Put it simply, the new MT-10 shares the same engine as found in the recently introduced Yamaha R1S sportsbike, the fact of which alone would be enough to send the MT-loyalist crowd into a frenzy.
Dubbed as the “most remarkable naked bike to be developed by Yamaha so far”, the naked R1’s impact goes far beyond any previous Yamaha naked, and coupled with the firm’s “Darkside” tagline in Japan and Asia, will make the MT-10 irresistible for many fans of the MT-series of bikes. Its only serious rival in the naked segment will be BMW’s S1000R rather than any model by its three Japanese rivals.
Based heavily on the YZF-R1S– the MT gets the same main chassis, swingarm, suspension, electronics package (minus the IMU), wheels and basic engine architecture – retuned for more mid-range responsiveness. With the fairings stripped away it takes on a menacing stance, further heightened by the wide bars, mantis-like face, and minimalist new tail unit.
In short – it’s an R1 with no fairing and fat bars! However, Yamaha won’t confirm the price for now, but the MT-10 will start arriving to dealers by next April.
The 998cc CP4 motor is at the heart of the R1 range, but retuned for the MT-10 to boost mid range torque, including: newly designed intake, exhaust and fuelling systems, as well as an optimised crank balance, and the R1S’ steel conrods.
Yamaha’s D-MODE offers the rider a choice of three riding modes. ‘Standard’ Mode gives a smooth engine character throughout the rev range, ‘A’ Mode is essentially full-fat mode, while ‘B’ Mode softens everything off – ideal for rainy days and slippery urban streets.
Three-mode switchable traction control comes as standard. When any slippage in the rear tyre is detected, the YCC-T automatically controls throttle opening, ignition timing and fuel injection volume to restore traction. Level 1 offers the least intervention, level 2 is for normal street riding, and level 3 is intended for low-grip conditions.
It also features the Assist and Slipper (A&S) clutch, which is similar to the one used in the YZF-R1, the A&S clutch uses a slanting cam located between the clutch boss and the pressure plate to augment the force of the clutch springs, allowing a much lighter feel at the clutch lever. When back-torque pressure acts on it under deceleration, the slanted cams allow the pressure plate to slip.
Chassis-wise, it has been developed from the R1’s Deltabox frame, with revised strength/rigidity balance for improved handling agility. It has an ultra-short 1400mm wheelbase, with a YZF-R1-type aluminium upward truss swingarm, and a bespoke steel subframe.
The MT’s fork is also an R1-derived inverted KYB unit with 43mm tubes and 120mm of travel. Model-specific settings are used to deliver a soft initial stroke in low load situations, but sportsbike levels of control at speed. At the back there’s a KYB shock with Monocross linkage. Front and rear are fully adjustable.
For the brakes, the front gets a pair of 320mm floating discs, radial 4-pot Nissin calipers, while the rear gets 220mm disc and sliding caliper. ABS is fitted as standard. And finally, the MT-10 gets a full LCD dash, which is a bit less cluther than the R1’s. The readout includes speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, odometer, gear position indicator, mode information, and a programmable shift light.
Edited: Philip Chong