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Heres My MT-01 review

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by nice2Bnaked, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. i wrote the following review after reading only short term reviews in all the mags that dont describe this machine well. you need to ride this thing a fair bit to get used to it, and im at nearly 15000 kms in 5 months now. its not complete yet, so hold your horses, jus havent had the time. some of the specs might be slightly off or missing, so keep an eye peeled...

    MT-01 LONG TERM REVIEW - JAMES ERDMANN (nice2bnaked)


    Raining outside, me, dripping wet, sodden from the driving rain and road scum sprayed up from cars, trucks and other road users, I stood in a slowly increasing puddle that dripped from my waterproof jacket. So much for waterproof. An attendant gave me a guarded glare, knowing that he would have to pull out his yellow caution sign and mop to clean up my little mess. I was tired, weary from the hours spent blasting around the crowded streets of Melbourne, making deliveries, some even on time, on my beaten up first bike, (and first love).
    I was killing time, waiting for my number to cackle out from dispatch, and decided to flick through some bike rags at a service station, that smelt of food that I wouldn’t have enough time to eat, even if I could afford it. I wasn’t reading, just looking at the pictures of bikes that I probably was never going to be able to buy, given the number of speeding tickets and notices from the lovely people at civic compliance, to whom at this time I felt that I had sold my soul. As dreary eyed, shivering and beaten as I may have looked, I loved my job as a motorcycle courier. It didn’t pay much, and I was spending more money fixing repairs and staying on the road than what I was making. Just as my number was being called out over the radio, I flipped another few pages and stumbled across something that stirred the same emotions as a red blooded male setting eyes upon the perfect woman. Perhaps not the perfect woman, maybe the sort that you wouldn’t usually go for, the sort that your mates wouldn’t say isn’t stereotypically sexy, but there’s something about her that you can’t take your eyes away. The crackle of my radio slowly faded away as I read the first paragraph, then the second, oblivious to the frustrated calls from dispatch to pick up a package. I was only snapped out of my daze by the attendant, who told me in broken English that if I wanted to read the magazine, I would have to pay for it. Fair enough, the pages were now wet anyway, and the magazine ruined. I didn’t even think about shelling out the cash. I got back to work for the rest of the day, waiting to go home and scour the net for any other information I could find on that machine, that beast. That was the start of my love affair with Yamaha’s mighty MT-01.

    Now three years on, I own one. I never knew I’d have the chance, and thought some other two wheeled concoction would tickle my fancy. My girl let me blow what was to be our home loan deposit on it, guess that’s one of the reasons she’s my fiancée now.

    The 1670cc fuel injected naked bike beast now sits in my garage, never “offâ€, just dormant. I say dormant because this thing doesn’t just start when you turn the key and hit the starter. It erupts, sending vibrations that rattle windows, set off car alarms and scare old people and children alike. It’s a standard exhaust system, and not overly “loudâ€, but so deep and rumbly that you feel it more than hear it. It’s not quiet though, as cars part like the waters before Moses after pulling in the clutch and crackling the throttle a few times to communicate with the tin-tops to make way. It doesn’t end there, as they stare and gawk, trying to see a manufacturer’s logo before the light turns green and I blast away, leaving a sonic boom of sound and exhaust gasses, and maybe some burnt rubber if I I’m gorilla fisted with the clutch. Some will wind down windows and ask questions, what is it? How big is the motor? How can you ride this on “P†plates? (Yes, I’m on “P’s†because I never got around to getting my car license). It’s a weird looking machine, so ugly that it’s beautiful. But how does it perform?
    Most non-motorcyclist people, who I tell about the machine, assume that a 1670cc motor in a cycle is going to be warp speed fast, blowing away all 1 litre sport bikes. Those a little more informed assume that it’s basically a big lump of cruiser motor shoe-horned into a sports bike chassis that has great torque, handles like a cruiser and can’t go round corners. Both are wrong. Very wrong.

