Return to the front of the roadster scene, Yamaha will focus on the fundamentals of the category with a new bike lightweight and responsive, the Yamaha MT-09. Test contrasted with the brilliant Triumph Street Triple and the Kawasaki Z800 bestseller… Comparison!
Improve this is well, innovate it is better
Let us all net: new Yamaha MT-09 has not finished talking to her, not because the originality of its lines. Tastes vary from individuals, bikesdoctors.com leaves everyone the freedom to judge if it stands precisely ‘thanks’ or ‘because’ its design (read our review of the Yamaha MT-09).
Because whatever the angle under which on the details, this bike challenges, surprises, impresses, plot, seduced… or put off. Some will love its stripped side that strengthens its silhouette high on legs, others begin on the aspect ‘patchwork’ linked to its mix styles (light inspired by the MT-01, instrumentation deported as on the FZ-6 first, prominent and barred air inlet type v-Max 1200)… Is that ultimately, the Yamaha MT-09 won’t let anyone indifferent!
As such, the coat of arms of Iwata deserves the congratulations of the jury: the boldness and creativity are back at Yamaha, after several years of soft consensus. Another cause for satisfaction: finish has not been sacrificed on the altar of innovation.
Although everything is new on this bike – of his unpublished three – cylinder 847 cc to his frame in aluminum, passing through the train and dressing-, manufacturing quality is has not been neglected for much (read our technical Point on the Yamaha MT-09).
Face it; the two competitors convened by test to face it in this comparison test are not shaking during this first round of ‘static’. It is true that the level of presentation and the care taken in the Assembly, the Kawasaki Z800 ‘e version’ and the Triumph Street Triple really have lessons to receive the Yamaha.
The review details even turns in favor of English, thanks to this little ‘touch of class’ extra it owes its treatments more qualitative surface to its chrome hardware engine, its power grid perfectly camouflaged (this which is not the case in Z in the body of the injection, etc.) or its aviation hoses (rubber on both Japanese).
The brushed metal buttons affixed here and there reinforce this observation, especially at the level of the silencer: its partly chrome trim gives it a classy appearance, while guaranteeing excellent handling in time. Yamaha MT-09 could be inspired, she whose short way R6 silencer and exhaust manifold were already slightly marked on our test model totaling 4300 km…
The Triumph Street Triple drives the nail showing off nice, most comprehensive and readable of these three bikes instrumentation: apart from the clock digits too small, this combination of a digital dial juxtaposed to an analog tachometer attracts only compliments. He lacks to commands riding… about as its two rivals, indeed!
On the Yamaha MT-09, 100% digital instrumentation shows all the important information, with in addition the temperature of the air (absent on the other two). Damage the engine speed is difficult to distinguish rolling, due to the smallness of the characters. Similarly, the general appearance of this console is a little cheap and isn’t the tangle of cables that run behind that positive this feeling.
The fully digital block the Kawasaki Z800 suffers him, the lack of a gear indicator and delicate clarity of its tachometer with bar graph. In return, the instrumentation provides a refreshing originality, with its central tachometer on which the system reads from the bottom up and not from left to right as it meets more traditional!
This stylistic originality, Green cultivated through wheels which are attached to aesthetic discs petals. Stocky and all sharp angles, the Kawasaki Z800 door ‘spirit Zed’ at its worst, as evidenced by its double ‘Z’ formed by its rear light lads! The coat of arms of Akashi did however not rework as the subtleties of his ‘sleeve’ style and also undertook to improve its perceived quality.
Like his two opponents, the Kawasaki Z800 e version thus enjoys a careful manufacture and exhibits several pieces very pleasant to watch, as his turntables cored and polished on the back or engine worked forms of guards. Unlike the Kawasaki Z800 ‘short’, it is however the deadlock on the original saddle embellished with multiple ‘Z’ in screen printing.
At this stage, one can wonder about the choice of this ‘A2 approved’ version, rather than the Kawasaki Z800 ‘short’, more powerful and more sporty – so on paper better armed against its two rivals sharp. The answer lies in four digits: displayed at 7999 EUR, the Kawasaki Z800 ‘e version’ between exactly in the price ranges of this comparison (7990 euros for the Triumph Street Triple) and 7799 euros for the Yamaha MT-09. The ‘short’ Kawasaki Z800 it, request a check of 8899 euros, i.e. tariff a Triumph Street Triple R and a hypothetical – but predictable Yamaha MT-09.
And delta is increasing even if we opt for ABS, a charged option 600 euros at Kawasaki dealers, 400 euros at Triumph and 500 euros from Yamaha. Plaintext: budget-level Green blushed a bit (!), also brings to question his tariff position…
Because, Yes, the look of the Kawasaki Z800 and neat finish in stick eyeful. But if its skin is regularly – and ably – presented to the taste of the day, this is not the case of what lies beneath: the motor base is derived from fire the ZX-9R, the chassis is made of steel and the swinging arm is a basic element square molded in the same metal.
