Yamaha proudly proclaim that the new MT-10 is the “most remarkable naked bike to be developed by Yamaha so far”, and there’s no doubting the naked R1’s aggressive impact goes far beyond any previous Yamaha naked. The Ten puts the firm into an completely new segment of the market, and the bike in its crosshairs is BMW’s S1000R.
2016 Yamaha MT-10 highlights
YZF-R1 derived 998cc CP4 crossplane engine
165bhp | 75ftlb | 199kg (est)
Switchable 3-mode Traction Control System
YZF-R1 derived chassis and suspension
Slipper clutch and cruise control
Full LCD dash
Based heavily on the YZF-R1S – the American-market budget-orientated version of the UK’s fully-blown R1 – 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. Add in a liberal dose of Dark Side gothic colours offset by flashes of gaudy fluro yellow, blue, or just the vaguest sniff of red, and it all makes for a brutish offering.
We mustn’t ignore the significance of this being an MT-range bike, either. The ever-increasing family of naked funsters is underpinned by a commitment to performance and affordability, and with the first element pretty much guaranteed – it’s an R1 with no fairing and fat bars! – it just leaves the price point. Yamaha won’t confirm prices right now, but we believe the MT-10 will arrive in dealers in April at around £9999 – which could make this one of the hottest properties of 2016.
MT-10 in detail
The 998cc CP4 motor is at the heart of the R1 range, but gets some significant changes 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 (instead of titanium). No power figures have been released, but we expect 165-170bhp.
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.
Traction Control System (TCS)
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.
Yamaha claim the MT is comfortable over distance, and not just a tool for hooliganism. To that end it gets cruise control in 4th, 5th and 6th gears between 31mph and 112mph. Any setting is automatically cancelled by activating the brakes, clutch or throttle.
Assist and Slipper (A&S) clutch
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.
The chassis 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.
The front end 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.
The Ten gets a full LCD dash, which is rather less snazzy than the R1’s. The readout includes speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, odometer, gear position indicator, mode information, and much more. There’s also a programmable shift light, and all the usual idiot lights.