2019 Yamaha MT-09 Review and Test Drive

Written by The Duke of DC.
Written by The Duke of DC.

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Have you ever been told you wouldn’t like something so many times that you ultimately never try it for yourself? Years go by where you think negatively towards this thing, you tell others to avoid it, you judge it from afar, and yet still you’ve never tried it. Then, one fateful day you finally give it a chance… and through the blaring embarrassment of squandered years, you emerge enlighted.
In a nutshell, that summarizes my newfound love of the Yamaha MT-09. Years of lost time, but I have no interest in dwelling on the past. Not now… not after riding this class altering triple. The 2019 Yamaha MT-09 is the Hypermotard you didn’t know existed, and I’m here to tell you why.

Overview of the 2019 Yamaha MT-09 Test Drive – My Newfound Love

I had the very fortunate experience of riding the 2019 Yamaha MT-09 directly after the MT-07 and I have since ridden the MT-10, capping off the trifecta that is these true Masters of Torque (“MT”). Within moments you know you’re on an aggressive machine. The seating position is raked forward putting you in the perfect position to hoon around as one would on a more traditional supermoto or hypermotard. Steering is much more direct and at times you’ll even find yourself wanting to kick that foot out as a counter balance (Warning: Do Not Attempt). Regardless of all the tech, specs, and features, what it all boils down to is the 3 cylinder crossplane masterpiece under the hood.
Watch my test drive here:


The 2019 Yamaha MT-09 Top Speed,  Engine, and Horsepower

Nestled snug between your legs, the MT-09 houses a 847cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder equipped with Yamaha’s crossplane crank technology. This is one of two MT models wielding such technology. The other being the elder MT-10, or should I say the Charizard to the MT-09’s Charmeleon. The crossplane crank motors from Yamaha are some of the most unique sounding, character driven units on the market. On the MT-09, you get 114.9 horsepower @ 10,000 rpm and 65 lbf⋅ft or torque @ 8,500 rpm. All of that power takes you up to an estimated top speed of 140 miles per hour. Now, although I didn’t get anywhere close to that top speed I can attest to the sheer socket ripping power of the MT-09.

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The 2019 Yamaha MT-09 Crossplane Crankshaft [Explained]

Crossplane refers to the location of the crankpins at a 90° angle compared to each other. As these crankpins sit in two planes, crossed at 90°, you therefore get a crossplane crankshaft. Now, some of you are likely asking yourselves, why? Well, the crossplane crankshaft is designed to reduce inertia torque created by the engine. These engines produce massive amounts of torque and reducing the inertial torque coming from the engines internal moving parts improves throttle response and reduces vibration for the rider. The crossplane crankshaft technology vastly improves the rideability for the MT-09. I’ve skimmed the details and simplified a very complex topic, so to read more about this advancement from Yamaha, click here. This is yet another great example of race bred technology integrated into consumer motorsports. See, it’s all about balance and harmony and it’s no surprise to me that Yamaha, as a parent company, creates beautifully tuned musical instruments. The MT-09 isn’t far off from a grand piano… just a little bit louder….probably.

Yamaha MT-09 Price

The 2019 Yamaha MT-09 has an MSRP of $8,999. As discussed in my 2019 MT-07 review, The MT-07 and the MT-09 are the most popular of the MT model group and have similar sales across the country. Both of these bikes are top sellers, routinely coming in the top 20 among on-road motorcycles. From a 2018 vs. 2019 perspective, there are now significantly more 2019s on dealership lots. If you want a 2018, you’ll have to speak with a few dealers to find the right one. If you shop with GoRollick, you can get an upfront, transparent price when you’re ready to buy, so make sure to check that out.
And if you need to finance the MT-09, you should read the definitive guide to motorcycle financing to learn all the tips and tricks to get the best deal possible. If you have challenges getting financed, GoRollick has created a low credit financing guide to help you make smart decisions and get the best rates when buying your next bike.

The 2019 Yamaha MT-09 Specs, Tech, and Features

Being the middle of the pack MT, you do get a few lovely upgrades over the MT-07, although for that lower price, Yamaha certainly leaves some features off the table, when compared to the MT-10. On the MT-09 you’ll find 41mm fully adjustable, inverted forks with 5.4-in travel in the front and a single shock with adjustable preload/rebound and 5.1 inches of travel in the rear. In my opinion, this alone is worth the $1,400 increase over the MT-07, truly. Braking is being performed by dual 298mm hydraulic discs in the front and a single 245mm hydraulic disc in the rear, with ABS coming standard on the MT-09. A nice feature on the MT-09 is the LED front and rear lighting.
Rider information is shown through the LCD display, which was easy to ready and had all the stats you’d hope to see in a passing glance. The MT-09 hosts a pretty decent array of electronics, all stemming from the ride-by-wire Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T®) system. You still have A, Standard, and B rider modes for this year, although the MT-10 has moved to a 1,2,3 system, so I’m sure the MT-09 is soon to follow. You’ll also be spoiled with adjustable traction control settings, which can be changed from the riders left hand controls. All and all a pretty buttoned-up system, especially considering it only gets better on the MT-10.

The 2019 Yamaha MT-09 Gas Mileage, Weight, and Chassis:

For all you spec hungry readers, the Yamaha MT-09 comes in at 425 lbs, putting it right in between the MT-07 and MT-10 and into that beautiful low 400s weight that gives this bike its flickable nature. You’re looking at an overall width of 32.1 inches, so lane splitting shouldn’t be an issue, and although the mirrors could be upgraded to bar end units, you’ll still find this bike to be narrower than most. For my vertically challenged friends like myself, you’re looking at a 32.3 inch seat height, and with a highly raked seat it can be a little tough to get those feet down. This also gives me the perfect opportunity to talk about my biggest complaint on the MT-09. The freakin clutch case cover is positioned ludicrously, as if to intentionally sit right where my right leg needs to go in order to get to the ground. This is a small issue, and similar to one I had while riding the 2018 Honda Rebel 300, which in both cases, had me fuming on multiple occasions.
Perhaps a redeeming factor, though, is the milage. You’ll be incredibly thankful at the pump with a 3.7 gallon tank and a whopping 44 miles per gallon. A bigger 5 gallon tank would be ideal, but that 44 mpg is legendary for a bike with this much power. ?

Final Say

The MT-09 has some big shoes to fill, and although it’s smack dab in the middle of two truly fantastic motorcycles, it really does a wonderful job of standing out as a unique bike from Yamaha. It even brought me back to my days riding the old KTM 1290 Super Duke R, which I write about in my Top 10 Motorcycles I’ve Ever Ridden article. The triple produces a really lovely amount of power and with that crossplane soundtrack, you’ll find your rides lasting longer and longer. Here’s the real winning sentiment for the MT-09…. at just $8,999 it really is an incredible value for money over its competitors, both within Yamaha and out in the world of motorsport.

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About the Duke of DC

You know, my father tells me that one of my first words was “carburetor” and after my 8th car and 5th motorcycle in my relatively short time on this earth, I’m starting to believe him. I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was 15 years old, and when I started DukeOfDC it was during a really difficult time in my life. I’m just an average Joe that loves anything on two wheels and wants to share that passion with the world. Check out my YouTube channel and follow me on Twitter.



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