Very popular in the Malaysian market is the Yamaha MT-09, much loved for its low price-to-displacement ratio, and its very capable three-cylinder engine. First launched in 2014, Yamaha has updated the MT-09 for 2017, making this the second generation of its “Master of Torque” series motorcycles.

Up front, this naked 849 cc triple sportsbike gets full-width LED headlights – making the MT-09 resemble the MT-10 – replacing the single lens unit on the previous model. At the back the tail lights are also new, and feature LED lighting in two vertical rows.

In the engine room, the MT-09 gets Yamaha’s Assist & Slip (A&S) clutch, which acts as a slipper clutch under downshifting load, while delivering precise engagement. Clutch lever pull has also been reduced by a full fifth, or 20%, reducing hand fatigue while riding in slow traffic conditions.

A welcome update is the inclusion of the Yamaha Quick Shift System (QSS) quickshifter, which now comes as standard fitment. This was something we remarked upon when reviewing the Yamaha MT-09, and it is, indeed, a necessary piece of kit for an engine as quick as the MT-09’s.

On the suspension side, Yamaha has obviously been listening to feedback, as the forks are now updated 41 mm diameter units with adjustable rebound and compression in the right and left fork legs, respectively. The rear tailpiece is now gone for 2017, replaced by a swingarm-mounted carrier for the number plate.