Yamaha dared … finally! After decades, the manufacturer has returned to a type of engine completely neglected by Japan: the 3-cylinder. This pleasant architecture, steeped in qualities, has now become the Triumph specialty, the virulence of Benelli, the frivolity of MV-Agusta…. In short, a seal of Europe.
How far is Yamaha’s last 3 legs. 30 years separate c MT-09 from its distant ancestor, the XS 850. Rebored version of the XSE 750, the machine spit at the time 79 hp and accused 257 kg. His career ended in 1983, and with him the epic of the triple.
A shattering comeback has taken place! With this boiler, enclosed in a machine which is intended to be an agitator of the dark streets as much as a companion of sensations. Three bowls back to the manufacturer with triple tuning fork, it deserved a little technical chapter.
Presented as a concept, the CP3 is a completely new engine, benefiting from the best of electronics developed by Yam. With super-square ribs of 78 x 59.1 mm, it promotes lively and sporty climbs. Its total cubic capacity reaches 847 cm3. The valves, 31 mm at the intake and 29 at the exhaust, are placed at a closed angle of 26.5 °. This enables ultra compact combustion chambers. The 12-hole injectors are mounted directly on the cylinder head. As for the intake horns, each is allocated a different length in order to create separate conditions in each cylinder – the first horn is 102.88mm long, the second 82.8mm, and the third 122.8mm. These 3 "mini characters" allow you to create complementary torque and power curves. .
With this boiler, Yamaha announces the arrival of the Cross-plane philosophy on a roadster branded with its coat of arms. However, nothing exceptional compared to the other 3 legs of the sector. The crankshaft is set at 120 °, which provides an ignition sequence at constant intervals of 0 °, 240 ° and 480 °. The trick: this type of timing is regular for a triple but asynchronous compared to a 4-cylinder, hence this "cross-plane taste", that only the R1 could claim in Japanese machines. Torque, motor skills, responder, without waiting for phew diets! Yamaha is very proud to have introduced this engine timing on a production machine. We have been waiting for it for a long time on a new FZ1 but it is the MT-09 which will have benefited first from this character.With a weight of 60 kg, this block weighs about 10 kg less than the 4 cylinders of the FZ8. This is a big part of the MT-09’s featherweight. However, it is not the leader in the field: the 800 cm3 of MV-Agusta sets the bar at 52 kg.
The engine manufacturers and engineers nevertheless gave themselves to their hearts content to give good references to this engine. New specific 6-speed gearbox, special oil pan, new type of timing chain tensioner, simplified arrangement of hoses for less weight and a purified visual appearance, forged aluminum pistons with fractured head connecting rods, and of course, high density electronics.
Beyond the barbaric abbreviations (YCC-T and D-mode), let’s simplify by mentioning that this mill is controlled by a ride-by-wire type throttle control and an injection map selector. Three choices are available: STD (standard), A and B. The STD for normal use, the A for a more sporty response, and the B for less virulence, more suited to difficult conditions (rain, rotten roads, driving in built-up areas, etc …).
No pretense: Yam has put the package for his 3 legs opening a new era for his engines. Sine qua non condition to land on a ground where the Street Triple reigns in reference, and where the Brutale B3 badly have their say. But the battle is not won on the engine alone. The style should be punchy as well as attractive. The MT-09 may well be inspired by the hidden and unconventional face of Japan, it seems rather wise, far from the small exacerbated strikes that Europe has been able to generate. We find behind him a few pieces of MT-03, a hint of mischief and a touch of torture in his spirit of stylistic harmony. Everyone will have their own opinion on this daring…. very shy for my taste (but that only engages me).
The mechanics and the chassis will be delighted to be highlighted so much. Unlike a Z 800 which hides everything it can under a plastic parade, the MT-09 shows off its superb aluminum frame. As on the pioneer MT-01, it consists of a pair of die-cast aluminum elements, screwed to the steering column and the swingarm axle..
A suspension sketch specifically created for him takes place. In order to limit the distance between the footrests, the axis is not fixed to the frame but to an intermediate piece. Reinforced on the left and banana type on the right, this arm is the companion of a suspension profile unheard of at Yam. The shock absorber is placed almost horizontally, with a refined rebound and preload adjustment. A 41mm inverted fork mounts in the front, featuring only rebound adjustment. 4-piston radial brake calipers control 298mm rotors. The 14 liter tank is not very big; however, Yamaha announces up to 240 km of autonomy thanks to the efforts made on the consumption of 3 cylinders.
On the scale side, the chassis claims 10 kg less than that of an FZ8. The agility and behavior of a motorcycle not only playing on the weight, the effort was also focused on the centralization of the masses. Hence the positioning of the shock absorber, the short exhaust and its tranquilization bowl located under the engine. Compact, with a lively profile and with a wide, relatively high handlebar, the MT-09 offers a tight and elevated riding position, with a predisposition to style as well as driving pleasure. Yamaha offers its original roadster new commodos, footrests, a gear selector and a brake pedal in forged aluminum as well as a strange, narrow but nonetheless complete full digital dashboard.
The MT-09 promises a lot of sensations and almost a new experience for the user. Yamaha finally offers a response to the wave of streetfighters with a strong personality in Europe. It is also the only Japanese machine powered by a 3 cylinder. The machine has proven itself in a very good way and is at the same time efficient, playful and captivating. Curiosity was the warning shot, the price accompanies with joviality, and this roadster has taken a very good place in the territory.
M.B – Photos and manufacturer video
What you must remember
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MT-09 850 2014
Model marketed in
about 230 km / h
The technical aspect
Yamaha MT-09 850 2015
- Tank: 14 liters
- Width: 815 mm
- Height: 1,135 mm
- Wheelbase: 1440 mm
- Dry weight: 171 kg
- Weight in running order: 188/191 kg
- Train before
- Secondary chain transmission
- Rear axle
(78 x 59.1 mm)
at 10,000 rpm
at 8,500 rpm