Yamaha’s MT-10 is designed for sport-riding enthusiasts who want their superbike-level performance in a comfortable, upright package.

Yamaha’s MT-10 is designed for sport-riding enthusiasts who want their superbike-level performance in a comfortable, upright package. (Yamaha/)

Ups

  • Yamaha’s CP4 engine is ideal for a naked
  • Six-axis IMU means top-notch electronics
  • Great chassis and suspension

Downs

  • Transformers styling isn’t for everyone
  • Feels a bit short of Euro competition in outright power

Verdict

Riders who want the everyday practicality of an upright-naked sportbike but don’t want to spend north of $20,000 should take a serious look at the MT-10. The bike delivers in every aspect of the riding experience, from soulful engine to tight and predictable chassis.

The MT-10 SP benefits from Öhlins semi-active suspension and comes in a YZF-R1M-inspired Liquid Metal/Raven color scheme. Other upgrades include steel braided brake lines.

The MT-10 SP benefits from Öhlins semi-active suspension and comes in a YZF-R1M-inspired Liquid Metal/Raven color scheme. Other upgrades include steel braided brake lines. (Yamaha/)

Overview

The Yamaha MT-10 and higher-spec MT-10 SP are the pinnacle of Yamaha’s hyper-naked lineup, offering superbike performance in a uniquely styled package that helps Yamaha stand out in a very competitive space.

The mission with the MT-10, like the FZ1s before it, has remained constant over the past 20-plus years: To provide open-class power and performance in a more street-focused motorcycle with little, or at least less, bodywork. Since its introduction in 2016, the bike has accomplished this goal by drawing from Yamaha’s superbike package and using technologies from Yamaha’s ultra-successful R1.

One thing that the previous-gen MT-10 lacked was the more sophisticated electronics package of the R1. That’s all changed for 2022, with the current model getting some serious upgrades to put it into contention with European competition.

The MT-10’s styling is not for everyone, but there’s no denying the bike stands out on the road.

The MT-10’s styling is not for everyone, but there’s no denying the bike stands out on the road. (Joseph Agustin/)

Updates for 2022

The biggest news for 2022 is the addition of a six-axis IMU with rider aids. In Cycle World’s first ride review, we noted that “The inertial measurement unit is the latest generation, both lighter and smaller, allowing such things as lean-sensitive traction control and ABS, Slide Control (SCS), front wheel Lift Control System (LIF), Engine Brake Management (EBM), and cruise control, and a programmable top-speed limiter called the Yamaha Variable Speed Limiter (YVSL).”

Engine updates for 2022 include new fuel-injection settings, plus intake and exhaust mods intended to move the torque lower in the rpm range. Advanced ride-by-wire is managed by the Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle and new Accelerator Position Sensor Grip throttle. Also new is an improved up-and-down quickshifter, working in harmony with a clutch that has assist and slipper functions.

With a short 55.3-inch wheelbase and aggressive front-end geometry, the MT-10 handles tight canyon roads without breaking a sweat.

With a short 55.3-inch wheelbase and aggressive front-end geometry, the MT-10 handles tight canyon roads without breaking a sweat. (Joseph Agustin/)

Pricing And Variants

The standard model MT-10 has an MSRP of $13,999, while the MT-10 SP gets Öhlins semi-active suspension front and rear, exclusive Liquid Metal/Raven paint, and braided stainless-steel brake lines as standard for $16,899.

Competition

There are a ton of bikes in the open-class naked category, including the Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory, BMW S 1000 R, Ducati Streetfighter V4, KTM 1290 Super Duke R, and Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS, Suzuki GSX-S1000, and Honda CB1000R Black Edition.

The MT-10’s engine delivers smooth tractable torque down low and through the midrange, combined with an inline-four’s revvy nature.

The MT-10’s engine delivers smooth tractable torque down low and through the midrange, combined with an inline-four’s revvy nature. (Joseph Agustin/)

Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The engine in the MT-10 is Yamaha’s 998cc liquid-cooled, crossplane-crank CP4, borrowed from a previous-gen YZF-R1. The engine gets lightweight forged pistons with fracture-split connecting rods. A stacked six-speed transmission keeps the unit compact and allows ideal placement of the engine in the chassis. A Yamaha assist and slipper clutch helps get power to the ground efficiently.

For 2022 the bike’s power increases from 158.2 hp to 163.6 hp; torque increases from 81.9 pound-feet to 82.6 pound-feet. Peaks are at at 11,500 rpm and 9,000 rpm, respectively. These are European figures, as Yamaha doesn’t reveal US performance numbers, but they’re likely to be representative of what we get here.

“We were instantly reminded why we love the CP4 engine,” Cycle World said in its first ride review. “Not only is the sound—now amplified into the cockpit—truly a sonic masterpiece, but the power delivery of the crossplane-crank engine is utterly satisfying. The engine’s grunty power is managed by a new ride-by-wire throttle, which is extremely precise and predictable, with delivery based on the riding mode selected.”

