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First Look: 2021 Yamaha MT-09 SP

Extra tech and Euro5 engine for Yamaha’s premium naked nutter machine

Published: November 10, 2020

We saw the new MT-09 a couple of weeks ago, and Yamaha’s kept us hanging to now to see the flash SP version, also updated for 2021.

The SP now gets a standard cruise control function to go along with its premium suspension package, sharper R1M-type styling and a sweet anodised finish on the swingarm.

As with the standard MT-09, the engine is the latest long-stroke version, with capacity bumped up to 889cc, 3bhp more power and a seven per cent boost to low-down torque. It’s also Euro5 emissions compliant. Wet weight overall is now down to just 189kg, and there’s a heap of detail updates to the bodywork, electronics and new spin-forged wheels.

The MT-09SP has also had some changes for 2021

The SP gets a posh Öhlins rear shock, with remote reservoir, remote preload adjuster and full damping adjustability, plus a KYB front fork, with DLC-coated inner tubes. The fork is also fully adjustable, with separate adjusters for high- and low-speed damping as well as preload. Fancy stuff indeed.

Yamaha’s also given the SP a cruise control setup, which is one of those things that we thought we’d never need, but is a real boon on longer rides and through average speed camera zones. The setup on the SP works in fourth gear and above, at speeds over 31mph – so there will be no cruise-control wheelies, sadly…

Details underline the SP’s premium feel: a natty stitched seat, black anodised handlebars, levers and rear sprocket, and a lush anodised brushed finish on the aluminium swingarm.

The new SP will be in dealers next March, with prices to be announced in the new year.

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