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Living with the Yamaha Mt-10 | Gassit Garage | Long Term

As Dobie exits stage left, he ponders taking the MT-10 with him

When it comes to sad farewells, my cup certainly runneth over at the moment. Saying sayonara to the magazine that has been my professional home for many years came with an extra twang of the heart-strings when I realised I’d also need to hand back my Yamaha MT-10 long-term testbike.

Long-term possibly is not the right way to describe the length of time I have been in possession of the hulking four-cylinder supernaked, a permanent loan would be more fitting. If there is a record for AMCN’s longest long termer, my two-year relationship with Yamaha’s MT-10 must surely smash it. When Yamaha would call enquiring as to the whereabouts of its press unit, I’d always find an excuse to hang onto it for “a couple more weeks” and sometimes I’d just point-blank refuse to return it.

You may wonder why someone in my position, able to pick and choose which bikes he rides in between jetting to all parts of the globe to test and report on the latest two-wheeled offerings, would want to hang onto just one bike. There’s something about the MT-10 that gelled with me instantly; it delivers as much pure riding enjoyment than just about any other motorcycle I have ridden. I view it as my own, and I have not been able to bring myself to part with it.

During our two-year relationship, the big blue naked punched out long kilometres as we toured solo, and two up. I’d fit the touring pack on Friday night and throw Mrs Ed on the back for a day or overnight road trip. It would then be stripped back for mid-week urban duties, and was even let loose on a handful of track days; it did it all these things brilliantly.

I’ve fitted a swag of accessories from Yamaha’s Y-Shop catalogue, including a full titanium Akrapovič system, rear-set footpegs, quickshifter, and host of bling that ensures it attracts attention everywhere we go. Dave from Dynobike in Moorabbin dyno-tuned the beast after fitting the titanium system, extracting an extra handful of neddies.

Of all the fond memories the MT-10 and I have logged over the past two years, my favourite came at a recent Wakefield Park track day. Our young staff journalist, Zane, has been around motorcycles since Santa delivered him a 65cc motocross bike when he was six years old. He’s since progressed to road racing on a 250cc proddy bike, but being on his L-plates he had yet to sample the delights only 1000cc of grunt and sticky rubber can deliver – until I tossed him the keys to the MT-10 and told him to go and have some fun. The look on his face when he returned, after setting some respectable times, summed up what motorcycle riding is all about.

I was recently asked which of the many motorcycles I have tested I would most like to own. It would be impossible to choose just one, but I know my top five would include the Yamaha’s MT-10. Something tells me that our separation might not be permanent. <es>

Retail price

$18,990 ride away

Distance covered

12126km

Fuel Economy

6.6L/100km 17L tank

Servicing

1000km/10,000km intervals

Options added

Akrapovic exhaust, rear-set footpegs, quickshifter