Celebrating MotoGP’s first visit to Thailand, Yamaha has unveiled its latest model of the MT family; the new Yamaha MT-15. And although the 150cc machine won’t be making it across to Europe, we reckon it’s pretty likely that the unveiling indicates that there are FINALLY some changes afoot for the next generation MT-125.
Honda has long since dominated the Thai motorcycle market, selling six times more motorcycles than its Japanese counterpart Yamaha – which is why the Iwata-based brand has taken the opportunity to unveil its next generation MT-15 (also known as the M-Slaz or Xabre), as part of its first visit to Thailand for the MotoGP World Chamionship. And considering the previous generation MT-125 is long overdue a styling update – we reckon the next generation learner-naked is going to look something like this.
One of the main differences we can see in the images is its new front end – which is clearly influenced by that of Yamaha’s larger MT models. Above is an image of the front end of a 2018 MT-09 – and as you can see, they’re near enough identical (aside from a third lighting unit which sits just underneath the twin setup on the smaller capacity machine). And while its headlamp is inspired by the MT-09, its rear end and seat unit looks similar to that of the larger MT-10. It also gets painted wheels and gold anodised front forks – like the MT-10SP.
Of course, that’s not all. From an equipment perspective the new MT-15 also shares a surprising amount with the track focused R15 – including its upside down front forks, rear monoshock, and 282mm front and 220mm rear disc brakes. There are plenty of other differences when compared with the outgoing MT models. The fuel tank seems to be carried a little further forward than on the outgoing model, while it also comes with tank extensions and radiator covers, in addition to a new backlit instrument console.
With the MT-15 being unveiled in line with the Thailand MotoGP, we reckon it’s fairly likely that the MT-125 will be making it across to Europe for its official unveiling at EICMA in around a month’s time. Either way, we think it looks incredible. If we were 17 again, looking to get our hands on our first bike – the new MT-15 (or MT-125 in Europe) would be near the top of our list.