Hot Gossip: Yamaha R9 Sportbike Incoming

The new R9 would be powered by Yamaha's trusty CP3 engine. PHOTO CREDIT: Yamaha

As weird as it might sound, it seems that sportbikes are undergoing a sort of revival right now, even though we apparently live in The Age Of The Adventure Bike (judging by the displays on this year’s show circuit). And in keeping with that theme, here’s some hot gossip: Yamaha is reportedly building a YZF-R9 sportbike and planning to release it in the near future.

Gossip about an R9 is nothing new; we first saw patents for a sportbike powered by Yamaha’s 900-class three-cylinder engine back in 2022. The expectation was that it would follow the same pattern as the YZF-R7—a real world-friendly sportbike based off the CP3 series engine, instead of the CP2. Surely it would appear as a 2024 model at the latest?

Well, so far, that’s not the case. But there’s been a lot more buzz about this news lately, with the big boss from the Yamaha-tied Ten Kate Racing team (from World Superbike) saying that there’d be a new three-cylinder Yammie sportbike out this year.

Picture the R7, but with a bigger motor, and you probably know what the R9 looks like. PHOTO CREDIT: Yamaha

Why now, and not in 2023? Probably because the MT-09 itself has just undergone a major update. The engine itself is unchanged, as far as we know, but the electronics package was overhauled. Here’s what we told you back in the fall:

The MT-09 now has two user-defined riding modes that add to three manufacturer-programmed riding modes (Sport, Street, Rain). Cruise control is standard for 2024, which is a nice crossover from the CP3-powered touring lineup, along with Back Slip Regulator. There’s a new USB-C plug-in underneath the seat as well.

The MT-09 also got several other updates which would be less relevant to this bike (suspension, bodywork and dash), since the R9 would most likely have a lot of all-new parts.

If Yamaha really is serious about this bike, it’s too late to get it into a full season of international roadracing. Maybe we’d see it sneak into WSB for a few wildcards at end of season, but it’s far more likely we’d see it launched on the ’24 show circuit for the 2025 racing and selling season.


  1. What racing class would a 900cc triple run in? Almost certainly too big to run in the 600 class (is there still a 600 supersport class?) Still, I think this engine has deserved a more competent chassis for years.

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