Oct 062017


I changed bikes a few weeks ago. I traded my much loved Triumph Tiger Sport 1050 for a Yamaha MT-10.

Last year I let my 16yo self interview me regarding the Tiger – it went about as well as you would imagine. So I thought it would be fun to do it again with the new bike.


16yos: ugly bike dude, what the hell is that ?

It is a Yamaha MT-10 .

16yos: I mean, what the hell is it ?

Technically it is called a Hyper or Super-Naked. It is something close to a Yamaha R1 with less plastic, less top-end rush and way more mid-range oomph. Think of it as a 1000cc sports bike that is road relevant.

16yos: So it is a streetfightered R1 – do you crash it, or is it supposed to be that ugly ?

It actually comes like that, it is much more comfortable than an R1, faster on real roads. Trust me on this, it is way more road-relevent than an R1, much more comfortable and it makes more sense at reasonably legal speeds.

16yos: How fast is it ?

Very, very, very fast indeed, so fast it will melt your brain.

16yos: How fast is it, how quick it is to 60?

Apparently 160mph. But it would probably take some holding onto at that speed. Zero to Sixty is about 2.5 seconds.

16yos: How fast have you ridden it then ?

I’m not sure, probably over 70mph on a couple of occasions…..

16yos: It looks fast though.

That’s not really a question is it, can we have some decent ones please ?

16yos: Bet it really moves off the line, how far is your best wheelie then ?

Good grief. Yes. Off the line it really moves, apparently it will hit sixty mph ridiculously quickly. Which means that, yes, even you are lining up against a Veyron, there is not going to be much of a race until you are into triple figures. Adequate is really an understatement.

16yos: and wheelies ?

Yes, easily in the first three and a little more effort in 4th, but my that time you are going so fast, it is probably a good idea to keep the front on the ground. However, one of the traction control modes will not let you wheelie it at all. That is mode 3.

16yos: Traction Control ?

Yes, this thing is really very techno, traction control, different throttle response modes, anti-lock brakes, quick shifter and even cruise control.

16yos: Explain ?

Ok – throttle response modes are
1 – Full on Rossi mode – instant responses and honestly really nuts
2 – Standards / Normal – full power, but manageable. Road relevant.
3 – Rain mode – reduced power and a fairly soft response

Then Traction control modes
Off – This is also really Rossi Mode
1 – Minimal intervention – Wheelies and Darkies on demand, but it will intervene if it all gets too crazy
2 – Street – Wheelies are still permitted, but it will reduce wheelspin
3 – Rain mode

ABS is on or off

The quickshifter is a hell of a gadget, no clutch, no backing off, just select the next gear and it will momentarily interrupt the power and you are in the next gear – this is amazing.

Cruise Control is exactly like in a car, it is amazingly good for the average speed cameras on the A13.

16yos: You are getting old, whatever happened to good old carbs and quick turn throttles ?

Maybe I am, but in 1/1 mode, this thing is utterly bonkers, in 3/3 it is easy to ride in the rain, 2/2 is more than enough for the road.

16yos: so it’s really fast then ?

Yes, but you sort of have to work at it a little, unlike the old bike, you cannot just keep it in 6th and open the throttle wide. You need to use the gears to really move along. It is a very unusual engine.

16yos: how does it sound ?

Sort of odd. It has a ‘Cross-Plane’ crank, which means that it sounds totally different to everything on the road. It is really loud (legal apparently) at low revs, then sounds a bit flat higher up, I’d say it sounds more like a Ducati than a screaming sports bike.

16yos: Cool, can I have a go then ?

No, you are way too stupid and irresponsible to ride anything beyond a bicycle. You would stick it in 1/1 and loop it inside a dozen yards.

16yos: Harrumph

Seriously, the things that he failed to ask are probably the more important things…

The handling is amazing, almost telepathic, but it is not nervous, the turn in is crisp and the engine really lets you but the power down once you are safely at the apex. The whole thing feels like a racer, but is softer and more comfortable.

The brakes are simply fantastic, now that they are bedded in too. Two fingers are all you ever need.

The clutch is an ‘Assisted and Slipper’ clutch, which means that it is very light but also it will not let the rear wheel lock or skip if you are harsh on downshifts, it takes a bit of getting used to as there is less engine braking than you might expect, so I do lean in the brakes a little harder than previous bikes.

Fuel economy is absolutely rubbish, I am averaging 43mpg and the tank is a little small too at a mere 17ltrs, the fuel light comes on with 4ltrs left, which means that I need to find a fuel station within about 30 miles. My best tank lasted 137 miles before I stopped and refuelled it

Insurance is group 17, which means that it is probably impossible for anyone that is not middle aged or older to insure, the satin and gloss black scheme gets very dirty, very quickly and the brake dust from the front pads is worse than any bike I can remember.

But I love the thing….

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