Ride On: 2020 Yamaha MT-09SP

THE perfect all-round naked sports bike could just be the 2020 Yamaha MT-09SP, and we reckon it will set your senses sizzling. From its enticing triple cylinder engine to its lightweight feel, this is one fun bike that will handle anything you throw at it.

Standing back and admiring the MT-09SP, the special edition has a menacing presence and looks the business, with its Transformer like twin LED headlight cowl and the gold KYB adjustable front forks.

It’s a hyper-naked sports bike without the uncomfortable riding position. Looks aside, it’s got power too, and the lightweight Yamaha CP3 (cross plane) 847cc engine is designed to ensure instant throttle response, with strong low to mid-range torque.

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That motor produces approximately 115HP (85.75kW) of power and 87.5Nm of torque. Power delivery is explosive and you can select from three different ride modes to control the MT-09SP’s performance.

You’ll need those ride options as ‘A’ will have you popping the front wheel from standing almost every time, while ‘STD’ is still quite snappy. We found ‘B” to be more manageable and comfortable though, when rolling on the throttle out of corners.

The 2020 Yamaha MT-09SP comes with a beautiful six speed gearbox, with quick shift for up only, so when on the gas it works extremely well, but at lower speeds we found it easier just to use the clutch as it gets a little clunky and gear selection wasn’t as smooth.

It does have a slipper clutch in place though, so manually shifting is very tidy. There is plenty of torque too, and it is always on tap, right through the gears. Traction control is on hand too, which can be switched off.

2020 Yamaha MT-09SP
2020 Yamaha MT-09SP

Traction control will activate automatically though, the moment the rear slips out from heavy throttle application. The ride is awesome as well, and one of the first things you will notice about it is how light it feels.

The suspension is impressive, and handling is also fantastic thanks to those adjustable front shocks and an Ohlin’s adjustable rear shock. Yamaha have utilised their lightweight alloy Diamond frame, making the bike very agile.

It ensures cornering is a breeze for this machine. The stopping power is strong and predictable, thanks to the 298mm dual front rotors and the 245mm single at the rear. The back brake works okay, but does require a bit of pressure, and lacks some feel.

There is ABS to assist when things get a little heavy. Ergonomically though, the MT–09SP features an upright riding position and is easy to move your weight around on, with the durable double stitched seat offering comfort and a  non-slip surface.

The note from the triple cylinder engine and standard exhaust actually sounds great and a touch lumpy at idle. It has a TFT electronic dash which shows a speed, revs, gear position, quick shifter mode, drive mode, a fuel gauge, and traction control settings.

The MT-09SP is only available in Silver Blu Carbon, with matching blue wheels. The MT logo on them really make the whole bike shine. Coming standard with black bars and chrome exhaust outlet, this bike will definitely turn heads.

It’s a ride that will get you plenty of ‘nice bike mate’ type comments and is well worth considering. Pricing starts at $13,499 plus on-road costs.

Our test bike was provided by Yamaha Motor Australia. To find out more about the 2020 Yamaha MT-09SP, contact your local Yamaha dealer. Pictures courtesy of Mushroom Owl Photography.

2020 Yamaha MT-09SP
2020 Yamaha MT-09SP


Ride experience
Style and comfort
Braking and handling
Technology and connectivity
Overall bike performance


Pros – Silver Blu livery has stacks of street appeal; performance; ease of riding; electronic dash; value for money; suspension and handling.
Cons – rear brake lacks feel.
Peter Swat
Peter Swat
Peter is a lover not a fighter, with a deep passion for motorcycles and performance cars. He has been riding for some 14 years. His favourite bike is the BMW S 1000 RR and he has a passion for sports bikes and cruisers alike.


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<strong>Pros –</strong> Silver Blu livery has stacks of street appeal; performance; ease of riding; electronic dash; value for money; suspension and handling.<br> <strong>Cons –</strong> rear brake lacks feel.Ride On: 2020 Yamaha MT-09SP