    As far as straight line goes, at Australian legal speeds, this bike is almost untouchable. A power to weight ratio of 0.3750 HP/kg doesn’t seem to impressive for this 240.0 kg (529.1 pounds) machine, however it’s 0 to 60 and 0 to 100kmph times of (TBA = fast) make it super quick up to the speeds that wont see you on the side of the road having a DNM with the boys in blue. Up top there’s not much going on, but why do you need that for? Yeah, I know, it’s great to go so fast that your eyeballs want to jump out the back of your scull, but if you want to do that, go ride down at the track on a litre four. I’ve had my model (stock apart from a K+N filter that gives awesome induction noise) up to a top speed 0f 221kmph, in full race tuck (in a controlled, safe environment of course). This might seem a little slow, and it is. If top speed’s what floats your boat, this bikes not for you. If enormous mountains of rolling thunderous torque makes you giggle like a girl, this bikes pure laughing gas. Rumor has it that MT stands for massive torque, believable given the respectable figures of 150.10 Nm (15.3 kgf-m or 110.7 ft.lbs) 3750rpm. Horsepower, on the other hand, leaves a little to desire, and at 90.00 HP (65.7 kW)) at 4750rpm, it seems that Yamaha has left a big window for MT owners to add bolt on goodies to raise the HP bar. There’s a whole host of awesome upgrades, the most common (and somewhat expensive) host of gear from both Yamaha and akropovich for you to spend your hard earned cash on, set up in Stage 1, 2 and 3 kits, ranging from slip on cans to a full upgrade to full systems, high compression pistons and internal engine changes that require a single seat modification. But that’s if you have any cash left over from the initial purchase price of (now) $17,990+ORC (was orgiginally a steep $24990.
    It’s not a cheap machine, but then again it doesn’t seem so steep ounce you realize the prestige and attention that you’d only get from something much more expensive. That and the attention to detail is really impressive. It looks and feels expensive. From the awesome, easy to read digital dash, that lights up a luminous white at night time (light adaptive, meaning it’s not backlit during the day) down to the stitching on the seat and the simple, massive headlight that reminds me of a Cyclops.

    The lines are curvy and aggressive, and the whole bike is ugly beautiful. The exhaust that protrudes from either side of the saddle looks like afterburner flames wouldn’t be out of place, and in between that is the LED taillight that adds a great finish to the rear end. The fuel tank is a muscular, minimalist sculpture, that sits above what looks like to be some ram air intakes (I’ve taken these off for a look, and apart from a small hole I think these may be for show). The aluminium CF die-cast frame is kept minimalist, using the engine as a stressed member of its design, allowing the huge pushrod V-twin to take its place as the prominent part of the motorcycles look, and even that is a work of art in itself. The only fairing on the bike is the front guard, fork protectors, and a small belly pan that hides underneath the monster. The 5 litre (yes, 5 litres) sump is located precariously venerable on the front left hand side of the motorcycle, and looks like it would be the first thing to go in the event of a crash, but it looks cool. Yamaha has even added a sort of slide scoop thing, again on the left behind the sump, which directs cool air flow to the rear cylinder. The right side of the bike is dominated by two golden snaking exhaust headers, using multiple layers to stop your leg from cooking to the side of the pipes. There has also been a lot of use of complicated looking plastic and alloy covers to conceal the ugly parts, such as sprockets and electrics, and even the foot peg bolts are hidden, and have to be accessed from the opposite side. There’s no water bottle on this bike either, which is no surprise for the big twin, leaving air to cool the motor, and allowing a more minimalist look. Even the passenger foot pegs, which are simple in design, and pivot in and out with a satisfying click, are well thought out, requiring just a few bolts to remove for solo style.

    I could go on for pages on the bikes looks and features alone, but I won’t. Chances are you’ve probably seen on or two on the road. That’s another good thing. This bike wont age quickly, as there aren’t many of them about, unlike other models that are superseded by the next year’s version. Ask any MT owner how it goes, and be prepared for an abrupt, short answer, because chances are everyone has asked him or her this. It goes like this.

