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Yamaha MT-01 - 2005

Yamaha MT-01

Kodo, that's the kind of soulbeat that Yamaha's engineers and designers have built into the MT-01. Its engine is designed to let you enjoy the beat of the huge V-twin torque, as if you are riding the engine itself. You feel the beat as if it were a heartbeat, rising and falling, and touching the soul.

MT-01 development story

The story begins five years ago when Yamaha unveiled their radical MT-01 concept bike at the 1999 Tokyo Motor Show. Like many concept machines the bike attracted a lot of attention. The most interest came from experienced riders who appreciated that this revolutionary new big V-twin would give a unique riding experience.

Rather than being the response to market analysis, the MT-01 machine had been created by engineers and designers who aimed to build something different, and along the way they created a bike that fired the imagination of many riders.

MT-01 development goals

When Yamaha's designers set out to build the MT-01, the key words that summed up the development project were 'Soul Beat V-twin Sports'. Yamaha embarked on the project to build the ultimate leisure machine for the sophisticated, experienced rider.

At the start of this project, it was agreed that the new model had to deliver:

  • Big-displacement V-twin acceleration that would let the rider feel every piston stroke
  • A massive torque feeling when accelerating in any gear
  • Sports handling characteristics that would perfectly complement the big V-twin engine pulses
  • Head-turning looks
  • High specification components and quality materials that would heighten pride of ownership
  • The result is a radical and innovative new 'Torque Sports' machine that delivers a whole new riding experience.


    Long stroke 1,670cc air-cooled OHV engine

    The engine that powers the radical new MT-01 is the biggest V-twin ever built by Yamaha, and is based on the proven 48-degree V-twin unit that is featured on the extremely successful US market model, the Road Star Warrior. However, although outwardly similar in appearance to the cruiser powerplant, the newly designed MT-01 engine has been considerably re-worked, and is significantly different from the Road Star Warrior.

    One of the main development goals for the MT-01 engine designers was to create a powerplant with maximum intake and exhaust efficiency in order to achieve remarkably high levels of low to mid range torque. The MT-01's bore and stroke dimensions are 97 x 113mm, and the four-valve cylinder heads feature twin spark plugs and a pent roof design. Cylinder walls are ceramic composite plated for reduced frictional losses and enhanced heat dissipation, and this massive V-twin runs with durable forged pistons and a compression ratio of 8.36:1.

    One of the special characteristics of this new engine is the fact that it has been developed to produce two sensations from low rpm right through to higher engine speeds. At low rpm the massive pulsing torque output delivers an instant rush of thrust. And at increased revs - with a peak torque output at 3,750rpm - that thrust grows and swells to produce incredible sports performance.

    This massive V-twin engine produces enormous levels of torque throughout its operating range, as witnessed by the fact that this machine can pull 5th gear from extremely low engine speeds, and cruises at 100km/h at only 2,300rpm. The Japanese noun that means pulse or soulbeat. But to really understand, or even better, to feel what is meant by this word, just imagine the atmosphere created by the beat of Japanese big drums. Their intense rhythm and sound resonates within the mind and body of the listener, creating a unique sensation.

    Twin bore downdraft fuel injection system

    For optimal driveability the MT-01 engine is fed by a 40mm diameter downdraft-type twin bore throttle body with electronic fuel injection system, which is mounted laterally so that it fits into the narrow space between the 48 degree V of the air-cooled cylinders. This efficient system ensures instant throttle response and strong standing start and roll-on acceleration. Large-capacity 7-litre airbox

    A new 7-litre downdraft-type air cleaner box featuring a variable air intake valve system has been developed for the MT-01, and this large-capacity unit gives reduced air-flow resistance, which ensures a highly efficient intake system. Combined with the electronic fuel injection system, the new large capacity airbox contributes significantly to the massive V-twin engine pulse feeling which characterises this radical new type of motorcycle. In addition, the large capacity of the airbox helps to reduce intake noise, allowing the rider to enjoy the soulbeat emitted by the dual up-muf?ers.

    Lightweight crank assembly

    One of the most significant features on the MT-01 engine is the adoption of a new lightweight crankshaft assembly, which uses a new flywheel with less mass. Together with the use of a downdraft electronic fuel injection system and large capacity air cleaner box, the new lightweight crank makes for instant pick up and remarkable acceleration, and completely transforms the performance characteristics of this massive V-twin engine.

