EICMA: Yamaha MT-03, another new class 2A contender


New Yamaha MT-03: Embrace the Darkness with the new light & punchy urban twin


Motorcycling’s most successful family is growing!

Inspired by the alternative biking subcultures that inhabit the Dark Side of Japan, the ground-breaking Yamaha MT range of motorcycles is bringing a whole new look and feel to the streets of Europe. Characterized by their enjoyable torque and easy agility, as well as class-leading day-to-day versatility and athletic mass-forward body style, the MT models represent a dynamic and exciting new wave in motorcycle design that has captured the imagination of today’s riders. Since the introduction of the iconic MT-09 over 70,000 MT models have been sold in Europe, proving the huge success of the Dark Side of Japan


For 2016 Yamaha will expand the hugely successful MT range further with the introduction of the new MT-03, a light, agile and easy-to-use 321cc twin that brings new levels of riding emotion to the A2 category. Aimed at everyone from new A2 licence riders through to customers who may be stepping up from a 125 – as well as those more experienced bikers who are looking for a second motorcycle for everyday use – the MT-03 makes the MT world more accessible than ever.

An important feature of this new MT is its upright riding position that – together with the wide steering angle and moderate seat height – make it easy to use and enjoyable to ride in everyday urban situations. The YZF-R3 based inline 321cc twin cylinder engine has been developed to deliver easy to control power at lower speeds, along with plenty of strong running performance at mid to high speeds.

This enjoyable to use engine is complemented by a slim and lightweight chassis and smooth suspension derived from the YZF-R3 that give a comfortable ride with agile handling performance and easy steering. Featuring the MT family’s distinctive mass-forward silhouette, the MT-03′s sleek and muscular body design makes this sporty new all rounder one of the most attractive models in the A2 licence class. By expanding the range into new territory, Yamaha anticipate that the new MT-03 will attract many new and existing riders to the MT world.


Upright riding position

With its strong focus on every day urban use, the MT-03 is equipped with natural ergonomics that are designed to give high levels of comfort. The seat/handlebar/footrest relationship is designed to create an upright seating position to suit riders of different sizes, while the sculpted fuel tank and knee grip area allow the rider to feel at one with this attractive all rounder.

The upright handlebars also offer a wide lock-to-lock steering angle of 68 degrees, giving the MT-03 rider plenty of manoeuvrability in slow traffic, and this feature also makes the bike easy to move around when wheeling it in and out of garages or parking spaces.

Manageable 780mm seat height

The two-level seating arrangement features a 780mm high rider’s seat that gives a feeling of sitting ‘in’ and not ‘on top of’ the bike, and enables the typical rider to get both feet on the ground during stop/start riding. The raised passenger seat gives plenty of space for a passenger, and features aluminium grab bars for added comfort.


Mass-forward body design

MT family DNA has heavily influenced the styling of the new MT-03. One of the characteristic features of every MT model is the distinctive mass-forward silhouette that gives these award-winning bikes a compact, purposeful and aggressive stance that conveys a feeling of power and agility.

This unique MT look is achieved by the use of horizontal design lines as well as minimal front and rear overhang. The mass-forward look is reinforced by the centrally located muffler, while the forward inclined engine as well as the sculpted fuel tank and air scoops contrast with the bike’s slim and minimalist tail to accentuate the ‘ready to pounce’ mass-forward stance.

Compact and lightweight 321cc inline twin cylinder engine

Developed from the YZF-R3 unit, the liquid-cooled 4-stroke DOHC 4- valve inline twin cylinder engine has been designed to deliver excellent power and responsive torque characteristics. The enjoyable engine running character inspires a high level of riding emotion that sets the MT-03 apart from other models. In order to promote increased running efficiency this engine has been developed using the latest combustion analysis technology, and features a range of high specification components including lightweight forged pistons and carburized con rods.

The layout of the inlet and exhaust valves has been optimized, which, together with a compact 4-valve combustion chamber layout, induces swirl and tumble of the fuel air mix for rapid combustion and strong running performance.

Slim and compact frame

The chassis is based on the sporty YZF-R3 design, and has been developed using the latest structural analysis technology, enabling Yamaha’s designers to create a compact and lightweight frame for the new MT-03 that delivers an excellent rigidity balance.

The straightforward design features very little bending, welding or crimping of the tubes, creating a minimalist and attractive structure whose compact dimensions and low weight contribute significantly towards achieving light and agile handling performance.

The frame’s two main pipes are made from 35mm steel tube, and by utilizing the engine’s crankcase as a stressed member of the chassis, Yamaha’s designers have been able to minimize overall weight.

Long asymmetrical swingarm

Yamaha was one of the first manufacturers to exploit the handling and traction-related advantages gained by using a long swingarm design, and the new MT-03 features the same swingarm to wheelbase ratio as the 2014 YZF-R1.

During both the compression and rebound strokes, the angle of the MT-03′s 573mm long swingarm – in relation to the road surface – fluctuates much less than with a conventional shorter design. This gives more efficient transmission of power to the rear wheel, and this effect is particularly significant during acceleration, deceleration and cornering, when the rear suspension tends to be most active.

10-spoke cast aluminium wheels and wide section tyres

Low unsprung weight contributes towards responsive suspension action and agile handling characteristics, and the MT-03 is equipped with YZF-R3 type lightweight 10-spoke cast aluminium wheels that have been designed to give an optimum balance of strength and rigidity.

These attractive wheels are fitted with wide section rubber, with a 140/70-17 rear tyre, and a 110/70-17 front tyre that give good traction and confident road holding. Unsprung weight is further reduced by the use of hollow axles, whose design also offers good shock-absorbing characteristics for improved riding comfort.

Multi-function instrument panel

The MT-03′s multi-function instrument panel is one of the most comprehensive designs in the category, and features a digital speedometer on the right side with an analogue tachometer on the left – and there’s also a shift timing indicator at the top.

Other functions include a fuel gauge, water temperature gauge, real- time and average fuel economy, clock, two tripmeters as well as an oil change indicator and more.

Large diameter 298mm floating front disc, 220mm rear disc, ABS

For strong and predictable stopping power, together with plenty of feel, the MT-03 is equipped with a large diameter 298mm front disc brake featuring a floating 2-piston caliper, while the rear wheel is fitted with a 220mm disc. This efficient and effective braking system gives a high level of braking power, enabling the MT-03 rider to enjoy a high level of machine control in urban and highway riding. ABS is fitted as standard.

LED lighting

To underline the MT-03′s dynamic looks it is equipped with an LED position light and LED tail light that require lower levels of electrical power to run, and also offer a long service life.

MT-03 Highlights

  • Natural upright riding position for comfortable urban riding
  • Distinctive MT family mass-forward silhouette
  • YZF-R3 based engine, frame, suspension and wheels
  • 321cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke DOHC 4-valve inline twin cylinder


  • Slim and compact frame with optimized balance of rigidity
  • Long, YZF-R1-inspired asymmetrical swingarm
  • Lightweight 10-spoke cast aluminium wheels
  • Moderate 780mm seat height for easy access to the ground
  • Comprehensive multi-function instruments
  • ABS-equipped 298mm floating front disc, 220mm rear disc
  • LED position light and LED taillight
  • Wide section140/70-17 rear tyre, 110/70-17 front tyre
  • Smooth action 41mm front forks with Monocross rear suspension
  • 14-litre fuel tank blending with knee grip and air scoops

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