They say that at the heart of every good motorcycle is a great engine, and Yamaha thoroughly nailed that theory with the very first Yamaha MT-09 back a few years. Its inline 847cc triple-cylinder, or CP3 as Yamaha call it, is a pure gem.
Since then the Yamaha MT-09 has sold as fast as dealers could get them and Yamaha have gone on to produce the MT-09 Tracer and retro looking XSR900, both of which share that same wonderful engine. The Yamaha Tracer was awarded a prestigious ‘Best All-Rounder’ award in 2015 and the Yamaha XSR900 has won numerous road tests. And their success has largely been down to that brilliant Yamaha CP3 engine.
However, the original Yamaha MT-09’s performance was undermined by poor fueling and under-damped suspension. It has three engine modes to choose from and in the sportiest A-mode the throttle response was lively to the point of being abrupt. In a 2016 model update Yamaha smoothed out the fueling and added traction control for the first time, both of which were taken from the Yamaha XSR900 retro version. And now for 2017 they have gone one step further, changing the suspension both front and rear and adding more adjustment to the forks while a shorter sub-frame and facelift completes the visual upgrade.
There’s also a new quickshifter, just for a welcome bit of extra bling, and a subtle alteration to the riding position.