    Compact EXUP system

    Yamaha's famous EXUP system has in the past been used on four cylinder supersport machines, and this torque-boosting system is now used for the first time on a twin cylinder bike. The exhaust forces and pressures involved on the MT-01 engine are far greater than those experienced on a four cylinder machine, and therefore a much stronger valve has been developed.

    This compact system features a variable valve positioned where the two exhausts merge into one, and this valve constantly adjusts the internal diameter of the exhaust to match engine rpm. The EXUP valve is particularly effective in preventing the 'blow-back' that is experienced during the overlap period, when the intake and exhaust valves are open at the same time, and this gives high levels of intake and exhaust efficiency. The EXUP's electronic mapping is designed to enhance the performance characteristics of the big V-twin engine, and plays an important role in shaping the pulsating character of this unique 'Torque Sports' motorcycle.

    Catalytic converter

    A great deal of effort has been made to ensure that the MT-01's throbbing exhaust note and massive power pulses would not be diluted by noise and emissions regulations, and the correct positioning of the catalytic converter within the exhaust system is of crucial importance to any engine's power characteristics.

    The MT-01's cleverly designed catalytic converter features a 'hot tube' positioned immediately after the EXUP valve, while the honeycomb type catalytic converter is placed at the beginning of the titanium up-mufflers. By positioning the components in this way, the massive power pulses and the deep, powerful exhaust note are maintained, and the exhaust gases clear EU2 emissions standards.

    Titanium megaphone-type up-mufflers

    With its displacement of 1,670cc, the MT-01's exhausts had to offer a capacity to match, and Yamaha's designers have skilfully integrated the system into the minimalist bodywork, and have made the dual titanium mufflers a major focal point in the machine's overall make-up.

    Exhaust pipe length is a critical factor in achieving the desired performance, and a great deal of effort went into developing a system which allowed the engine to produce optimal power, and also complemented the bike's looks.

    Running along the right side of the huge engine, dual big-bore exhausts feature large radius curves in order to improve gas low efficiency. With a length of 415mm, the twin titanium megaphone-style up-muf?ers taper from 86.4mm diameter at their front section to 123.7mm diameter at the rear, giving the MT-01's minimalist rear end a unique and uncompromising appearance.

    Resin end caps are treated with a copper nickel coating which is then chrome plated, and this finish offers excellent heat resistance characteristics associated with resin, and also gives a pure metallic feel. To underline our fine attention to every detail, the silencers are equipped with a forced-cooling fan that ensures efficient heat dissipation.

    As well as emphasising the brutal, muscular looks of this new bike, these titanium up-mufflers make the soulbeat exhaust note more audible to the rider, and less noticeable to bystanders. The crisp, thunderous, pulsating V-twin beat sounds like nothing else.

    Right-side drive chain

    Final drive to the rear wheel on the MT-01 is via a heavy-duty chain running along the right side of the swing arm, unlike the Road Star Warrior's engine which features a transfer unit connected to a belt drive running along the left side.

    By eliminating the bulky transfer unit, Yamaha's engineers have succeeded in making the 1,670cc engine lighter and more compact in the lower area (to give the V-shape more presence), and this has also allowed our chassis designers to develop a short wheelbase chassis with a relatively long swing arm. This idealised short wheelbase/long swing arm layout was originally pioneered on Yamaha's supersport machines, and is one of the major contributors to the bike's neutral handling characteristics.

    High-ratio 5-speed transmission

    In order to handle the huge torque output of this massive V-twin engine the 5-speed transmission runs with relatively high gear ratios. This transmission enhances the big power pulse sensation and make for a very special riding experience that can only be offered by such a large capacity V-twin. At the same time the MT-01's ignition timing has been optimised for the best performance in each gear, which gives outstanding driveability in town and out on the open road.

    Compact clutch assembly

    Handling the MT-01's enormous torque output is a newly designed compact clutch assembly which helps minimise dimensions of the engine's lower area, and this is one of the important factors that has allowed our designers to create a new short wheelbase chassis.

    Separate aluminium die-cast oil tank

    A separate aluminium die-cast oil tank is located below the front of the crankcase, and this ensures a smooth and efficient supply of lubricant to the dry sump engine. Positioning the oil tank low and to the front of the engine helps to centralise mass for neutral handling characteristics and also gives more efficient oil cooling and consistent engine performance. Together with the elimination of the transmission transfer unit, the front-mounted oil tank has also freed up space, and given our chassis design team the freedom to create a more compact chassis - and in particular, the relocated oil tank permits the use of a horizontally mounted shock beneath the engine.

