Motorcycle News (UK) - - Feature -

£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.

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