However, its price is similar to the Triumph Street Triple and the Yamaha MT-09, two motorcycles of recent design (3-cylinder 675 cc derived from Daytona for the first all-new engine for the second) and with a compelling aluminum frames.
The situation does not arrange for the Kawasaki when static showdown gives way to the first dynamic findings. Because of its dated design and its additional cylinder, Green accused in the first place a seriously overweight face its svelte rivals: 226 kg all full facts against 188 kg for the Yamaha MT-09 and 182 kg for the Triumph Street Triple.
Insofar as the Kawasaki Z800 e version is also the highest seat (834 mm against 815 for the Yamaha MT-09 and 800 for the Triumph Street Triple) and its tank 17 liters (17.4 on the Triumph and only 14 of Yamaha) differs significantly knees, this is clearly not the handlebars as low-speed maneuvers are easier. Especially for riders measuring less than 1m70!
The two ‘triple’ him against a lightness and an evil handling, two arguments whose use and abuse the Yam’ and the Triumph by taking advantage of a better turning radius increased. Yamaha MT-09 and the Triumph Street Triple request is otherwise exactly the same space to turn. Believe that Yamaha did not merely ‘ inspiration ‘ of expensive engine architecture to the coat of arms of Hinckley to design its new!
The judgment or at very low speed, it is the Yamaha MT-09 which everyone agreed with his driving position, at the crossroads between roadster and trail. Installed height, its wide handlebar provides an optimal guiding of the front wheel 17 inch without constraints, which is not exactly the case of the footrest located a little too back.
Position arising there from is initially quite confusing, as the driver is installed on the rear of the motorcycle. On the Triumph, the plate is instead tilted forward – in the image of the Daytona sports which it is derived. This distribution of different masses, as well as its much closer and closer installed handlebar of the upper fork bracket, explain that the Triumph Street Triple request a hint of further efforts to handle the engine off.
The Kawasaki offers a position very natural driving (right torso, arms and legs little bent), Nice in the countryside or in the city. But his saddle in solid oak and its noticeable engine vibrations from the substantial spoils urban pretensions. His safe Itty Bitty does not play not more in his favor at this level, in contrast to that of the Triumph Street Triple which is the only one able to carry a anti-theft U specific (that of the Yam’ welcomes at best a blocked-disk and a few chaff affairs).
Full of excitement!
E version of the Kawasaki Z800 pulls out of the game with a perfectly controlled injection, coupled with a whole clutch-box the most accurate and the most pleasant to use three. The Triumph is on a par in terms of smoothness and precision at the connection between the throttle and the rear wheel, but lost a few lengths in terms of selection, drier than the Kawasaki.
Concerning the Yamaha, the balance is much less complimentary on these specific points: past even the box one hair rough and noisy cold – the ‘Yemenites’ are used – and escalation fair clutch, but impossible to overlook the spurts of injection generated by the electronic ride-by-wire throttle.
Even after hundreds of kilometers passed to the handlebar, the backlash of the Yamaha MT-09 for the resumption of net gas remain unclear, then from there to live with it … Electronics managing open throttle valves sorely lacking escalation and transparency, sometimes making a simple chaotic wandering very low revs.
The phenomenon is more or less accentuated depending on the mode of conduct committed: the ‘Standard’ mapping seems in the end the most indicated, the more castrating ‘B’ being reserved for difficult conditions (rain, tricky roads).
This lack of focus is yet unable to Eclipse the fabulous potential of the new three-cylinder engine developed by Yamaha: hyper flexible and available, it offers an exciting consistency from low revs. Regardless of the ratio engaged or the number of tours-minutes displayed to dashboard: screw the right handle and the Yamaha MT-09 catapult you immediately and without downtime, leaving behind the Triumph Street Triple and the Kawasaki Z800 e version.
Penalized by the lack of capacity (675 against 847 cc), the strong three-legged English tilts no real surprise to low and midrange. More lively, it still manages to keep the Yamaha line of sight with his reach and his explosiveness in the towers. In the slogging – it encourages it! – It is even possible to avoid the big ten meters granted by the Triumph Street Triple Accel ‘is multiplied by ten before the next turn!
