Motorcycles

MT-10: Yamaha gets delightfully ugly with its new naked R1

MT-10: Yamaha gets delightfull...
The front end of the Yamaha MT-10 is plain nasty
The front end of the Yamaha MT-10 is plain nasty
View 34 Images
Yamaha MT-10: a brute if ever we saw one.
1/34
Yamaha MT-10: a brute if ever we saw one.
Yamaha MT-10: looking lairy with flourescent yellow rims
2/34
Yamaha MT-10: looking lairy with flourescent yellow rims
Yamaha MT-10: chunky bolts in the front fairing give it an industrial feel
3/34
Yamaha MT-10: chunky bolts in the front fairing give it an industrial feel
Yamaha MT-10: brutish looks almost give it an unfinished feel compared to the old FZ series nakedbikes
4/34
Yamaha MT-10: brutish looks almost give it an unfinished feel compared to the old FZ series nakedbikes
Yamaha MT-10: chunky stance owes as much to the MT09 design as it does to the R1.
5/34
Yamaha MT-10: chunky stance owes as much to the MT09 design as it does to the R1.
Yamaha MT-10: menacing in black with a splash of red
6/34
Yamaha MT-10: menacing in black with a splash of red
Yamaha MT-10: certainly goes against Yamaha's previous design trends
7/34
Yamaha MT-10: certainly goes against Yamaha's previous design trends
Yamaha MT-10: busy and angular design
8/34
Yamaha MT-10: busy and angular design
Yamaha MT-10: shockingly yellow rims will make this one a hard bike to miss
9/34
Yamaha MT-10: shockingly yellow rims will make this one a hard bike to miss
Yamaha MT-10: the new face of Japanese naked aggression
10/34
Yamaha MT-10: the new face of Japanese naked aggression
Yamaha MT-10: should be a nasty little street machine
11/34
Yamaha MT-10: should be a nasty little street machine
Yamaha MT-10: flouro piped leathers optional
12/34
Yamaha MT-10: flouro piped leathers optional
The front end of the Yamaha MT-10 is plain nasty
13/34
The front end of the Yamaha MT-10 is plain nasty
Yamaha MT-10: very odd front headlight and fairing
14/34
Yamaha MT-10: very odd front headlight and fairing
Yamaha MT-10: techno-industrial looks meet massive performance
15/34
Yamaha MT-10: techno-industrial looks meet massive performance
Yamaha MT-10: looks unfinished next to other Yamaha bikes
16/34
Yamaha MT-10: looks unfinished next to other Yamaha bikes
With the MT-10, Yamaha demonstrates it's not afraid to get ugly
17/34
With the MT-10, Yamaha demonstrates it's not afraid to get ugly
Yamaha MT-10: tank slots echo the details on the R1 and M! MotoGP bike
18/34
Yamaha MT-10: tank slots echo the details on the R1 and M! MotoGP bike
Yamaha MT-10: ready to take the fight right up to the BMW S1000R
19/34
Yamaha MT-10: ready to take the fight right up to the BMW S1000R
Yamaha MT-10: with the Deltabox frame, KYB suspension and Nissin brakes very similar to R1 spec, it should handle beautifully
20/34
Yamaha MT-10: with the Deltabox frame, KYB suspension and Nissin brakes very similar to R1 spec, it should handle beautifully
Yamaha MT-10: digital dash
21/34
Yamaha MT-10: digital dash
Yamaha MT-10: switchable traction control and cruise control both live on the left switchblock
22/34
Yamaha MT-10: switchable traction control and cruise control both live on the left switchblock
Yamaha MT-10: angular tank
23/34
Yamaha MT-10: angular tank
Yamaha MT-10: stubby exhaust
24/34
Yamaha MT-10: stubby exhaust
Yamaha MT-10: looks like a pain to clean, for people who are into that sort of thing
25/34
Yamaha MT-10: looks like a pain to clean, for people who are into that sort of thing
Yamaha MT-10: adjustable rear shock
26/34
Yamaha MT-10: adjustable rear shock
Yamaha MT-10: as a styling touch, these flouro rims are about the rudest thing in motorcycling
27/34
Yamaha MT-10: as a styling touch, these flouro rims are about the rudest thing in motorcycling
Yamaha MT-10: simple LCD dash looks uncluttered
28/34
Yamaha MT-10: simple LCD dash looks uncluttered
Yamaha MT-10: brutish headlight fairing is definitely more MT than FZ.
29/34
Yamaha MT-10: brutish headlight fairing is definitely more MT than FZ.
Yamaha MT-10: 999cc crossplane crankshaft R1 engine is presumably retuned for road shenanigans
30/34
Yamaha MT-10: 999cc crossplane crankshaft R1 engine is presumably retuned for road shenanigans
Yamaha MT-10: doesn't look terrible from this angle. But only from this angle.
31/34
Yamaha MT-10: doesn't look terrible from this angle. But only from this angle.
Yamaha MT-10: a big bad bowl of nasty
32/34
Yamaha MT-10: a big bad bowl of nasty
Yamaha MT-10: super-naked performance
33/34
Yamaha MT-10: super-naked performance
Yamaha MT-10: air intake side scoops are a touch straight from the MT-09
34/34
Yamaha MT-10: air intake side scoops are a touch straight from the MT-09

