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Naked Version of Yamaha R3 on its Way

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Yamaha Japan has confirmed a naked version of the R3, called the MT-03, is in production featuring the same 321cc parallel twin engine and chassis from the sport model. These are official pictures from Yamaha. You can look at the specifications for the R3, and simply substitute more upright ergonomics (taller handlebar, for instance) and slightly lower weight, to get an idea of what the MT-03 will bring.

Should the bike be brought to the United States (and we expect it will be), it will likely be called the FZ-03. We should know more from Yamaha soon.

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72 Comments

  1. Turboman says:

    It looks good. And to the above commenter, YES, the FZ09 DID get hit with the ugly stick! FZ07 no so bad. I think there’s a market for this bike. I like the CB300F, and I think I’d like this bike even more.

  2. goodlyRun says:

    Smaller tail section would look more balanced. I would expect more passengers on this rather than the faired version,

  3. PN says:

    I don’t care for the styling nor for the R3.

  4. fred says:

    This bike looks better than the fz07 and fz09,great bikes that have been hit with the ugly stick.

  5. loggerjack says:

    Put a set of twin headlights on it from a Zuma scooter and maybe a flat seat from the 400 single

  6. Wow Yamaha is going everything RIGHT lately. Giving the people what they asked for. Reward them with purchasing these fine examples!

  7. Kevin in OR says:

    Nice enough bike, but can the major mfg just quit screwing around and bring back the 400 – 500 class (yes Honda is already there). And enough with these dumbed down beginner bikes, I’d like a grown up 500 triple or four with 50 – 60 RWHP. On the street I don’t need 180+ hp to have fun, but I don’t want to lose drag races to Kia’s either!

  8. Martin B says:

    Young motorcycle designers seem unable to get their heads out of their manga/ power ranger comics. The XSR700 is a step in the right direction, but the mechanicals are robot ugly. We know what a motorcycle is supposed to look like. A Triumph Bonneville does a good impersonation. But we are in a modern age with better metallurgy and better use of materials. A light weight but tough bike is really not that hard to make so that it looks good. Cartoon esthetics turn me off in a big way. But sales figures support the cartoon guys. Sigh.

  9. nice, but not as nice as 390 Duke

  10. CldmstrDon says:

    Not only does it need a round headlight, but also, polished cases and wheels.

  11. Tyler says:

    I still prefer my 390 Duke. But this is a good looking bike, no complaints.

  12. tc2wheel says:

    After riding moto for nearly two decades, I have ridden just about all types.
    Currently, I have 8 motorcycles in my garage. My fav. is an 2004 model Ninja 250 that cost me $650 to purchase. I ride it nearly every single day in NYC traffic and commute between NYC and PA every weekend.
    There are those who say these lil bikes are “gutless”, IMO, only if you don’t know how to ride them.
    If proven reliability like a pre-gen Ninja 250, These lil bikes can run circles around liter-class bikes with a capable operator.
    Maintenance is likely to be easier and loss costly, so does insurance.

    • mickey says:

      Lol I suppose that was a response to my post and I will give you in certain circumstances a 250 will best a liter bike, in real tight curvy stuff like the Dragon perhaps, but I’m pretty sure I could take you going across I-80 in Utah, double up with luggage on my liter bike.

      • green_ghost says:

        What fun would that be? Highway slabbing at high speed is just boring.
        Much more fun to ride a small bike to the max then keeping in 2nd gear on liter bike.
        Besides, it,s likely much less expensive to repair a small bike vs liter bike when things go wrong.

        • mickey says:

          You mean in your opinion. I have no such hang ups about traveling by motorcycle. Back roads, expressways, whatever, as long as I am riding, I am happy. I don’t like riding on freeways through large cities much, but even then seeing the skyline of the tall buildings as you approach has it’s own appeal. Unless you are riding solo and have unlimited time off, touring the USA on a 250cc bike strictly on backroads would take an exercise in frustration for me.

          Each size and type of motorcycle has it’s strengths and weaknesses. 250s are fun if you are not actually going anywhere. If you want to do some traveling and take your spouse along, I would suggest something a little larger.

          • green_ghost says:

            Much more fun to be had when you ride a small displacement bike to its limits, rather than worry about losing your license while in 3rd gear on a liter bike. 250cc bikes are limited to back roads only when you don’t know how to ride one.

