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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > Issue 323 February 2017 > YAMAHA MT-09


It may seem like just five minutes ago that Yamaha launched an updated MT-09, but Yamaha doesn’t stand still – so here’s another!

One thing that always garners sympathy from us here at FB is when a biker has just bought his pride and joy, and then mere months later a manufacturer releases an even better version. We understand a rider’s pain, and hear the groans often enough, but at the same time that is just the way of things in this ever fluid world – things always move forwards.

And so it is with the latest incarnation of Yamaha’s nutty MT-09. This time round there’s a few more updates than just the addition of traction control, and it would appear that the factory listened to feedback from punters on where to take the bike next.

This is because the biggest changes are on the chassis side of things; specifically a refresh to the hardware and set-up in the suspension department, plus a raising of the seat height by a seemingly puny 5mm. We’ve been around long enough to see small changes adding up to impressive differences.

Many of the other new features are meaningful and subtle, such as the four LED headlight design and the updated dash to account for the new functionality available. There are new winglets and redesigned air-scoops, plus some sharp new radiator fins. The seat has also been rejigged, with a swingarm mounted number-plate part of the effort to pretty up its posterior while giving it a more aggressive and stumpier appearance. The seat pad, meanwhile, is flatter than before, but has been made 13mm longer.

Likewise, the Euro4 exhaust has had a visual refresh, although the engine is basically the same unit, with a couple of choice additions. A new assist and slipper clutch is in evidence, which makes lever pulling 20 percent easier, apparently, but even more pertinently will help the bike get into turns with far more grace. And now there’s a quickshifter, too, for seamless upshifts. The throttle maps have also been altered, although unlike the bigger MT-10 where B-mode is the most aggressive, on the 09 it’s actually the softer option here and it’s A-mode that’s the shit kicker instead.

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