Very eagerly awaited for by many riders, especially a few of our friends, the Yamaha MT-10 is one awesome motorcycle. Your riding skills are more than required for this machine. The Yamaha MT-10 is a very serious bit of machine in the best possible way. Yamaha’s engineers have produced the ‘Big Daddy’ of the MT-Series with brawn and control, it’s the mediator of all below it. Fun to cruise on at a touring pace, very exciting to run at a sports pace and breathtaking to have a crack on, such is its flexibility.
The MotoGP derived engine with the ‘crossplane’ crank technology is simply a brilliant powerplant. It grunts like a V-twin, has linear torque delivery like a triple and can scream like an inline four without sounding like one – it sounds a lot tougher and moves to match that sound. The upright riding position puts you in total control behind the handlebars, which is exactly what you need riding cities like Bangkok where you have to expect the unexpected. Going precisely where you point it encourages you to have a bit more of a go, making for a very fun ride.
Suspension is firm yet compliant, on what were some very ordinary road surfaces we covered on the test. The brakes are brilliant with great power and progressive feel, giving you even more confidence to push it a little harder, and running through the engine maps you really can notice the difference in each of the settings.
The Yamaha MT-10 did feel large, but that had a lot to do with the fact that the motorcycle I was riding for the last two weeks was a 300cc sized motorcycle. Getting off the 300cc on to the Yamaha MT-10 was something I’d been waiting for all day. I was keen to experience the Yamaha MT-10, the MT-10 is what everyone was talking about, and I wanted to twist the throttle. Within the first ten minutes, it was clear what all the fuzz was about. The Yamaha MT-10 is a stripped down superbike – a format that often doesn’t live up to expectations.
Sure, removing the fairing, detuning the engine and slotting on a pair of high handlebars doesn’t necessarily provide the result of a high-performance un-faired missile with outstanding handling… but one ride on the Yamaha MT-10 and you’ll agree that this is a serious motorcycle with the ability to excite!
With it pumping out a claimed 158 horsepower and weighing only 210 kilograms wet, it almost matches the figures of the BMW S1000R, the motorcycle that turned the super-naked class on its head a couple of years ago. This is no doubt Yamaha’s response to the BMW S1000R, and with close similarities to the Yamaha YZF-R1, it’s going to give the super-naked class another jolt.
With arm snatching power and an upright riding position, the Yamaha MT-10 doesn’t mind spending most of its time on the rear wheel, and does it with ease in either of the two less intrusive traction control settings with the third setting cutting wheelies and more intended for wet weather. It’s a simple traction control set up compared to the Yamaha YZF-R1 traction controls in that it is governed solely be wheel speed as opposed to the inertial measurement set up on the Yamaha YZF-R1. Pulling cleanly from low revs , once you hit 6,000rpm, things really start to get interesting, with the Yamaha MT-10 punching out a lot more midrange power than the Yamaha YZF-R1.
The new Yamaha MT-10 really is a set-of-the-pants ride for those who don’t mind having a go, and if thins get a little hairy, it’s amazingly forgiving to ride. It’s seriously a high quality naked superbike.