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Yamaha MT-10: Is Yamaha Bringing Its Fastest-Ever Naked to the U.S. Market?

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Maybe, but not this model year. Yamaha has finished introducing its 2016 models, and the new naked featuring the R1 engine is not among them. The Yamaha press department is officially saying “no comment” when asked if the MT-10 will eventually make its way to the U.S.

In the meantime, the bike will be in European showrooms in a couple months, with full pricing and specifications released earlier this week. Those specs are mouthwatering -160 housepower in a 460 pound (claimed wet weight) chassis. Not your typical “detuned” naked, although Yamaha brought peak horsepower down from the R1 a bit, and delivers it at lower rpm (11,500 rpm). If you want all the specs, take a look at Yamaha’s European web site. Here is a summary of the bike from Yamaha’s promotional material.

Ray of Darkness

Power. Torque. Agility. The MT-10 is the one you’ve been waiting for. It’s by far the most powerful MT ever created. And the time has come for you to enter the next level of darkness.

You’ve done a lot of riding. So you know exactly what you want. Serious power with corner-carving precision. And natural ergonomics that mean you can ride anywhere on any road. Ride the Ray of Darkness with the MT-10.

Driven by a 998cc crossplane engine tuned for extra low to mid range torque – and rolling on a lightweight ultra-short wheelbase aluminium Deltabox chassis with a natural riding position – the MT-10 gives you ultimate power with class leading agility and total control.

Details

  • Torque-rich, 4-cylinder ‘CP4’ crossplane engine
  • YZF-R1-derived engine, chassis and suspension
  • Tuned for strong, linear low to mid range torque
  • YCC-T, D-MODE and Traction Control System
  • Assist and slipper (A&S) clutch
  • Lightweight aluminium Deltabox main frame
  • Short 1400mm wheelbase for class-leading agility
  • Dynamic mass-forward silhouette
  • Upright riding position with forward lean
  • High specification ABS brakes with radial calipers
  • Fully adjustable high specification suspension
  • Multi function LCD instruments

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104 Comments

  1. Jdilpkle says:

    Dear Yamaha,
    Do you stick pieces all over the frame and motor because you really don’t know how to design a simple eye-pleasing proportionally correct motorcycle anymore? My friend’s 350 Honda 4 is a work of art compared to this robot vomiting all over an origami. Remember the SR 500? Oy.

    • Jdilpkle says:

      I shouldn’t be so harsh, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The fact that my wife married someone that looks like me proves that point!

    • George says:

      Too funny!

      Actually the robotic/transformer look is popular in many things right now. I think it is a ugly aesthetic as well but it seems to sell to many people.

      If I were in the market for a liter class naked, this would definitely be on my list.

  2. Neil says:

    I like the idea of the motor in a naked bike but it should, for me, be really stripped down to its basic elements; frame, motor, wheels, bars, controls, lights, fenders – a raw beast in other words. I don’t like the futuristic elements but I can see where they came from. It’s like the Transformers, which is ok. But young people these days really are spending obscene amounts of time on their phones. Their brains are hard wired to be on the thing all day. So does the Transformers look matter to anyone other than the designers? – That being said, it’s a nice machine and better than feet forward muscle cruisers. The lights and instruments are hideous to be sure.

  3. The Spaceman says:

    I think the styling rocks. It’s futuristic and edgy; definitely not boring. The details are exciting and different. In other words: it’s not another warmed-over Speed-Triple lookalike.

    I love Yamaha’s recent designs; my FJ-09 and now this, which is even more radical than the FJ. The Anime styling is infinitely more to my taste than Kawi’s “crouching animal” style (Sugomi?). Those look like the clay model got too hot.

  4. wally says:

    Needs wind protection.

    • Curly says:

      You mean Dealer Profit Opportunity. With naked Japanese bikes finally coming back in style the thing is back to selling basic stripped bikes and let the owners make them theirs. You know the aftermarket loves that too.

