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Yamaha Dark Side MT-09 850cc Naked Triple

In a classical marketing stint, Yamaha released a “The Dark Side of Japan” video teaser of a “secret” new bike. On 11 June 2013, Yamaha launched the MT-09 850 triple, to be named FZ-09 in the USA.

Featuring Yamaha’s brand-new 850cc transverse three-cylinder Crossplane engine, it is not only the new technology that is exciting but the fact that, after a recession-driven hiatus, the motorcycle industry is on the move again. BMW launched the semi-watercooled R1200GS, KTM introduced the mighty 1190, and Suzuki, Indian, Victory and others have new machines in the making. 

Yamaha MT-09 naked

Naked lovers – that is, lovers of naked bike – will be charmed by the MT-09: 115hp @ 10,500rpm, 85 Nm @ 8,500rpm, monocross rear suspension with horizontal shock, 188kg wet weight. Lovely!

Yamaha MT-09 Race Blu

Yamaha XT850Z Ténéré (?)

Lightweight engine with “remarkable levels of linear torque” and a chassis that is “compact and slim.” Plus that monocross rear suspension with horizontal shock. For a while there have been rumours of a 900 Ténéré – certainly, the XT850Z Ténéré can’t be far off!

The Yamaha XT660Z has been selling well in the markets where it is available (just about all but the United States, sadly). Its Marinelli mill matches the toughness of the legendary Rotax 650 found in the BMW Dakar, X-Challenge and X-Country. You’ll find a number of RTW RRs (Round-the-World Ride Reports) featuring the XT660Z Ténéré.

In the big adventure bike class, the XT1200Z Super Ténéré has made its mark. The Super Ten – or “S10” – enjoys a keen following all over the world and while it is not yet as popular as the BMW R1200GS Adventure as a world crosser, there are many ride reports of it successfully taken two-up and fully loaded through challenging conditions.

So, Yamaha is well represented in the 650 adventure class and in the big adventure bike class. They also have the small adv market covered with the popular WR250R. The only bike missing in the lineup thus far was something to take on the BMW F800GS and Triumph 800XC. It is almost unimaginable that a gravel road map has not been drawn for the 850 triple.

Yamaha XT900Z Tenere concept

XT900Z Ténéré concept by Nicolas Vontobel

The dark side?

Here is something interesting: among adv riders the phrase “dark side” or “going over to the dark side” refers to moving from another brand to getting a KTM. Did Yamaha make a marketing blunder with their MT-09 campaign or was it meant to be a direct attack on the Mattighofen domain? The gloves are off, it seems. They’re going to the mattresses.

In the meanwhile, if going naked wets your appetite, getting a leg over the MT-09 should satisfy your deepest desires.

Yamaha Mt-09 specs:

Engine Liquid-cooled inline 4-stroke 3-cylinder DOHC 4-valve
Displacement 847 cm³
Bore x stroke 78.0 mm x 59.1 mm
Compression ratio 11.5 : 1
Firing sequence 120º crank firing at 0º, 240º and 480º
Maximum power 84.6 kW (115PS) @ 10,000 rpm
Maximum torque 87.5 Nm (8.9 kg-m) @ 8,500 rpm
Lubrication system Wet sump
Fuel system Fuel Injection
Clutch type Wet
Ignition system TCI
Starter system Electric
Transmission system Constant Mesh
Final transmission Chain
Frame Diamond
Front suspension system Telescopic forks
Front travel 137 mm
Caster angle 25º
Trail 103 mm
Rear suspension system Swingarm
Rear travel 130 mm
Front brake Hydraulic dual disc, Ø 298 mm
Rear brake Hydraulic single disc, Ø 245 mm
Front tyre 120/70ZR17M/C (58W) (Tubeless)
Rear tyre 180/55ZR17M/C (73W) (Tubeless)
Overall length 2,075 mm
Overall width 815 mm
Overall height 1,135 mm
Seat height 815 mm
Wheel base 1,440 mm
Minimum ground clearance 135 mm
Wet weight (including full oil and fuel tank) 188 kg
Fuel tank capacity 14 L
Oil tank capacity 3.4 L

12/06/2013. Category: Wheels. Topic: , .

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