In 1859′s On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin noted how animals best suited to their environment would more likely survive. The same is true for the MT-10 in a way. That’s because the origin of the naked-bike species was actually superbikes, their original bodywork trashed and discarded to leave a bare sportbike. And then, against all odds, this stripped-down varietal thrived to become better sellers than their superbike forebears. But enough romanticizing, let’s consider the MT-10 in detail.
The MT-10 finds its DNA in Yamaha’s YZF-R1, which means power from a 998cc DOHC inline-four boasting such technologies as a crossplane crankshaft, ride-by-wire throttle, selectable power and traction-control modes, and even cruise control. There’s also an aluminum frame, an adjustable inverted fork and linkage-type shock, and triple disc brakes with ABS. Appropriately, 17-inch wheels and fat 120/70 front and 190/55 rear sport radials are included. Where the MT-10 departs from its superbike origins, though, is in its styling; Darwin would surely marvel at how the MT-10 has adopted a uniquely angular, edgy, and aggressive look. For 2018, plumage is Team Yamaha Blue or matte gray.
Likes: Superbike performance, friendly ergonomics, wild looks
Dislikes: Despite its stripped-down design, the MT-10 outweighs the YZF-R1 by 22 pounds
Verdict: Manic performance and an attitude to match