WHAT a machine the 2019 Yamaha MT-10 is. There’s no denying Yamaha has done a great job making an awesome, responsive and good-looking bike. That is of course providing you’re a fan of naked or semi-naked bikes.
Full-fairing bikes like the YZF-R1 and YZF-R6 are a beautiful thing, but there is something about seeing the awesome engine that powers this machine. It’s a technical marvel with enough toys to keep you happy in all sorts of situations.
There are three ride modes, YCC-T, D-Mode, a traction control system, assist and slipper clutch, and cruise control. Yes, cruise control on a bike. That’s not a typo. And before you ask if it’s necessary, the short answer is yes, yes it is.
Let’s face it, on a long ride, if you’re like most people your throttle hand can do with a break. Cruise control does just that. You actually get to relax your throttle hand, making the whole ride very comfortable.
A ride to the shop or a weekend away with your mates, no problem and no more throttle cramp. The safety equipment is great too. There is adjustable traction control and ABS braking, with big 320mm 4-pot disc brakes making it super safe.
From a riding point of view, the seating position is comfortable and as Yamaha’s brochure says, the riding position is ‘natural’, and it feels that way. There is little to no stress on your back, even after a longer ride.
That said, if this isn’t your daily ride, the seat can be a little hard and uncomfortable. It’s easily rectified so it’s not a deal breaker. It’s tall at the seat, sitting at 825mm, which might be a problem if you have short legs, but our team had no issues during testing.
On top of the pretty comfortable riding position, the handling of this bike is magnificent. It is so good that you will forget you’re on a larger bike. It handles like a smaller sports bike, which is just another reason you should take it to the nearest winding road.
Once you’re there, let loose, legally of course, because the excellent handling will also add to the confidence level of the rider, with the only limitation being the rider running out of talent.
The MT-10 would in fact be a great bike to graduate to if it’s time to move away from your smaller bike, because it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to kill you every time you get on it. It’s easy to handle for a big bike, it’s as simple as that.
It’s pretty good value for money too at $19,379 – and is powered by a liquid cooled, DOHC, 4-valve, 4-cylinder 998cc motor that is super responsive and willing. Mated to a 6-speed gearbox, the package feels very complete.
It’s good in traffic and on the open road too, and the clutch is forgiving and quite light, making it a good option as a daily ride. Unlike the crazy top-end power of its stable mate the R1 or R1M, the MT-10 finds its feet mid-range, giving a better overall experience.
It looks great in Ice Fluo (our test bike), with its vibrant wheels, but can also be had in Yamaha Blue or Tech Black. There’s the option of yellow wheels, just in case you want to stand out that little bit more.
On the whole, our experience with the 2019 Yamaha MT-10 is overwhelmingly positive, and it’s good value when compared to rivals such as the more expensive BMW Motorrad S 1000 R or the cheaper Suzuki GSX-S1000.
Our 2019 Yamaha MT-10 was provided by Yamaha Australia. To find out more, contact your local Yamaha dealer.