Yamaha MT-09 gets more of the good stuff for 2021

YAMAHA have launched their latest offering in the hyper naked sports bike category, with the unveiling of the new 2021 MT-09, which features higher specifications than ever before, in a bike that’s lighter, more powerful and more advanced in every way.

The original MT-09 distilled the essence of motorcycling when it arrived in 2013. In 2018 the second generation model was introduced with new styling that assured the continued success of this iconic model.

To achieve a more torquey and agile feel, the 2021 EU5-compliant engine has been completely redesigned and reduced in weight.

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Virtually every major component is new, including pistons, connecting rods, camshafts, and crankcases, and despite its larger capacity and higher power output, the 2021 powerplant – including the new exhaust – is 1700g lighter than the current design.

Engine capacity is enlarged to 889cc by increasing the bore size by 3mm, and the extra 42cc boosts maximum horsepower by 2.9KW to 87.5KW at 10,000rpm.

However, the most significant improvement is the increased torque output. Maximum torque on the new engine is 93Nm, and peak torque is achieved at only 7000rpm – a full 1500rpm lower down the rev scale.

Higher levels of linear torque at lower engine speeds increase the real-world performance of the new MT-09 by enabling the rider to fully access available power at everyday riding speeds.

The new big-torque 889cc engine makes a real difference paired together with its new up and down Quick Shift System. One of the key design features on the new 889cc engine is the completely new fuel delivery system.

While the current MT-09 features its fuel injectors attached directly to the cylinder head, on the 2021 model the fuel injectors are mounted to the throttle valve side, and fuel is injected onto the back of the intake valve heads.

The Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) is upgraded for 2021 with the addition of a new Accelerator Position Sensor Grip (APSG). Similar to the unit featured on the YZF-R1 and R1M, and equipped with model-specific friction and throttle opening settings.

The 889cc engine is equipped with a redesigned high-efficiency air intake system and a newly designed exhaust to enhance the sense of acceleration and torque.

To match the 2021 model’s increased engine performance the transmission has been optimised by slightly raising the ratios on first and second gears.

A new shift fork is fitted for improved gear shifts. To handle the increased torque, the A&S clutch uses a new material for its friction plates,  the cam angle is changed to give a lighter pull at the lever, together with  gentler chassis behaviour when downshifting.

The 2021 MT-09 has been improved in every area – headlined by an all-new lightweight CF die-cast aluminium Deltabox chassis that has been developed in unison with the larger capacity 889cc high-torque engine.

To match the more compact frame and shorter front forks the head pipe position is lowered by 30mm, giving an increased feeling of front end grip when cornering, together with improved levels of rider feedback.

To express the outstanding handling performance of the 2021 MT-09, Yamaha has introduced a coverless design where all unnecessary bodywork is removed to give a dynamic and agile new look from every angle.

The slimline seat and pointed tail – along with the total absence of sidepanels and other unnecessary additions – serve to emphasise the stripped down good looks.

The MT-09’s compact and athletic character is underpinned by weighing in at just 189kg wet – 4kg less than the current model and less than its closest competitor in the 900cc naked class.

The 2021 MT-09 is the first Yamaha hyper naked model to be equipped with a high-tech 6-axis IMU, one of the most sophisticated pieces of electronics in the industry.

Constantly measuring acceleration, pitch, roll and yaw, the 6-axis IMU is able to send data in real-time to the ECU which controls the electronic rider aids.

The class-leading array of rider aids includes lean sensitive Traction Control System (TCS), Slide Control System (SCS) as well as a front wheel lift control system (LIF) and Brake Control system (BC).

The new 3.5-inch TFT full colour display shows clear and precise data. Its lightweight construction and mid-sized layout has been chosen to blend seamlessly with the new LED headlight assembly and maintain the compact and agile feeling from the rider’s viewpoint.

The MT-09’s new headlight design is pure MT with next generation looks. The full LED headlight assembly features a single central bifunctional projector headlight with multiple LEDs that provide a broad, even and powerful beam with soft edges.

Featuring 41mm tubes that give smooth suspension action and maintain their high levels of flex resistance even under the heaviest braking, the new lightweight high specification KYB front forks are fully adjustable for preload, compression and rebound damping.

The rear suspension linkage design has been changed and the new adjustable KYB rear shock is set up to suit the all-new chassis with reduced unsprung weight.

To match the higher engine performance and more dynamic chassis character, this high-tech Hyper Naked is only the second Yamaha model to be equipped with this YZF-R1-type front braking system.

Featuring a Nissin radial master cylinder in which the piston moves in a direction that’s parallel to the brake lever travel, this Supersport-class technology gives a more linear supply of hydraulic pressure to the dual front disc brakes for excellent controllability.

The new MT-09 will be available in three colours: Storm Fluo, Icon Blue and Tech Black. Deliveries to Australian Yamaha dealers will commence from February 2021. Pricing is yet to be confirmed.

Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin is the ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, a contributor at Bike Review and panel judge for Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.


  1. Great article, thank you. I’m very keen on seeing a review from a first ride. Do you know if Yamaha are planning to do a press launch (ridable) at some point this year, or with the current climate is that just not going to happen?

    • Hi Brett thaanks for the kind words. The 2021 MT-09 looks pretty exciting. Yamaha are currently in transition between their 2020 and 2021 press fleet so hopefully early new year we may have one to review

  2. Hi Calam I have reached out to our contact at Yamaha. Unfortunately there is no word on pricing for the 2021 model as yet and the official word is that pricing will be announced closer to its arrival. Sorry we can not provide anything more concrete


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