2020 Yamaha MT-03

Text: RoadRUNNER Staff • Photography: Yamaha

Yamaha has released a stylish new naked sports motorcycle to appeal to junior riders. The MT-03 takes the bones of the YZF-R3 sportbike and repackages them into this sassy new model. Its aggressive, mass-forward appearance gives the MT-03 a leg up over some of its mundane-looking competition. 

A centrally located LED headlamp and dual position lights give the MT-03 a dramatic face within the front cowl assembly, augmented by LED turn signals. Cowlings under each side of the 3.7-gallon fuel tank add to the bike’s “next-generation” design. Most components are given the blacked-out treatment, adding to Yamaha’s “Dark Side” ethos for its MT lineup. 

The chassis is a diamond-type steel frame purposely narrow to give legs a straight shot to the ground. The seat is placed at a relatively low 30.7 inches. An inverted 37mm Kayaba fork is a nice, premium touch, as is the aluminum (rather than cheaper steel) upper triple clamp, while a preload-adjustable monoshock resides out back. Anti-lock braking is standard equipment, using a 298mm disc up front and a 220mm rotor in the rear. 

The MT-03 uses the twin-cylinder, 321cc engine from the R3, which has an easy-to-manage but playful character, backed up with a light clutch pull and a six-speed transmission. Full of fuel, the MT-03 scales in at a fairly lithe 373 pounds. Instrumentation is via an attractive LCD panel. 

The MT-03 will be available in two color schemes (Ice Fluo and Midnight Black) when it arrives at dealerships in February for a list price of $ 4,599.