Triples occupy that delicate balance between power, weight and handling. Combining the torque of a twin, with the power of a four-cylinder, three-cylinder motorcycles are unique in the biking world.
There is a lot to be said for using a triple in a motorcycle, especially a universal machine that is meant to be a general purpose machine. Seeing this is pretty much a niche design, with many riders accustomed to twos or fours, Yamaha took the plunge with the MT-09 and its three-cylinder engine.
The first MT-09s were well received by the market, catering to the need for public road hooliganism and spending more time on the rear wheel than the front. But somewhere under that hard-edged exterior, lay a somewhat capable universal Japanese machine, or UJM.
Now, UJMs were something riders from the 70s and 80s are familiar with, and they seem to be making something of a comeback, albeit with rather more specialised styling, as opposed to the days when one design was made to do everything.
So, Yamaha, with its MT-series bikes, now have the MT-09 triple to complement the two-cylinder MT-07 – which we recently reviewed here – and the four-cylinder MT-10, which Malaysians don’t get. But why does Yamaha need a 847 cc machine to slot into a sandwich between the 689 cc MT-07 and the 998 cc MT-10?