blends seamlessly with the new LED headlight assembly and maintains the compact and agile feeling from the rider’s viewpoint. The bar-type tachometer changes color as rpm rise and fall, 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 modern, the MT-09’s new 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

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 torque levels for more thrilling acceleration as well as higher levels of chassis stability and control when downshifting.

10-spoke Spin Forged wheels

The new, Yamaha-exclusive Spin Forged front and rear wheels are lighter with a significant 11% decrease at the rear wheel, making a big contribution to the bike’s agile handling character.

Fully adjustable KYB® front suspension

Featuring 41mm tubes that give smooth suspension action and maintain high levels of flex resistance, the new lightweight high specification KYB front forks are fully adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping to match the character of the compact new higher rigidity frame while reducing the tendency to pitch. The new adjustable KYB rear shock is set up to suit the all-new chassis.

Front brake with radial master cylinder

To match the higher engine performance and more dynamic chassis character, the high-tech MT-09 is only the second Yamaha model to be equipped with the 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.

2021 MT-09 Key Features

  • New 890cc inline 3-cylinder 4-valve per cylinder DOHC liquid-cooled engine
  • 8-pounds lighter
  • New lightweight aluminum frame, subframe and swingarm
  • New generation MT styling
  • 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 Interntial Measurement Unit (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 Spin Forged 17-inch 10-spoke wheels
  • New fully adjustable KYB 41mm USD forks
  • New adjustable KYB rear shock
  • New full color 3.5-inch TFT instruments
  • Radial front master cylinder, 298mm dual front discs

The 2021 Yamaha MT-09 will arrive at authorized Yamaha dealers beginning in January, and will be available in Storm Fluo, Team Yamaha Blue and Matte Raven Black color schemes for $9,399 MSRP. To learn more about the 2021 Yamaha MT-09 visit https://www.yamahamotorsports.com/hyper-naked/models/mt-09.

69 Comments

  1. austin zzr 1200 says:

    Huge improvement over the last gen…I actually love the looks. Modern muscle UJM

    • Motoman says:

      The more I look the more I think the same. Probably going to be an aftermarket round headlight soon which I would consider. What a great bike for the money too.

  2. mg3 says:

    Sorry Yamaha – NO SALE !

    That rear end / seat – who would ride passenger on this thing? Where do you hang a bag or mount a rack? There’s no THERE there.

    And those psychedelic wheels.

    C’MON MAN.

    I thought we might have a winner when Suzuki brought back the Katana last year, but that bike also suffers from “where’s the rest of my bike” syndrome.

    • Bob says:

      It’s a sportbike, not a tourer.

      • And, how do you get to the fun roads to make use of the ‘sport’ in this bike without some level of touring?
        Most buyers don’t live at the base of NC-129 and other great roads

      • Snake says:

        “It’s a sportbike, not a tourer”

        And that’s the shame. Used to be that you could do anything with a motorcycle – throw a pair of bags over a CBR600 and you got a nice weekend getaway machine.

        Now they want/need you to buy a bike that fits your specific use requirements.

        Very sad.

  3. TimC says:

    I actually think overall this is a pretty good-looking bike. I just think it needs a real headlight – which would give it an actual face. If done right it would go a LONG way.

  4. mike says:

    nice to see a manufacturer actually make a new model lighter and better. too often they just keep gaining weight and gadgets. can’t wait to see the 900 tracer gt.

  5. Tom R says:

    Well at least the seat is sort of flat-ish, unlike the stink bug design of the other current sporting motorcycles. However there seems to be little space for an actual passenger, only just enough for he requisite compact-naked-bike backpack.

  6. dt-175 says:

    this bike’s looks are designed to appeal to the type of rider depicted riding it. do you wear your pads on the inside or the outside? the gnarly-textured rider may prefer a knarly-textured bike…

  7. cw says:

    I do not enjoy looking at photos of this, though I am interested to see it in person.