    Technical Highlights MT-01 Engine

  • Long stroke 1,670cc air-cooled OHV engine
  • Massive torque output from low rpm for exhilarating riding experience
  • Maximum torque 150.1 Nm at 3,750rpm
  • Twin bore downdraft fuel injection system
  • Large-capacity 7-litre airbox
  • Lightweight crank assembly
  • Compact EXUP system
  • Catalytic converter
  • Twin titanium megaphone-type up-mufflers with cooling system
  • Right-side drive chain
  • High-ratio 5-speed transmission
  • 2,300rpm at 100km/h in 5th gear
  • Separate front-mounted aluminium die-cast oil tank
  • Chassis

    Newly designed aluminium CF die-cast frame

    The engine had to be the centre of attention on the MT-01. So when Yamaha's chassis development team set out to design a new frame for this new 'Torque Sports' machine, their goal was to create a minimalist structure which would accentuate the visual impact of the massive V-twin engine, but at the same time would enhance the sports characteristics of the bike.

    This goal has been achieved by using the very latest 'CF Aluminium Die-casting Technology', an exclusive casting technology patented by Yamaha and first used on the YZF-R6 supersport machine.

    This highly efficient and sophisticated process has totally transformed chassis design, and it offers many advantages over conventional technology. Firstly, the CF die-cast technology has opened up a whole new world of possibilities in frame design, and allows our designers greater freedom in the creation of lightweight, extremely strong structures with an idealised rigidity balance. In addition to these performance related benefits, this exclusive Yamaha process also delivers a beautiful, high quality finish which surpasses that of conventional chassis designs.

    Minimalist two-part weld-free design

    The CF die-cast aluminium frame is made up of just two cast parts (left and right) that are bolted together at the head pipe assembly and at the swing arm pivot. Bolted to the main frame is a two-part cast and moulded aluminium downtube, and the whole main frame structure is totally weld-free.

    The big V-twin engine is bolted to this lightweight aluminium frame using an eight point rigid-mount system, with four mounts at the cylinder heads and four mounts at the crankcase. By using the V-twin engine as a fully-stressed member, our designers have been able to create an extremely light, compact and attractive frame design that succeeds in three ways. Firstly, its layout makes for a short-wheelbase highly-rigid structure which gives outstanding sports handling performance. Secondly, its minimalist design focuses attention on the brutal 1,670cc V-twin engine, thereby emphasising the 'engine on wheels' appearance. And finally, the advanced CF die-cast design combined with the extremely high quality of finish serve to underline the MT-01's unique positioning and high-end status.

    Finally, this rigid-mount design also allows the rider to feel every piston stroke of the huge V-twin engine.

    CF Aluminium Die-casting Technology is an exclusive Yamaha die-casting technology that produces a denser metallurgic matrix in the cast aluminium by creating a higher degree of vacuum in the die at the moment of filling. The technology involves: (1) Creating a more complete vacuum in the mould, six times more complete that conventional methods. (2) Controlling the temperature of the mould so that the temperature of the molten aluminium remains more stable. (3) Increasing the speed by 500% at which the molten aluminium is injected into the mould, so that ideal mould filling occurs. High speed filling reduces the amount of oxidised impurities in the final casting. Precise control of the casting conditions is possible, and the resulting cast parts have about one fifth of the content of oxides in the final solidified metal compared with conventional die-cast aluminium.

    Optimised wheelbase and long swing arm

    The concept of mating a long swing arm with a short wheelbase chassis has already proved to be a great success on Yamaha's supersport models, and this advanced technology is now featured on the new MT-01. Our designers have been able to keep overall frame dimensions to an absolute minimum by making the lower area of the engine as compact as possible, and also by positioning the oil tank in front of the crankcase. This compact frame has allowed the use of a long swing arm, while at the same time retaining a relatively short wheelbase of only 1,525mm.

    The combination of a short wheelbase together with a 25 degree caster angle, 103mm trail, a 47%/53% front/rear weight distribution and a long swing arm work together to give the MT-01 a neutral and stable sports handling character, allowing the rider to enjoy the bike's unique big V-twin power pulses to the full.

    Long two-piece cast aluminium truss-type swing arm The long truss-type box section swing arm is manufactured from two separate low-pressure cast aluminium structures that are welded together. By opting for cast components, our designers have the freedom to specify varying plate thicknesses within each structure, and this advanced design helps to achieve an idealised strength/rigidity balance for high levels of roadholding and stability.

