Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Yamaha MT-10 is the R1-based streetfighter that’s not scared of the European super-nakeds

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The 2016 Yamaha MT-10 is, according to Yamaha, a ray of darkness. Ahem. Well, it does have an engine and chassis based on the YZF-R1, so performance should be pretty good...

Yamaha have taken a long, hard look at some of the best streetfighters from Europe – bikes like the Aprilia Tuono V4R, Triumph Speed Triple, MV Agusta Brutale, BMW S1000R and Ducati Monster 1200S – and decided that they want a piece of the action in this segment. And there you have it; the new-for-2016 Yamaha MT-10, which is a bit more naughty, nasty, than its MT-07 and MT-09 cousins that are perhaps only ‘nice.’

The MT-10’s 998cc inline-four (with a crossplane crankshaft) is based on the R1’s mill, as is its aluminium Deltabox chassis and suspension components. Sure, Yamaha have not quoted any power output figures for the MT-10 and say that its engine has been tuned for torque, but we still believe (hope?) the MT-10 will pack a 140-150ish horsepower wallop, which should be okay, if not exactly in the same league as some KTM, Aprilia and BMW streetfighters. Still, with bits like ride-by-wire throttle, three-level traction control, three riding modes, and a lightweight aluminium beam frame, the MT-10 should be able to hold its own against most super-nakeds.

“While the YZF-R1 is a full-on supersport bike, the MT-10 is aimed at those riders looking for a thrilling and versatile performance bike that can be used in a range of situations. To enhance the new MT’s all round comfort in typical day-to-day usage, the Deltabox frame has a revised strength/rigidity balance that delivers outstanding handling agility together with class leading controllability and accurate feedback,” says a press release from Yamaha. With a short, 1400mm wheelbase (despite the long-ish, R1-type aluminium swingarm), new chassis geometry, 43mm KYB USD front fork and fully adjustable rear monoshock, the MT-10 offers excellent straight-line stability during hard acceleration, as well as agile handling on twisty mountain roads.

Other useful bits on the 2016 Yamaha MT-10 include twin 320mm brake discs at front, with radial-mount 4-piston callipers (ABS is standard, of course), multi-function LCD instrument panel, dual LED headlights, 17-litre fuel tank, lightweight 5-spoke cast-aluminium wheels, specially-developed Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport tyres and an optional ‘quick shift’ system for rapid gear shifts. A range of Yamaha accessories will also available for the MT-10 when it goes on sale in May 2016. Should give the Kawasaki Z1000 and Suzuki GSX-S1000 something to think about...

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