New Yamaha MT-10 is our Naked Crossplane Savior

While strictly speaking the new 2016 Yamaha MT-10 isn’t a replacement for the FZ1, we’ll take it anyway as it’s finally the R1 engine powered naked we’ve been waiting for. For so long, naked bike lovers have wanted a real R1 naked and this is finally it – but boy are those looks polarizing.

The MT-10’s engine has been taken directly from the new R1. Displacement remains the same but Yamaha have made a number of changes to improve low to mid speed torque. This includes a newly designed intake, exhaust and fueling systems, as well as an optimized crank balance. A number of model-specific settings have also been adopted in order to enhance the direct and connected feeling between the throttle and the rear wheel that is associated with the crossplane design. We haven’t been able to locate horsepower and torque specifications for the bike yet, though we’d imagine the former is down from the 200 horsepower of the R1.

The new MT-10 runs with an ultra-short 1400mm wheelbase – a full 35mm less than the nearest competitor, making it the most compact one-litre naked bike in its class. The MT-10’s suspension has been developed from the highly systems used on the latest generation YZF-R1. At the front end the KYB upside down cartridge forks feature 43mm tubes and offer 120mm of travel.

At the rear end the MT-10 is equipped with the YZF-R1-type upward truss type swingarm that pivots close to the machine’s centre. This extra-long aluminium swingarm operates a KYB rear shock through a bottom link Monocross system. No word if there will be an option for semi-active electronic suspension like the R1M.

As a nice little surprise, cruise control is included as standard on the bike, but oddly can only be engaged from 4th gear and up. Also standard is an assist and slipper clutch and three mode traction control.

But those looks. Yamaha has certainly decided to not die without trying on this one and it makes some of Kawasaki’s naked offerings look tame by comparison. We’ll reserve our judgment until seeing it in person, but… yeah.


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