    From a standstill, opening the throttle and taking off is by far one of the best things about the MT-01.A little finesse is required at first before you learn the feel of the adjustable brembo hydraulic clutch, or wheel spin can occur, but get it right and mountains of torque rocket you towards the horizon. Without watching the large digital speedo, you wouldn’t guess what speed your doing, or how quickly it gets there. That’s because this bike doesn’t have to rev its guts out, it just lurches forward, the torque easily propelling you, and passenger, no matter how heavy you both are. This thing pulls like a tractor.
    You’re snicking into second gear just before 60, and third at 80. At just over 100 kmph, you’re sitting in top gear at 2,000rpm, an idle speed for a lot of bikes out there. You could rev it out past 4,000 rpm, before bouncing off the restrictor at 6000rpm, but there’s not much point unless you’re doing it for the looks you get from the noise. Anything after 3,700 and your just not riding efficiently, and anything below 1,800rpm and the engine shudders and complains, so there’s not much to play with. And if you want to overtake at the legal freeway speed, simply kick it down two cogs and hang on… You don’t have to, but the result is impressive. String the revs out and roll off the throttle, and let the engine do the braking, accompanied by crackles, pops and farts of unexploded gasses that are great for 50kmph crowded streets and alleyways, the resonating rumble bouncing off walls and setting off car alarms, making women clutch their babies and men turn to little boys. If you need to throw out an anchor, the radially mounted 320 mm (12.6 inches) front dual disc brakes, borrowed from the R1, activated by brembo master cylinders, coupled with the rear and engine braking, pull the big girl up surprisingly fast. The front end, however, has slipped out under extreme braking for me, usually trying to attempt sketchy stoppies on tires that are too cold, but the process is slow and easy to rectify. Even the brake and clutch levers when compared to other bikes are huge, allowing you to use one or two fingers on most occasions. The front end doesn’t seem to dive too much, and I’ve pretty much left my adjustable R1-derived upside down 43mm fork settings as they were from the factory. It’s a bit hazardous not to let the compression take care of some of the stopping power, but it’s still very rewarding to jam on the picks late too. Snick down a gear too high, and the fat 190/50 rear rubber boogies around, but nothing that is too unsettling. That is one thing I’m changing at the next service, is the rubber, which leaves a little to be desired when punching through the twisties.

    Believe it or not, the bike corners surprisingly well, too. Many people, including me, ounce, assumed that at an overweight chunky 240.0 kg (529.1 pounds), would be hard to wrestle around a bend. Probably the first thing you notice when you saddle up is how light the bike feels ounce moving, even at slow speeds. The wide riser ‘bars, and very comfortable natural riding position seat you right over the action, and the massive dollop of motor gives the bike fantastic concentrated mass centralization. The first few rides take some getting used to, as a different riding style needs to be adopted as opposed to a pure bred sports bike or cruiser. The speed dictates how you corner, for at lower speeds you lean the bike and sit up, looking through the corner, almost super motard style, whereas high speed knee scratching feels natural ounce you have her banked over.
    The feel of the wide ‘bars can be aggressive backstreet street fighter bandit, or relaxed Sunday picnic cruiser, depending on your mood, almost as if the bike has more than one personality. If you feel the urge to pop lurching, powerful mono’s, slide into corners, and have the balls to break traction on the way out, leaving big black snakes behind, the bike is more than willing to obey even the most agro of riders. On the other hand, a pleasant mannered businessman or two up Sunday couple can also enjoy the prestige that the MT promotes.
    Even city riding is a breeze, multi-lane filtering and vision over the traffic made possible by the amount of leverage that the rider has, and the exhaust note being noticeable without being intrusive, unless you want it to be.
    Taking this bike out for a mid-week blast through the mountains is great, hunting down other bikes to blow away with the shockwaves that chase you at high RPM. 40 to 80 kmph sweepers are where this bike chews up and spits out sports bikes, as you come in hot off the straight, lay it down, and use the torque to pull it back up and propel you to the next bend. The percentage of weight over the front wheel is 47%, meaning the bike is well balanced, and the rake of 25.0° and the wheelbase of 1,525 mm (60.0 inches), means it’s much more nimble than you would think at first looks. The suspension, even on its stock settings, is the goods. The under slung rear unit is out of the way, yet easy to adjust, but apart from carrying extra loads, I’ve left mine as it is.

    There has been many an occasion out scratching where I can just see the surprise on sports bike riders faces as the behemoth transforms to ballerina in the tight stuff. You don’t have to watch what gear you’re in too much, so long as you’re not bogging down too low. The thing this bike needs, however, is a 6th gear. Just one more would be great to keep up on some of the longer stretches of black stuff.
    The bike gives good feedback altogether, though it is a little muffled from the vibrations. The pegs don’t touch down too easily, and I’ve still got about 3mm of chicken strip on either side of the rear tire to play with, but I’m not pushing my luck.

