The Yamaha MT-09, which received a thorough refresh for the 2021 model year, is undoubtedly the dream bike of many motorcyclist both novice and seasoned alike. For beginner riders in Europe, however, hopping aboard an MT-09 is something they could only dream about, as there's no way an A2 license holder would be permitted to pilot a 119-horsepower naked bike. This is about to change, as Yamaha will be releasing an A2-restricted MT-09 in 2022.
The 2021 Yamaha MT-09, showcased at Yamaha's booth in EICMA 2021, features completely redesigned styling and hardware. It has taken a quantum leap forward in comparison to its predecessor, which, quite honestly, was already quite an impressive machine. The new bike brings forth superbike levels of sophistication with its cutting-edge electronic tech consisting of IMU-powered electronic assists. The bike now has positional awareness thanks to a new six-axis IMU, which offers cornering ABS, traction control, front wheel lift control, and multiple ride modes for your convenience.
Underpinning this impressive tech is a redesigned chassis. It employs a lightweight aluminum frame that makes use of the engine as a stressed member. This results in a motorcycle that's lighter, more rigid, and more nimble than ever before. Yamaha has also taken the opportunity to revise the bike's suspension with more progressive and responsive springs and dampers complete with a full suite of adjustability. The alloy wheels, too, are completely new, and feature a sleeker, more slender, five-spoke pattern.
This brings us to the heart of the beast, an 890cc inline three-cylinder engine. In its unrestricted form, the new and improved CP3 pumps out a hefty 119 horsepower. Luckily for A2 license holders, the MT-09 will soon be available in a restricted version pumping out 47.5 horsepower. The same goes for the more premium MT-09 SP. As A2 license holders develop their skills and gradually transition into a full motorcycle license, the bike can likewise be de-restricted, allowing the rider to experience all 119 ponies at full force.
This serves as a huge step forward when it comes to the mass-appeal of the MT-09, as the bike was previously reserved for more seasoned riders. The launch of the A2-restricted version of the MT-09 will surely broaden its market, and maybe invite even more young riders into the fold. With the new XSR900 recently announced, it isn't a far-fetched notion that Yamaha could also be launching an A2 version of this neo-retro roadster.