2020 Yamaha MT-03 Review First Ride

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By John Burns

2020 Yamaha MT-03

Editor Score: 85.0%

Engine 15.0/20
Suspension/Handling 14.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 8.5/10
Brakes 8.5/10
Instruments/Controls 4.5/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 9.0/10
Appearance/Quality 9.0/10
Desirability 8.0/10
Value 8.5/10
Overall Score 85/100

Just because they cancelled South by Southwest doesn’t mean MO would let a little thing like a global pandemic keep us from our appointed rounds, and so it was off to Austin, Texas, to ride Yamaha’s new entry-level Master of Torque last week. (Or maybe it should’ve deterred us, since on my day to fly home again, we got word that the US MotoGP round, scheduled for April here in Austin, was also postponed due to coronavirus. Then the IoM TT, then the run on toilet paper… And now my throat’s a little scratchy… maybe this thing is not a Chinese hoax?)

But that’s not important right now. Yamaha tells us cheap, small-bike sales are booming, okay, not booming, but not in the tank as much as other bike sales. So, they needed something to compete with the Kawasaki Z400, the KTM 390 Duke, etc… and the MT-03 is it. Not just based upon the YZF-R3 but pretty much the same bike with the fairing removed, MT-03 differences are restricted to a steel handlebar mounted in rubber instead of clip-ons, slightly softer damping in its 37mm inverted fork, and no more full fairing. For a mere $4,699, it’s a very perky and even attractive little package.

Yours in Ice Fluo or Midnight Black

The 321 cc parallel twin is as big as it can get, since it began life as a 250. We’re pretty fond of saying it’s not all about the power, but with little bikes like these, it kind of is. That’s their appeal, too. On fun roads where you never get your R1 halfway …read more

Source:: 2020 Yamaha MT-03 Review First Ride


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