Staying naked as winter approaches
Part nutter, part practical – the MT’S split personality pays off
YAMAHA MT-10 £9999 FUEL 17 litres @ 35mpg = 131 miles WEIGHT 210kg SEAT 825mm POWER 158bhp TORQUE 81.9ftlb
As of about a fortnight ago the MT-10 was all about super naked bravura – a front tyre riding a sixinch cushion of air as it gleefully consumed the back roads of the East Midlands. But now, on a dark, dank day in November, what matters is more prosaic stuff like the spread and power of its headlights. Which are thankfully OK.
One thing, however, that hasn’t changed is the MT’S intimate relationship with the road. It may be a brutal beast when you’re riding hard but it meters its gravelly torque to the rear tyre with exquisite precision. Its cross-plane crank engine is as tractable as a Panigale’s V-twin, yet, when you’re searching for smoothness on a perilous surface, also snatch free, and always driving you forward and finding grip.
I love this dual character, it makes the MT a pleasure to ride deep into winter. Even on trackday rubber I should have changed a month ago, it’s in a class of one.
‘The MT meters its gravelly torque to the rear tyre with exquisite precision’
There are other positives to note, too. The MT is an easy clean despite its fiddly oversupply of bodywork, which also turns out to provide more protection from an icy blast than I anticipated. Even when I don’t feel overly keen on the prospect of a subzero ride, the MT talks me round with its sheer enthusiasm for every journey. It feels poised and sporty, no matter what the weather’s chucking at it.
One blot on the landscape is the Yamaha’s snatchy, on/off clutch I’ve been moaning about all summer, and which is becoming increasingly difficult. When the oil’s cold it’s like a switch, prompting embarrassing, whiplash stalls. I am also trying different bar and lever positions to ease the effects of tennis elbow, which, I’m told by my specialist, is an increasingly common ailment among motorcyclists riding bikes with high(ish) bars.
TIM THOMPSON 36 years of riding on road, track and pavement HEIGHT 5ft 7in WEIGHT 75kg
Why the long face? For wind protection, that’s why
Firmed up for summer, damping is backed off for excellent winter feedback
The MT’S hard-working chain is showing a few early signs of winter