“Your entry to the Dark Side” is not a Darth Vader quote. It’s Yamaha’s marketing hook for the approachable MT-03.
“Your entry to the Dark Side” is not a Darth Vader quote. It’s Yamaha’s marketing hook for the approachable MT-03. (Yamaha/)

Ups

Powered by the same sporty engine as the R3Great handling for a budget-friendly bikeRoomy ergos for such a compact bike

Downs

Brakes are uncommunicative when the mood gets aggressiveHeavier clutch pull compared to its competition

Verdict

New riders wanting a taste of Yamaha’s MT range get exactly what they want with the fun and spunky MT-03. The bike’s R3-sourced engine and chassis promise sporty behavior, while MT-inspired ergos provide more comfort for around-town riding.

Overview

There have always been high expectations for Yamaha’s MT-03. Not only was it riding on the success of the MT-07, -09, and -10, but it had to be approachable for the young, so maybe not so reckless. So Yamaha took the sporty engine and chassis from the respected YZF-R3, emphasized comfort with upright ergonomics, left the bike bare bones with sinister styling, and then tested the waters in Europe. Obviously it was successful, as three years later the machine made its way to the US as a 2020 model.

Cycle World tested the MT-03 at the press launch, then got it in-house for dyno testing and a second round of road testing, and concluded that the machine is a great entry point to the renowned MT lineup. The engine is entertaining for all, the handling is pretty impressive, the ergonomics are comfortable for such a compact bike, and the brakes… Well, the brakes could use some refining. Still, the low price point really brings it all together.

The MT-03 is appropriate for riders with limited experience and engaging enough to entertain riders with plenty of miles behind them. And it does it all with MT flair.

The glare and stare from the MT-03’s LED headlight cluster.
The glare and stare from the MT-03’s LED headlight cluster. (Yamaha/)

Updates for 2022

2022 is only the MT-03′s second year of availability in the US market, so no major changes have been made.

Pricing and Variants

The MT-03 is available in three colors: Cyan Storm, Team Yamaha Blue, and Matte Stealth Black. All have the same $4,799 MSRP.

Competition

Today’s lucky new riders get a wide selection of small-displacement naked bikes to choose from. The MT-03 is in the company of the BMW G 310 R, Kawasaki Z400, KTM 390 Duke, Honda CB300R, and Husqvarna Svart/Vitpilen 401.

The 321cc parallel twin recorded 37.1 hp and 20.2 pound-feet of torque on the dyno.
The 321cc parallel twin recorded 37.1 hp and 20.2 pound-feet of torque on the dyno. (Yamaha/)

Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The MT-03 is powered by a 321cc DOHC parallel twin, the same engine used in the sporty and capable YZF-R3. This powerplant loves to be revved, and riders will find that it’s most entertaining above 6,000 rpm.

If there’s one standout issue with the MT-03, it’s the relatively stiff clutch pull. While it may not go easy on rider forearms, the clutch does have decent feel, and it’s easy to launch the MT-03 from a stoplight. This engine produced 37.07 hp at 10,590 rpm and 20.22 pound-feet of torque at 9,010 rpm on our in-house dyno. It doesn’t have a ton of torque, but its power is engaging for all riders.

The small MT weighs in at a mere 375 pounds when measured on Cycle World’s scales.
The small MT weighs in at a mere 375 pounds when measured on Cycle World’s scales. (Yamaha/)

Handling

Riders of any and all experience levels have to agree that the MT-03 is a light, flickable machine. Cycle World commented that it “tips into the corners quickly and easily without requiring much input from the rider” and later mentioned that its “54.3-inch wheelbase and light 375-pound weight (measured on the CW scales) made maneuvering a breeze, nimbly strutting around like a prize-winning show dog.”

The

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By: Staff
Title: 2022 Yamaha MT-03
Sourced From: www.motorcyclistonline.com/story/buyers-guide/yamaha-mt-03-2022/
Published Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2022 21:43:02 +0000

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