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– 2003 Yamaha MT03
2003 Yamaha MT03
We didn’t know then, but today we know that Yamaha produced the MT series (MT-01, MT-03) for a V-Max replacement. In 2005, the MT-01 looks like it will be fullfilling that role, atleast in Europe.
The new MT-03 shows again Yamaha’s philosophy of building innovative and characteristic motorcycles. The stunning appearance of the MT-01 at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1999 is not forgotten: again this is a concept based on “sound and emotions”. A look behind the scenes.
Riding fun defined by feelings & emotions
“We wanted to set a highlight, to show something extreme from Yamaha and get the public’s reaction to it”, says motorcycle product development manager Oliver Grill.
He continues: “At the same time, the model should be feasible so that if the feedback is very positive, we can actually decide to build it.”
The philosophy behind the MT-03 is to enhance riding emotions. “In our model development philosophy, we are always investigating to bring new feelings and emotions that motorcycles can give you, and those are of course not always speed- and horsepower related as in most modern bikes. We want to offer fun of riding also at lower speeds or even in urban conditions and this is a study how to achieve that. That’s why we focused on the sensation from a strong engine pulse, and a chassis to give a very direct contact to the machine.”
Oliver continues: “When we were developing the idea, we used the key phrase “Roadster Motard”.
Roadster because it stands for sex appeal, a very determined and aggressive design combined with a high quality technical spec. Motard, as in Supermotard, because it says something about riding sensations, about the extreme agility when riding in low speed range. So Roadster Motard is a new crossover combination, of fun riding and aesthetics!
Art of Engineering
To achieve the target of extreme agility, the single cylinder ‘powerpack’ is the most suitable engine. It is extremely compact and offers an immediate throttle response all through the rpm range, and it has a very strong character and sound. Oliver: “We called it the ‘supertorque single'”
And of course the passion for motorcycles is not only in riding, it is also in the construction and design of the bike as a beautiful machine in itself. Strong mechanical expressions, handcrafted parts: the model is a piece of art, ‘the art of engineering’.
CONCEPT BIKE based on the MT-03: the evolution of the species
It may have just come to light, but the original single-cylinder of the MT family has already formed the basis for two futuristic concept bikes, designed to capture the imagination and unleash a profoundly emotional response. One is the sporty, aggressive “CafÃ¨ Motard”, while the other is the stylish, breathtaking “Spider Smart City”. The common denominator is the character of the 660cc engine.
Thanks to Yamaha, sport riding in the city really is possible, after all. Positively aggressive in its design – with its decisive lines and the pronounced ‘z’ shape of the side panels stretching out towards the ground – it proudly shows off its powerful engine coupling with an imposing exhaust that tries only half-heartedly to hide away under the slender tail section. Its compact, crouching shape makes it look poised to shoot off at any moment across the asphalt with the sort of agility and verve you would expect from a thoroughbred City Racer. This is a bike for serious riders, designed to take on the challenge of the most tortuous roads – its hi-tech, minimalist look helping to highlight the bike’s mechanical beauty. For those in search of on-road excitement, the “Art of Engineering” has come up with yet another masterstroke. Enjoy the ride.
Spider Smart City
A youthful, sophisticated take on the MT-03 that transmits positive energy from the get-go. And yet, for Yamaha, elegance is never an end in itself. The innovative tinted windshield can be adjusted in two positions, allowing the rider to adapt the aerodynamic protection offered by the bike in response to different riding conditions. Moreover, the rigid bag attached to the frame is both practical and modern in its design. The new “Spider Smart City” is an expression of a new concept of sport biking – a concept that takes full account of both functionality and fashion. A metropolitan incarnation of the spirit of the MT, this is a refined exercise in style with the added value of a ride that’s never anything less than engaging.
Super-compact engine with beautiful exhaust routing Side suspension by Ohlins
Belt drive: clean and high-quality
Design: “it’s a small bomb”
One of the first sketches
Michael Uhlarik from GK Design Europe, explains: “We pushed very hard to get an extremely “Condensed Mass” design. The
Designer Michael Uhlarik
impact of the silhouette is possible because of the hardcore offroad riding position, WR style; with a very short fuel tank which is fused with a compact, sophisticated roadster design and a minimal tail.”
“And whereas the MT-01 is designed to be very raw, primitive, machined from solid; the MT-03 is designed with a sophisticated, modernist approach. We wanted it to embody modern, contemporary urban product design.”
Surprising use of materials
Design manager Nobuaki Kuwata
He continues: “An example of that is the headlight design which features LED discharge lights instead of the traditional round parabolic headlight. And on many parts of the bike we are using materials in a surprising and new way, to add more to the tactile pleasure of this motorcycle. Like for example with the clear instrument panel with aluminium inserts; or the aluminium sliders on the plastic fuel tank.”
Design manager Nobuaki Kuwata adds: “We always strive for new solutions and emotional designs”
MT-01 and MT-03: maximum fun in minimum time
How is the relation between those models? Both are based on a similar philosophy: to have the maximum motorcycle excitement in the minimum time. Yamaha’s goal is to bring excitement and enjoyment to its customers. Today, many people don’t have the time to go to a beautiful area to ride their bike, they want to enjoy it immediately out of their garage – even if there is traffic, even if the roads are not so great. So Yamaha wants to offer a lot of elemental motorcycling fun in a short ride. That’s why both models have a highly characteristic engine with instant throttle response, with good vibrations and with a sound like a drum. Combined with a very short and light high-spec rigid chassis and an ‘attack mode’ riding position, it creates the concept of instant enjoyment.
Similar philosophy of sound & emotion: “Instant Enjoyment” approach for both models
Same philosophy, yet so different: both models have their own way to achieve this instant enjoyment. “Whereas in the MT-01 the excitement is further enhanced by the huge torque of the 1700cc engine, in the MT-03 it is further enhanced by the extreme agility to have a lot of fun in narrow environments. MT-01 is maximum engine, MT-03 is maximum compactness,” says Michael Uhlarik.
“This is really a bike for experts and enthusiasts, who can recognize and appreciate what this machine can do in the real world. Not only does it have great looks, it’s also really a ‘rider’s bike’.”