The all-new Yamaha MT-09 naked bike has arrived at $10,999 (plus on-road costs).
It promises to be a flexible weapon able to mix it with the big boys on weekend jaunts, handle weekday commuting duties and even tour.
Yamaha Australia communications manager Sean Goldhawk says they have “heaps of pre-orders” with about 350 on the books already.
He says the target market is males, urban dwellers, early 20s to late 30s who are stepping up from smaller capacity bikes or stepping down from supersport.
“Riders who want one bike to do everything but in a unique, exciting way,” he says.
At the heart of the Yamaha MT-09 is a new 847cc triple engine with 85kW of power and 85Nm of torque.
It also has an aluminium frame, upside-down forks, monocross horizontal shock, a 14-litre tank and weighs in at just 188kg.
This naked motard style bike is becoming more popular as manufacturers find a niche to fill the rapidly decreasing sportsbike market.
It’s rare for a major manufacturer to produce a totally new larger-capacity bike these days, so Yamaha has a lot at stake with this model.
Product planner Oliver Grill explains: “Going faster at slower speeds is the aim, because there aren’t many places where you can ride at high speeds any more.”
Their answer is a lightweight naked bike with an upright riding position, crisp throttle response and enough power and torque to entertain.
Big triple engines are not new to Yamaha. In the 1970s, they developed the XS750/850 triples and more recently as outboard and snowmobile engines.
It uses Yamaha’s crossplane “big bang” technology with a 120-degree crank to give it plenty of torque and a mean growl from the stubby underslung exhaust. Yamaha also claims the unequal intake valves give it an equally pleasant intake note.
Although it comes with only a 14-litre fuel tank, Yamaha claims it will achieve 240+km of range thanks to a lightweight fuel pump.