    I am more interested to see what’s done with the equivalent FJ.

  8. Kurt says:

    No effort put into the design, especially the engine and surrounding area. I don’t care what the price is and how it rides. It’s ugly.

  9. motorhead says:

    If this doesn’t sell well the first year, there will be some low prices on an incredible bike the following year! I’d like one.

  10. Slob says:

    Did anyone else notice that the frame now meets the swingarm on the outside? The previous models had the swingarm pivoting outside the frame, which some people believed contributed to the handling issues, due to excessive flex.

    • Motoman says:

      I think the swingarm bolts to the motor on the old model vs to the frame (which extends down further) on the new model.

    • Dave says:

      I’ve had two hondas that had swingarm pivots in the engine cases, that didn’t intersect with the main frame at all and they both handled fine. The FJ/MT 09 may have had flex issues but it’s not a particular design attribute that causes it, so much as how well the design is engineered.

  11. Dave says:

    Looks ok to me. I guess I’m getting used to this trend. I’d prefer if there were bodywork concealing the subframe. As another pointed out, bikes lacking side covers looked like they were crashed and only partially repaired to me. No subframe bodywork but a graphic on the swingarm?

    • MikeG says:

      Agreed. It’s not like a side plate covering the electronics would turn this into some sort of full-dresser….it would still qualify as a naked bike.
      Somehow, they’ve managed to downgrade the styling about halfway toward the MT-07, which to my eye is butt-ugly. Too bad 🙁

  12. Goose Lavel says:

    And just think, that is the “pretty” side of the bike. The other side would make you wretch.

    Take me back, oh Lord.

  13. HotDog says:

    Lots of old Dogs here whining about the looks of the machine. They all probably wish they had a full head of hair, a 32″ waist and still woke up with their best friend staring them in the eye every morning. The bus has left the station, best get on it.

    • wjf says:

      I own a old style V-strom, so I know what ugly is

    • todd says:

      You must have been a fan of the Pontiac Aztec then.

    • randy says:

      Hotdog, you wake up with your best friend staring at you?? I’ll bet your best friend is a dude.

    • Tom K. says:

      I’d give every year I have between this year and my ordained last, if I could go back and relive the six years I had a 32″ waist, a full head of hair, a 20 y/o girlfriend to wake up to, and an RD400 and XS750. I’m not even asking for any improvements (other than maybe the ability to appreciate them more, young men all too often suffer from not knowing what they have until it’s gone forever).

      This current bus sucks, I’m hoping the Other Side allows one to relive their Best Years. If not, I’ll take Shakespeare’s sleep and dreams of Better Times.

    • Mick says:

      Any time I have restyled a bike, that style became all the rage ten years later.

      Your results sonny?

  14. Dino says:

    Looks like we have another Murder Hornet nest to find… someone follow this thing home.
    Probably rides well, but at some point you have to get off the bike and look at it.

  15. wjf says:

    I wonder what the board meeting was all about when they accepted this design.

  16. skortch says:

    One has to wonder… why has this motorcycle had such a difficult time with design and function since it was first released? Is there something inherent about the 900 triple that requires so many compromises?

    After the polarizing and controversial MT-10-esque redo of a few years ago they had a chance to completely revise the styling for 2021. New frame, upgraded exhaust and engine, and somehow they come up with an appearance that is both bland and off-putting. Weirdly vanilla. Stridently lackluster.

    I feel like this should be – and always should have been – The Bike for a good number of riders: great engine, light weight, and more than competitive price. But somehow Yamaha has always managed to screw the pooch with this model so that it falls far from excellence. I guess if the vague handling has finally been exorcised then I can always get used to the styling, or maybe bolt on something better. (This from a motorcyclist who prefers the Z900 over the z900rs, btw, and generally chooses modern over retro.)

  17. randy says:

    Fail. Headlight is horrible. The exhaust is so goofy, you can’t even do a slip on.

