Without any pomp and circumstance, Yamaha sneakily added an overhauled 2020 MT-03 to its lineup. Not only that; the company also confirmed that with the new model-year, the MT-03 is finally crossing the pond and coming to the United States.
The Yamaha MT-03 as we know it today was introduced as a small displacement offering in 2016—from 2006 to 2014, the nameplate was weirdly used to designate a 660cc model. It became the naked 300 two years later and has been offered on most markets around the world, except in North America.
We won’t be left behind anymore—along with the 2020 updates, Yamaha is making the move to bring its baby MT stateside. Changes for the new model year include a facelift. The single headlamp is replaced with a dual headlight design complete with a central light pod—from the front, it looks like an angry Rudolf. The new cowl and side panels design give the tiny MT a more aggressive presence.
Gallery: 2020 Yamaha MT-03
The model is underlined by the same powerplant as the YZF-R3, a 321cc parallel-twin teamed with a six-speed transmission—a promising and definitely fun powertrain to whip around as we’ve been able to experience earlier this year. If it’s anything like the R3, the MT-03 won’t feel like a small bike, despite its entry-level status. The naked model weighs 473 lb, which is 5 lb heavier than the non-ABS R3 and 2 lb lighter than the ABS version.
The 03 also receives a new set of suspension, with a 370mm KYB inverted fork at the front and a preload adjustable shock at the back. The 17-inch Y-spoke wheels carried over from the previous generation are fitted with a 298-mm brake disc at the front and a 220-mm circle at the back. It will also be offered with standard ABS.
Also new with this model is the addition of an LCD instrument cluster. The new 2020 Yamaha MT-03 is offered at a starting price of $4,599, $400 cheaper than the non-ABS YZF-R3. The new model will be available in February 2020.