Category: Automakers

For Whom The Drums Beat

Video: For Whom The Drums Beat
Video: Pickle - On The Drums (Official Music Video) 2023, February
For Whom The Drums Beat
For Whom The Drums Beat

a photo

Model year

| Engine


| Weight

| Estimated price

(in Europe)


"Kodo" … This word should have been remembered by those who read my test of the debut Yamaha MT-01 - a stylish bike with maxi-twin. * I characterized his spirit with the Japanese word - it emotionally conveys the beating of a human heart. And figuratively means the battle of ritual Japanese drums. In ancient times, they notified of the invasion of ninja warriors into the emperor’s yard … Today, “kodo” means a piercing, thundering sound escaping from the MT-01 silencers. Now, an equally deep “drum fight” is published by a double muffler under the seat of the new Yamaha MT-03 single.

Ancient drums rattled their alarm equally alarmingly, regardless of whether the strikers were giants or the power and skill of the soldiers were disguised as deceiving. And this is true, because a skilled little ninja is no less dangerous. When he rushes to sacrifice, he is most often able to use his body better and more efficiently, his blow with a sword may turn out to be stronger than that of a burly but not so agile and dexterous fighter. About the ratio of abilities of a powerful MT-01 and tangibly (and this is put it mildly) inferior to him in this property MT-03 I can say about the same. I’m not talking about militancy, but about the ability to deliver what motorcycles of this class are most often acquiring for the sake of delivering driving pleasure. I felt this while riding it along the picturesque rocky coast of the Costa Brava in Spain. Here is the most famous venue on which the qualifying battles of the rally Catalonia Automobile World Championship unfold.

By motorcycle standards, this is perhaps the coolest track in Europe - with many zigzag turns. Over the years of testing the equipment, I happened to drive it with it fifty times on different motorcycles, starting with the Yamaha R1 and ending with the Honda Transalp. But never before have I been moving along it so fast and with such excitement as on the last 1-cylinder replenishment of the MT family. At Yamaha, he was dubbed the "Roadster Motard" and put into production at the company's Italian plant, north of Milan. This year, 8, 000 pieces of equipment will be assembled here.

Over the 50 years of its existence, the Yamaha motorcycle division has proved to be the most inventive Japanese manufacturer. Recall: R1, R6, DT-1, XT500, TDM, T-Max, V-Max, SR500, WR400, RD250 / 350LC * All of which are listed. Two years ago, the company recognized a growing wave of Supermoto subculture. And they reacted immediately: they immediately presented the XT660X street single - the road version of the XT660R with a new 4-valve engine (assembled in Bologna by the designers of the Italian Yamaha subsidiary Minarelli). Although the HT-X was a solid vehicle, it didn’t make much impression on the road - in fact, it turned out to be a simplified Supermoto. Sensibly designed, practical, he lost to competitors of Austrian and Italian production in terms of technical characteristics and the undeniably important quality that is called “liveliness”. Apparently, all because of the traditional differences between Japanese and European perceptions of the product. Reliable and stable, it resembled the two-wheeled equivalent of the Suzuki Vitara - outwardly stylish but essentially empty. It's a pity.


But the Yamaha’s European division already prepared another solution: at the Milan exhibition in 2003, along with the HT-X, they introduced the MT-03 concept bike. He looked radical, the audience liked it! It was created in the design studio GK Design (GKDE), the very one that in 1999 at the exhibition in Tokyo presented the MT-01 concept bike. “I had to work hard to create an extreme, “knocked down”design,” said Michael Ularik, a specialist at the company. - MT-01 was conceived as a very rude, seemingly deliberately primitive motorcycle, made as if from a single piece of iron. MT-03 is completely different: it was conceived, I would say, with a sophisticated design: it is an actual urban product.”

When it was launched into production, the designers conscientiously preserved all the details of their predecessor or made minimal adjustments - they brought only the essence within the framework of the new concept. The only significant change is this: the rear Ohlins of the prototype were replaced with the cheaper Sachs, but they retained the innovative - direct top connection to the pendulum, without a progressive linkage.

