It’s the Yamaha sportsbike the world has been waiting on
Before the R9 brand name was filed by Yamaha in 2023, I had visualised an R-09 concept back in 2017 – six years earlier, for Motorrad magazine. It seemed like the obvious thing to do, the MT-09 was a sales success and at its heart was a triple cylinder crossplane packed with torque, horsepower and bags of character. Matching R6/R1 aesthetics with MT-09 power was a virtual match made in heaven.
However, despite capturing the public’s imagination and years of whispers in the shadows, the bike was never acknowledged as a possibility until the brand name “YZF R9” was filed in 2021 by Yamaha. This didn’t mean they were going to build it, but it did strongly hint that they were leaving options open, as they didn’t anyone else to steal the moniker.
Then this week, chatter in the racing paddock suggests the R6 would be seeing 2024 as it’s final year in World Supersport racing, to be replaced by a triple cylinder R9 in 2025, as reported by MCN and Visordown.
Since that original 2017 R9 Kardesign render for Motorrad magazine, I’ve updated the concept several times, and there’s a full video featuring many of those bikes, you can check it out below.