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The Yamaha MT-10 is a big-bore naked that packs a powerful punch and plenty of torque.

I’ll admit to pulling rank and grabbing the keys to the Yamaha MT-10 whenever I got the chance on AMCN’s Motorcycle of the Year (MOTY) presented by Shannons Insurance, picking it up a couple of weeks before the test, riding it a fair chunk of the way to our test location and then riding it all the way back home again when we’d finished up. Why? Because it just does everything so right, and it’s just so much bloody fun. Massive tick right there.

The Yamaha MT-10 was heavily revised early in 2022. Sure, the chassis remains largely unchanged, and the engine only scores slightly more power and torque, along with Euro 5 compliance, but it is equipped with a new six-axis IMU allowing for the fitment of lean-sensitive rider aids including slide control, traction control, cornering ABS, front wheel lift control and selectable engine braking.

The MT-10 also comes standard with a sublime two-way quickshifter, cruise control, a speed limiter and four tailorable ride modes (full power A and B, and lower power C and D). Full power delivers a claimed 122kW at 11,500rpm and 112Nm at 9000rpm, which might not sound like so much in 2022 but the 998cc inline-four with crossplane crank truly is fantastic, with loads of torque everywhere and plenty of power up top. And it sounds so good; it’s not loud, but the exhaust emits a deep growl while ‘Acoustic Amplifier Grilles’ enhance the addictive induction roar.

The result of the torquey engine and all those electronics is that the MT-10 is easy to wheelie, even if you’re not so confident in doing so. Just ensure the lift control is still engaged – at least in its lowest setting – and you can loft the front without fear of going overboard, so to speak.

The handling belies the MT-10’s size and weight. It tips the scales at 212kg wet but you can fling it into corners like a much lighter bike, and quick changes of direction are a doddle. Suspension compliance is well suited to bumpy backroads and the KYB 43mm USD fork is fully adjustable, as is the shock.

While it runs a Brembo master cylinder, the calipers are from ADVICS, and there’s a pair of 320mm discs up front and a 220mm disc at the rear. The setup works well and there’s plenty of stopping power for road duties.

While not its primary remit, the Yamaha MT-10 is even a decent tourer. There ain’t a lot of weather protection, but the riding position is comfortable, seat well padded and the cruise control and speed limiter will keep your licence safe. I even managed to tie a medium-size bag on the back seat without scratching the bodywork.

Build quality is hard to fault with great finish and quality components. Some might not appreciate the styling, but there’s no denying it looks tough, which is exactly what it is. The only things I can fault on the MT-10 are the size of the TFT screen and the fact the bike needs to be at a standstill to change ride modes.

At $23,749 (ride away), this potent weapon is good value for money, and judged against the criteria, the Yamaha MT-10 scores well across the board.

Test: Dean Mellor

Over the past several days we have revealed details on the eight MOTY finalists on the AMCN website. If you want to know which motorcycle has been awarded AMCN’s 2022 Motorcycle of the Year presented by Shannons Insurance, grab a copy of the AMCN Yearbook, which is on sale now at newsagents and select supermarkets.