  5. TexinOhio says:

    I think the industry needs to come up with another term other than “naked” as there are too many people whining that bikes like this aren’t truly “naked”. This bike looks great to me as I’m an owner of a 2014 Z1000 that got a lot of flack for it’s looks too.

    I really like these brutish futuristic/dystopian world looking bikes because they’re so unique looking.

    Strip the badges off of crusiers, strip the paint and stickers off of sport bikes and most people can’t tell the difference from one to the next.

    Something like this gets that “what in the world is that thing!” reaction.

    • pacer says:

      “I think the industry needs to come up with another term other than “naked” as there are too many people whining that bikes like this aren’t truly “naked”.”

      “Badass UJM”

      Just a thought.

  6. dino says:

    Why are the “naked” bikes saddled with so many extra plastic bits of unnecessary styling… Fake cover on the side of the heads. Fake covers with fake ridges surrounding the headlights. Fake 10″ covers holding on a 1″ tall windscreen? Tiny little covers on the side of the gas tank. Fake notches, fake ridges, fake fake fake…

    Come on, guys… Less is more! Unless you are talking about power. Then more is more!

  7. F. Nelson says:

    Butt Ugly !!!!

  8. Bob says:

    The “pre-crashed” look is really hard to pull off, but it could look great if done right. This is an awesome platform that seems burdened by unfortunate styling. The headlight thing is hideous and it appears that the scoops on the sides of the tank are fake. The plastic cover over the upper portion of the engine is a huge aesthetic fail. There are lots of bits and pieces that do not appear to have any real function. I’m a Yamaha guy and I would love to see this more carefully styled be someone who knows what they are doing to get the look just right.

  9. PN says:

    I like it, though I probably don’t need 160 hp. Good for Yamaha.

    • KenHoward says:

      “…though I probably don’t need 160 hp.” — Or its 4-cylinder engine, for a naked bike with no real wind protection. The top-end power of this engine makes a lot more sense in a fully-faired R1 (on a race track).

      • pacer says:

        It doesn’t need to make sense. As you blip traffic like Scotty is in the engine room an uncontrolled smile will come over you. Big bike small bie, it doesn’t matter. If I get the smile I’m content. This bike will provide. This bike will hang with cars ten times it’s price, and be comfortable to commute on. I can’t afford a Porsche. Oh well, with a slip on this will sound better anyway. :o)

  10. Dave says:

    Strange to me that this looks bulky and heavy while the R1 looks so lean and light. Must’ve been done on purpose.

    Like others, I think they’ll have more success in all markets with an FZ1 built around that engine, even if they’re hoping the FJ09 covers that need.

    • George says:

      I think this bike will eventually be a US market FZ10. Probably as a 2017.

      There is no more FZ1 in the product line up.

  11. Grover says:

    If this bike was made by Victory we’d all be be saying how bold it was of Victory to build something exciting for a change. It would have been the perfect Project 156 bike that we all expected, except for the added cylinders (which is not such a bad thing!). We should be very thankful that the other manufacturers have the balls to build something other than a cruiser, even if it doesn’t check all our boxes.

  12. Don says:

    Presumably, it works better than it looks! My condolences to the designer.

    Cloudmaster Don

  13. Larry K says:

    I’m wondering if the age group that will be at one with this style (transformer or whatever) is an age group that has any interest in big fast scary (you could get hurt!) naked motorcycles rather than a cool new I-phone or whatever is cool tech now.

    • Gutterslob says:

      I’m due a bike change this year. Have the dough saved up and my insurance rates go down a bit in a few months as well. Always a bit apprehensive of brand new model year bikes, but I really, really want this thing. Since it’s already based on a bike that’s been out for a while and had all it’s major recalls/fixes done already, I’m willing to take the risk. Not pretty looking, but I’m pretty ugly myself so I don’t really care. The black version with red accents is the one I want. Will wait for a few reviews first to get a rough idea, and hopefully get a test ride once it arrives in my region.

    • todd says:

      This thing’s intended audience is the middle-aged guy (or gal) that’s already competent on liter sport bikes. The couple young (early 20s) riders I know are much more intersted in the GSXR600. If this was a Kawasaki, I know my father-in-law (75) would be very interested.

