Yamaha knocked it out of the park in 2014 when it launched its sporty and versatile MT-09, a revision of the bike that had been often known as the FZ-09 in North American markets. Yamaha continued to enhance the machine with numerous upgrades all through its first two generations, main as much as a big 2021 overhaul that introduced a larger-displacement 890cc inline-triple engine with YZF-R1 superbike-derived electronics and an all-new chassis. The venerable MT-09 was remodeled, considerably higher in each side, with a much-improved grin-per-mile issue as we lined in our first journey evaluate of the 2021 mannequin.
However Yamaha needed much more out of its middleweight hypernaked. Enter the MT-09 SP, an up-spec variant with high-quality KYB and Öhlins suspension elements and an added cruise management operate. Including to the premium really feel are the SP’s distinctive YZF-R1M-inspired tricolor scheme, polished swingarm, and double stitching on the seat, amongst different particulars.
The cruise management operate is a pleasing shock that provides additional versatility to the MT-09 SP. This module on the left handlebar change housing is intuitive and clean whether or not it’s getting you to and out of your favourite twisty street, serving to together with your commute, or for logging freeway miles. Pace modifications are made in single-mph increments by way of the toggle change, offering the transmission is in fourth gear or larger and velocity is a minimum of 31 mph. Canceling cruise management may be finished by pulling the clutch lever or making use of the brakes. A noticeable advantage of the system is improved gas effectivity, as seen on a 40-mile Southern California freeway loop throughout which the bike squeezed out a formidable 57 mpg. Our wallets and wrists give thanks.
By far probably the most important change to the up-spec SP is the premium suspension. In fact, suspension on practically each motorbike is an space open for enchancment, however that enchancment normally comes at a hefty price; producers are acutely aware of this, so up-spec fashions with top-shelf damping elements are normally out there in solely restricted portions. However these bikes are usually value each penny.
The MT-09 SP is fitted with a Diamond Like Carbon-coated KYB fork adjustable for separate high- and low-speed compression damping in addition to rebound damping and spring preload; the bottom MT-09 options only a single compression adjustment. A trick Öhlins shock is adjustable for compression and rebound damping, plus spring preload by way of a distant adjuster. Merely put, the SP is in a distinct class.
As soon as the brand new suspension is dialed in, it solely takes a single informal journey nearly anyplace on the MT-09 SP to note how a lot better the suspension absorbs smaller bumps and and glides over imperfections as in the event that they weren’t even there. The lowered stiction of the elements helps in absorbing more durable hits and supplies a extra planted, assured really feel. Tire stress turns into extra noticeable for small bump absorption, for the reason that upgraded suspension has a a lot smoother and extra responsive stroke motion and performs a bigger half in absorption and compliance. Deciding on chilly pressures of 30 psi entrance and 32 psi rear appeared to offer the perfect stability of grip and journey.
Separate high- and low-speed compression damping changes on the fork are very useful, permitting the rider to focus on a distinct compression response relying on whether or not or not the brakes are being utilized. Preserving in thoughts that high- and low-speed compression damping clearly work collectively, high-speed damping is primarily chargeable for bump absorption, because it’s a faster motion; low-speed compression happens extra usually throughout braking and entrance finish dive.
The MT-09 SP could be very aware of suspension modifications due to how effectively it really works as a complete bundle. My very own closing suspension settings, labored out to carry out finest on twisty and considerably bumpy mountain roads taken in second via fifth gear, are: Fork preload with 4 strains exhibiting; rebound damping at 11 clicks out; high-speed compression at a most 5.5 seems; low-speed compression at 9 clicks out. I set the rear shock preload at 6.75 turns from full smooth, rebound damping at 9 clicks out, and compression at six clicks out. Within the spirit of full data, spring size is 153mm; sag with rider is 27mm.
After sampling the MT-09′s digital rider support suite, I settled on holding the traction management system (TCS) disabled for probably the most uncooked and visceral using expertise, aided solely by the Yamaha’s very good chassis. Deactivating the TCS additionally turns off the slide management (SCS) and wheelie management (LIF) capabilities, leaving management solely within the rider’s wrist (CSITRW). Tractable energy supply and a beneficiant, flat unfold of torque under 7,000 rpm, the place I spent most of my time, constructed confidence for unrestricted but conscious acceleration. At ripping speeds, I discovered choosing slight intervention from TCS 1 is useful to restrict threat whereas attaining most nook exit velocity. Likewise, selecting probably the most highly effective engine mode, Mode 1, provides to the MT’s sporty prowess, as Mode 2 dials again midrange supply barely. Modes 3 and 4 reduce important quantities of energy and are most relevant in moist or slippery situations.
There are a number of shortcomings to the SP, nonetheless. As spectacular because the wheelie-capable top-end energy in fourth and fifth gear could also be, buying and selling it for bottom-end and midrange grunt between 3,000 and 6,000 rpm would higher swimsuit the best way most riders will spend their time with the revs; nonetheless, given how linear the facility supply truly is, it’s arduous to search out fault. Some nitpicks: Decreasing the handlebar for a extra aggressive stance would higher swimsuit backroad antics, as would a nipped and tucked clutch cowl so riders may attain floor with out contacting the engine. Trivial gadgets, to make sure, because the MT-09 SP is such a well-rounded machine to start with.
Yamaha’s main redesign of the 2021 MT-09 ($9,399) took an enormous stride ahead when it comes to each efficiency and refinement. But the MT-09 SP ($10,999) takes it a step additional. Improved damping traits and compliance provides to its sportiness, the cruise management will increase its versatility. No, the value hole isn’t small. However the result’s a house run.
2021 Yamaha MT-09 SP Specs
|Engine:||DOHC, liquid-cooled inline-triple; 4 valves/cyl.|
|Bore x Stroke:||78.0 x 62.1mm|
|Cycle World Measured Horsepower:||107.21 hp @ 9,930 rpm|
|Cycle World Measured Torque:||63.32 lb.-ft. @ 7,030 rpm|
|Gasoline System:||Gasoline injection w/ 41mm throttle our bodies|
|Clutch:||Moist, multiplate; help and slipper|
|Engine Administration/Ignition:||YCC-T ride-by-wire/TCI|
|Body:||Die-cast aluminum Deltabox body|
|Entrance Suspension:||41mm KYB inverted fork, adjustable excessive/low-speed compression, rebound, spring preload; 5.1 in. journey|
|Rear Suspension:||Öhlins monoshock, adjustable compression, rebound, spring preload; 4.8 in. journey|
|Entrance Brake:||Nissin grasp cylinder, twin 298mm discs w/ ABS|
|Rear Brake:||245mm disc w/ ABS|
|Wheels, Entrance/Rear:||Spin-forged 10-spoke aluminum|
|Tires, Entrance/Rear:||Bridgestone Battlax S22, 120/70-17/ 180/55-17|
|Floor Clearance:||5.5 in.|
|Seat Peak:||32.5 in.|
|Gasoline Capability:||3.7 gal.|
|Cycle World Measured Moist Weight:||422 lb.|
CW Measured Efficiency
|Quarter-Mile:||11.22 sec. @ 125.77 mph|
|High-Gear Roll-On, 40–60 mph:||2.72 sec.|
|High-Gear Roll-On, 60–80 mph:||2.98 sec.|
|Braking, 30–0:||35.96 ft.|
|Braking, 60–0:||135.09 ft.|