The Yamaha MT-03 is the latest in a deluge of quality learner bikes hitting the showrooms since the laws on learner bikes have become uniform across the country this year.
It’s a small version of the big MT-01 “Kodo” style, but instead of a 1670cc V-twin, it’s powered by the torquey single-cylinder 600cc engine from the Tenere adventure bike.
However, the Yamaha MT-03 is a naked bike built for the urban landscape, rather than the country.
Yamaha calls the MT-03 a “roadstermotard”.
Whatever you call it, the bike is great value at $9999 (plus on-road costs). Until September 25, Yamaha is paying all on-road costs, making it an even more attractive option.
From the images supplied it looks like a comfortable commuter and weekend short-distance sprinter.
The rider seat looks plush and the bars are set high and back for an easy reach.
It features underseat exhausts, yet the pillion seat hasn’t been compromised with a nice thick cushion, although the grab handles appear a bit close to the megaphone mufflers. Yamaha says they are protected by a resin shield.
We haven’t heard it yet, but if it’s like the Tenere it should have a juicy note. Plus it has a big 5.9 litre airbox, so it should have a good induction sound as well.
It has a rigid tubular steel diamond truss-type frame with the engine as a stressed
member. It also has a tensile steel tension bar on the right to counteract the additional forces of the asymmetrical lateral rear suspension like on the MT-01 concept.
Benefits of a horizontal side-mounted shock include a slimmer chassis in the middle and a better centre of gravity for agile handling.
The one-piece alloy swingarm has a relay arm that projects forward of the pivot point,
where it connects with the base of the shock. Together with a steep steering rake and compact 1420mm wheelbase, it suggest a bike that will turn quickly and nimbly in the traffic.
The 15-litre nylon fuel tank is claimed to give about 300km of range which should be more than enough for its urban and short-distance country riding duties.
It doesn’t come with ABS, but it does have big dual 298mm front discs with floating twin piston calipers which is pretty good for a bike weighing less than 200kg.
The Yamaha MT-03 arrives in black or white and “urban attack’’ accessories such as a fly screen, skid plate, hand guards, radiator cover, single seat cover, engine guards, roller protectors and Akrapovic slip-on muffler.
Warranty: 24 months, unlimited km, parts and labour
Engine: 660cc, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC, 4-valve single
Bore x stroke: 100 x 84mm
Transmission: 5-speed, chain drive
Suspension: telescopic forks, swingarm, horizontal monoshock with spring
Brakes: hydraulic dual 298mm discs (front), 245mm (rear)
Tyres 120/70-17; 160/60-17
Wet weight: 192.4kg
Fuel tank: 15 litres