    • Scott says:

      FWIW, my 6-year-old says he would much rather have this bike than an iPhone… 🏁

  14. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    Wall E on steroids (in a good way)

  15. Atlantarandy says:

    I think the engineers could beat the Diavel out of it and still end up with the specs they want. Apparently NOBODY gives a damn what it looks like as long as it topples whoever is at the top this year. But my opinion is a bit skewed living in Atlanta. We only have two kinds of bikes here. V-twins and stretched ‘Busas. I ride a Bonneville just so I have something no one here has ever seen before. But seriously,somebody tell me where the market is for this class. California? Or do people really plonk down this kinda of dough and rent track time? I never see these kinds of bikes here. Dragon’s Tail? Yes. Commuting? No. Some 600’s, but no open class. Oh, yeah. Gotta love the Bill Shoemacher pegs. Wait, you can put a passenger on this?!

  16. yellowhammer says:

    Those pod thingys that holds the license plates in the rear of all of these new Nippon Anime bikes just get spindlier and weirder. If that hits resonance and vibrates off then what? P.S. what is that seat “lump” for? Maybe a coccyx support LOL.

  17. skybullet says:

    It would be perfect if: a. the engine was tuned for all around street use (it has way more than enough top end power to spare) b. the suspension was upgraded to easily adjustable, higher quality components. c. offer luggage, a decent wind screen and CRUISE CONTROL. I think there is a much larger market for a bike like this in America than another narrow focus stripped crotch rocket. Or Yamaha could just fix (really fix) the throttle jerk in the FJ09, it is 90% of the above already.

    • pacer says:

      I think you will be able to work out saddle bags from the after market, as well as the windscreen. Other than that, It is going to hit your marks.

  18. mechanicus says:

    Looks like a psychopathic praying mantis.

  19. jim says:

    Wow those lines are busy. Something with those numbers but a simpler look would be nice. If I could mate that with my naked Bandit it’d be perfect!

  20. pacer says:

    I really like this bike. The headlights are what they are, but i like everything else. I think this is what the VMax should be. (Then we could call the fz09 the Fazer, and the fz07 could be the… I don’t know.) What I would like to see would be real air scoops for a pressurized air box. I would also consider an M1 version with electronic suspension etc.
    I was thinking Tuono or Superduke. I don’t fit the Tuono, and now it is this and the Superduke. With the price difference one could really do some nice upgrades.

  21. Silver says:

    I wonder if they will ever start making bikes nice to look at again?

  22. Tom R says:

    A “Transformers” movie cast member, for sure.

  23. North of Missoula says:

    The only other bike in the class with a 56in wheelbase is the MV Brutale 800 RR. This is going to be a hit with the hooligan.

    • Selecter says:

      I’m not particularly hoon-ish, but I would enjoy one of these enormously, I think, to complement my Super Tenere. Something light, Fast (capital F), and nimble for when I don’t feel like doddering around on my ADV Tractor.

      I really like the GSX-S1000 as a package, and they’re stupidly affordable. The dealer I bought my Ten from has a whole slough of Brutale 1090s on mega-clearance. Going by looks and spec sheets and forum chat alone, I’d pick this MT-10 over the B1090 or the GSX-S. But, I’ll have to wait until Yamaha gives the blessing bringing it stateside, and see if it’s worth the extra money (unless it’s ludicrously cheap, the GSX-S can be had for $9000, the Brutale for $9500).

      • North of Missoula says:

        A man after my own heart. I also have the S-Ten as my super reliable long distance work horse. I went with a CBR1000RR to scratch the itch for something for light and fast. Being Canadian the FZ-10 (as it will likely be called here) will be on the showroom floor here mid to late summer. I believe we get them because the Euro emission and safety standards satisfy our regs too.

  24. North of Missoula says:

    I have been keenly following this motorcycle. It is interesting that Weight/HP are right in the middle of the S1000R, GSXS1000, Monster 1200R, Tuono 1100, Z1000, 1290 Super Duke, Brutale 800 RR.