  18. Neal says:

    Any news on the Tracer 700 coming to the US? That’s the Yamaha I want.

  19. Marcus says:

    Styling? There is no styling.
    Since when is an exposed voltage regulator considered “styling”.
    It looks cheap, like when you crash your sport bike and decide to make a home-made naked bike.

    I’m just wondering if Yami is trying to faze out the mt-10?

  20. Tom R says:

    “…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).”

    The battle of acronyms is really heating up.

    • Grover says:

      At the speeds that I ride nowadays, all those electronic gizmos would be a complete waste.

      • mickey says:

        LOL right there with ya Grover

        My son bought an FJ09 when they first came out due to all the positive press. Didn’t thrill him like he thought it would and he ended up keeping it a year and trading it in on an MT-10.

        The only thing he doesn’t like about the MT-10 is the one headlight on thing.

        He said the FJ-09 was an OK bike, but didn’t deserve the press it was getting in his opinion

        • Curtis says:

          That inline three motor is a torquey thing. I liked the engine but thought the electronics were fairly crude on my FJ09. I would like to try the updated engine with the new systems. I bet it’s nicer.

        • Louis says:

          I tested the FJ-09 and was surprised how much handlebar vibration there was at highway speeds. I instantly knocked it off the top of my list of possible next bikes. I am very interested in the Tracer 700; I don’t know why Yamaha won’t bring it to the U.S.

        • Dave says:

          I am repulsed by the MT-10’s styling/looks and utterly seduced by its engine note. There’s a lesson in there somewhere about how to pick a woman. If that noise doesn’t make you weak at the knees, you’re simply not motor-folk.

  21. Tim says:

    The styling isn’t great, as many have pointed out, but a decent paint scheme could make this bike more palatable. Whoever is choosing Yamaha’s color options and paint schemes needs to be fired. Those paint jobs with the bright colored wheels just look cheap to me. I’d love to have one of these as a second or third bike, just to ride around the city on. I have a feeling that engine would make it a blast to ride. I’d like to see them come out with a yellow one, with the traditional black Yamaha racing graphics.

  22. todder says:

    Where’s the cruise control???

  23. Hoop says:

    Yamaha is to headlights as Kawasaki is to mufflers….

    • Curly says:

      It will be on the Tracer version like the current 900. It’s actually in the ECU just not accessible because the switching isn’t there. I’m told that with the switch added and a flash on the box it can be made to work.

  24. wannabe1 says:

    What happened to black or silver wheels? I’m 58 years old and don’t need blaze orange or neon blue rims.

  25. Mick says:

    Street bike styling has really gone crazy. About a decade ago they had the ugly headlight contest. Now they seemed to have settled on weird.

    Now here in the enlightened future it’s the short tail section with some kind of strange festoon that can’t serve as a luggage rack hanging off the back.

    I feel the they might be better off combining the two ridiculous ideas and produce bikes with minimalist front ends. Sensible bikes with little more than a number plate like a dirt bike. Heck, this bike would look much better if it had been styled exactly like a YZ in supermoto drag.

    I just don’t get it at all. It seems like a street bike isn’t ready for prime time unless it’s offensive in some way.

  26. Provologna says:

    Well, looks-wise it’s no Royal Enfield Interceptor (made in India, strange but true), but you can pretty much even your own money this thing performs very well.

  27. motorhead says:

    Only 417 lb. wet weight, which is nice. I also like that the designers didn’t try to make everything overly beautiful. Make it functional, inexpensive, light. And I’ve always liked Yamahas.

  28. todd says:

    Someone, somewhere is making a killing on universal replacement round headlights.

  29. Johnny Ro says:

    Impressive technical stuff, but I now miss the good old days of ugly insect styling. This is Terminator zone stuff.

  30. Michael says:

    Lets make a hooligan bike and neuter it down with a bunch of rider aid BS. Pass…

  31. Gary says:

    Wow, nice package, and competitively priced. With all the electronics, its a shame they didn’t include cruise control. It would have been easy. I’ll be on the lookout for more pics.

