All-new from the ground-up this year, the 2021 Yamaha MT-09 gets a new motor and chassis, along with a full suite of electronics. Let’s dive in!
- Although the 2021 Yamaha MT-09 is still a triple, there are significant changes to the powerplant. The pistons, connecting rods, camshafts, and crankcases are new components.
- Displacement has been increased 43cc to 890cc. Yamaha got there by increasing the bore by 3mm to 62.1mm. Yamaha doesn’t quote numbers, but the displacement increase is part of a strategy to increase torque.
- There’s a new intake and fuel delivery system. The airbox has three ducts, with a different cross-section and length for each. From there, the fuel injectors are no longer mounted directly to the cylinder head. For 2021, the fuel injectors are now on the throttle-valve side. Yamaha claims better fuel atomization, also with less fuel slowed by the walls of the intake port. At the other end of the combustion process, there’s also a new exhaust system.
- If you count pennies, the new motor gets an additional five miles per gallon, putting the MT-09 at 49 mpg for 2021.
- With the increased torque comes a revised transmission and clutch, including a standard up/down quickshifter. First and second gear are slightly higher. Yamaha has retained the assist-and-slipper clutch functions, with the clutch getting new friction plates. The rider will feel a lighter touch at the lever due to a cam angle change.
- The 2021 Yamaha MT-09 is fully ride-by-wire. The throttle gets a new Accelerator Position Sensor Grip is based on the design used on the YZF-R1 superbike family. Also, a six-axis IMU is now part of the package.
- The IMU means that you get the usual electronic aids. That means traction control, wheelie control, corner-aware ABS, and slide control. Two modes adjust all of the parameters for rider convenience, and 2021 gives us a new Mode M that allows the rider to customize the settings to taste. A new 3.5-inch TFT display and handlebar-mounted switch make changing modes and settings easier.
- The frame for the 2021 Yamaha MT-09 is all-new. Still a die-cast aluminum twin-spar design, the beams are larger and run uninterrupted from the steering head to the swingarm pivot. The new swingarm is 8.8 ounces lighter for less unsprung weight. Yamaha claims a 50 percent increase in lateral rigidity, with the goal of increased straight-line stability.
- With the new frame comes new KYB suspension. Adjustability remains unchanged, as does the diameter of the fork tubes.
- Yamaha has compacted the MT-09’s chassis. Suspension travel is down 0.3 inches at both ends, seat height is up 0.2 inches, and the wheelbase is 0.4 inches shorter. Although the 25-degree rake is unchanged, trail is increased by 0.2 inches. Weight is down eight pounds for 2021, primarily due to the lighter engine. With all those incremental changes, we can’t wait to see what they all add up to. Yamaha says that the new chassis gives “an increased feeling of front-end grip when cornering.”
- The 2021 Yamaha MT-09 has adjustable ergonomics. The handlebar clamps are adjustable, and there are multiple footpeg mounting points.
- The fuel tank and seat have been updated.
- Brakes have been updated to emulate the R1 superbike setup with a radially mounted Nissin master cylinder.
- Yamaha has cut the weight of the rear wheel by 11 percent. Both ends get an aluminum 10-spoke spin-forged design.
- New styling comes with LED lighting. The LED headlight has two angled position lights. Yamaha calls the look a “predatory stare.” The new LED taillight has a Y-shape.
- Here’s how Yamaha describes the 2021 MT-09: “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.”
- All those upgrades come with a $400 price increase.
- You will have to wait until January to see the 2021 Yamaha MT-09 at your local dealer.
2021 Yamaha MT-09 Specs
- Type: CP3 inline-3
- Bore x stroke: 78.0 x 62.1mm
- Displacement: 890cc
- Compression ratio: 11.5:1
- Valvetrain: DOHC, 4vpc
- Transmission: 6-speed
- Clutch: Assist and slipper
- Final drive: Chain
- Frame: Controlled-fill die-cast aluminum w/ subframe
- Front suspension; travel: Fully adjustable inverted KYB 41mm fork; 5.1 inches
- Rear suspension; travel: Linkage-free, rebound-damping and spring-preload adjustable horizontal KYB shock; 4.8 inches
- Tires: Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S20
- Front tire: 120/70 x 17
- Rear tire: 180/55 x 17
- Front brakes: 298mm discs w/ 4-piston Nissin calipers
- Rear brake: 245mm disc w/ single-piston caliper
- ABS: Standard
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 56.3 inches
- Rake: 25 degrees
- Trail: 4.3 inches
- Seat height: 32.5 inches
- Fuel capacity: 3.7 gallons
- Estimated fuel consumption: 49 mpg
- Curb weight: 417 pounds
- Colors: Storm Fluo; Matte Raven Black; Team Yamaha Blue
2021 Yamaha MT-09 Price: $9399 MSRP