2020 Yamaha MT-03 First Look: Junior Master of Torque

2020 Yamaha MT-03 First Look: The Latest Master of Torque

Yamaha’s Hyper Naked family has a new member—the 2020 Yamaha MT-03. Based on the YZF-R3 supersport bike, the MT-03 has styling that fits in with Yamaha’s Dark Side of Japan theme that runs through the MT-07, MT-09, and MT-10 naked upright sport motorcycles. Let’s take a look at the Yamaha’s newest and smallest Master of Torque (MT).

  1. The 2020 Yamaha MT-03 gets the same motor and frame as the YZF-R3. We have loved the power of the high-revving twin-cylinder DOHC powerplant and agile handling on the street and track, so the MT-03 should be well-suited to urban brawling.


  1. Yamaha did downgrade the fork on the MT-03 from the YZF-R3. As the R3 is designed for track duty in addition to street riding, it has beefy 41mm inverted forks. The MT-03 retains the inverted fork design, though the tube diameter is just 37mm. Travel (5.1 inches), rake (25 degrees), and trail (3.7 inches) are unchanged from the R3.

2020 Yamaha MT-03 First Look - right front

  1. As with the R3, the only suspension adjustment on the MT-03 is spring-preload on the shock. KYB provides the suspension units on both models, though the settings on the MT-03 are not the same as the R3. This makes sense, as the two motorcycles have different focuses.
  1. IRC Road Winner RX-01 SpecR bias-ply tires replace the Dunlop Sportmax GPR-300 radial rubber. We can’t say for sure if this is an upgrade, a downgrade, or wash. The IRC RX-01R tires are a more aggressive version of IRC’s RX-01 design—IRC categorizes both as “commuter”—so we’ll wait and see what we think of the IRCs compared to the Dunlop tires. It’s certainly possible that the IRCs are designed to work better in urban situations, while not as track-appropriate—we will see.
  1. Yamaha calls the MT-03’s styling “tightly packed” and “mass forward”. Without a doubt, the 2020 Yamaha MT-03 has a distinctive appearance, while remaining solidly in the MT family. The LED headlight is accented by twin LED position lights, which go well with the LED turn signals. Air scoops on the fuel tank provide an aggressive look.
  2. The ergonomics are comfortably upright, with the rider sitting in the MT-03. At 30.7 inches, the seat height of the MT-03 is the same as the R3. Outfitted with taller tubular bars rather than the R3’s clip-ons, the MT-03 rider slots right in between the tank and the rear cowling. The riding position on the MT-03 is much more upright due to the R3 getting sportier ergonomics last year.
  1. ABS is standard on the MT-03. You cannot get an MT-03 sans ABS.
  1. The 2020 Yamaha MT-03 weighs two pounds less than the ABS-equipped R3. At 373 pounds, the MT-03 is undoubtedly a lightweight motorcycle.
  1. At $4599, the 2020 Yamaha MT-03’s price is a substantial $700 less than the R3 with ABS. The MT-03 is $200 less expensive than the 2019 Kawasaki Z400 ABS and has a price $300 lower than the 2020 Honda CB300R ABS. Without any doubt, the pricing of the 2020 https://www.yamahamotorsports.com/motorcycle MT-03 is as aggressive as its appearance.

Note: European-spec 2020 Yamaha MT-03 shown in photos

2020 Yamaha MT-03 Specs


  • Engine: Liquid-cooled parallel twin
  • Displacement: 321cc
  • Bore x stroke: 68.0 x 44.1mm
  • Compression ratio: 11.2:1
  • Valvetrain: DOHC; 8 valves
  • Fuel delivery: EFI
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Final drive: Chain


  • Front suspension: Non-adjustable KYB inverted 37mm forks; 5.1 inches of travel
  • Rear suspension: Linkage-assisted spring-preload adjustable KYB shock; 4.9 inches of travel
  • Tires: IRC RX-01R
  • Front tire: 110/70 x 17
  • Rear tire: 140/70 x 17
  • Front brake: 298mm disc
  • Rear brake: 220mm disc
  • ABS: Standard


  • Wheelbase: 54.3 inches
  • Rake: 25 degrees
  • Trail: 3.7 inches
  • Seat height: 30.7 inches
  • Fuel capacity: 3.7 gallons
  • EPA estimated fuel economy: 56 mpg
  • Curb weight: 373 pounds

2020 Yamaha MT-03 Colors:

  • Ice Fluo
  • Midnight Black

2020 Yamaha MT-03 Price:

  • $4599 MSRP

2020 Yamaha MT-03 Photo Gallery