Yamaha MT-09: Introspection
- Oct 13, 2017
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We spent quite a bit of time with the 2016 Yamaha MT-09 (read review here) and absolutely loved it. Its compact dimensions, comfy ergonomics, sharp steering and manic motor had us floored. The only grouse we had with it was the soft suspension that was barely able to keep up with the performance and the limited adjustability it offered. The current generation, however, did get minor suspension updates with a new design that looked more up with the times. That said, here’s the good news for MT-09 lovers. News floating on the Internet suggests that Yamaha might possibly launch the MT-09 SP at EICMA.
For context, the MT-10 SP is a high-spec derivative of the MT-10. It gets a semi-active Ohlins suspension from the YZF-R1M which automatically adjusts rebound and compression settings on the go for superior handling and grip in all conditions. It also gets a quickshifter and comes in silver and blue carbon paint schemes.
Leaked documents point towards the MT-09 SP, one of the five upcoming bikes based on the MT-09. We can safely expect the MT-09 SP to come with the exclusive SP colours of silver and blue carbon. However, Yamaha might not go overboard by equipping the MT-09 with the Semi-active Ohlins electronic suspension as costs would be prohibitively high. Instead, you can expect fully-adjustable front and rear Ohlins.
The documents also reveal that performance will remain unchanged. Not that we were complaining in the first place. The stock 847cc in-line triple makes 115PS and 87.5Nm of torque which, in a bike that has a kerb weight of just 191kg, makes for a highly capable street bike. The MT-09 SP might get a quickshifter though.
Will the MT-09 SP come to India? Well, Yamaha India has stopped selling the previous generation MT-09 here and has not divulged any plans about getting the current generation bike here. Another issue is, being a CBU, the previous generation MT-09 costs a whopping Rs 11.36 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). Considering the fact that the premium suspension alone would increase the current-gen MT-09 SP’s price by more than a lakh, the bike would easily end up in the price realm of litre-class nakeds. Moreover, with the recently launched Triumph Street Triple RS, which makes 122PS and sports high-spec suspension parts, offering so much at Rs 10.55 lakh (ex-showroom, India), a CBU Yamaha MT-09 does not make much sense. Now, if Yamaha could get the MT-09 SP via the CKD route, it would drop the price, but not by enough to get it down to the magical 10.5 lakh bracket. We, though, hope that Yamaha pulls a rabbit out of the hat and gets the MT-09 SP here priced around the Rs 10 lakh bracket. That’d be something.
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