    • ScotocS says:

      I agree, it seems like this should be included if you already have ride by wire and a bunch of buttons.

  32. fred says:

    Looks like this might be a serious option for someone looking at another brand’s 890. There are now a number of great choices in the 900cc range.

  33. Neal says:

    Looks more unfinished than usual. When I think of extraneous parts that can probably be done away with, the headlight isn’t usually what comes to mind.

  34. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    Graceful elegance is gone forever in the design of any machine/human interface. Replaced by black ‘industrial image’ pandering for sales.

    • Provologna says:

      I agree with your sentiment. But really, take a look at the Royal Enfield Interceptor made in India. And Kawasaki’s W800 isn’t such a bad looker either, ditto their Z900RS. Some Triumphs look sweet.

      The Japanese though, they do seem allergic to clean, classic design. Wait, the CB1100 really looks alright, but for me it’s just too much a pig and top heavy.

      Completely OT, sorry…my ex-next door neighbor owned a gorgeous wine metallic red ca. 2010 Honda Gold Wing 1800cc. That is one of the first times I heard up close a GW revved while parked. Damn if that thing doesn’t mimic the best sound effects of a modern flat 6 Porsche; it might even sound better. The sound is rare, pleasing, and mesmerizing. Even Consumer Reports remarks that nothing matches the sound of a Porsche flat-6, and that’s saying something.

      Am I the only one who has lusted after a positively awesome flat 6 sporty standard, maybe in the range of 750-850cc? I wonder if such bike could possibly have reasonable cornering clearance.

      As someone who spent time riding a black ’80 CBX tuned within an inch of its life, with ’79 cams, perfectly jetted and synched, with OEM sport kit and Denco 6-1 header, the sound of such 6-cyl could usher in world peace and heal the sick. You just wanna have the baby of a bike that sounds that sweet.

      • Reginald Van Blunt says:

        There is a continuity of style change from the 60s to present, in motorcycle design, which sadly is contra to the technology advances since the days of yesteryear. Hi yo silver!
        It started with rusty allen bolts on Ducati singles and a yellowing lacquer coating on Japanese silver metal engines. Unsightly if not shoddy, with only a slight ageing. Solution – black paint, which in the times of air cooled engines radiated heat helpfully. Image wise the black everything also struck a cord with wimpy young men who needed to assume some of the street cred of a real racer as seen at tracks all over the world.
        Now with these popular trends in full swing, why try to cover up a dark absence of light with smooth fuel tanks, and side covers, if the image sought was extreme functionality, instead of elegant efficiency ?
        Just a thought from time spent.

      • Nick says:

        Provologna,

        I can agree wholeheartedly about the glorious sound of a flat six, having recently acquired a 2.9 litre one in a 2011 Porsche Boxster. They have a visceral pulse and howl quite unlike a straight six. And would you believe that a year after mine was built, Porsche changed to a turbo four. I’m glad I got the best one!

    • tbone34 says:

      There are plenty of good lookimg new naked bikes out there. I’m fond of what Ducati does, love the Triumph triples, really like the look of Honda’s retro moderns. Then there are the bikes that are a headlight away from not lookimg ugly. Both this and Kawasaki’s Sugomi bikes fall into this camp.

  35. Mike Simmons says:

    One is not overwhelmed with its beauty, is one? Probably a hoot to ride though.

  36. Mick says:

    I wonder if they got the whine out of the engine on the redesign. I rode a MT-09 Tracer in France and Germany a bit and thought that the bike worked just fine. But the engine whine was a total non-starter for me. That whine does not exist on the MT-07 that we rode on the same trip. Odd that something like that can make it all the way through R&D and into showrooms.

  37. Motoman says:

    Really surprised at the specs given the price.
    Looks ok to me although I’m sure it will make others throw up. Think it would be extremely fun.