    The difference is the wheelbase of 56.1 inches, the only other bike in the 2016 class with such a small wheelbase is the MV Brutale 800 RR.

    This motorcycle is going to be a hit with the hooligan crowd once it becomes known entity.

    • billy says:

      Your other post I couldn’t tell if you were thinking that was overly long or short. My old FZR1000 had a 56 something wheelbase. It was pretty long and stable.

  25. graham says:

    I’ll take the xjr 1300 instead thank you.

  26. skortch says:

    It actually looks quite good from the side, if you squint your eyes a little. The lines of the 1/4 fairing work in profile. It’s just from the front and 3/4 view that it falls apart. I also wonder what’s beneath those shrouds over the frame – removing them might help clean things up. (The naked R1 frame looks pretty burly and cool by itself, hoses and all.)

    I imagine the performance is well worth it. I would buy one and see what could be done to alleviate some of the styling miscues – a small cottage industry will probably spring up around that goal.

  27. Frank says:

    Great looking bike, but the 1250 Bandit, though low tech and plain looking by comparison, is a much better everyday street bike. Great engine. Much better and more readily accessible low end and mid range power, and good enough everything else for the speeds you can comfortable ride a naked at.

    This Yamaha is better looking, and who isn’t impressed with the numbers. The mid-sized FZ-09 and 07 nakeds have found an audience here, and I think that size is about the strongest segment for naked bikes. This big bore model is overkill and probably won’t find the same success, and more than likely that’s true for the Bandit as well. I really like this big Yamaha, but would put my money down on the Suzuki.

    • North of Missoula says:

      While the 1250 Bandit is a great bike it is a full 100lbs heaver, has 60 less HP, does not have adjustable front suspension and has no electronics aside from ABS.

      • James says:

        I’d like to know more about the Bandit, the FZ-09 and FZ-07 and the Suzukis, too. Reading Cycle World or Motorcyclist doesn’t really give it to me.

        Why don’t we get this motorcycle in the U.S? Pretty insulting.

  28. ABQ says:

    Those headlights look like the beedy eyes of an angry psychopath. Perfect!
    Aside from that, I want pegs that are adjustable.

  29. Norm G. says:

    KNEEL BEFORE ZOD… ERR… THE FACE OF YOUR ROBOT OVERLORD…!!!

  30. paul says:

    Gee, I just figured out why the Europeans get to buy these bikes and Americans don’t. They ride them. They don’t stand in their driveways discussing how they look or imagining how they look on them. That is what chromed up v-twin goof cruisers are for, the biggest selling machines here, by far.

  31. Tank says:

    Reminds me of the B-King. Great bike, but didn’t sell because it was just too damn ugly.

  32. GuzziGuy says:

    Is there a button you can push to make the grey ‘chin’ under the headlight go up and down? If you’re going to put a face like this on a bike you may as well make it talk!

  33. beasty says:

    Well, not the ugliest Yamaha to come out lately, although it’s not exactly pretty(Whole Lotta Rosie?). I guess the “Ugly” designers were busy working on that three wheel monstrosity. I almost like it. Black and blue; the color of bruises.

  34. Starmag says:

    “Bah weep graaagnah wheep ni ni bong!”

  35. todder says:

    Cruise Control!!!

  36. Sentinel says:

    I’d love to see Yamaha take this engine and make an all new FZ1, with reasonable passenger accommodations and optional integrated luggage. Oh, and without any silly and hideous Transformers look.

    • Curly says:

      I’mean pretty sure yuo’re looking at the new FZ1 so not quite what yor’re wishing for.

      • Sentinel says:

        I think that would be a bad move and bad news for both the company and consumers Suzuki has made that very mistake with their GSX-S1000F, in that what should have been a truly usable sporting bike, was instead made with all the same limitations as a full on super-bike. That bike should have had reasonable passenger accommodations and optional integrated luggage. Adding those two things would have greatly expanded the bikes actual usability, and done nothing to lesson it’s performance on the street. They really shot themselves in the foot on that one, I hope Yamaha doesn’t make the same mistake.