The designers created a bike with a concentrated mass, and this, it is not difficult to understand, increased the quality of control on the go. Its weight distribution of 52/48% ensured better grip on the corners of the front tire (120 / 70–17 Dunlop D270). On a dry sump motor, a 3.2-liter cast oil tank is pushed forward and located just below the center in front of the engine. Not only does this arrangement favor handling, it also forms a distinctive appearance: MT-03 looks like a “downed” boxer with a powerful torso and a thick flattened “nose”. I’m sure the ninja had the same noses. I looked at the MT-03 in his black robe (it seemed that he was “sewn” by the same fashion designer who “dressed” and the Stealth bomber), and even the generous Spanish sun could not add cheerfulness to his appearance. Blue-and-white models are also available for the same 6990 euros. But why is there no silver ?!

Sitting on the seat (805 mm in height), I involuntarily leaned forward: this position of the driver corresponds to the exterior of the bike. But the direct steering wheel and a short small gas tank (its capacity is 15 liters) forced to straighten up and sit down like the Supermoto riders. I did not expect, but even with my high growth it will be convenient to go all 160 kilometers along the Costa Brava. The footboards are set high enough so that they do not strike along the asphalt in turns. The clearance in the slopes, I would say, is unlimited: boots will more likely touch the ground than Yamaha. As the seat is pushed forward, its weight is easy to use to optimize mass distribution as much as possible. The flat headlamp is crowned with an incredibly compact dashboard, but it has almost everything you need: an analog tachometer and a small elongated LCD screen, it displays indicators of speed, total mileage, there is also a double mileage counter and a clock. I did not find the temperature sensor. Strange for a motorcycle with a liquid-cooled motor.


The MT-03 has the same 5-speed, 660-cc, 4-valve liquid-cooled engine with fuel injection system that the HT660 has. The same, by the way, on the latest version of Aprilia Pegaso. This road version, to my surprise, is a less radical solution for the street singles sector than the unique Yamaha. Thanks to the catalyst located in a single muffler under the seat (a clever stylistic idea: there are two mufflers in appearance, and on both covers protecting the passenger's legs), the motorcycle “fulfills the Euro-2 requirements for noise and exhaust emissions. In the future, Yamaha designers assured, the exhaust will be easily “cleaned” to more stringent Euro-3 standards (they will come into force in 2007). I think that they did not introduce “additional cleaning” immediately because they did not “add” its technical characteristics - they want to stun customers, as long as there is time, with maximum torque indicators. And there should be enough time: the model will go on sale now, at the beginning of the season.

And now I will try to surprise - how surprised I was. Here is a large 5.9-liter air filter housing, a retuned Nippondenso electronic fuel injection system with a single nozzle. The engine produces 45 hp on the shaft at 6000 rpm. Engine dimension 100 x 84 mm, gas distribution with one camshaft with a chain drive. No, this is just nothing strange. What is surprising is that it develops at 3 hp. less than the same engine on the HT660X (and also 5 hp less than the Pegaso!). And 3% less torque here - 56.2 N.m at 5250 rpm (5% lower than Aprilia). Some owner R1 has at his disposal twice as much already at idle.

Popular by topic


Summer Tires 2011: It's Time To Change

Just change the car. There is enough rubber in stores for everyone, the choice is not small. And here is the cheat sheet. In the list that we bring to your attention, models, both new and last year, are both relevant. The range of sizes and approximate prices are indicated

Read More
Choosing An Engine Preheater

Comparison of engine preheaters and car interior - we will figure out which starter heater is better to choose: we study the advantages and disadvantages of thermal batteries, electric heaters and autonomous liquid heaters for preheating

Read More
Auto Brands Wish Readers A Happy New Year

The editors of Buy Auto magazine, according to the established tradition, offer their friends and partners a pleasant opportunity to congratulate readers on their favorite holiday and share their achievements and plans for the future

Read More
Editor'S Choice
Best reviews for the week
Popular for the day