2019 Yamaha MT-09

One of motorcycling’s best bangs for the buck

2019 Yamaha MT-09
2019 Yamaha MT-09Yamaha Motors

Don't get caught out by the name change, Yamaha's MT-09 is the same ol' FZ-09 that we've known and loved since its debut in 2014. And what a debut! Cycle World Editor-in-Chief Mark Hoyer called the torquey triple a game changer, and the bike has only improved since. Updates in 2017 yielded a new fork and improved throttle response, addressing our biggest gripes with what was otherwise one of the best bargains on the market. Other past upgrades—ABS, a slipper-type clutch, traction control, and an optional quickshifter—keep the '19 MT-09 in the hunt against its accomplished peers, including the Kawasaki Z900 and Triumph Street Triple.

Why all the love? Most of the credit goes to one of the most thrilling engines in motorcycling. The 847cc inline-three is brilliant. Seemingly equal parts horsepower and character, the middleweight mill makes more than 105 wheelie-friendly rear-wheel horsepower. Add in a sporty aluminum chassis and a fabulous exhaust note, then sell the whole thing with an MSRP just under $9,000, and it’s easy to understand why the MT-09 is a perennial favorite around our editorial offices.

Likes: Engine. Engine. Engine. One of the rowdiest in the business.

Dislikes: Some rough edges let down the righteous powerplant

Verdict: Like bargains? Like wheelies? Look no further.

Cycle World's Annual Ten Best Bikes

The Yamaha FZ-09 was a Ten Best pick in 2014 (Best Middleweight) and ’15 (Best Standard) before it traded the crown in ’16 to its stablemate, the XSR900. “Killer power from its 847cc inline-triple and a low dry weight of 396 pounds make it an exceptionally exciting bike to ride.”

2019 Yamaha MT-09 Reviews And Comparisons

Think of the MT-09 as the bargain-hunter’s choice. Killer horsepower attracts us more than compromise but, if we’re honest, most of us enjoy a well-balanced motorcycle more than we do machines with too much of everything. A midsize triple might be “the Goldilocks solution”—just right.

2019 Yamaha MT-09 Competition

The middleweight class has lots of contenders. The Triumph Street Triple, for example, will give the MT-09 a run for its money, albeit for a lot more money. Perhaps the MT-09’s greatest competition comes from within Yamaha, from the Tracer GT sport-tourer to the retro XSR900 and the weirdly wonderful Niken.

2019 Yamaha MT-09 Specifications And Pricing

The numbers tell the story: $8,999 buys an awful lot of motorcycle. With ABS and traction control on every 2019 MT-09, the sole mechanical option is a GYTR quickshifter kit for $160. Three colors are available this year: Ice Fluo, Matte Raven Black, or Team Yamaha Blue.

Manufacturer Claimed Specifications

Price $8,999
Engine Liquid-cooled, DOHC three-cylinder
Displacement 847cc
Bore x Stroke 78.0mm x 59.1mm
Horsepower N/A
Torque N/A
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Chain
Seat Height 32.3 in.
Rake 25.0°
Trail 4.1 in.
Front Suspension 41mm, fully adjustable; 5.4-in. travel
Rear Suspension Adjustable preload/rebound damping; 5.1-in. travel
Front Tire 120/70-17
Rear Tire 180/55-17
Fuel Capacity 3.7 gal.
Wheelbase 56.7 in.
Claimed Wet Weight 425 lb.

Cycle World Tested Specifications (2017 FZ-09)

Seat Height 32.2 in.
Wet Weight 406 lb.
Rear-Wheel Horsepower 105.4 hp @ 9,980 rpm
Rear-Wheel Torque 60.5 lb.-ft. @ 8,460 rpm
0–60 mph 2.9 sec.
1/4-mile 10.98 sec. @ 123.07 mph
Braking 30–0 mph 33 ft.
Braking 60–0 mph 133 ft.
2019 Yamaha MT-09 Left Rear
2019 Yamaha MT-09 Left RearYamaha
2019 Yamaha MT-09 Right Front
2019 Yamaha MT-09 Right FrontYamaha