Yamaha has showcased the MY2021 MT-09 with new styling, a new engine with more power and torque, along with extensive changes to both the chassis as well as electronics. This is the third generation of the MT-09, and the second major change since the 2017 update, where the double-headlight front replaced the plain-jane single headlight.
So let’s dive in deep, starting with the engine:
Though the reason for the overhaul was the incoming Euro5 emissions regulations, Yamaha has increased the cylinder bore by 3mm, bumping up displacement of the in-line-triple crossplane engine to 889cc (up from the previous bike’s 847cc). Despite that, it still sheds some weight (using a lighter crankcase, camshafts, fracture-split conrods and pistons), all of which no doubt help improve the overall fuel efficiency.
The larger engine, however has led to a consequent increase in performance, with power now at 119bhp, up from 113; and torque at 92Nm, up from 87. Additionally, peak torque now comes at 7000rpm, which is 1500rpm lower than before. It also gets Yamaha’s QSS bi-directional quickshifter, along with a six-axis IMU (from the YZF-R1), with riders aids such as wheelie control, ABS, slide control and traction control.
After the engine, the next most important change is in the styling, and the 2021 MT-09 looks very different from anything else in the brand’s portfolio, something the brand attributes to its new ‘Coverless’ design philosophy. The headlight, fuel tank and exhaust form an almost unbroken element around the engine, for effective mass centralisation. Up front, the headlight is back to a single unit – a large centrally mounted LED flanked by two slim LED DRLs. The rest of the design is minimalistic, exposing the engine, chassis and suspension for all to see.
Speaking of the chassis, this too has been updated, though the changes are not visually apparent. Firstly, the new aluminium deltabox unit it is now 2.3kg lighter. Also on offer is a new lightweight aluminium swingarm, along with new forged wheels, which Yamaha says is its lightest non-competitive design yet. The overall weight, then, is a lower 189kg (kerb) a 4kg reduction, which Yamaha claims makes the 2021 MT-09 the lightest among the 900cc naked class. Lastly, the suspension now comprises a 41mm fully adjustable KYB forks with revised settings, as well as a fully adjustable KYB rear shock.