Thumbing the motor starts to bring the smile back to my face. It sounds crisp with the classic Triple cylinder cyclic rattle. It sounds like an inline 4 and then suddenly every split second there’s an extra beat that you’re not expecting and is the signature of the triple. The riding position is fantastic once you’re moving, with high bars and roomy ergos you quickly forget how low the seat is. Twist the throttle and the thing just GOES! The acceleration really took me by surprise as with the soft suspension and easy ergonomics, I wasn’t expecting sportsbike take offs! The front gets light immediately and the whole package makes sense. It’s ridiculously easy to ride, turns effortlessly and stays planted. The brakes are very good, excellent bite though I only braked down from 100KMPH so not sure how they bring you back from 200. The dive under brakes is terrible but I will come to suspension in a bit. I gunned it more and more to see if the top end was as good as the bottom and mid-range and it is. Upto 10K RPM I think it revs and it pulls cleanly throughout. One does not need any more acceleration than this thing provides.
The 2 glitches that most reviews talk about are the snatchy fuelling and the suspension.
The snatchy fuelling, I can happily confirm, does not exist. Well, at least it didn’t on the bike I tested. It may have been sorted. The throttle response was perfect in A mode (the most aggressive), much easier to control than the Brutale. I wouldn’t change modes on this thing at any time except maybe when its raining. A is perfect.
The suspension has been called out, in almost every review, as a weakness. And while I take journos opinions with a grain of salt, this time I concur. It is just squishy, soft and wallowy. Dives under braking like a seagull chasing a discarded chip. As a result it is very comfortable but most unsettling charging corners hard. The whole ship is pogoing around you. The suspension is adjustable I’m told but I think you will need to spend some good coin to get it sorted.
But herein lies the brilliance of the MT09. It is so cheap, you can afford to buy a brand new one, throw 2 grand at the suspension and it will still be cheaper than used bikes from the competition. Yamaha have hit the ball out of the park on the value for money stakes with this thing. It has unbelievable performance for what it costs.
The best thing about the MT09 is that despite its cheap entry price and substantial performance, it’s perfectly neutral and so easy to ride that one feels comfortable at any lean angle and any speed, almost immediately.
After my test ride, I looked up some MT09s on internet forums and I reckon with a bit work, the bike can be turned into a real weapon and a looker.
Overall I was amazed that the performance of the 21K Brutale RR and the 12K MT09 was very similar and with a 14K MT09 (with upgraded suspension), it would be dead even. You would really WANT that MV to spend 21K on a brand new one.
I then rode a Ducati Streetfighter 848 >>