2024 Yamaha MT-03 Review: Likeable But Very Expensive
Reviews by Team Drivio | 20th Dec 23
The MT-03 is about Rs 1.5 lakh more expensive than the 2024 KTM 390 Duke!
- The 321cc parallel-twin engine makes 42PS and about 29.7Nm
- What we love about the engine is its sheer versatility
- In terms of looks, the bike takes inspiration from the bigger MTs
Yamaha's MT-03 marks the return of the brand's twin-cylinder naked bikes to the Indian market, following the footsteps of the original MT-01. And if that has gotten you excited and intrigued, we’ve ridden the bike a bit, and here’s what we thought about it:
2024 Yamaha MT-03: Design & Features
The bike's design is distinct, aligning with the MT series' lineage. Notably, the central projector headlamp, adorned by sharp LED DRLs, echoes the family resemblance. However, the MT-03 adds a touch of sleek aggression, featuring small spoilers on either side of the projector for a dynamic flair.
The silhouette shares similarities with the MT-15, yet the MT-03 boasts broader shoulders and a wide fuel tank, enhancing its visual presence. While maintaining the same 14-liter fuel capacity, the MT-03 exudes quality craftsmanship throughout, offering a reliable and enjoyable riding experience, albeit without the extravagant features seen in some competitors.
2024 Yamaha MT-03: Engine
|321cc parallel-twin liquid-cooled engine
The MT-03 inherits both strengths and weaknesses from its sibling, the R3. Its motor delivers a laid-back performance at low speeds and thrives when pushed to its 12,000rpm redline. Despite the name "Master of Torque," the bike produces 29.5Nm at a high 9,000rpm, prompting a reinterpretation as the "Master of Tractability" for city-centric flexibility.
This very flexibility is the highlight of this engine. It’s happy to rev up to its redline but at the same time, can potter around in town in the third gear with just enough grunt to get you through tight city gaps
In terms of handling, the MT-03 sacrifices a bit of front-end feel due to its more upright riding position. However, the thrill of attacking corners mirrors the excitement found on the R3. While lacking some advanced features, the MT-03 guarantees a solid and enjoyable riding experience. That said, if you’re looking for an out-and-out sporty riding experience, the R3 is definitely the more engaging of the two bikes given its sport-tourer-like riding posture.
2024 Yamaha MT-03: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes
Now while we didn’t get a proper chance to test out the 2024 Yamaha MT-03’s suspension comfort, we found it to be a bit on the softer side on whatever little bad roads we had to test out the bike on. What we also observed is that the bike’s suspension did feel a bit bouncy when we started to corner it hard, showing that the bike really is set a fair bit on the softer side to promote comfort over outright sportiness.
Another shortcoming is the fact that both the R3 and the MT-03’s tyres aren’t the best. The 17-inch alloys are wrapped in a 110-section front and 140-section rear tyre and they both feel lacking when you start riding the bikes in a spirited manner. And the fact that both bikes have practically no electronics on offer, downshift hard and the tyre will start to lock up hard, leading to slight discomfort and maybe even unnerving moments.
2024 Yamaha MT-03: Dimensions
Sharing the seat, tail section, and footpeg placement with the R3, the MT-03 introduces a distinct element – a flat handlebar providing an upright riding position. Surprisingly, taller riders preferred the R3 for extended rides, attributing it to the MT's fuel tank shape. The larger and more spacious design, using the R3's suspension setup and chassis, offers commendable comfort, albeit with a slight pressure point on the seat during prolonged rides.
2024 Yamaha MT-03: Price
Yamaha has priced the MT-03 at a rather eye-watering Rs 4.6 lakh, ex-showroom. Unfortunately, that’s a fair bit more than what we thought it’d be. The bike comes to India through the Indonesian CBU route and hence while we knew it would be expensive, the Rs 4.6 lakh price tag is just inexplicable.
Despite its engineering excellence and endearing qualities, the MT-03 will face challenges in the market due to its expected higher cost as a CBU import from Indonesia. It’s inexplicable and we just cannot justify it, despite the bike being a lovely machine.
In fact, we’d recommend you go for something like the Aprilia RS 457, which for much less money, has more power and boasts much better electronics. And if you’re on an even lower budget, we’d recommend you to have a look at the 2024 KTM 390 Duke or even the KTM 250 Duke, two lovely streetfighters that represent much better value for money.