          • mickey says:

            That “much more fun to ride a small bike fast” is just a mantra espoused by those who can’t afford or don’t know how to ride a bigger bike fast. Just because you keep repeating it it, doesn’t make it true. There is a reason 250s are considered ” beginners bikes” , because they are light, are non intimidating, and don’t have enough power to get a beginner into too much trouble. They are too small to carry passengers or gear unless you are talking about a couple skinny high school kids with the one in the back wearing a back pack. The first thing someone on a 250 does after gaining some riding skills is move up to a larger more powerful bike ( usually a 600 these days) because they are tired of not having any power. Look at the posts here, most everyone thinks this would be a dandy bike if it were a 390, a 500, a 900 or a 1200 even.

            Speaking personally, I started on a 50cc street bike in 1965, I ran it wide open all the time. Fun for a first bike, but as soon as I mastered that I was ready for more. Then came a 100, a 125, 160, 175, 305, 350, 450, 650, 750, 800, 1000, 1100, and 1300cc. Each step up was more fun than the last. What in the world makes you think I don’t know how to ride a 250? You hold it wide open, you shift up and down like a maniac so you don’t fall out of the extremely narrow peak powerband, and you hope like heck that someone in a Kia doesn’t run you over from behind when riding in traffic. Been there done that, moved on.

            That said, as I stated much earlier in this thread, this 250 would be a wonderful motorcycle for a 16 year old. A good looking bike he could get some experience and polish his skills on before doing what most motorcyclists inevitably do, move up to a larger, more powerful, more capable motorcycle. Few serious motorcyclists (at least in the U.S.) outside of an inner major city chooses to ride a 250 if other larger options are available to them.

            Riding a small bike fast is only ” much more fun” if you don’t have the skill set or can’t afford to ride a bigger bike fast.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Amen Mickey. I’ve been preaching that gospel for a long time.

            If you are not having fun riding a fast bike slow, then ride it fast!

          • mickey says:

            This mornings ride was 110 miles. Out the Scenic Ohio River Byway, up into the hills, along some really curvy backroads and back the state route. Thought about this thread a lot while I was riding and kept thinking how could this ride be improved by riding a 250? , and I couldn’t think of a single reason. There were a couple of tight curves that would have been cool on a 250, that I might have been able to take a couple miles per hour faster, but then I came to a big hill. On my 1100 I just twisted the throttle a bit more and maintained my speed up the hill, whereas on a 250 I would have had to downshift 2 or 3 times. That doesn’t make it fun. Then coming back the sweeper filled state route I got caught behind a guy in a pickup doing 10-15 under the speed limit. On my 1100 no problem, grab some throttle and you are around and on you way. On a 250 I’d again have had to downshift a couple times and take a lot longer to get around. Rolling along at 55 miles an hour at 2500 rpms with lots to spare is a lot more enjoyable to me than rolling along at 55 miles per hour at 8000 rpms tapped out. Call me crazy, but give me a big bike anytime.

  13. Aleks says:

    Good looking bike. I’d throw a leg over it to try it out.

  14. kjazz says:

    These days, the new “naked” models have lost that certain….de-constructed look that the original Speed Triple capitalized on so well. Which is why I still own one of them and have never been in the least attracted to these or the multitudes of clones.

    Having said that, it’s not a bad looking bike. Just not my cup o java.

  15. noblsht says:

    Your real image is what you are when relaxing out of sight in your underwear. The stuff you buy for image is what the product makers think will make you FEEL like what you wish you were. Relax and just ride.

  16. todd says:

    I’d get me the silver/blue frame model and screw on a proper round headlight, thank you.

  17. mickey says:

    I actually rode this bike’s sibling (R3) at a demo days last weekend (was there to ride the FJ09). For an old guy who has been riding liter class bikes since 1977 (and bikes bigger than this since a CB 350 Honda twin in 1969) the R3 seemed pretty gutless. However, remembering my first street bike as a 16 year old, a 50cc 2 stroke Aermachhi single in 1965, in comparison this thing would have been a rocket and sooo much better looking, better fit and finish, better electrics, better tires, better brakes. Oh to be 16 again.

  18. Gary says:

    In the past several years it’s been clear that Yamaha has really been paying attention and doing their homework.

