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First look 2022 Yamaha MT-10: Could this be the most exciting and rewarding motorcycle ever built?

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The updated engine for next year's Yamaha MT-10 features lightweight aluminium forged pistons, offset con rods and direct-plated cylinders

The updated engine for next year's Yamaha MT-10 features lightweight aluminium forged pistons, offset con rods and direct-plated cylinders

The Yamaha MT-10's engine is housed in a lightweight aluminium chassis

The Yamaha MT-10's engine is housed in a lightweight aluminium chassis

Behind the Yamaha MT-10's full TFT screen is where the magic lives...

Behind the Yamaha MT-10's full TFT screen is where the magic lives...

The 2022 Yamaha MT-10 features an updated version of that utterly brilliant 998cc crossplane four engine

The 2022 Yamaha MT-10 features an updated version of that utterly brilliant 998cc crossplane four engine

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The updated engine for next year's Yamaha MT-10 features lightweight aluminium forged pistons, offset con rods and direct-plated cylinders

Having ridden one of these a few years ago, I already know that Yamaha’s new MT-10 is going to be my bike of the year for 2022.

How am I so sure? This is the first significant upgrade of the bike since the original was launched back in 2016. The engine is ‘donated’ by the Yamaha R1 superbike. It’s tuned differently to make it work better for a naked machine. The engineers have concentrated on torque over outright brake horse power.

There is a whole lot going on with this bike, but it all starts with that utterly brilliant engine. An updated 998cc crossplane four engine. This is the refined version of the legendary liquid-cooled CP4 crossplane engine. It develops increased power – up 6bhp on the old model at 164bhp – and produces a stronger feeling of torque.

The updated engineering for next year features lightweight aluminium forged pistons, offset con rods and direct-plated cylinders. This ensures maximum efficiency, and has a number of new model-specific features which are all about that feeling of torque.

Boosting the road-focused midrange, steel con rods are used. This increases the moment of inertia at the crankshaft. This may, or may not, have a positive impact on tyre wear…

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The Yamaha MT-10's engine is housed in a lightweight aluminium chassis

The Yamaha MT-10's engine is housed in a lightweight aluminium chassis

The Yamaha MT-10's engine is housed in a lightweight aluminium chassis

Fuel economy has been improved, the CO2 levels reduced, and this more powerful engine meets all those sensible EU5 regulations. Housed in a lightweight aluminium chassis that delivers class-leading levels of agility and stability, this could potentially make the new model one of the most exciting and rewarding motorcycles ever built.

With an uneven firing interval, the crossplane engine emits a distinctive intake and exhaust noise. There’s a rumbling growl down low and a high-pitched roar at higher revs. Now Yamaha’s development team have custom-made a tuned intake sound for the new model by using an all-new airbox that has with three intake ducts with different lengths and cross-sections.

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Behind the Yamaha MT-10's full TFT screen is where the magic lives...

Behind the Yamaha MT-10's full TFT screen is where the magic lives...

Behind the Yamaha MT-10's full TFT screen is where the magic lives...

Meanwhile, a new lightweight titanium exhaust features a newly designed set of titanium downpipes and end can. The exhaust has been designed to emit a deep and distinctive sound that emphasises the bike’s uneven firing sequence.

In front of the rider there is a full TFT screen. Here is where some of the magic behind using a bike like this lives. The new MT-10 has a Yamaha Variable Speed Limiter, allowing the rider to set the bike’s top speed.

For 2022 a new Brembo radial brake master cylinder is featured, giving improved braking feel at the lever for increased controllability. It also has a Quick Shift System, a ride-by-wire twistgrip which works with the ride-by-wire system to deliver finite control when accelerating.

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The 2022 Yamaha MT-10 features an updated version of that utterly brilliant 998cc crossplane four engine

The 2022 Yamaha MT-10 features an updated version of that utterly brilliant 998cc crossplane four engine

The 2022 Yamaha MT-10 features an updated version of that utterly brilliant 998cc crossplane four engine

As you’d expect, there are four riding modes; Mode four is to be used when lending it to your ma, three is for torrential rain, two is for when you’re not too sure where the next petrol station is and mode one is the button that God wanted you to press when you bought this most brilliant of machines.

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The lean-sensitive traction control system works with an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) which can be set to prevent wheel lock-ups, loss of traction or even wheelies. There are five settings to choose, from something that would match mode one all the way to completely switched off.

Not only does it look awesome, handle like a dream and is powered by that joy of an engine, but it even sounds fantastic. Prices aren’t available just yet, but dealers are taking pre-orders. I’ve already booked mine…

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