As motorcycle fans, many of us always want something more, and/or something different than what’s currently being offered to us by manufacturers. Take the latest Ducati Monster redesign (no, really, please, you can have it), which is a perfect illustration of how divisive change can be. Half of us want new, fantastic, different designs, while the other half likes what we like, and doesn’t embrace change easily.
That’s where designer Kar Lee, the artist behind Kardesign Koncepts, comes in. Digital tinkerers like him come in and address the things we wish existed, but unfortunately don’t. At least, they don’t yet. That Ducati Monster redesign? Lee waved his magic wand to show us what it might look like in an alternate universe. In February, 2021, Lee took us on the visual journey of how a Triumph Daytona 1200 might look. It’s fun to imagine the possibilities, isn’t it?
In June, 2021, we’re living in a post-Yamaha YZF-R7-reveal world. While rumors had been flowing for some time, the reality of it—as all realities do—pleased some riders, and irritated others. One thing that Lee supposes a lot of middleweight sportbike fans can agree on is that there’s every reason for Yamaha to consider making an MT-09-derived R9 next.
After all, Lee’s original suggestion of an MT-09-based R9 design first started making the Internet rounds back in 2017, which is forever ago in bike years. Since then, both the MT-09 and Lee’s ensuing updated designs have shifted into the design you now see before you. Lee’s new design incorporates the updated CP2 engine and componentry found on the 2021 MT-09, as well as some of the styling cues that make it fit right in stylistically with the rest of the current Yamaha family.
Racier ergonomics, and a thoroughly modern take on R-family fairings that bear a distinct family resemblance to what Yamaha’s already producing seem like an extremely logical conclusion. Would you be into an R9 if Yamaha decided to produce one, and would you want it to look like this if it did? Why or why not?