You don’t have to ride this thoughtfully tweaked Yamaha far to understand why the naked triple is so popular, and looks like staying that way for a while longer yet. It’s unashamedly simple, with its wind-blown riding position, thin seat and efficient but basic instrumentation. It’s built for sunny-morning blasts, not for touring, but it’s capable of longer trips – especially if kitted-out with accessories – and its fuel-efficient engine allows a decent range despite the small tank.
With its endearing if slightly raw character, the wheelie-happy MT-09 resembles an enthusiastic puppy. It has been effectively trained since its birth back in 2013; the original model’s glitches addressed successfully. Better still, this improved triple maintains the competitive price that helped make the original a hit. Plenty has changed in the MT-09’s short history, but the vital things remain as true as ever: it’s still quick, light, hugely entertaining, and one of the best value-for-money buys in all motorcycling.
Price tag of our bike: £7799.
Photography by Alessio Barbanti, Jonathan Godin and Francesc Montero