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Yamaha MT-09 SP Review (2018)


Yamaha MT-09 SP

If you want a bike which can be used as a commuter plus a weekend spirited ride on A roads, that will not be out of place with the Gixers and Fireblades, then this is the bike for you.
- Rating: 10 / 10

What Is It?

The Yamaha MT-09 SP is an upgraded version of the best selling MT-09 naked bike and is powered by a Euro 4 compliant liquid cooled 847 cc triple engine, producing 113.5 bhp at 10,000 rpm and maximum torque at 8,500 rpm.


  • Seat Height: Average (820 mm / 32.3 inches)
  • Weight: Average (193 kg / 426 lbs)
  • Economy: Average (45 mpg / 6.3 l/100km / 15.9 km/l)
  • Range: Average (140 miles / 225 km)
  • Power to Weight: High (0.591 bhp/kg / 0.440 kW/kg)
  • Top Speed: High (140 mph / 225 km/h)


  • Looks great with the SP paint job
  • Suspension
  • Handling
  • Engine
  • Torque


  • No fancy dash from the MT-10 SP
  • Slightly snatchy throttle
  • Limited range

What Is It Like?

Yamaha MT-09 SP

Choosing The SP

After much Googling and YouTube reviewing I decided to visit our Yamaha dealership and test ride the MT-09. First impressions count and I have to say that straight away I was hooked.

Again after the test drive I saw on YouTube some honest reviews which I could then relate to with the suspension and as a consequence the dealership did advise that they had an MT-09 SP in stock that would address these issues. Deposit payed and now I'm a very proud owner of the MT-09 SP.

Yamaha MT-09 SP


The triple in this bike is the most practical configuration I have ever ridden for the UK roads. The engine provides more than enough linear power from any gear, making it so much fun for the A roads and lanes in my area.

I will also state that this bike is not great for distance on motorways and if that is a factor then get the Tracer.

Yamaha MT-09 SP


The bike from stock is configured with the suspension a little on the hard / sporty side. I saw an article for a slightly softer suspension configuration which I've now applied and it can now ride the British rutted roads with ease and confidence.

It's well worth getting the SP for this versatile adjustable suspension, it's a lot more stable than the standard, plus it looks fantastic. Some comment that the SP must stand for 'Special Paint'!

Yamaha MT-09 SP

To Sum Up

If you want a bike which can be used as a commuter plus a weekend spirited ride on A roads, that will not be out of place with the Gixers, Fireblades and R6's, then this is the bike for you.

Although limited to 140mph, what makes this bike great is the low end torque which the sports bikes lack, so there's no need to wait until 10,000+ RPM before you hit the sweet spot. This bike is sweet from 3,000 RPM upwards.

It puts a huge smile on my face everyday and I commute 20 miles each way all year long on it.

- George, 2018

Deals, specs and pics

Price Guide

Part Ex

Gear & Accessories

Related Bikes

Yamaha MT-09 - The updated 2017 version on which the SP is based, but without the Ohlins rear and KYB front suspension upgrades.

The Second Opinion

Yamaha MT-09 SP


  • Upright riding position and comfortable for legs
  • Clutch / throttle very light with excellent quick shifter
  • Engine - reviews were all positive
  • Ease of riding as it's a short compact machine
  • Looks incredible
  • Lighter and better than the MT-10 which felt bulky
  • Great value for money
  • Flicky and easy to manoeuvre through town
  • Apparently it does good wheelies!


  • Feels incredibly snatchy when you first get on
  • MT by name and empty by nature, small fuel tank and fuel consumption isn't brilliant
  • Horn and indicator way too close so you end up angrily indicating at the idiots
  • Bobbins and centre stand not standard for ease of servicing

Yamaha MT-09 SP


As I'm a girl I'd like to say what a lovely colour the bike is!


  • Yamaha comfort seat, which is great
  • Hand guards as I liked the look of them
  • Screen just to keep a bit of wind off and to possibly stop the odd flying thing
  • 12V charger for various devices such as satnav
  • Radiator cover

- Diane L, 2018

Add Your Review

Do you own this bike? We would love to hear anything good, bad, unexpected or that you have changed plus anything that a prospective new owner might find interesting or useful.

More Info

Check out this video review from TheMissendenFlyer.