Yamaha Tweaks MT-09, MT-10
Yamaha had a big hit a few years ago with the MT-09 (known as the FZ-09 in the good ol' US of A). A best-seller worldwide, it made the brand the top seller in Europe for 2015. Two years down the road and interest is waning. Cue a refresh.
“Yamaha's designers have created an even more dynamic look for this trend setting Hyper Naked," declares a press release. "While also enhancing its performance potential and thrill factor. With its aggressive new styling and enhanced technology, the new MT-09 continues to push the boundaries and inspire and excite every thrill-seeking rider.”
And while the designers, engineers and stylists have been at work, the copywriters have obviously been busy as well.
“The Dark Side of Japan never sleeps," broods the release. "Hidden by the infinite darkness, a dynamic force has evolved. With both of its eyes wide open, this seminal Hyper Naked is destined to see beyond the Dark Side of Japan. Featuring menacing new twin-eye LED headlights and a dynamic new style, as well as an clutch, and advanced electronics, the new MT-09 is ready to uphold the MT family's honor.”
Obviously the scribes are twitterpated with the MT-09’s twin LED headlights, as “the bold new face embraces the full width of the fork tubes, enhancing the bike's densely compacted form to create a menacing and uncompromising street presence.”
The new instrument panel is now closer to the headlight, and the turn signals have moved next to the radiator.
At the back the tighter tail section frames a 30mm shorter subframe, and the integrated “3-dimensional taillight” features “a twin apex design that forms an 'M' shape when viewed from above.” (Which means it now makes even less sense that the US version has a different name than everywhere else – Ed)
The newly designed seat is flatter and 5mm higher than previously, and shaped to enable the rider to maintain position during braking, cornering and acceleration.
To complement the abbreviated tail section, the new swingarm-mounted rear fender and licence plate holder features a single-sided lightweight forged aluminum stay. This is the first Yamaha with this rear fender design, and when viewed from the rear or the side, “gives a more compact and lightweight look that reinforces the feelings of torque and agility.”
On the mechanical side, the MT-09 gets a new A and S (Assist and Slipper) clutch that improves the sport riding experience. Featuring specially designed assist and slipper cams as well as new springs with an optimized rate, the A and S clutch engages more solidly when pulling away from a standing start and during acceleration. The new clutch “helps to ensure stable chassis performance during heavy engine braking. By minimizing the unsettling effects caused by high levels of back torque and excessive engine braking,” and its 20 percent lighter lever load reduces rider effort.
A new Quick Shift System (QSS) offers faster and smoother clutchless upshifts, with a design based on the YZF-R1. The 41mm fork now features a new compression damping adjuster in the left fork tube, while the existing rebound damping function is located in the right tube. By locating the compression and rebound mechanisms in separate forks tubes the flow rate of hydraulic oil can be optimized, giving greater adjustability and more consistent performance.
The 2017 MT-10 SP: Speed of Darkness
For 2017 Yamaha transposes some of the YZF-R1M supersport technology to the Hyper Naked segment. The MT-10 SP (The MT-10 is known as the FZ-10 in the United States) gets Öhlins Electronic Racing Suspension (ERS), Thin Film Transistor (TFT) instrumentation and dedicated colors.
Yamaha declares it: "the most sophisticated model in the range.”
The electronic suspension is controlled by a Suspension Control Unit (SCU), which analyzes data from a series of sensors that monitor riding conditions. The SCU calculates the optimal compression and rebound damping settings for the prevailing conditions, and the system's stepping motors instantly make adjustments to achieve the optimal suspension set up. The Thin Film Transistor (TFT) instrumentation enables the rider to view and digest a wide of range information. This YZF-R1M type multi-function LCD meter gives a superior high definition display in full color - and the rider can select dark or light backgrounds to suit daytime or nighttime riding.
To underline its exclusivity, the MT-10 SP is finished in a Silver Blue Carbon color scheme that has been inspired by the limited edition YZF-R1M supersport. Featuring blue wheels, a black front fender, gold colored forks and silver bodywork, the MT-10 SP leaves no doubt that this is the ultimate Yamaha Hyper Naked.
For 2017, the MT-10 also features the Quick Shift System for faster clutchless upshifting when accelerating hard. By momentarily canceling drive torque when an upshift is detected, the QSS gives even more thrilling acceleration through the gearbox. The 2017 model also features revised engine mapping that gives smoother throttle characteristics from low to high rpm for more balanced performance.