    Out on the freeway, no naked bike is great, as the winds buffer your face and upper body, though a few aftermarket screens are available, they look crap. The pillion however, is not perched on a square the size of a wallet that some manufactures call a seat, over the top of the rider, sports bike style, but instead seated lower on the one piece seat, hidden from the wind. As far as sports bikes go, the two up position is not too bad. The seat is very wide and comfortable of both pillion and rider, though the foot pegs cause taller pillions to assume a squatting position. I have been told by many an experienced pillion that the seating is more comfortable than most, even a friend of mine who tips the scales over 100kg’s. A quick adjustment of the easy to reach under slung rear suspension eliminates most of the adverse effects of pillion and luggage weight, making it more solid than any bike I have ever ridden. The only gripe is that the passenger’s pegs easily disappear, and click back closed (up) when the bike is being mounted, but it only happens a few times before they learn. The most common question a pillion asks before straddling the MT is if the pipes get hot. They don’t, due both to the plastic insulated covers and a powerful exhaust fan located under the tail, which has only come on twice on really hot days.

    Touring is also not too far out of the question either, though the 15 litre fuel capacity isn’t going to get you too far. Considering the RPM your sitting on at highway speed, the MT doesn’t suck too much juice for a big bike, getting 190 to 250km before spluttering out, depending on how you ride. The fuel light comes on to warn you that you have around 25-40km left in the tank, which I on two occasions have tested. This is not a bike you want to push, believe me.

    And as far as taking it off sealed road, onto the bumpy stuff? It’s not a dual purpose on any accounts, but I’ve been places I shouldn’t on such a bike. With ground clearance 140 mm (5.5 inches), I’ve taken it up fire trails, single-track walking trails, and out on the beach in the sand, which wasn’t all that great, but it did it, no worries. I’ve even managed a river crossing that got the water above the axles more than ounce, just because someone said I couldn’t.

    Luggage is not one of the things greatly catered for, apart from the four nylon loops hidden under the seat that you could hook straps or a cargo net to, or the integrated attachment points on the pillion footrest bracket. That’s not to say that it isn’t impossible, it just takes some fiddling about, but you can strap a weekends worth of gear down. The tank’s shape only allows for a small magnetic tank bag to be attached, just enough room for the essential day trip stuff. At the end of a long day, the only effect that the MT has on your body, apart from sore grin muscles, are jelly legs. Your arms and back are fine, but your legs tend to be a little too relaxed as if you had just had a two hour massage. Not a bad thing, but an effect none the less.
    Even in the wet, the ride is extremely stable. You can hang off the bike and steer it around a bend. If you break traction, the bike lazily increases a few revs before settling back down and straightening up. It’s not the sort of bike you want to get dirty though, as it’s a painstaking task to clean in all the hidden spots where road scum likes to find. That being said, the bike never really looks “dirtyâ€, no matter how long between washes, due to the quality finish.

    I’ve owned my bike for almost four months. It’s about to clock over 10,000kms, and 3,000kms overdue for a service she’s not complaining. I’m not sure if its burnt any oil at all, and I assume it would have given the way I’ve been riding it, but there’s no clear way to accurately check the oil level. Every dealership I ask has a different method of checking the oil-filler integrated dipstick. On a race stand? Side stand? Cold? Do I warm it up or check waiting 5 minutes after a good ride? It’s a mystery..
    I’ve ridden this bike in all sorts of conditions, wet, dry, freezing cold, and 40 degree summer days. I am just as enthusiastic about this bike as the day I bought it, and assume I still will be in years to come. Maybe I might even get some go fast bits, or add a bit of bling? But why, because the MT-01 is already fast and awesome to look at stock. What a machine.

    Keep eyes peeled for the review soon, going to change as theres another 5000kms and some exiting new rubber thats made a world of difference.

