Over the years, indeed since I was 14, I have owned and ridden a lot of motorbikes. Since my first Honda 50 in 1973 for which I paid a princely 15 pounds from my pocket money and managed to break my collar bone in the fields, to my latest Yamahas I must have owned at least 25 ‘bikes.
Honda C100, BSA Bantam 175, Suzuki GT185, Yamaha RD400, Honda CB750, Honda CBR1000, goodness I really wish that I still had them all!. I remember that when I bought an almost-new CBR1000 tourer in 1989 it was seen as a “watershed” bike as it developed 132bhp and the EU was discussing a power limit of 100bhp (and indeed Germany still applies this limit, as far as I know). So this seemed like a possible last fast bike before the ban, big brother and all that. Here is a pic I found and mine was the same colour and model in white and red.
Well the CBR weighed some 270 kg and so had 1 bhp to push each 2 kilo of the bikes weight. At that time the performance was amazing and I felt like I was riding the Starship Enterprise. I rode the bike down to Roma in 1990 and really enjoyed myself, the CBR was a fantastic motorway cruiser with great wind protection and a very strong engine.
Yamaha R6, Yamaha R1, Yamaha R1, track Yamaha R1 and track Suzuki GSXR1000, Yamaha XJR1300, Yamaha FJR1300, Yamaha MT09, Yamaha Raptor 700R, Yamaha SuperTenere 1200 and now the stunning Yamaha MT10. I still have the last 3 mentioned.
Goodness. Truly amazing and the MT10 gave me the same initial feeling as I remember from the old CBR1000 but this bike weighs only 190 kg and produces 160 bhp from a detuned crossplane R1 engine. In a recent track test by Tony Rutter for Performance Bikes Magazine, he suggests that most “ordinary” riders could get round a track faster on the MT10 than on the R1 with the full 200 bhp engine, as its combination of shorter gearing and riding position makes it much easier to ride fast.
The MT10 has a combination of features that make it amazing fun to ride. Great suspension which is multi-adjustable, very comfortable riding position, slick gearbox plus a very comprehensive set of electronic features including cruise control, traction control and 3 power settings. I have just fitted an aftermarket exhaust system so that I can get rid of the heavy catalytic converter system and let the bike breathe better and lose a bit of weight too, and I will shortly fit the electonic gearchanger too.
To describe the riding experience is not easy. The MT10 is a compact bike (it feels like a 600) with a relatively short wheelbase. The clutch and gearbox are both very light and positive and cluthless changes are very easy. The bike pulls like a train in every gear regardless of the revs, and even in top still pulls very strongly. When I rode the bike 2,000 km from the UK down to Roma recently I could not believe the speed as well as the ease of the bikes performance. I had a small screen fitted plus the comfort seat and this was enough for me to cover the distance in 2 days with ease and it was really great fun too, at silly cruising speeds. And when my wrists were tired I switched to cruise control and had a rest…..
And all this for almost 15 km/litre, which is about 42 mpg I think. Truly amazing engine and amazing bike. I look forward to getting to know her better!!
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