Yamaha MT-03

Yamaha MT-03 has been available in Europe, Australia, and several Asian countries for a few years, but in the United States, we only got the YZF-R3 fully-faired sportbike. With the 2020 MT-03 getting a new look, Yamaha decided it was time to expand the lineup here.

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Yamaha calls this color Ice Fluo and it’s one of two choices that will be available in the United States. Yamaha photo.

It makes sense. The MT-09, formerly the FZ-09 and the first of the “dark side of Japan” models from Yamaha, has been a good seller in the U.S. market. So it has the MT-07 and the YZF-R3. The MT-03 combines the MT “dark side” styling with the running gear of the R3.

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Midnight Black is the other color option Yamaha will offer in the United States. Yamaha photo.

2020 Yamaha MT-03 Features

So the MT-03 will have the same 321 cc parallel-twin engine with a balancer that’s found in the R3, along with its 37 mm KYB inverted fork and preload-adjustable single rear shock attached to a long swingarm, inspired by the YZF-R1. Anti-lock brakes are standard. Since much of the MT-03 is shared with the R3, check out Andy’s first ride of that bike from earlier this year to get an idea of how all this works. Of course, the MT’s ergonomics are a little more upright and relaxed than the R3’s.

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The KYB inverted fork is one of the touches that keep the MT-03 from looking like a bargain bike. Yamaha photo.

The new face for the 2020 MT-03 features two-position lights “that convey an aggressive look and underline the pure MT DNA running through its veins,” in the words of Yamaha. Underneath those angled lights is a small LED headlight. The combination looks sort of like an evil robot face to my eye, and it does make for a unique look. LEDs are also used for the turn signals.

Yamaha MT-03

Yamaha MT-03 gets a new face for its U.S. debut. The angled position lights and single LED headlight below make for a unique look. Yamaha photo.

Yamaha made a point of asserting that the MT-03 has a big-bike, quality look to it and the photos, at least, seem to back that up.

Yamaha MT-03

All of these photos show the European model of the MT-03. Yamaha says the U.S. model’s LCD digital panel will have white numerals on a black background. Yamaha photo.

The 2020 Yamaha MT-03 will be available at U.S. dealers in February with an MSRP of $4,599, which is $400 less than the R3 without ABS, $700 less than the R3 ABS, and $200 less than the competing Kawasaki Z400, which also comes with ABS.

2020 Yamaha MT-03. Yamaha photo.
2020 Yamaha MT-03. Yamaha photo.

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