Shots fired: Yamaha has come gunning for super-nakeds like the BMW S1000R and the Aprilia Tuono with a new naked R1 that's a far cry from the tasty-looking FZ1 or years past. The MT-10 is ugly, squat and nasty, as reflected by the fact it's going to roll into the MT model line. With a retuned version of the crossplane-crankshaft R1 superbike engine providing the boogie, the focus will be on fun, but Yamaha has also chosen to throw in a cruise control system.

What sort of sicko looks at a purebred racebike like Yamaha's gorgeous YZF-R1 and thinks "yeah, let's pull all the aerodynamic plastic off that and make a hideous, brutal streetfighter?" I'll tell you exactly what kind of sicko: me. Me, and apparently the product team at Yamaha, who has just pulled the covers off the 2016 MT-10 at EICMA Milan.

In days gone by, a retuned naked R1 would get the "FZ-1" moniker and a pretty Italian-style naked reskinning. Not this year. The MT-10 is an eye-bleeding techno-industrial abomination, a cacophony of sharp angles and bolts and the odd flouro yellow wheel hub. It's a Frankenstein mash-up, as if the odd-looking MT-09 mated vigorously with the R1, and the offspring looks like it'll get in trouble just because of its bashed-crab face. I love it, it feels like the first hairy-chested Yamaha in a long time that the local posers won't touch with a barge pole.

Yamaha MT-10: chunky bolts in the front fairing give it an industrial feel
Yamaha MT-10: chunky bolts in the front fairing give it an industrial feel

The MT-10 makes Yamaha the third Japanese factory to have a proper crack at entering the magnificent super-naked class, after Suzuki's GSX-S stepped into the fray at last year's Intermot show and Kawasaki's Z1000 more or less inched its way into the discussion over a number of years.

It gets the CP4 crossplane crankshaft inline 4, 998cc R1 engine, presumably detuned from its 205 hp peak down to somewhere around 160-170 to look BMW's S1000R in the eye. Reining in that aggressive motor is Yamaha's D-mode system of multiple engine maps, and a switchable 3-level traction control setup.

Yamaha MT-10: looks unfinished next to other Yamaha bikes
Yamaha MT-10: looks unfinished next to other Yamaha bikes

Like the R1, the MT-10 gets a slipper/assist clutch – a system that keeps the lever action very light, while also reducing wheelspin under engine braking on downshifts. Anyone who's ridden an EBR lately knows how important a light clutch can be to general round-town rideability.

Suspension is upside-down KYB forks and a monocross-linked shock. Both ends are adjustable but the shock doesn't appear to have the R1's high/ow speed compression damping separation. Brakes are proper radial 4-pot Nissins with standard ABS.

Yamaha MT-10: busy and angular design
Yamaha MT-10: busy and angular design

Because we live in blessed times, Yamaha has bestowed a full electronic cruise control system upon the MT-10. I can personally take or leave multiple engine modes and traction control systems, but fly-by-wire electronic throttle control has at least brought me the ability to stretch my right arm on a freeway section.

Pricing is yet to be announced, but we'd expect the MT-10's price tag to be closer to the GSX-S than the S1000R, but time will tell. In the meanwhile, let's marvel at just how broad and beefy the list of full-fat nakedbikes has become in the last few years. From the Tuono and Brutale to the Super Duke R and the S1000R, to the GSX-S1000 and now this nasty, chippy Yamaha, road hooligans have never had so many options.

The MT-10 is scheduled to launch at the end of May, 2016.

There's a ton of photos in the gallery. Enjoy!

Source: Yamaha

3 comments
Mel Tisdale
It looks as though the whole motoring experience is on the brink of a major revolution with self-driving/major driver assistance packages soon to be the norm. One feature of these developments will be that it will be impossible for road vehicles to exceed a safe speed for any section of road and road conditions prevalent at any time. If motorcycles are going to fit in with these changes, a fly-by-wire throttle is going to be obligatory, not something a product planner decides to include or not depending on projected product price and profit targets and what the sales director thinks in relation to competitor specifications.
Martin Hone
Hey Loz, if you are gettin' "wheelspin" when downshftin', ya need to go easier on the throttle .....
PedroNuno
Autobots, roll out.