    General information
    Model:Yamaha MT-01
    Category:Naked bike
    Displacement:1670.00 ccm (101.90 cubic inches)
    Engine type:v2
    Power:90.00 HP (65.7 kW)) @ 4750 RPM
    Torque:150.10 Nm (15.3 kgf-m or 110.7 ft.lbs) @ 3750RPM
    Bore x stroke:97.0 x 113.0 mm (3.8 x 4.4 inches)
    Fuel system:Injection
    Valves per cylinder:4
    Fuel control:-OHV
    Lubrication system:Dry sump
    Cooling system:Air
    Transmission type final drive:Chain
    Clutch:Wet, multiple-disc
    Dry weight:240.0 kg (529.1 pounds)
    Front percentage of weight:47.0
    Rear percentage of weight:53.0
    Overall height:825 mm (32.5 inches)
    Overall length:2,185 mm (86.0 inches)
    Overall width:790 mm (31.1 inches)
    Ground clearance:140 mm (5.5 inches)
    Wheelbase:1,525 mm (60.0 inches)
    Frame type:Newly designed aluminium CF die-cast sports frame, R1-type die-cast aluminium subframe
    Rake (fork angle):25.0°
    Trail:103 mm (4.1 inches)
    Front suspension:Fully-adjustable R1-derived upside down 43mm forks
    Front suspension travel:120 mm (4.7 inches)
    Rear suspension:Horizontal fully-adjustable rear shock
    Rear suspension travel:117 mm (4.6 inches)
    Front tyre dimensions:120/70-ZR17 M/C (58W)
    Rear tyre dimensions:190/50-ZR17 M/C (73W)
    Front brakes:Double disc
    Front brakes diameter:320 mm (12.6 inches)
    Rear brakes:Single disc
    Rear brakes diameter:267 mm (10.5 inches)
    Power/weight ratio:0.3750 HP/kg
    Top Speed (tested): 226kmph
    Fuel capacity:15.00 litres (3.96 gallons)
    Reserve fuel capacity:3.00 litres (0.79 gallons)
  2. Top review mate. Well done.

    While these bikes aren't relly my thang, I would love a try of one of these or a similar Buell type thingo as well.
  3. Great review! Thanks thumbani.

    Its been a dream of mine to own an MT-01 for a cuppla years but the price is just way to high for my meagre budget.
  4. Thats an excellent review bloke. I really enjoy reading something thats been written by someone with a real passion for his/her subject. You have that in spades :grin: :grin: :grin: Now all I have to do is try & rustle up a test ride from somewhere. You done good :LOL: :LOL:
  5. Really enjoyable read. Thanks for posting up.

    But where's the pics :cry:

    Don't know why you'd want a sixth gear though if

    Bummer about the range, but still a unique bike that I always stop and look at when I see one.
  6. When a guy gets a love on his bike it's a wonderful thing. Excellent review fella. I'm looking forward to part two.
  7. 1 of the best bike reviews i have read, so good i had to join the forum to tell you so. i am buying an mt01 in a couple of months, hope i feel half as passionate about it as you do!
  8. Great write-up dude, and sounds like you're giving that thing the flogging it deserves! Kudos.
  9. Ahh, great review and great bike mate. I've loved em since the first time I saw em, but up to now I had no idea what they were like to ride.

    Just be careful with it... It looks like it will hunt you down and beat you up if you don't ride it hard enough for a few days... :LOL:
  10. The sound of this thing is awesome. I might think of it as my first upgrade!
  11. I had an idea these things were somehow a bit special.
    Great write-up.
  12. Love the bike, would seriously consider it if it didn't guzzle fuel from its tiny tank.
  13. Nicely written mate.
    I too can share your love of this monster as I have the Warrior. Same engine/brakes and suspension. Nothing is more satisfying than blowing a sporty away at the lights or watch them squirm when a cruiser is on their ass in the twisties and they can't shake you. Shame about the top speed but riding any naked bike above 150klm/hr is not fun for long.
    You put me in the mood for a blat see ya.
    :twisted: Ride safe, Tosh.
  14. Hi nice2Bnaked,
    Are you still here? I've just joined the forum and found your 2008 post on your beloved MT-01. I'm looking at getting one soon (currently on a CBF1000). Are you still in love? Did you ever do the 2nd review with your new tyres you were talking about. Anyway, great to be on your fantastic forum - hope to hear from you, or somebody who is in love with theri very own MT-01. Cheers, HillsRider (y)