Published on November 2nd, 2022 | by Boris0
2022 YAMAHA MT-10 – “MAMA TRIED TO RAISE ME BETTER…”
IMAGES BY NICK “NO VIOLENCE” EDARDS
I look at this thing sitting in my garage, and all I hear is Waylon Jennings singing:
“And I turned 21 in prison, doing life without parole
No-one could steer me right but mama tried, mama tried
Mama tried to raise me better but her pleading I denied
That leaves only me to blame ’cause mama tried…”
When I ride it, all I can hear is that incredible crossplane-cranked engine’s growl-roar. Waylon’s got nothin’ to say when that’s happening.
Look at it. There are very few bikes on this earth that look exactly like an act of brute mechanical violence. There are even fewer that have the tech to back up those looks. That’s what makes the MT-10 so very special. It does.
Yes, there are slightly more powerful Euro nakeds. But let’s not skin our dicks too hard in that regard. It’s not like normal people can ride them, or the MT-10, anywhere near their incredible limits. As if 122kW and 112Nm pushing 214kg (wet) is something to be dismissive about.
But that does not matter, does it? It’s not about that. It’s never been about that.
It’s about how riding that bike makes you feel when you’re banging it as hard as you dare, and how it takes your breath away with its sheer ability to…well, to lead you along the path of sin, pleasure, and maybe magistrates.
That’s what the MT-10 is all about. Sin and Pleasure. And an unshakeable ability to deliver them both with fearsome purpose. You get pulled over on this, the cops are gonna know your mama failed to raise you right.
Until this latest iteration, the MT-10s have been a little feral. I don’t say that like it’s a bad thing. Not at all. There are times when a deranged engine-map can be utterly delightful. Hence the old A map for “Animal”, the B map for “Bastard” and the C map for “Coping”. A man could be excused for needing to neck calming tequila after a spirited ride.
Things have been cleaned up for 2022. You get a little bit more power, and a cleaner delivery of the legendary mid-range torque the bike is famous for. Steel conrods rather than the R1’s titanium jobbies make it more road-friendly, and the fuel injection has been finger-banged to make the torque-delivery more lineal between 4000 and 8000rpm.
Just remember to breathe when you slam the throttle open in third at 4500rpm. The acceleration is mind-numbing. And the noise…oh, man, the noise this thing makes…
Yamaha has made three different intake ducts in its new air box. Just so you can properly hear the song the MT-10 sings when you decide you need the horizon to come closer sooner.
Put band-aids on your nipples. The induction roar-growl is gonna cause some friction. The hair on the back of my neck dead-set stands up – and this is with a stock pipe! A man shoves some aftermarket cannon on the bastard and there will be tissues littering the roadside. Nothing sounds like an MT-10 on song.
The new suite of electronic rider aids and choice of insanity is superb. I’m one of those set-and-forget blokes. I’ll find a setting I like, and that’s where it will live for ever. PWR-2 was where I left it. Totally manageable and pleasing, unlike PWR-1, which maybe Fabio Quartararo could fap to.
There’s a bunch of other stuff as well – slide control, lean-angle traction control, lift control, brake control, and a six-axis IMU (it measures angular velocity in three axes, and acceleration in three axes)…hell, all it’s missing is an Evade Police mode and a panty-dryer.
This is as sophisticated as motorcycle electronics get at the moment. Seamless, all-seeing and all-knowing – and just leave me alone and get on with the business of keeping me out of the trees.
I understand the Gen-2 Öhlins semi-active suspension on the SP iteration is amazing. But there’s nothing lacking in the fully adjustable KYB units on the base MT-10. Just get it properly set up, and stop pretending you’d even notice a click of more of pre-load.
The new seat is better. Firmer and more cosseting, and thus enhancing the MT-10’s already superb touring credentials. Your pillion will also be fine if she has good core strength and proper girl-bum instead of a meaty settee.
You also get a titanium exhaust, a superb up-and-down quickshifter, cruise control, a full-colour TFT screen, a slightly larger profile on the rear hoop (was 50 and is now 55), which puts a touch more weight on the front tyre, the wheels are lighter, and the Behold My Evil design has been nudged still further into the MT-10s unique abyss of barely-managed anger.
And it’s a Yamaha, so it’s carved from reliability and longevity – unlike maybe some of the pricier and more exotic Euro nakeds. That is no small thing
It now looks more “designed” than just thrown together by a sake-crazed madman like the early ones did. And this, I think, is one of its greatest strengths in terms of appeal.
I love its looks. It exudes menace. It radiates potency. It wants to pull your hair and growl dark things into your ear. It wants to make you pant. It wants your mouth dry and your eyes wet and a little crazed.
It wants what you want. Not what your mama wants.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE MT-10 AND THE MT-10SP?
The SP has the Gen-2 Öhlins electronic suspension (the first bike in the world to have this), with three semi-active modes and three manual modes you can fool with.
You also get a three-piece belly pan, some special paint, and a polished swingarm. But it’s all about the suspension.
The MT-10 SP is $27,349 ride away
The normal MT-10 is $23,649 ride away.