A condition, however, that the pilot of the Yamaha MT-09 does not adopt the same type of edgy conduct! Because even if its acceleration is more linear and tends to settle slightly in high revs (clamping forces), the ‘ 3 – legs ‘ Nippon grows hell: in second from 6000 rpm, a free rotation of the accelerator propels irresistibly the front wheel in the air, without the clutch! Once is not custom, MNC is left gray…
Relegated last good behind these two furies, the Kawasaki Z800 version of e requires to be maintained in the rounds to stay in touch despite its great range and its very short final drive, 4-cylinder Kawasaki did not meet many. An even more glaring deficit structural ‘this variation’ A2 ‘, which makes 18 hp Kawasaki Z800’ tout court ‘but 7 Nm of torque (83 Nm against 76). Finally, the additional 40 kg it should pull from the two ‘triple’ does not promote its dynamism.
Whether to accelerate or in curves, this overweight very weighs heavily against two ‘gazelles’ tapered legs which can be explained far ahead… ‘Bastard’ mode, the Kawasaki tends to spread outwards from the curves, a phenomenon that worsens on the dented due to a less efficient suspension agreement.
More restless from behind the Kawasaki Z800 ‘tout court’, the e version is less good as his brakeman two piston calipers do the job properly, but without matching the bite and power of its two competitors.
Despite its ‘simple’ bolt-brackets, the Triumph Street Triple is the ascendancy of the radial systems mounting the Yamaha MT-09, which do not offer the same sensitivity or precision as early in the race. Rest that the instantaneous bite of the front brakes of the Triumph of the fingering in unexpected situations, there where one of the Yamaha proved more tolerant – front and rear. A ‘detail’ to take into account before buying, especially if it is moving towards a motorcycle without ABS option!
Sporting use, the Triumph Street Triple retains his title of ‘Queen of the virolos’: the nose wheel of bobbinets Triumph is literally fastened to the ground, allowing to enter turns to Mach 12 and come out even faster! Common DNA with the Daytona Supersport there is no stranger… and its wheelbase reduced 1410 mm nor (1440 for the Yam’ and 1445 to the Kawasaki).
When the rate increases, ergonomics ‘special’ Yamaha MT-09 and transfers major mass require a little practice extremely sought by the engine, its calibrated damper flexible enough sinks generously under load before the oil begins to be effectively slowed by valves. The trick is to bear weight on the chest before leaning towards the handle to hold the plate movements.
At the same time, adopt this position ‘ Marseilles that ‘ enables better control of the front axle and thus preempt its tendency to play the daughters of the air at high speed. Especially in cases where the driver ‘clings to the branches’ under constant – and heady – battering the Japanese triple!
Same thing at the front, where the important travel of its inverted fork (17 mm more than the Kawasaki Z800 and 27 mm more than the Triumph Street Triple) causes sharp dives during braking very supported. Fortunately, Yamaha has well calculated the resistance offered by the springs and the laws of hydraulics: the fork is flexible – but not soft – start of the race, then it strengthens enough to provide the precision and efficiency necessary for the attack. A well nice balance!
Verdict: Yamaha MT-09, zero blah – blah and lots of hassle… for its competitors!
At the time of the stock, the very interesting dynamic compromise of the Yamaha MT-09 incites to tilt the balance in his favor: more comfortable than the Triumph Street Triple and barely less rigorous in curves, it Eclipse especially in mechanical terms. What is not a thin compliment insofar as the three-cylinder Triumph of 675 cc – cylinder Triumph 675 cc three dictated so far her act in the category, even in the face of more Beefy! On the other hand, the Yamaha block also has a 172 cc advantage…
Pleasantly sober (we measured during this test a mini consolidated of 5.2 l / 100 km while rolling without hanging out and passing reports on the couple), however, this new engine is filled to the limit of the overflow. The Yamaha MT-09 in fact requires a minimum of experience and composure to be tamed, especially as the strong reactions of the chassis are to match! In this, the new Yamaha is radically different from his ‘sis’ FZ8, smoother temperament and therefore more universal.
Hope for the coat of arms of Iwata – and its dealers–that this double offer lead to the commercial result expected, namely raking more wide attracting bikers to separate profiles. Because the risk that the Yamaha MT-09 put brake to the career of the FZ8 is not insignificant, insofar as the novelty is both more modern, lighter (23 kg) and cheaper (from 600 euros off promos)…
The Triumph Street Triple keeps his side its status as beast of curves, a distinction that it needs more sporty orientation of its cycle and its mechanics. But the real feat of Triumph is to have been able to maintain its level of dynamics at such a high level performance while making it more welcoming everyday practicalities side – except the lack of warning and a pin stand too small – it outclasses the Yamaha and Kawasaki especially neglected in this regard.
Facing its stormy rivals and their inflated block, 3-cylinder Kawasaki Z800 tilts without being able to actually fight in dynamism and sensations. A defeat due to skills sports overall withdrawal, especially in this variant ‘A2 approved’: ‘ while retaining a very sporty, the Kawasaki Z800 e version is easy to take in hand, even for beginners ‘, recalls Kawasaki with emphasis on the ‘general public’ side of this declension.