Imagine back in 2014 when Yamaha Motors release the CP3 850cc 3-cylinder engine, as a darkside naked bike, and being one of the torquiest bike you can find and for the riders who wants the adrenaline rush everytime you open the throttle! MT-09 has re-positioned Yamaha as a top dog in the sport naked category.
Well…. i loved the torque so much I went and got one my self one back in 2015, and now fast forward to 2018, and Yamaha has updated the MT-09 with ABS, new electronics, like traction control and new headlamps and rear splash guards etc. So comparing with my own, MT-09 which i named it Hoonigan, so here is I’m definitely sure that the MT-09 is a superb value buy.
Riding out of Yamaha when i collected the test bike, the front tyre pressure was low (140kPa when ideally its should be 240kpi or 34psi) well I headed straight to the petrol pump to fill up the front and add and check the back tyre. Tyre pressure will significantly makes you handle the bike you’re riding, better!. Well, I’m going straight to the point here about the handling of the new MT-09, as this was also the issue with the previous generation MT-09. The suspensions are still soft even with the new suspension updated the 2018 model with adjustable spring preload and rebound-damping features at the front while the rear remains the same. I send to my trusty workshop Chia Motor just to get it harder, but its still felt too soft in the corners especially bumpy corners and at high speed on the highways with the new MT-09 tends to feel like floating if you ride on the uneven highways. The “floating” feel gets you the feeling like on a small boat and if the roads have ripple or holes with speed-up to 170km/h definitely feel like a speed boat and hit a big ripple you are most likely to get a baby wheelie or a minor tankslap ( i mean really minor) but don’t worry, if you are not riding it as hard as we did to test out the suspensions. As for city commuting riders the new suspensions are for comfy rides. but for more aggressive riders who really want to ride with all out with this torque machine gotta be ready, to set or change the suspension immediately according to the riders weight, or better look for an after market front springs and change the stock rear suspension for better handling, because you never utilised the full power of the MT-09 without this upgrade. But the designers at Yamaha said, the MT-09 was design for comfort street riding with enough torque from the 115hp CP3 engine to pull away from a Ferrari at the traffic light. Yamaha designed the suspensions softer for the mass market and so be it if you are not intending to change the suspension shock oils or just harden the suspension, Its still a great package to own for this CKD 2018 ABS MT-09 is a pretty good value for money consider all the new stuff you get with the 2018 model.
The new engine sound smooth actually too quite. Also updated mapping gives the throttle response instead of the twitchy throttle of the older model. The two step Traction Control when switching TC 1 and TC 2 need to off the throttle for a second and switching the TC off cannot be done without stopping,
The quick shift need to back off the throttle like 3% to get it shifting upgear but does not do down shifting but if over 4k rpm the quick shifter is smooth. Just need to get use to the quickshifter.
New LED Projector headlamp and Diavel looking LED rear lights makes the new addition to the Darkside!
When the MT-09 CKD was launched RM44,653 was the price tag for previous generation with GST but without roadtax and insurance, while the 2018 model was launched with price of RM47,388, so with additional of RM2,735 you will get 2-step Traction Control, ABS and Ride Mode, new designed covers and panels, a new splash guard design which now holds the number plate at the rear wheels instead of traditional jutting out from under the rear brake lights, and with updated front suspensions make the 2018 MT-09 a value buy for those who is looking for a thrilling ride! But I dont recommend to beginner’s bike even with the power modes. Riding even in the ’low-power B’ mode, most beginners who are not used to riding a sportbike could get themselves into trouble with the quickness and its torque!