Yamaha first launched the MT-09 and with it the MT range of motorcycles only six years ago but the ‘Masters of Torque’ concept has been a raging success for the brand.
The triple-cylinder MT-09, which has since also spawned the Tracer GT sports-touring rig and the XSR 900 retro-naked, the parallel twin MT-07 along with its XSR700, the mighty YZF-R1 powered MT-10 models and at the other end of the scale, the lower capacity MT-03 have all been winners in various ways for Yamaha. In Europe Yamaha have sold almost a quarter-of-a-million MT models since the range first kicked off in 2013.
For 2020 the MT-03 gets a thorough revamp with an even more radical new look while the well-proven 321cc parallel-twin continues much as before. Suspension upgrades have also been bestowed on the new generation MT03.
2020 Yamaha MT-03 Key Features
- Aggressive next-generation MT design
- Dual slant-eye positions lights; LED headlight
- Sophisticated 321cc 2-cylinder engine
- New 37mm upside down front forks
- Long swingarm with new shock settings
- Lightweight diamond frame
- Ergonomic riding position
- High quality big-bike look and feel
- New high-tech LCD instruments
- New lightweight LED flashers
This mass-forward look is taken to the next level on the new model with the new 14-litre wide-shouldered fuel tank cover and lightweight air scoops that reinforce the strong family links.
While the new dual slant-eye position lights are the main focus of attention and give the new MT-03 a dramatic face, the small but powerful LED headlight is positioned centrally and inconspicuously beneath the front cowl assembly. Projecting a brilliant beam of light, this minimalist design gives the new model a unique and charismatic look that reinforces the bike’s bold and futuristic style.
Slim and light new LED flashers perfectly complement the position lights and headlight and integrate well in the MT-03’s aggressive new style.
The balanced 2-cylinder configuration delivers a much smoother feeling at lower rpm compared to some single-cylinder models and its high-tech internals include carburized con rods and lightweight heat-resistant forged pistons whose low reciprocating weight reduces vibration and enhances throttle response – and the all-aluminium DiASil cylinders offer excellent heat dissipation properties for reduced horsepower losses.
One of the most significant technical upgrades for 2020 is the fitment of new high-specification upside down forks that deliver enhanced handling performance that help make the new MT-03 one of the strongest performers in the LAMS category.
Featuring gold-coloured outer tubes and 37 mm inner tubes, these new forks – together with the aggressive new front cowl and dual position lights – give this premium lightweight all of the presence and stature of a much larger capacity MT.
Yamaha first introduced the concept of the extended swing-arm on its YZF-R1 Supersport machinery, and the same technology is used to good effect on the new MT-03. Pivoting closer to the machine’s midway point, the 573 mm long asymmetrical swingarm reduces the variance in the bike’s angle with the road surface to give a high level of controllability during braking, cornering and acceleration – and the shock’s revised pre-load and damping settings and the stiffer rear spring further refine the bike’s overall handling performance.
The MT-03’s lightweight diamond-type tubular steel frame is constructed to give the optimum balance of rigidity which contributes towards the bike’s agile handling and lightweight feel. By mounting the engine as a stressed member, Yamaha’s designers are able to keep chassis weight to a minimum.
The fitment of a new wide-shouldered fuel tank and revised bodywork has enabled Yamaha’s designers to achieve the optimum riding position that enables MT-03 riders to experience the highest levels of comfort and control in different situations.
The slim centre section allows the rider to mould their body closer to the bike, and the low seat height as well as higher-mounted handlebars and a compact frame guarantee a natural and ergonomic riding position that creates a special feeling of rider/machine unity.
The next generation MT-03 also benefits from new high-tech instruments featuring a negative LCD display.
The 2020 Yamaha MT-03 is expected to debut in Australia early next year.