Yamaha has a gem of a streetbike lineup in the form of the MT series. Over the course of the last few years, the MT naked bike range has given birth to the XSR lineup, as well as more recently, the Tenere 700 and YZF-R7. Now, with the YZF-R6 supersport well and truly relegated to the circuit, and the YZF-R7 not quite occupying the same space as the 600cc supersport, a gaping hole exists in Yamaha's YZF-R lineup.
For quite some time now, the rumor mills have been churning, and the idea of a YZF-R9 coming into the picture is pretty much a certainty. Although Yamaha has yet to make any announcements, the brand has already filed the R9 trademark in several regions including Europe and Asia. Of course, when it comes to Yamaha, anything with a "9" in the name means that it's based on the MT-09, the brand's premium middleweight performance naked bike.
More specifically, the YZF-R9 is pretty much sure to be equipped with the same engine found on the current generation MT-09, that is, an 890cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, inline triple. With 117 horsepower on tap in the MT-09, we could expect similar, if not slightly more power, putting it in the same realm as the Triumph Street Triple RS. That said, from an ergonomics standpoint, the YZF-R9 is more than likely to feature low-slung clip-ons and high, aggressive rearsets. In such case, its closest rival will have to be the MV Agusta F3.
Now, everything I've told you so far may not seem like new information, and indeed, none of it has been officially confirmed by Yamaha just yet. However, a recent report from Japanese automotive journal Autoby seems to be sure that Yamaha will launch the new sportbike in 2024. Now, Autoby has, for a long time now, had the impressive ability of predicting the future of Japanese manufacturers, so I'm willing to bet that the publication is right about the upcoming YZF-R9.
Sources: Autoby, iMotorbike