£63 / bhp, 0.8bhp / kg “Ride the ray of darkness.” The hypernaked other hypernakeds wish they were.
If you fire up the churning 998cc, ex-r1, crossplane inline four (down-spec’d for more midrange and lower cost), then congratulations; you’ve passed the MT-10’S two big tests. 1) its controversial Marmite, love-it- orhate-it styling, and 2) steering the key around the obstructive clutch cable and into the ignition. But from here, you’re in for the ride of your life. If 158bhp isn’t exciting enough – other hypernakeds make more – then the MT-10’S loopy low gearing makes it feel like over 200bhp. The moment the clutch is out and the bike picks up drive from a sensitive throttle (use STD mode), the Yam’s front wheel jerks upwards, levitating as if tugged on a giant, unseen puppet string. Hang on, that can’t be right; surely a bike so innately naughty is banned under an EU regulation? Quickshift into second and exactly the same thing happens. And in third. And fourth, with a bit of a tug. And even fifth. Or sixth. Because, without overstating it, the MT-10 is by far the most wheelie-prone bike out there. It’s wonderful, bad-behaviour, fun.
But there’s a lot more to the MT-10. The riding position is naked bliss, sat deep behind the tank, yawing at wide bars. Steering is always precise, suspension is the right side of supple for bump and bike control, and even the bike’s slightly stodgy sense of mass is reassuring when you’re not going bananas and just want to bimble. Although good luck resisting it for long. And good luck keeping it clean, too – with all those naked nooks and crannies, getting an MT-10 back to showroom after a dirty downpour will be a long, fiddly job. But boy, is it worth it to keep playing with that engine.
MT-10 secondhand values There were a few problems with supply when the MT-10 first went on sale at the start of the year (some potential owners looked elsewhere when dealers couldn’t confirm delivery dates) but plenty of low mileage secondhand bikes are now appearing at around £8999; about £1000 less than a new one. No reliability issues reported so far.