2022 Yamaha MT-10 review | A new Master of Torque!

Yamaha MT10 2022

Having just been refreshed for pretty much the first time since 2016, the new 2022 Yamaha MT-10 is here with more power, more tech, and more fun

THE Yamaha MT-10 is one of those bikes that never seems to grow up. You spot them on the road all the time, and with its transformer styling front and centre, it really is a hard bike to ignore. That changes for this year, as the 2022 Yamaha MT-10 gets a big update, with revised styling, tech, and more power.

They say that good things come to those who wait, so we headed to Valencia for a razz on the massively revised machine, and to see if the bike lived up to the pre-launch hype.

It’s funny to think that the story of the cross-plane, R1-derived hyper naked began with the launch of a rather weird and a bit pointless V-twin called the MT-01. It kind of looked like Fazer with a round headlight had crashed into a Harley at a bazillion miles an hour, and the resultant nuclear blast had fused the two together forevermore. That wasn’t it though, Yamaha was scratching an itch that rightly deserved exploring. It might not have been the first true super naked, but it absolutely developed the segment from where it was at the time. Pushing super (and hyper nakeds) to where they are today.

2022 Yamaha MT-10 price, colours, and availability

The 2022 Yamaha MT-10 will be landing in UK Yamaha dealers sometime between the end of March and the start of April. It’ll be arriving with an OTR price of £13,300, and PCP deals can be picked up for around £139 per month – check out the Yamaha website for full T&Cs.

We’ll have three colours to choose from for 2022, Cyan Storm (as ridden), Icon Blue, and Tech Black. We only rode the Cyan Storm option on the launch, although Yamaha’s PR dude Harry had blagged the Tech Black bike which launched most of us into a jealous rage. It’s a properly sweet-looking paint scheme, with nice satin finishes that create a lovely menacing aesthetic.

If you’re a fan of aftermarket kit but can’t be bothered to pick the parts yourself, Yamaha has two accessory packs to choose from, with the Sport and Weekend packs. The Sport pack bags you an Akrapovič exhaust and some trinkets, while the Weekend pack features a taller screen, comfort seat, USB socket, and tail pack.

What is new with the 2022 Yamaha MT-10

Let’s address the elephant in the room shall we - the looks. Yes, it is a total departure from the MT-10 of old but come on – it really needed it. I’m not saying the previous gen’ looked particularly bad, but six years is about time for a bit of nip and tuck.

And before you say ‘I don’t like it, it’s too extreme’, look at what Yamaha did with the MT-09 and MT-07, this can hardly be a surprise! Both had extensive visual and technological makeovers, and I actually like it. I’ve had an MT-09 all year, and while the striking makeover does make it easy to spot at the bike park, I’ve also started to like the robotic look of the thing!

Dig a little deeper into the MT-10 though and there is a raft of updates to both the tech and hardware, along with a new feature that looks like a genuine first in the hyper naked sector.

First up is the engine of the bike, which is blessed with a few more ponies than the previous generation. Forged aluminium pistons have been utilised, matched to direct-plated cylinders, all of which is done to help boost efficiency. Steel conrods are also used (not titanium items as per the R1) while the cranks' weight and balance, along with the fuel injection system, has been tweaked for that chunky mid-range the wheelie-tastic model is so famous for.

On top of that updated engine is, literally, a tuned intake, a feature that has become a bit of a theme on recent Yamaha MT models. The system uses three uneven intake ducts into the airbox, with each duct harmonising with the next to create that unmistakable MT-10 growl.

The ergonomics of the new bike have also been updated for this year, with Yamaha improving comfort with a new rider triangle and improving mobility by altering the shape of the fuel tank. More on how that all felt later though.

2022 Yamaha MT-10 Variable Speed Limiter

An interesting, and from what I can gather, new feature of the machine in this class is the inclusion of a top speed limiter. I’ll admit, that sounds a bit weird on a super-duper naked motorcycle, but think about it in the real, modern world: Loads of average speed cameras + a few points on your licence already = squeaky bum time!

The system is called the Yamaha Variable Speed Limiter (or YVSL), which lets you set a top speed to suit you that will not be exceeded. Aside from helping to keep some points off your licence, it’ll also take some of the worry out of lending Dangerous Dave at the local bike meet your bike for a spin down the bypass!

2022 Yamaha MT-10 engine

Legendary engines come in many shapes, sizes and configurations. With the 2022 Yamaha MT-10, it is, of course, the inline four-cylinder that is derived from the R1. For 2022 Yamaha and the team of engineers has focused on squeezing even more giggle-worthy mid-range from the unit. That means the new bike boasts a claimed 82lb-ft of peak torque, although as that arrives at 9,000rpm, it’s not really the headline. What is more important, especially to fans of wheelie-happy handling, is that more torque is available throughout much more of the mid-range spread. Top-end power is boosted too, rising from 158bhp to 164bhp, although the biggest thing I noticed was how much better the throttle connection of the new bike is.

The previous generation bike had a toy-like feel to the throttle. That’s gone for this year, and the updated bike features a slick feeling twist grip that’s mated to a revised intake system. That intake is there partly to improve the ride, although its primary job was to increase the aural delight of an already sweet-sounding engine. With ever-tightening noise regs, Yamaha’s engineers have borrowed some know-how from the tuning fork brands woodwind department. The new airbox features different length intake trumpets that harmonize with one another and help create a more pleasing whoosh of intake noise. The fuel tank cover also features some mesh holes in the top, that look down directly into the airbox. They enable the bike to exhale some of that lovely noise from within, letting it filter into your lid as you ride. Simple, yet very effective.

