SPEARHEADING Hong Leong Yamaha’s lineup for 2018, the new MT-09 “Ultimate Streetfighter” has an all-new “face” to see off challenges from other manufacturers. However, the updates are not all skin-deep. The MT-09 also has several other updates to bolster its arsenal. The LED projector headlamp assembly resembles the unit from the MT-10, undoubtedly Yamaha’s best naked sports bike. The rear tail light assembly is revised with twin-row LEDs.
The chassis and engine remain the same, an 847cc, DOHC inline-triple producing 115hp at 10,000rpm and 87.5Nm of torque at 8,500rpm. The same six-speed gearbox is now equipped with Yamaha’s Assist & Slip (A&S) clutch that reduces clutch lever effort and prevents rear wheel slip during hard downshifts, an added development. Three riding modes remain, and traction control as well, but now the MT-09 gets a quickshifter (upshift only) for added sporting appeal. ABS, too, is now standard on the MT-09.
Front suspension on the MT-09 has also been upgraded and now features both compression and rebound adjustment in the 41mm diameter upside-down forks, while the rear retains the former model’s monoshock, adjustable for pre-load only.
Other details, such as the 14-litre tank and the 820 mm seat height, remain the same. Likewise, the dual 298mm diameter brake discs in front and a single disc at the back. Fully fuelled, the MT-09 is claimed to weigh 193kg.
Datuk Jim Khor, managing director of Hong Leong Yamaha Motor (HLYM), revealed that market figures show HLYM having 28 per cent of local market share of motorcycles above 200cc. In response to a query regarding further big-bike introductions, Datuk Jim Khor said HLYM is monitoring the market demand for the segment closely. One of the main factors would be the possibility of CKD for these new models and competitive pricing would depend on that factor mainly. The MT-09 is a good example of this and subsequently it shows in the very competitive price.
The MT-09 is expected to hit Yamaha dealers by the end of January with a sticker price of RM47,388 including GST. This puts the MT-09 squarely against the Triumph Street Triple S, priced at RM49,000, the Kawasaki Z900 at RM49,158.00 and the Honda CB650F at RM44,995.