MT01 der Nachfolger


The successor of our Bulldog??

This Informations are from the Yamaha Design Cafe

MT01: a new sport concept.

Interview with the designers:
Engine beat like a drum

MT- 01 concept bike combines sensation of engine pulse and sports function

Atsushi Ishiyama rises his hands to demonstrate how the traditional Japanese Tsuzumi drum needs to be played: “This traditional Japanese drum is very compact but produces a very strong and particular sound.” The President of GK Dynamics, the design company strongly linked with Yamaha motorcycle design since the middle of the fifties (in fact since the very first Yamaha, The YA1 Acatombo in 1954) explains the similarities between the traditional instrument and MT-01 design: “We arranged all technical elements in a minimum of space. Engine, chassis, even suspension and exhaust system, all was designed to fit very neatly together.

This new sports and soul concept combines all its performance elements in a very small space.” Atsushi Ishiyama continues: “Most conventional sport bikes are about power, speed and handling.
But the original fascination of motorcycling is pulse. And that’s what MT-01is all about.”

Jun Tamura created the MT-01 in a team with others from GK design. He actually likes sport bikes, but: “Unfortunately the roads are stuffed with slow moving cars and trucks. This is quite frustrating when you ride a modern supersport. My today’s dream is a sport bike, which gives me pleasure already when leaving the garage and is enjoyable at all sorts of speed.”

Atsushi Ishiyama, President of GK Dynamics. His heart beats for motorcycles and he explains MT01 using traditional Japanese cultural elements.

Jun created his dream bike

Together with his colleagues from GK they found, that the big V-Twin from Yamaha’s custom XV 1600 Wild Star would be a powerplant with enormous torque and enough power and pulse to realise this new type of sports concept. “I already worked on R1, R7 and XJR 1300. But MT-01 is the synthesis of my dream of how a bike should look like, simple but technology driven. This are the ingredients to make a motorcycle a passion.” Indeed MT-01 looks just like a big engine with two wheels stacked on.

Don’t loose time

The designers found allies in Yamaha’s product planning department. Shinichiro Nishimura shares the same way of thinking:” Many riders, including myself, like to enjoy their sports bike in all kinds of situations.

How it all started: Jun’s original sketch was already very near to the final design prototype.

I find it boring if you loose one hour from your garage to the first empty road before you can exploit the potential of your machine.
The MT-01 is enjoyable even at lower speeds, since the engine pulse and torque give a great sensation even when only accelerating from one traffic light to the other. And at the same time this big V-twin delivers enough power to go at any convenient speed on empty country lanes. I can imagine MT-01 ideal for alpine roads too. The bike has all the features one needs: high performance brakes, upside down front fork, a links system progressive rear suspension, wide low ratio sports tyres and a relative low centre of gravity combined with up to date sports chassis geometry.”

Jun Tamura created MT01 design. His dream is a sports bike, which is enjoyable even in daily traffic on public roads.

High tech and elementary style

Jun explains his views as designer: ” There is a general trend not only in automotive design towards simplicity and cleaner lines. But at the same time these simpler shapes are not a step backwards as soon as they are backed up with high technology or clever engineering solutions. That makes the difference to just simple things. MT-01 isn’t a simple motorcycle. It is a highly technical machine with lots of unconventional solutions.”

Like the two upswept mufflers which are the support for the seat rail and the air-cleaner is part of the backbone frame. The rear suspension unit is placed almost horizontally on the right side between cylinder base and crankcase to safe space, which is needed for a short wheelbase. The massive twin is also a structural part of the chassis.
So the weight and centre of gravity could be kept low. The geometry of MT-01 is like a sports bike and the machine will be agile and easy to go around corners.

The engine is a modified XV 1600 powerplant with increased power and torque. “Yamaha’s engineering did not work out the performance limits of the engine yet” explains Shinichiro Nishimura: “But I am sure the big twin has enough reserves to deliver what is considered enough.”


Shinichiro Nishimura, product planner, wants to create a bike, which is already fun when you wheel it out of your garage.


When MT-01 was first shown at Tokyo motor show October ’99 it had obviously touched the heart of many riders.

Like a Tsuzumi drum: the big V-twin creates sensation of pulse and sound at any speed.





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