  37. Lowrance says:

    Yamaha completely missed the mark esthetically….. with a few simple mods this bike could be a best seller….see link below.

    http://racingcafe.blogspot.com/2015/11/design-corner-yamaha-mt-10-by-ad-koncept.html

  38. Curly says:

    Come on, you know they’ll bring it. Too much of a tease not to.

  39. Tank says:

    Did this bike come out in Star Wars?

  40. ben says:

    wow, awesome. I like it a lot

  41. DICK! says:

    It’s like changing the oil on the millinium falcon.

  42. Ron H. says:

    It looks like a space movie motorcycle. Way too many angles. It may be nice seeing it in person though.

  43. Scott says:

    So far, I’ve only seen pictures of this bike with the fairing removed. I’d sure like to see what it looks like with the bodywork in place…

    (Yes. That was sarcasm.)

  44. mickey says:

    A few years ago when I test road a crossplane R-1 I thought it would just make the most awesome upright street bike like a Gen 1 FZ-1. If I were 45 instead of 65, I’d buy one for the sound alone.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      They do make the most glorious wail.

      • mickey says:

        Not only do they wail, like someone else said even at low revs they sound like a small V8 hot rod. Just an awesome sound. My son who also rode one with me on a Yamaha Free Ride day said the same thing. If they took that R-1 motor and put in a Gen 1 FZ-1 type bike we’d have to have one for the sound alone. Of course the power is overkill, but you don’t have to use it all. I would just putt around and make glorious noise. Like a CBX with a set of 6 individual pipes. Some things just sound tooo good.

  45. Johnny ro says:

    Completely ugly in my view. Not one appealing part. The SR400 is pretty to me.

    Not sure what its supposed to do on any public road. The R1, more than fine on track. For the road I would prefer 1/4 to 1/2 the power.

    Crossplane works. Not a gimmick. Same benefit as on a twin. Cameron described its effect on tire patch road interface many years ago. Internal engine momentum is preserved with crossplane.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      I don’t think it’s ugly in any way, just crazy. It looks quite cohesive in the pictures. It looks like what it is, a mad ride with power levels more suitable for space travel, than bopping around crowded Mediterranean cities during tourist season.

      Insanely overpowered nakeds seem to be getting all the attention these days, though, so I guess many fancy them. I’d personally vastly prefer it, if the manufacturers put similar effort into 400 class bikes. That way, there would at least be occasions when one could use these masterpieces of engine craft, in the part of the powerband where they sing the sweetest.

  46. Bob says:

    Article says: “Torque-rich, 4-cylinder ‘CP4’ crossplane engine” Why would an inline 4 need a “crossplane” crank, or has “crossplane” become just another buzz word overused by Yamaha’s marketing department?

    Bob

    • Ron H. says:

      Not an overused buzz word but a completely different firing sequence that is utilized in Yamaha’s motoGP bikes and was implemented in the R1. The engine sounds like a deep v8 and produces a great flat torque curve. Ride one and you’ll love it.

    • Butch says:

      Best sounding in line 4 you ever hear.
      Think “Ferrari”.

    • Cyclemotorist says:

      With the conventional 180° crank all four pistons come to a stop at the same time. Not so with the cross plane crank throws. I think it’s just a better idea for four cylinder engines.

  47. Bruce says:

    I’m not usually one of the guys who comes in a bitches about a new design, as often they have to grow on me and later I quite like them. BUT, could they have made this uglier if they tried? Seriously that engine would make for a killer soulful naked bike, but there is no way this will ever be considered attractive – at least to my sore eyes. And to be clear, I ride a first generation Superduke, which many would consider cut from a similar style. This however has to be one the most hideous machines sold today.

    It could have been awesome.

  48. jodyz says:

    I like the 3/4 front view… side view is kinda ‘porky’

    • Scott says:

      It does have a 4.5 gallon tank. I guess that’s trade-off these days if you want fuel capacity: “Porkiness”…