    New pivot shaft assembly

    The long truss-type cast aluminium swing arm benefits from a new pivot shaft assembly layout which makes a significant contribution to the bike's outstanding handling characteristics. On the majority of motorcycles the frame encloses the swing arm pivot points, but on the MT-01 the situation is reversed. Mounting the swing arm pivot on the outside of the frame increases the pitch between the left and right side pivot points to give increased rigidity. In addition, this new layout also allows the use of a slimmer footrest assembly, and also frees up space behind the engine for the dual titanium up-muffler system.

    Four-spoke cast wheels and radial tyres

    By using the latest analysis technology, Yamaha's designers have been able to build stylish new four-spoke cast alloy wheels which weigh approximately the same as the traditional three-spoke design. Their unique flared spoke design is wider at the rim than at the hub, giving the bike yet another unique design element that further underlines its position as one of the most unique motorcycles to be launched for many years.

    The sporting pedigree of the advanced chassis is confirmed by the fitment of a 120/70-17 front radial tyre and an extra wide 190/50-17 rear radial tyre which offer exceptional levels of traction.

    Fully-adjustable R1-derived upside down front forks

    Further evidence of the bike's sports handling potential can be seen in the high specification front suspension which had been developed from the design featured on the R1 supersport bike. The 43mm upside down forks are fully adjustable for preload, as well as rebound and compression damping, allowing the MT-01 rider to set them up to suit their body weight, as well as the prevailing riding conditions and also their own riding style.

    With a 25 degree caster and 103mm trail, combined with the compact 1,525mm wheelbase, these flex resistant front forks deliver relatively sporty handling characteristics combined with a smooth suspension action. Offering 120mm of travel, these sophisticated, fully adjustable forks are built to perform well over a variety of good and not-so-good road surfaces.

    Horizontal fully-adjustable rear shock

    The rear shock is mounted almost horizontally beneath the rear of the engine, and this location improves the mass centralisation and gives a lower centre of gravity, which contributes to the MT-01's sports handling qualities. Positioning the shock absorber here has the additional advantage that it frees up the area behind the engine, and facilitates the fitment of the dual titanium up-mufflers.

    Like the front suspension, the rear shock is fully adjustable for preload, as well as rebound and compression damping, and can be dialled in to suit individual requirements. Together with the lightweight truss-type cast aluminium swing arm, this rear shock absorber delivers high levels of stability and sporty roadholding.

    YZF-R1 type radial-mounted front brake calipers

    As benefits a machine of this size and status, the MT-01 is equipped with high-specification YZF-R1 type brakes that have already established a reputation for being amongst the best in the business. Dual 320mm floating front discs are slowed by one-piece 4-piston radial-mounted calipers that ensure outstanding braking performance, while the radial pump type front brake master cylinder gives excellent controllability.

    Originally this type of braking system was designed for race machinery and large-capacity supersport bikes. The radial mounting system minimises caliper distortion under heavy braking to give enhanced braking action and accurate rider feedback.

    15-litre fuel tank

    In order to ensure that the massive V-twin engine totally dominates the side-on view of the bike, the fuel tank features an elongated circular design. Equipped with an integral fuel pump, the 15-litre tank sits between the top rails of the CF aluminium die-cast frame and gives an acceptable range for leisure riding.

    Natural riding position with comfortable forward lean

    The relative positions of the handlebars, seat and footrests has been carefully chosen to give a natural, slightly forward-leaning riding position that distributes the rider's weight fairly evenly through each point of contact with the bike. This relatively relaxed seating position, combined with the very slim fuel tank at the knee grip, allows the rider to derive maximum satisfaction from riding, while also being able to savour the massive power pulses of the big V-twin engine beneath them.

    Sophisticated instrumentation

    The beautifully designed instrument panel is further evidence that every single detail on this remarkable motorcycle has been painstakingly designed in order to offer the customer a truly special experience.

    When the keys are inserted in the ignition the instruments light up slowly, one by one, in succession. The digital speedometer and analogue tachometer feature well-designed displays to keep the rider fully informed, and the brightness of each instrument can be adjusted independently.

    Multi-reflector headlight

    Like just about everything else on this unique machine, the headlight design has a character all of its own, giving the front of the MT-01 a distinctive look. The multi-reflector unit consists of two lights of different diameters which project a wide, powerful low and high beam.

    LED tail light

    Sitting between the massive twin titanium up-mufflers is the stylish LED tail light, which features a series on unequally-spaced LEDs that accentuate the bike's unique character. Whether viewed from the front of the rear, this ground-breaking motorcycle could never be mistaken for another model!

