2022 Bike Rumours – Yamaha MT-09 Turbo, Anyone?Armani Moffatt
Last week Kawasaki squeaked in a quick peek at a member of their 2022 range, revealing the Z900RS SE. And now the rumour mill starts turning in earnest, with brand new metal expected to be announced with regularity in the coming weeks. But what’s on its way? Truth is, you can never be absolutely sure until the pictures ping into your inbox, sometimes your digging gets pretty close to the bone, sometimes it’s bang on and others it’s waaaaaaay off! Anyway, here’s some that are bubbling under right now.
The Yamaha R6 is, in production bike terms, no more, it has ceased to be available, its moniker expired and relegated to a track-only machine which currently rules most Supersport classes it races in. Now, we appear to have an inkling of what’s next – the R9. As you may have immediately guessed, this machine will use the MT-09 CP3 motor, just like the R7 uses the MT-07’s CP2 lump as its beating heart. Triumph should take note, too, because in the Supersport arena they’re having to transform the Street Triple into a race bike, but rivals such as Ducati, MV and (soon) Yamaha will have ready-made entrants when the rules are opened up for next year. Frankly, this is a great thing because the 750cc class is both much missed and a perfect replacement for 600s given the increases in chassis, tyre and safety technology. All Yamaha need to do is a few internal tweaks on the CP3 to increase revs, and you’ll have a perfect blend of weight and power for a sublime sporting ride. This one has us very excited, especially given Yamaha have recently registered the designation ‘R9’ as an actual thing. There is also an R2 apparently on the way, although this is expected to be a low capacity machine destined for the burgeoning Asian market. Rumour/Truth Rating – High
Suzuki SV650/700 R?
In recent years, racing hasn’t driven road bikes in quite the same way as it did for decades. Manufacturers began to push or alter capacities on either side of racing limits, however, just recently things are swinging back again. While the Supersport class is about to receive a big change, the Super Twins classes are also being transformed. For years the home of, essentially, homemade race bikes converted from commuters, now the manufacturers are sticking their oar in. First was Aprilia with the RS660, which is brilliant and immediately started winning, then the Yamaha R7, itself a podium finisher from the off. Kawasaki is rumoured to be giving their Ninja 650 a refresh and now there’s word Suzuki want to give those who have dutifully spent years modifying their venerable SV, a helping hand. It could even see a capacity increase as that’s what some of the MotoAmerica SV crowd have already been doing, bumping it up to 700cc. Supplying a production bike with a sportier chassis from the off will no doubt help further, but the best part is that these ‘junior’ Supersport machines could fill a gap that’s been void since the multi-cylinder 400s and two-stroke 250s perished. Rumour/Truth Rating – Maybe/Hopefully
Yamaha MT-09 Turbo?
Now, this one surfaced late last year after some patents and registrations were filed by Yamaha, then vanished into the ether, yet is now gathering pace once more. Manufacturers have teased us several times with concept bikes featuring various methods of forced induction, but only Kawasaki has actually delivered on the promise. The biggest question mark peddled around about this one seems to be – why an MT-09, why not an MT-10? Good question, although the MT-10 is already bonkers enough, Yamaha even allow a huge amount of rear-end sag as standard precisely so it wheelies easier. Fitting a turbo to an already hilarious, powerful, brilliant and characterful engine seems a little superfluous, although the same could be argued about the MT-09, too. Additionally, throwing a load more power at an 09 would mean a fairly beefy chassis upgrade is essential, throwing the question once more of – why not the already better equipped for the job MT-10? We’d love to see it, who wouldn’t? But there’s not enough hard evidence to put any money on it just yet. Rumour/Truth Rating – We’ll believe it when we see it…
Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RR
We know this is an actual thing on the way because Triumph has told the entire world it’s coming, but what exactly is it? The latest Speed Triple was the upgrade we’d essentially been waiting a decade for, with an entirely new engine and a lot less weight. The teasing spy pics of the RR show us a top fairing, so perhaps it’s a proper cafe-racer, and that’s not a bad thing. One of the first iterations of the ST was clip-on shod cafe-racer, which even ended up with its own race series for a while. Triumph then shifted it to a more relaxed tone, but there is definitely room for a sportier version of the Speed, even a proper sports bike version too, if they’re up for it. Triumph, what say you? Rumour/Truth Rating – About as nailed on as a nailed on thing can be!
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