Forget the R7, the Yamaha sportsbike we really want is the R9

If the Yamaha R-09 Kenny Roberts speedblock concept seems like a familiar sight to you – it’s been doing the rounds on the internet since 2017 after all – it’s because that’s the year I created it, originally for Motorrad magazine. A fusion of R6-inspired bodywork sat on an MT-09 base, it’s a simple concept but works so well because it’s a genuinely feasible., tantalising prospect. Yamaha could build it tomorrow over a lunch break.

My original 2017 Yamaha R-09 concept
Can you imagine an R9 sitting alongside the MT-09 in the Yamaha range?

With 2021 delivering both a majorly-upgraded MT-09 (now with new aluminium frame, swingarm, engine, and of course clothes) and an new affordable entry-ish level R7 sportsbike to Yamaha’s impressive range, it seemed only right that I updated my original R-09 concept to this, an R9 concept with the tasty refreshed bits of the latest MT-09 and R7 to make it even more believable.

The R9 could be a spiritual successor to the RD350F. Both faired, both out to embarrass bigger, heavier, and more powerful bikes

Featuring the new chassis and bigger engine 890cc engine it’d be retuned to make even more power and rev just that little bit higher to create the cheekiest sportsbike to ever potentially embarrass a superbike costing twice the price. Think of it as the spiritual successor to an RD350LC / 350 YPVS / 350F and you’d be close. Can you imagine it – a triple cylinder, 125bhp sportsbike with all the latest gadgets and R6/R7 looks for £10,000.

Check out the full video below

What do you think – should Yamaha build it? Join in the conversation over on my Instagram or Facebook page

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