    Technical Highlights MT-01 Chassis

  • Newly designed aluminium CF die-cast sports frame
  • Minimalist two-part weld-free design
  • R1-type die-cast aluminium subframe
  • Optimised wheelbase and long swing arm
  • Long two-piece die-cast aluminium truss-type swing arm
  • New pivot shaft assembly
  • Four-spoke cast wheels and radial tyres
  • Fully-adjustable R1-derived upside down 43mm front forks
  • Horizontal fully-adjustable rear shock
  • YZF-R1 type radial-mounted front brake calipers
  • 15-litre fuel tank
  • Natural riding position with comfortable forward lean
  • Sophisticated instrumentation
  • Multi-reflector headlight
  • LED tail light
  • Immobiliser
  • MT-01 Components

    To offer its customers a whole new world of motorcycling experience, Yamaha have developed a range of dedicated MT accessories - MT Components - that will enable the MT-01 rider to modify their machine to suit their own individual requirements.

    MT Components is divided into MT Performance, which includes styling and tuning accessories, and MT Lifestyle, which includes a selection of high quality clothing and personal effects.

    MT-01 Performance consists of fly screens, air intake scoops and individual styling accessories. Also included are a single seat kit and carbon heat shields that work in conjunction with the exhausts, that are available from the tuning kits and which have been developed in collaboration with Akrapovi?c. In total, Yamaha offer three levels of tuning kits of which the first level is street-legal and the other two levels are for track-use only. The MT Performance tuning accessories will enhance the MT-01's performance in a considerable way.

    The MT Lifestyle range includes a riding jacket, trousers, T-shirts, wrist watch and sunglasses, as well as a range of other items.

    Yamaha MT-01. A whole new riding experience

    Yamaha has built its reputation over the past 50 years on its ability to innovate, and to create ground breaking new concepts that open up exciting new possibilities.

    The new MT-01 exemplifies the spirit that has made Yamaha one of the world's leading motorcycle manufacturers. This truly distinctive machine has a raw, animalistic character that appeals to all the senses of the rider, and in doing so it offers a whole new riding experience.

    With its large-capacity high-torque V-twin engine, technologically advanced sports chassis and minimalist styling, this new 'Torque Sports' motorcycle is one of the most significant developments in the world of motorcycling in recent years. And with a wide range of MT Components available, the MT-01 rider has the freedom to choose their own ideal specification.


  • Engine Type - 4-stroke, V-Twin engine, air-cooled, OHV, 4valves per cylinder
  • Displacement - 1,670 cc
  • Bore & stroke - 97 x 113mm
  • Compression Ratio - 8.36
  • Max. power - 66.3 kW (90 HP) @ 4,750 rpm
  • Max. torque - 150.1 Nm (15.3 kg-m) @ 3,750 rpm
  • Lubrication - Dry sump
  • Fuel supply - Fuel injection
  • Clutch type - Wet, multiple-disc
  • Ignition - TCI
  • Starter - system Electric
  • Transmission - Constant mesh, 5-speed
  • Final transmission - Chain
  • Primary reduction ratio - 71/48 (1.479)
  • Secondary reduction ratio - 39/17 (2.294)
  • Gear ratio - 1st gear 38/16 (2.375)
  • Gear ratio - 2nd gear 30/19 (1.579)
  • Gear ratio - 3rd gear 29/25 (1.160)
  • Gear ratio - 4th gear 24/25 (0.960)
  • Gear ratio - 5th gear 24/30 (0.800)
  • Frame - Alu CF die-cast
  • Front suspension - Telescopic Fork
  • Front wheel travel - 120 mm
  • Rear suspension - Swing arm (Link suspension)
  • Rear wheel travel - 117 mm
  • Caster angle - 25
  • Trial - 103 mm
  • Front brake - Dual floating discs, 320 mm
  • Rear brake - Single floating disc, 267 mm
  • Front wheel - 4-spokes, 17xMT3.50
  • Rear wheel - 4-spokes, 17xMT6.00
  • Front tyre - 120/70 ZR17M/C (58W)
  • Rear tyre - 190/50 ZR17M/C (73W)
  • Overall length - 2,185 mm
  • Overall width - 790 mm
  • Overall height - 1,160 mm
  • Seat height - 825 mm
  • Wheelbase - 1,525 mm
  • Min. ground clearance - 140 mm
  • Dry weight - 240 kg
  • Fuel tank capacity (reserve) - 15 litres (3 litres)
  • Oil capacity - 5 litres