- Jun 13, 2013
- Reaction score
Completely new large capacity bikes are rare in these austere times, and for one to be formed around a brand new engine – which so firmly breaks with the maker’s recent tradition – is even more unusual.
But triples are where it’s at right now, and Yamaha has been wise to couple the configuration of the moment with further rider feedback around use, emotion, and pricing.
We are demanding greater flexibility from our bikes as more and more of us use them for a wider range of riding enjoyment and benefits. An emotional connection to justify the space in your garage isn’t necessarily enough in isolation anymore.
The ability to mix weekend kicks with weekday commuting skills is shooting up the table of requirements, unbreakably shackled to the keenest awareness of value for money since litre superbikes price tags started with an eight.
With £3-5k being the hotspot in dealers’ rapidly diminishing used stockpiles, there’s little opportunity for manufacturers to tempt us onto a new ten grand bike.
But we could feasibly be swayed by a sub-£7k newbie, brandishing an attractive finance deal and a bulletproof warranty.
It may not be time travel, but the market is certainly seeing a shift back to the values that once drove incredible growth in motorcycling. Affordable, fun, edgy bikes, pressed into mundane duties, then let off the leash come the weekend.
The MT-09 is certainly aiming to deliver that versatility, and without the requirement for a GCHQ full of super computers to ensure the wheels are spinning at the right rate for your angle of lean, throttle position, and sense of self importance.
Only ten years ago a middle of the range naked would have slipped beneath the radar regardless of its skills – just like Honda’s CB900 Hornet did. Few hated it, even fewer loved it, and vast numbers simply failed to acknowledge its existence.
The MT-09, though, has caused a storm, and so it should. We should all care about bikes like this, they’re made for today’ needs, roads, extents of legally tolerable hedonism, and our ever more pressured pockets. And it’s unlikely to be alone in the model range.
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