Yamaha MT10 in Cape Town

Yamaha MT10 in Cape Town

I knew it would be a fun test ride when I received confirmation that I would be test riding the Yamaha MT10. It screams stunt bike, but it’s so much more! I was fortunate enough to test the MT10 on some of the most famous roads in Cape Town. Not only does Cape Town have some of the most beautiful and scenic corners to enjoy on a bike, it offers that extra bit of horsepower due to the altitude.

The styling is tweaked a bit from the MT09 to give a more aggressive look that also stands out beautifully with the bright yellow wheels. Looking at the MT10 you would never think it owns all it does in terms of power and performance. It’s basically a carbon copy of the infamous Yamaha R1, just slightly ‘detuned’ for the naked body and road conditions. In this case ‘detuned’ does not mean in any way that you will be disappointed or searching for more power. Yamaha altered about 40{02c0c177ee4fd9beaa1f7860c90a8df2b6c3227773fff8a5ad31f40277892f83} of the R1’s engine internals, stripping away a lot of its titanium and magnesium components to suit its lower-revving that gives the MT10 a more torque-laden character. The 998cc crossplane engine delivers massive levels of linear torque in the low to mid speed range. This type of performance is exhilarating and explains why Yamaha claims for the MT10 to be their best naked bike to date. The throttle response is intense but manageable when in standard mode. However going to A and B mode you need to be a bit more cautious and I would not recommend it if you plan to wheelie the bike.

What’s also great about this bike is its ability to respond instantly if you need to change direction. It does this effectively and in a predictable manner. The handling is very forgiving with a lot of feedback of what’s going on underneath you whether traveling at high or low speeds. The chassis is a bit more conservative than some of its rivals but with fully adjustable KYB forks and a shock lifted from the R1, the MT10 never seems to put a foot wrong.

Over and above the fact that you are getting the R1 brakes, suspension, engine and chassis. You also get the cruise control, electronic rider modes and traction control as part of the package. There are some additional accessories available as well. If you are interested in touring, the options are; tall screen, luggage and comfort seat. My recommendation is definitely to look at a tall screen even if you are not planning to do long distances. It’s relevant for highway/high speed riding to help with the intense wind resistance. If you want to give it a bit more of a racing feel, you can add the quick shifter, racing levers and some rear sets to adjust for your comfort.

If you consider the fact that the MT10 is a naked replica of the R1, it’s priced very competitively with great value for money at only R229 950. For more detail on dealers where you can find the MT10, visit http://www.yamaha-dealers.co.za/

  • Engine and transmission
  • Displacement: 998.00 ccm (60.90 cubic inches)
  • Engine type: In-line four, four-stroke
  • Compression: 12.0:1
  • Bore x stroke: 79.0 x 50.9 mm (3.1 x 2.0 inches)
  • Valves per cylinder: 4
  • Fuel system: Fuel system:
  • Fuel control: Double Overhead Cams/Twin Cam (DOHC)
  • Ignition: TCI
  • Lubrication system: Wet sump
  • Cooling system: Liquid
  • Gearbox: 6-speed
  • Transmission type,
final drive: Chain
  • Clutch: Wet, Multiple Disc
  • Chassis, suspension, brakes and wheels


  • Frame type: Aluminium Deltabox
  • Front suspension: Telescopic forks, 43 mm
  • Rear suspension: Swingarm (link suspension)
  • Front tyre: 120/70-ZR17
  • Rear tyre: 190/55-ZR17
  • Front brakes: Double disc. Hydraulic.
  • Front brakes diameter: 320 mm (12.6 inches)
  • Rear brakes: Single disc. Hydraulic.
  • Rear brakes diameter: 220 mm (8.7 inches)
  • Physical measures and capacities
  • Seat height: 815 mm (32.1 inches) If adjustable, lowest setting.
  • Overall height: 1,110 mm (43.7 inches)
  • Overall length: 2,095 mm (82.5 inches)
  • Overall width: 800 mm (31.5 inches)
  • Ground clearance: 130 mm (5.1 inches)
  • Wheelbase: 1,440 mm (56.7 inches)
  • Fuel capacity: 17.00 litres (4.49 gallons)
  • Oil capacity: 3.90 litres (0.26 quarts)
  • Other specifications
  • Color options: Grey, blue, black
  • Starter: Electric


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