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Yamaha MT 10 – Meet the Biggest Sister from the Dark Side of Japan

Yamaha MT 10 2018

It is not fair to say that the Yamaha MT 10 is a naked version of the legendary R1. The Yamaha MT 10 is much more than that. It is a fact that they share most of the component’s engine-wise. The thing that differentiates them is that Yamaha thought the R1 for the track and the MT 10 for the road. This is not at all a detail; it is a significant difference. Let´s take a look at the wonders of the Yamaha MT 10 on the road.

Jan D. aka woym

Yamaha MT 10 Review

The Yamaha MT 10 does look menacing. As I approached my test model, and I had the feeling I was standing in the future. It looks kind of a Transformer in the sense that the design has character and is futuristic. The lines of the bike are entirely aerodynamic and make you want to go mad on the throttle.

The seat is very comfortable at first, but after seven to eight hours of riding, it becomes a little more painful. Of course, if you have ever been on an R1, you know it is not comfortable at all. This is a plus on the MT 10´s side. I put my leg over it, started it and the bright LCD screen came on. It was a pleasure to see that all the settings can be visible on display.

Jan D. aka woym

First ride

I gently rolled it into the streets of the place I was at and took on the right to start my journey. On the road, it is hard to beat the amount of torque that Yamaha put on this bike. The R1 is very powerful in the upper-end part of its power. The MT 10 is equally powerful to the R1 but in the low-to-mid section. This makes the traffic light to traffic light movements easy and super-fast. Going a little loose on the throttle on the wrong settings will turn your ride into a wheelie.

I did some kilometres in town, and the result was much better than I expected. The breaks on the Yamaha MT 10 are better than the R1 in response and accurate to handle power. Also, I have to say that people looked at me because the machine is beautiful.

When on the first gears (first, second and third) I was really impressed by the low grunt. It sounds like another type of bike with a beautiful musical exhaust. I tried going into dense traffic areas and despite it is not a small-engine bike, manoeuvrability was great.

Jan D. aka woym

The beast unleashes on the open road

Finally, after having some city-fun, I decided to take on the open road. The Yamaha MT 10 was literally asking me to let her loose from the city limits. I engaged the turning light and went into the highway. At the moment I opened up the throttle I realised this is the Yamaha MT 10 preferred territory. You can still hear that fantastic growl while taking on the road like a true warrior. In fact, when you hit the third gear, you can go from 20 to 80 miles per hour without using any other speed. This was great for overpassing cars.

The highway was a little crowded, but it was great to check balancing and braking. In both categories, the Yamaha MT 10 excels. It feels like you have a tremendous power at hand and still a very manoeuvrable vessel to move. When I was ready to leave the highway, I took an exit to the curviest route, I know. This was a great decision and the best scenario to check on the MT 10 grip. I was not amazed by it and thought it could benefit from a good pair of good sports tires. By this, I don´t mean it is a dangerous bike, but if you are an experienced rider, you want to push it. When you push the Yamaha MT 10 with stock tires, you feel it is a category that could improve.

Adrenaline at its finest

At a higher speed, you can feel that you are riding a hyper naked bike. The wind and the way you are a little exposed makes the adrenaline rush even a little higher. On the other hand, you can always buy some Yamaha original accessories and “tour it up”.

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Going back and leaving the bike where I had to, I had this great feeling of having ridden a great bike. It is not as powerful as some of the biggest European brands, like KTM and BMW. I can say it is not as sharp and powerful, but a little softer. This is not a better or worse scenario, and if smoother is your thing, then it is the perfect fit for you. To me, having been on the European extreme super naked bikes, I want to ride it again. This feeling of getting off a bike and wanting to ride it again is what makes a good bike, your favourite one.

Yamaha MT 10 SP

This version of the Yamaha MT 10 is for those who want a little more from the MT 10. It is just as powerful as the MT 10, but with the fully adjustable Öhlins electronic suspension is next level. To this feature, Yamaha added the full-colour TFT meter panel that allows you to have all the bike´s info at a glance. It is incredible how much our brain gets caught by the colour red and how in the monochrome display we miss that sense of urgency it gives us.

