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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > Issue 322 January 2017 > PRIZE FIGHT


The best new bike of 2016 is one that’s made our faces ache all year with its ridiculous ability. But how good is
The fun-factor is almost oozing out of the page, right?

There’s absolutely no doubt that it’s been a brilliant year for Yamaha’s MT-10.We’re crowning it our favourite new bike of 2016 against some stiff opposition, but it’s won by some margin – and has sold out across the globe. And none of that mentions just how much of a cracking bike it is to ride, which is purely the biggest part of why it’s been so successful.

We’re not surprised to learn that even a brief test ride has seen wallets spring open in dealers, eagerly disgorging their contents on the bike and a few choice additions. In fact, spending the extra on those official accessories was also made far easier by getting the price point exactly right, and in the UK this meant parting with £9,999 for one of the best super-nakeds around. While it’s true there’s no such thing as a bad bike any more, getting the price-to-performance ratio bang on, and therefore making it rather attractive to potential buyers, is a tricky thing – but an area that Yamaha has won here.

A bike in this modern age not only needs an engine that thrills and a competent chassis to match, but a few trinkets thrown here and there. Things like ABS are now a given due to rules forced upon us, but as systems improve year on year this is no bad thing, especially for those newer to biking. It’s the small things, like an ace traction-control system that garners pub-ammo kudos. The system needs to be at the very least half-decent for our needs, but so long as it’s there that’s all a buyer wants to hear. The same goes for riding modes, too, thereby creating a bike that can hold almost anyone’s hand in all conditions. Most may never even use them but, again, they’re there to be admired and toyed with.

The 2016 MT-10 has most of these USPs, it has the essential bases covered and something like a quickshifter can be added for under £200 through the accessory line, which is cheap enough to barely even notice the extra cost, especially if you’re paying for it month by month.

So, the MT-10 has most of the goods, and an engine many are au fait with now that the famed crossplane solution has been around a good while. It also has a multi-adjustable chassis, including high and low-speed compression damping and, of course, a more than acceptable electronics suite. The looks? A bit marmitey

When we put the MT-10 up against some of its peers recently, notably the Triumph Speed Triple R, Suzuki GSX-S1000 and Kawasaki Z1000, it creamed the lot of them. However, it didn’t go up against the rest of the Euro crop, which we consider to be far and away ahead of the Japanese curve. But in reality there’s only one bike people want to know how it fares against – Aprilia’s sublime Tuono 1100, the undisputed class king.

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