The roads for the press launch were textbook MT-10 territory. Bright sunshine, endless switchbacks, and limitless possibilities to get the nose of the bike pointing skyward. It might have looked a bit childish to see a group of grown adults pulling wheelies like it was their first BMX ride of the summer holidays, but it really is what the bike is all about. The updates to the engine are totally in line with that ethos. The mid-range spread makes riding on roads like this both easy and exhilarating. It’s lost none of its trademark fun-factor, yet is more powerful, torquier, and still easier to ride than the previous generation, mostly thanks to that improved throttle response.

You could argue that next to the MT-10 is underpowered next to the Streetfighter V4, Tuono V4, and Z H2, although on the 200km press launch route, that idea couldn’t be further from my mind. If you need an extra 20bhp to make your overtakes comfortably, you might want to revaluate your riding style!

2022 Yamaha MT-10 electronics

One of the biggest leaps made this year is in the zeroes and ones that Yamaha has poured into the bike’s bucket of electronics. It gets the same 6-axis IMU that the latest gen’ Yamaha R1 gets, meaning you get cornering ABS, lean-sensitive traction control, lift control, slide control, cruise control, engine braking control, and a speed limiter. If you are a knob-twiddling fiend, this thing is right up your street.

I could waffle on now about how this was too intrusive, or that wasn’t intrusive enough, but in truth, it’s hard to pick a fault with the R1-spec gadgets the bike is graced with. Having only ridden on the road, I didn’t really bother the traction control, ABS, or slide control at all, instead, it was the lift control that was getting most of the attention. In level three you’ll get next to no lift from the front, regardless of the throttle input, level two will provide around six to ten inches (fnarr fnarr), and level one will allow you to hoik a minger with impressive aplomb. For those better skilled at lifting the front, the system can be disabled altogether, and handily the traction control of the bike is unaffected as it all goes through the IMU and not just the wheel speed sensors. Clever shizzle!

On top of that, you have brake control, four power modes, and the Yamaha Ride Control system. That final feature allows you to set up your own riding modes for different conditions and riding situations, altering all the internal parameters at the touch of a button. It’s a bit too fiddly to set up and use on a launch, but for an owner, it’s likely to become second nature after a couple of rides.

2022 Yamaha MT-10 handling

Handling the handling of the new 2022 Yamaha MT-10 is the same Deltabox frame, KYB suspension, and R1 brakes as found on the last generation machine. While we can all bemoan the R1 brakes, which have a tendency to feel a little wooden on stock pads, the rest of the package is top-notch. One move to try and improve this gripe is the introduction of a Brembo master cylinder that is new for 2022. It improves the feel and feedback when you jump on the anchors, although I can’t help but think that a full Brembo braking system on the bike would transform the experience infinitely.

The front forks feature revised settings for this year, despite being the same fully adjustable 43mm units as before. It’s not a transformational change if I’m honest, but then again, I was never a massive critic of the old bike’s handling! If anything, it just feels more planted at the front, and when it’s armed with latest generation Bridgestone S22 hoops, you aren’t likely to be moaning about a lack of grip!

2022 Yamaha MT-10 comfort

Regular readers will know I’m normally the first to moan about a bike and its lack of comfort. I must be some weird Hobbit-type creature that’s too small and frail to get on with most modern bikes. That wasn’t the case with the big MT though, and it’s mostly down to some revised ergonomics for this year.

First up is a new riding position, featuring tweaked handlebar, footpeg, and seat positions. As is the way with these kinds of changes, you’d be hard pushed to tell just by sitting on the thing, although after a day on road and around 200-miles under my belt I was feeling extremely fresh and ache-free. The fuel tank shape is also revised – as was the R1 during its last update. The changes make it easier to grasp the bike with your thighs when cornering, and it does a good job of taking the strain off your arms when you’re hammering up a mountain road. The final piece of the comfort puzzle comes in the form of a revised seat with a new shape and revised foam. This sensible update will be music to the ears of those MT-10 riders who opted for the tour pack of old. It’s still a machine that is probably more comfortable than anything else in the super naked category.

2022 Yamaha MT-10 verdict

For 2022, Yamaha could have thrown the 200bhp kitchen sink at the bike and really taken the naked bike power war to the rest of the class. In honesty, it doesn’t need it, never did, and with ever-increasing speed cameras and petrol price rises, probably never will.

What is nice about the bike is that all the little tweaks Yamaha has made to the machine only increase the amount of enjoyment the rider can have, and they are implemented in such a way that you really can’t feel them working in an over intrusive way. That’s key to a bike like the 2022 Yamaha MT-10, as it tricks you into thinking that you’re the one making the difference when it’s likely to be the lump of metal beneath you. It's still very much the boisterous, playful beast it always was, just comfier and easier to ride fast, flattering the rider like no MT-10 has before.

At £13,300 it is also supremely good value for money, and in this age of 200bhp willy-waving super nakeds, it might actually be the best choice for the modern real world.

For more information on the new 2022 Yamaha MT-10, head to: www.yamaha-motor.eu