Also, the Yamaha MT 10 SP comes in an exclusive blue-and-silver scheme that is race-friendly.

Yamaha MT 10 Specs

  • Engine – Four-in-line, 998cc, DOHC liquid-cooled, 16 valves
  • Transmission – 6-speed slipper clutch, wet multi-plate assist.
  • Final Drive – Chain
  • Seat Height 55cm
  • Front Suspension – Inverted Fork, 43mm KYB®; fully adjustable
  • Rear Suspension – Fully adjustable, KYB® piggyback shock
  • Front Tire – 120/70ZR17
  • Rear Tire – 190/55ZR17
  • Fuel Capacity – 17 litres
  • Wet Weight – 210 Kg

Yamaha MT 10 Tourer

This version is for those who want to make longer trips with a naked bike. It is a modified version of the Yamaha MT 10 that is ready for long hours of riding and longer distances.

First of all, it was the seat that they changed. This is one of the most important specs of a touring bike; an uncomfortable seat makes an uncomfortable bike. So, Yamaha replaced the seat from the MT 10 and put another, more comfortable one for the touring edition.

Secondly, it is worth to mention the side cases. These are outstanding quality and also very light. They are enough to accommodate all your needs. If they seem small to you, you can always add a third one. In this same regard, the higher screen is an excellent addition for wind deflection. In the city, you don´t notice it so much, but on the open road at high speed, it can be a big drawback.

Simple yet necessary

Besides all these additions, the knuckle wards to keep your hands away from the wind are very handy. It is an addition that is maybe a no-brainer, but once you are riding for more than three hours, you need it. I wear gloves every time I get on my bike because I have a lousy circulation problem. I missed them on the MT 10.

Finally, the electronics in this bike are very suitable for those wanting total control. On the one hand, you have the GPS stay to know your way at all times. It might seem like a simple thing but really changes your experience. Second, the cruise control is straightforward to adjust, and you can set it to anything above 50km/h. Also, the D-Mode system offers riders three engine running modes that make the bike ride at its best in every situation. The 12V DC outlet can handle virtually all your accessories while riding. Finally, the YCC-T, which is the Yamaha Chip-Controlled Throttle, is fantastic to save some gas.

You can do all the necessary tweaks straight from the handlebar, which is very important in a tourer.

Yamaha MT 10 Price

The Yamaha MT 10 has an excellent price for the specs and the power. It can go for $12,000, which is way less than the European super naked bikes. It is not as powerful, it is a little softer, but it also costs a lot less. Depending on your requirement and budget, this price tag can be the cheapest and best option in the market.

Yamaha MT 10 Accessories

Heated grips – The heated grips make a world of difference when you are on the open road. Sometimes the gloves and the knuckle protection are just not enough. These universal heated grips from Yamaha are a recommendation for all bikes.

50L Top Case – This item is especially useful for those who want to hit the road Friday afternoon right after the office. Also, for being a 50L case, you can put a big helmet inside and have some room to spare.

Slim design frame sliders – This is an esthetical add-on that you can put on your bike to style it up a little. I love how they look.

Yamaha MT 10 Top Speed

The top speed of the Yamaha MT 10 is around the 260km/h, and that’s amazing. This is a very high speed for such a road-friendly bike. In some countries, you can drive at that speed, and in others, you are not, but it is available just in case.


The Yamaha MT 10 is an outstanding bike. It doesn´t have the power of the most powerful European Super Naked, but it is not the same price range. This bike is very easy and smooth to use and can be the perfect choice for your first real big bike. Also, as it is very powerful and the riding is enjoyable, it makes a great touring bike for experienced riders. If you are after a motorcycle that can ride like butter and sting like a bee, this is worth checking out.

Did you like our take on the Yamaha MT 10? Would you like to add some personal experiences to our views? Feel free to comment on the blog and pass this to other riders.

Happy riding!

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