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Yamaha YZF

Jan 22, 2024Jan 22, 2024

The Yamaha YZF-R9 will bridge the gap between the 70-horsepower R7 and the 200-horsepower R1

Since Yamaha pulled the plug on the YZF-R6, it has left a big hole in Team Blue's faired bike lineup. Sure, Yamaha did launch the R7 to make up for it (in a way), but that's just a small jump from the R3 and a huge way off the R1, leaving a sizable gap in between. However, it is a gap that Yamaha is now confirmed to bridge with its upcoming full-faired sportbike, the YZF-R9.

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This isn't exactly breaking news since Yamaha had previously filed name trademarks in Europe for the R2 and R9 last year. While name trademarks didn't confirm much (it could be just to lock the names, so others can't use them), the revelation here is that Yamaha has now trademarked the official YZF-R9 and R9 logos in Australia, according to CycleWorld. The font is a carbon copy of what we currently see on all other R models and confirms that the R9 project has progressed to near completion.

Yamaha kick-started its MT range by plonking the YZF-R1's engine on a naked, but in recent times, the company is going in the opposite direction - the R7 employs the MT-07's engine, not the other way around. So, keeping this in mind, the Yamaha R9 will likely borrow the 889cc triple-cylinder engine from the MT-09. The engine belts out a respectable 117 horsepower and 68.6 pound-feet, which would slot the R9 right between the 73 horsepower R7 and the almost 200 horsepower YZF-R1. Not to mention, the triple-cylinder nature would make it more tractable than the YZF-R6.

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Elsewhere, the MT-09 benefits from adjustable upside-down forks, spin-forged wheels, and an array of electronic rider aids, all of which should end up on the YZF-R9. The MT-09 is also light on its feet at 419 pounds (wet), and you can expect the R9 to also be lightweight. The R9 will boast Yamaha's signature M1-inspired styling and multiple chassis changes to make it a capable track tool. Clip-ons, rear sets, a new subframe, and a sharper rake are some changes we expect.

The Yamaha YZF-R9 could arrive next year, as a 2024 model. However, there's a high chance Yamaha will give some hint on the project at the upcoming EICMA, just to fire warning shots at its competitors. And speaking of competition, the YZF-R9 will rival the Aprilia RS660 and the Honda CBR650R, even though it’ll be in a league of its own.

Punya is an avid motorcyclist who's always up for a ride to the canyons or the racetrack. He insists his riding skills are better than his writing skills, even though he's worked with some world-renowned automotive websites.