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January 25, 2019

Yamaha MT10 - The Best Ever?

Yamaha MT10 - New Year, New Look

The Yamaha MT10 has been our go to bike for all and any on track shenanigans for the last number of years. For this year it’s been re released in a new colour scheme which looks just as cool as the garish one that the original was dressed in. As we look to a new season of Spanish track days and the California Superbike School, we take a look forward to our weapon of choice for our faster work.

The bike sits on the current R1 chassis. It still has the previous generation engine but is sprung on a set of fully adjustable KYB springs both front and rear. And that’s just on the standard model! Some of the engine internals are not as exotic as the high revving R1. It does tend to be more about torque than outright break horse power. The motor is still built around that brilliant cross plane crank affair. It fires the four cylinders out of sequence as it does in the R1, and manages to feel like a vee twin at low revs and a straight four up the top.

We really like this system, since it makes for a more characterful and enjoyable to ride. It's a sports bike that is still comfortable enough to ride to work on a rainy Tuesday in February. This is largely due to it being tuned for midrange rather than the top end. The ergonomics are excellent. While it’s not quite a dirt bike, the bars sit high enough to make for an all day bike. Yamaha have a GT version with panniers and tall screen sitting on the same set up as the standard one.

 Yamaha MT10 - Power With Control

A traction control system is standard. This makes it easy to switch between the three available levels depending on what kind of riding you’re at and in what sort of conditions that you’re doing it in. Meanwhile, the quick shifter system allows for seamless clutchless upshifts. They’re so easy they even make me look good. The quick shifter also allows for faster acceleration and more precise deceleration. The bike does, of course, come with ABS as standard.

The bikes power is blistering. With the simply stunning engine, upright sitting position and short wheelbase the Yamaha MT10 is one of, if not the most, dynamic bikes we’ve yet to ride. We would nearly go as far as to say, this is one machine that needs regular outings on a racetrack. It's a shame to run something this good up and down the Stillorgan Road going to and from work.

We ran our Yamaha MT10 on a set of Michelin Power RS tyres on both the road and the track. The tyres have been designed for fast road work and track days, but not racing. The first set lasted for two days of the California Superbike School and a little under 6,000 kilometres of road riding. The second set lasted for three days on the abrasive surface of Monteblanco when 450 kilometres were covered on a track event.

Yamaha MT10 - The Posh One

The really nice thing about using them on track is that they don’t require tyre warmers. The tyres work well on the track and warm up quickly. They perform well enough on a wet road and perfectly on a dry one.

While we ran the standard bike we are aware of the SP version. This is a very special version of the Yamaha MT10 and comes with Öhlins electronic Racing Suspension as well as an exclusive set of full colour TFT instruments. The engine and chassis are the same as the standard machine.

The bike is available from Yamaha dealers nationwide. Finance is available. Michelins Road 5 and Power RS tyres are available from Cotters here in Dublin, and AMI in Wexford. All things track related can be found at Motocraft. Take a look and treat yourself to a brilliant few days away. We can pretty much guarantee that you’ll want to go back again and again…

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