Yamaha MT-03 Real World Review: Great Biking Experience At An Even Greater Price

The Yamaha MT-03 is a genuinely good product and is a great tool for riding daily. The only thing holding it back is its pricing.

By Kingshuk Dutta


6 mins read


Published on May 21, 2024

Follow us on



  • The Yamaha MT-03 offers a solid motorcycling experience
  • It is a neat motorcycle, with great performance and design
  • At Rs. 4.6 lakh (ex-showroom), it is crazy expensive

Photography: Arvind Salhan


Our experience with the Yamaha YZF R3 left us wanting for more. So, we figured why not get a taste of its sibling, the MT-03 and we have been living with it for a few days now to see how it deals with the rigours of daily riding. In Yamaha parlance, MT means ‘Master of Torque’, and yes, this phrase quite aptly describes the MT-01, the naked sibling of the iconic R1. But it doesn’t feel out of place if it were used to describe the MT-03 either. 

Yamaha MT 03 Image 32

The MT-03 offers a sweet motorcycling experience


Also Read: Yamaha YZF R3 Real World Review


Yamaha MT-03 Performance and Technical Specifications

And with a motorcycle like the MT-03, it only makes sense to start with the performance. So, like the R3, the MT-03 gets a 321 cc parallel-twin motor which is liquid-cooled and high-revving too. It is an analogue motorcycle, old-school if you will, but it rides true. 

Yamaha MT 03 Image 14

The 321 cc parallel-twin motor is smooth and high-revving. It offers dollops of torque across the rev range


No riding modes, no traction control, no quick shifter, all it gets in the name of electronic rider aids is ABS. That’s it! But what the motorcycle does offer you is power-packed performance. The parallel-twin engine is quite smooth and delivers a delectable wave of torque all across the rev range. Be it the bottom end, mid-range or the top-end, the Yamaha MT-03 keeps you engaged all day long. 

Yamaha MT 03 Image 21

Best performances comes after you cross 5,000 rpm


The MT-03 has linear power delivery and likes being ridden above 5,000 rpm for you to extract maximum performance. Acceleration is seriously quick, and the parallel-twin motor is tractable too and one can ride at speeds of 40-50 kmph in the 5th gear as well. The gearbox is slick and won’t make you miss a quick shifter, although it could make a massive difference to your riding experience. 

Yamaha MT 03 Image 23

The engine has a tendency to heat up in peak traffic. And there's no way to adjust the brake and clutch levers as well


One of the issues is that the motor heats up if you ride in traffic for long periods of time. It isn’t unbearable but it is noticeable. The other thing is that the clutch lever is hard and there is no scope for adjustability either, so that’s a bummer too. 

Yamaha MT 03 Image 22

The engine is free-revving and loves to be ridden hard


Yamaha MT-03: Ride and Handling

Like the R3, the MT-03 feels quite precise and flickable when you chuck it into a corner. The overall dynamics is quite superb and along with the lightweight chassis and the 37 mm upside down fork, feels precise yet very agile even when you corner or filter through traffic in the city. 

Yamaha MT 03 Image 36

The motorcycle feels nimble and agile around a corner. It is similar to the R3 in terms of riding dynamics


The motorcycle weighs in at 167 kg, which is light for a parallel-twin model and the grip from the Dunlop Sportmax tyres is more than adequate for daily riding. What we would have liked is better braking. The brakes could have had a sharper bite. And if you are worried about the ride quality, well, it is stiff, but you won’t notice smaller bumps and undulations. The bigger ones, yes, you will feel them.

Yamaha MT 03 Image 8

The 37 mm USD fork along with the lightweight chassis and the Dunlop Sportmax tyres do a good job of making the bike handle well


Yamaha MT-03: Design, Ergonomics and Features  

The MT-03 is a mean-looking machine and looks similar to the MT-15, with the single LED projector headlight, with the two eyebrow DRLs above. The fuel tank is muscular and offers you good grip while cornering too. What we also like is the exposed engine and frame, which highlights the naked streetfighter look of the MT-03.  

Yamaha MT 03 Image 5

We like the front-end design on the MT-03, which is similar to the MT-15


Compared to the R3, the MT-03 has a slightly more relaxed riding position thanks to the wide and flat handlebar. So, you sit a bit upright, but it can feel cramped for taller riders. And along with that, the seat itself is quite stiff and there isn’t much space to move around. Taller riders might find this a tad uncomfortable. And if you want to go on longer rides, you may want to look at aftermarket options for the seat. 

Yamaha MT 03 Image 15

The display is the same as the one on the R3, a black and white LCD unit, with no connectivity features


The MT-03, like we said earlier, is more of an analogue machine, something that purists would like. In terms of electronics, there is just ABS. The instrument console is a black and white LCD unit, which looks dated and out of place amidst the current crop of colour TFT screens, and there’s no smartphone connectivity either. 

Yamaha MT 03 Image 1

At Rs. 4.6 lakh (ex-showroom), it is quite a pricey proposition and there are much more affordable models which offer more features and have similar levels of performance, if not better


In terms of rivals, you have the KTM 390 Duke, TVS Apache RTR 310 and the Triumph Speed 400 too. At Rs. 4.6 lakh (ex-showroom), the MT-03 is outrageously expensive, there are no two ways about it. But if you do shell out that kind of money and are looking to get your hands on a feature rich motorcycle, then you will be disappointed there too.


Yamaha MT-03: Verdict

Yamaha MT 03 Image 31

The price tag is difficult to justify, but there's no doubt that the MT-03 is good, exciting motorcycle to ride


What the motorcycle does offer is an exciting and engaging riding experience. Yes, there are other options which offer better features, are significantly cheaper and have similar levels of performance if not better. The price tag of the Yamaha MT-03 becomes quite difficult to justify in that case. Well, it is what it is, and we wish that Yamaha finds a way to make the motorcycle more affordable. 


Specifications Table 

SpecificationsYamaha MT-03
Displacement321 cc
Engine Liquid-cooled parallel-twin
Max Power41 bhp at 10,750 rpm
Peak Torque29.5 Nm at 9,000 rpm
Chassis TypeDiamond frame
Seat Height 780 mm
Ground Clearance 160 mm
Front Suspension37 mm USD fork 
Rear SuspensionMonoshock
Fuel Capacity14 litres
Kerb Weight167 kg
Front Brake298 mm disc (ABS)
Rear Brake220 mm disc (ABS)
Front Tyre110/70-R17
Rear Tyre140/70-R17
Stay updated with automotive news and reviews right at your fingertips through carandbike.com's Google News

Related Articles

Latest Reviews

Research More on Yamaha MT-03

Popular Yamaha Models