- Yamaha’s upcoming YZF-R9 is set to be a modern-day middleweight sport bike, slotting between the R7 and R1 in the lineup.
- The design of the YZF-R9 is expected to take inspiration from the flagship R1, featuring a muscular fuel tank and R1-derived cockpit.
- The R9 will be powered by an 889cc, triple-cylinder engine borrowed from the MT-09, delivering 117 horsepower and 68.6 pound-feet of torque.
When you think sport bikes, Yamaha’s YZF lineup is certainly one of the examples that pops into mind. After all, the YZF-R125 (sold in Europe and Britain), YZF-R15 (sold in India and Asia), YZF-R3, YZF-R7, and the YZF-R1 are all key players in their respective segments. Now, it seems things are about to get even better with–you already know where we’re going with this–the upcoming YZF-R9. It’s about to slot between the R7 and R1, serving as the company’s take on a modern-day middleweight sport bike. While the full reveal is yet to happen, we couldn’t help but be impatient and ask our digital artist Rostislav Prokop to imagine the sport bike. Doing just that, here’s what he came up with.
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The Yamaha YZF-R9 Render Takes Design Inspiration From The YZF-R1
Whether it’s the YZF-R125 or the YZF-R1, Yamaha’s sport bike range follows a set design language. And we think the YZF-R9 won’t be an exception. We expect it to take design inspiration from the flagship R1, which is what our render does too. There’s a muscular fuel tank in the middle, complete with an R1-derived cockpit. Similarly, we’ve also made sure the wheels match the liter-class motorcycle.
However, we believe the R9’s fascia would be different. This is something trusted Japanese publication Young Machine suggests, so our render does its own thing up top. It’s somewhat identical to the 2015 YZF-R1, albeit with carbon inserts, a different intake, and no projector lights for a distinct appeal. The above-mentioned publication also says the R9 will have an SP variant. It will boast:
- Aerodynamic wings (first for Yamaha’s YZF range)
- YZF-R1 M-inspired silver-black livery
- Blue wheels
- Upgraded suspension
- Different wheels
While we haven’t imagined the R9 SP, it won’t come as a surprise since the MT-09 also has such a variant.
Yamaha’s 889cc, Triple-Cylinder Engine Will Power The YZF-R9
Speaking of the MT-09, that’s where the R9 will borrow much of its mechanicals. The biggest element would be the 889cc, triple-cylinder engine armed with a cross-plane crankshaft. It’s good for 117 horsepower and 68.6 pound-feet, all sent to the wheel via a six-speed transmission. If the output remains as it as, the R9 would slot between the twin-cylinder offerings–the Suzuki GSX-8R and the Aprilia RS 660–and the four-cylinder supersports–the Honda CBR600RR and the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. More importantly, the middleweight would serve as a perfect middle point between the 73-HP R7 and the 200-HP R1.
As good as that sounds, we hope Yamaha upgrades its CP3 engine for the sport bike. Something like a new engine map, a couple of extra ponies, or bumped-up torque–simply to offset the extra weight of the fairings and other bodywork. Don’t get your hopes up, though, as there’s no power difference between the R3-MT-07 and R7-MT-07.
Yamaha YZF-R9 Expected Power Figures
What about underpinnings? They’ll be derived from the naked too, but with notable differences. The MT-09 has adjustable upside-down forks and monoshock for suspension duties, tied together with a diamond chassis. While these are expected to be present on the R9, we believe the sport bike will have a different subframe to alter the overall geometry. It’s something we’ve seen Yamaha do on the YZF-R7, as well. Likewise, we’d expect a sharper rake and shorter wheelbase to elevate the cornering prowess.
The ergonomics will follow the same trend. Accordingly, our render has low clip-on handlebars for nose-heavy weight distribution, along with rear-set footrests and a tall saddle. We hope Yamaha doesn’t tame things down with high clip-ons–the current trend in the segment. Once atop, we’re certain you’ll be greeted by a full-TFT instrument cluster. The MT-09 has a five-inch display that gives you access to loads of electronic aids and oodles of information. All of it’s expected to be standard on the R9, and here’s a list for your reference:
This package would make the R9 one of the most loaded motorcycles in the middleweight segment!
The Yamaha YZF-R9 Could Debut In A Few Months’ Time
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Yes, you read that right. The rumors of the YZF-R9 have grown stronger than ever in the past one month, with the biggest confirmation coming from the WSBK paddock. Yamaha’s World SSP team manager has confirmed the team will run the R9 from 2025 as a replacement for the much-loved YZF-R6. For that to happen, Yamaha would need to homologate the motorcycle by end of 2024 or early 2025, hinting at a production debut in the latter months of this year. As always, the EICMA would be THE best venue for the announcement. To jog your memory, Team Blue has already filed name and logo trademarks for the motorcycle. So the runway seems well-clear for the R9’s takeoff.