  19. Dan W. says:

    After so VERY long with a very poor selection of ‘starter bikes’ – for about 20 years you could choose between a Ninja250 and a Rebel 250 if you were a smaller beginner looking for a new machine – we now have an embarrassment of choice !!

    Too bad you missed a generation or two of new-entry riders, but boy – the factories sure seem to be trying to make up for it ! You kids today, you don’t know how good you have it…

    • MGNorge says:

      You can say that again! I remember in the mid-sixties into the seventies the vast array of small bikes available and by small I mean sub-250cc but inclusive of too. Seemingly every 10cc jump in displacement starting at 50cc was represented by several models by a number of manufacturers. Bikes weren’t quite as narrow focused then though but it was a great time to be young and mobile. Motorcycles were our freedom and our lives.

      I always wondered why the smaller displacement bikes disappeared as they were a great way to get your feet wet on a path to being a lifelong rider.

      • Scotty says:

        They sure are MG. 250cc bikes are pretty much the best bikes for a first bike for anyone – they can keep up with the traffic, light, low maintenance and usually handle well. Back in the day I really lusted after an SRX250 when I was 18……

  20. randy says:

    nice looking bike,now how about a FZ-1200.

  21. Dave says:

    That’s a fine looking bike. Hope it comes stateside.

  22. dan says:

    Scoots have wind protection for the legs, step through ergonomics, automatic transmissions so you don’t trash your shifting shoe, and underseat storage. Much better commuters in dense urban areas than even these smaller bikes.

    • tim says:

      Yeah, but no one will question your manhood on this bike like they would on a scooter.

      • KenHoward says:

        The last reason to buy a bike (or anything else) should be because you’re worried about what people (mostly, total strangers) may think about your “manhood.” That, right there, would say something about a lack of – here comes that ridiculous word again – manhood.

        • Butch says:

          #1 reason not to buy a motorcycle :

          “a real head turner”

          That’s exactly what the clown that’s trying to sell you the bike was thinking when he bought it.

          If you are into that sort of thing, why not slip on some pink tights, black high heels and strut around like a peacock on a parade float.

          It’s a lot cheaper and you won’t take that big depreciation hit, when you discover you had no business buying a bike in the first place.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            “#1 reason not to buy a motorcycle :
            “a real head turner””

            I totally disagree. Head Turners have their place, and a bike’s ability to turn the right kind of heads is no trivial matter when choosing your ride. When I was young, single and on the prowl, a scooter would have definitely ruined my game. “Strut around like a peacock,” you say? Yes! And when the pink tights and high heels climb onto the back of the bike at the end of the night – WIN!

            Now that I am older, fatter and slower, I just ride whatever I want.

      • Hot Dog says:

        My “Manhood” isn’t questioned when I blow by a governed 100 MPH Poseur on my 110 MPH TMax “Scooter”.

      • Pacer says:

        I’m with you Tim. Just remember there are ton of guys out there that where salmon colored shirts. If they weren’t concerned with manhood they’d call it pink.;)

      • Kagato says:

        Don’t forget to give the kids in the car next to you at the stoplight a thumbs-up. they are sitting up with their faces plastered to the car window looking at “MOTORCYCLE!” They think we are Power Rangers : – )

        • Fivespeed302 says:

          Motorcycle – my parents say it was one of my first words. My dad didn’t even own a bike at the time. Great advice for promoting riding, and probably making the kid’s day.

    • TimC says:

      Def disagree. In an urban environment, you sometimes want the agility/capability of a real, indeed small, but real, motorcycle. This would be a great bike for such environs, e.g. SF.

  23. toad says:

    I’d like to see one of the big 4 make a similar spec bike with a retro style.

  24. Glen says:

    “Scoot”? You might want to look that up. This is not a scoot.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I’ll bet it scoots better than most scooters.

    • mickey says:

      Scoot…scooter… Old guy term for motorcycle. Jeremy knows what it is.

      If I were a 16 year old, I’d MUCH rather have this than a step thru automatic scooter

    • Blackcayman says:

      I met an old guy (60 something) who referred to his Road Glide Ultra-Limited-Deluxe Luxo-Barge as a “scooter”.

      While technically the word scooter means what we all know it means, its also a slang word that refers to the users subject.

      and, my daughter has a Barbie Scooter that runs on leg power

  25. Jeremy in TX says:

    Nice looking scoot.