“Let the CP4 engine eat and you’ll know right away you’re on an open-class sportbike. The beauty of this engine is that, like the R1, it delivers smooth tractable torque down low and through the midrange, combined with an inline-four’s revvy nature. In this application, it definitely lacks the superbike’s last bit of top-end power, but by the time the engine reaches the top of the rev range the bike is rocking along at a pretty decent clip.”

Acoustic sound grills in the tank are designed to direct the intake roar to the rider.

Acoustic sound grills in the tank are designed to direct the intake roar to the rider. (Joseph Agustin/)

Chassis/Handling

The MT-10s use an aluminum Deltabox frame and uses the engine as a stressed member. The 55.3-inch wheelbase is shorter than most of Yamaha’s Euro competitors, such as the KTM Super Duke, Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory, and Ducati Streetfighter V4; the MT-10′s steep 24-degree rake and 4.0 inches of trail are also a bit more aggressive than those of its competitors.

From Cycle World’s first ride in North Carolina: “The route included quite a few offshoots off the Blue Ridge Parkway, which meant fewer of the flowing long sweepers and many more tight hairpin and carousel turns. Wet patches were still possible around any given corner, so the MT-10′s front-end confidence was welcome. Turn-in was sharp and predictable, with the fork keeping the bike composed over nasty mid-corner bumps and seams.

“At speed, the big MT is stable and composed. Most of the BRP is a billiard table, but some of the side roads were likely to throw a curveball at speed when least expected. Through it all, the bike felt planted and never shook its head or got out of shape.”

Brakes

Braking hardware includes a pair of radial-mount, four-piston calipers pinching 320mm diameter discs up front and a twin-piston caliper and 220mm disc on the rear. Yamaha’s advanced Brake Control System and lean-sensitive ABS use a six-axis IMU, bringing the MT-10 up to date with its Euro rivals.

Despite the 2022 MT-10 having a slightly more aggressive riding position than previous models, the relationship between the seat, pegs, and handlebar is still comfortable for average-height riders.

Despite the 2022 MT-10 having a slightly more aggressive riding position than previous models, the relationship between the seat, pegs, and handlebar is still comfortable for average-height riders. (Joseph /)

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Cycle World has yet to grab full testing numbers on the MT-10.

Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility

Despite a slightly more aggressive riding position than on the previous model, the relationship between the seat, pegs, and bars is just about perfect for average sized riders. A relatively comfortable seat sits at a claimed 32.9 inches and is covered in a plush-feeling Alcantara-like material. Wind protection from the mini-fairing is quite good and keeps the airflow smooth over the rider’s helmet and upper body.

A 4.2-inch color TFT display was all-new for 2022.

A 4.2-inch color TFT display was all-new for 2022. (Joseph Agustin/)

Electronics

The new Accelerator Position Sensor Grip and full ride-by-wire throttle in concert with the six-axis IMU open the door to a whole list of electronic rider aids. The inertial measurement unit is the latest generation, both lighter and smaller, and provides lean-sensitive traction control and ABS, Slide Control (SCS), front wheel Lift Control System (LIF), Engine Brake Management (EBM), and cruise control, and a programmable top-speed limiter called the Yamaha Variable Speed Limiter (YVSL). The MT-10 also comes equipped with an up-and-down quickshifter and full LED lighting.

A most welcome addition is the new R1-derived 4.2-inch full-color TFT display, a much improved screen for navigating through menus to customize ride modes and access other functions.

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

The MT-10 comes with a one-year factory limited warranty.

A capable chassis and exciting engine character combine to make the MT-10 a lot of fun to ride in the twisties.

A capable chassis and exciting engine character combine to make the MT-10 a lot of fun to ride in the twisties. (Joseph Agustin/)

Quality

We’ve yet to spend extended time with the MT-10. However, Cycle World’s initial impressions with fit, finish, and paint quality were all positive.

2022 Yamaha MT-10/MT-10 SP Specifications

MSRP: $13,999 / $16,899 (SP)
Engine: DOHC, liquid-cooled inline-four; 16 valves
Displacement: 998cc
Bore x Stroke: 79.0 x 50.9mm
Compression Ratio: 12.0:1
Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/chain
Fuel System: Electronic fuel injection w/ YCC-T
Clutch: Wet, multiplate w/ assist and slipper functions
Engine Management/Ignition: Electronic
Frame: Deltabox aluminum frame
Front Suspension: 43mm KYB inverted fork, fully adjustable; 4.7 in. travel / 43mm Öhlins electronically controlled suspension, fully adjustable; 4.7 in. travel (SP)
Rear Suspension: KYB piggyback shock, fully adjustable; 4.7 in. travel / Öhlins electronically controlled suspension, fully adjustable; 4.7 in. travel
Front Brake: Radial-mount 4-piston calipers, dual 320mm discs, Brembo master cylinder w/ ABS
Rear Brake: 2-piston caliper, 220mm disc w/ ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: Five-spoke cast-aluminum
Tires, Front/Rear: Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22; 120/70-17 / 190/55-17
Rake/Trail: 24.0°/4.0 in.
Wheelbase: 55.3 in.
Ground Clearance: 5.3 in.
Seat Height: 32.9 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gal.
Claimed Wet Weight: 467 lb. / 472 lb. (SP)
Contact: yamahamotorsports.com
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