Yamaha’s MT range has been the modern-era saviour of the company and had managed to not only lift the Japanese firm’s profits, but also create bikes that appeal to a much wider section of motorcycle riders. The MT-10 Tourer Edition is the latest addition to the family, and Insidebikes headed out on one to see if it lives up to the range’s reputation of offering outstanding performance and excellent value for money.
Today’s MT family began with the three-cylinder MT-09 and the two-cylinder MT-07, which was soon followed by the four-pot MT-10. In the following years there have been a number of other, more touring orientated, Tracer models added to flesh out the range and offer more bikes to more people. At the top of the MT-10 tree is the MT-10SP, which gets fancy electronically adjustable Ohlins suspension and some other upgrades and costs £14,299.
In truth, calling the MT-10 Tourer Edition a new model is a bit of a stretch because, essentially, this bike is a factory modified MT-10, with some extra parts to give the bike more of a practical touch. And that’s no bad thing because the base MT-10 is an awesome bike.
Yamaha has added handguards, a decent windscreen, soft panniers and the mounting rack they need, along with a GPS handlebar mount and a comfort saddle to create the Tourer Edition. It all comes at an £850 premium over the standard MT-10 with a price of £12,649 against £11,799. All of the parts fitted to the MT-10 TE are available separately from the accessories brochure, but buying them as a package saves a fair bit of money over ordering them individually – as well as the hassle of fitting them.
While the MT-10 is an all-out assault on the senses in the same way being attacked by a world champion boxer would be, the Tourer Edition (TE) packs the same heavy punch except this time the gloves are covered in softer velvet.
At the heart of the MT-10 TE is the same 158bhp inline four-cylinder CP4 motor that is shared in an even more highly tuned state with the YZF-R1 and R1M superbike models. While the engine has a very traditional inline cylinder layout, the firing order is straight from the MotoGP YZR-M1 MotoGP racing bike and Yamaha refer to it as a Crossplane engine.
What this firing order does is give the MT-10 a rumbling, torque-laden power delivery that at times feels almost endless. Be under no illusions, this is a seriously quick motorcycle and the front wheel will lift under power almost endlessly.
The MT-10 is a bike that’s dominated by the engine and the performance it can deliver. There’s almost never an instant when this bike feels lacking in drive. Not quite got the right gear? It really doesn’t matter as the thunderous power of the motor will still pick up and fire you towards the horizon at a rapid rate of knots.
What’s reassuring is how the handling is up to the task of keeping the bike under control. It’s combined with the excellent braking performance which is backed up by advanced ABS, traction control, three different riding modes and cruise control to make motorway stints less tiring.
The riding modes (One, Two and Three) make a discernible difference to the feel of the bike with the traction control also easily adjustable thanks to a rocker switch on the left handlebar switchgear.
How does the MT-10 Tourer Edition differ to the standard bike?
The new parts added to the base MT-10 have a fairly significant impact on the touring capability of this bike thanks in the most part to the fairly decent protection offered by the screen.
The windscreen is the part that offers the biggest difference over the standard MT-10; it really is pretty efficient at pushing the majority of the windblast up and over the rider’s head, even at high speeds. In combination with the handguards the wind protection is significantly improved but still some way off that of a full touring or adventure bike.
The panniers are a semi-rigid design, constructed of ABS, and come with standard roll-top liners that keep any water away from the items stashed away and the panniers lock to the frames. The mounting frames are part of the price and the pannier zips can be secured with your own padlocks.
The comfort seat makes a reasonable difference over the standard bike and offers more padding and a thicker seat pad which definitely helps on longer rides.
The biggest issue with the MT-10 TE is the fuel tank capacity which, at 17 litres, just isn’t big enough to cope with the fairly voracious appetite the 158bhp engine has for unleaded fuel. Even being pretty steady with the throttle will see the low fuel light warning light on at less than 150 miles and that’s going to be very annoying on a long journey for riders used to more traditional touring motorcycles. With some more spirited riding, fuel economy plunges to below 30mpg and the tank range shrinks to less than 130 miles.
There are other small irritations too; just as all bikes do! The clutch cable routing sees it go almost directly across the top of the ignition key which means inserting the key each and every time needs some careful wiggling. Also, the radiator expansion bottle has a rubber sealing cap that’s extremely easy to dislodge while you are cleaning the bike. That said, once you know this can happen you know also to keep an eye on it.
If you’re expecting the MT-10 Tourer Edition to be as practical as something like a large capacity tourer or adventure bike then you are, perhaps, going to feel a bit short-changed. The MT-10 Tourer Edition is probably not the bike for you.
It’s no FJR, but what the TE is, however, is a much more practical take on the MT-10 platform that will, with a few compromises on your part as the owner, deliver blistering performance with an enormous amount more practicality than the base MT-10 offers, for not a huge amount more money than the standard bike.
What the MT-10 does do supremely well is deliver scintillating performance, great handling, braking and an increased level of practicality over the standard naked bike that will undoubtedly be more than enough for most people’s needs and comes in well under some of the premium rivals.