First Impressions of Yamaha’s MT10 and XSR900

As I’m sitting here writing about this, I feel a sense of comfort in this rickety old chair I’m sitting on. Why? Let me explain:

After being thoroughly baffled by the seat on the new MT10 and XSR 900 I feel that this chair cradles my derriere better than any of those 2. You have to give Yamaha credit, those are 2 gorgeously beautiful machines, made with heart and dedication I’m definite. We know Japanese engineers love their machines and strive for perfection in anything they produce.

So they gave us 2 gorgeously sexy machines, one oozing old school cool:

60th Anniversary Yamaha XSR900

and the other a modern twist on something guaranteed to shred pedestrians, wandering animals and tarmac.

Yamaha MT10 in Yamaha Blue

Everybody’s taking a leaf out of Jaguar’s Campaign. Aesthetically, these bikes work and very well at that with details.

These machines are guaranteed performers, with countless reviews on the same page. Yamaha’s crossplane technology is a sure winner and the sounds are an audiophile’s orgasm. But beyond that it gets somewhat befuddling.

The MT10 would make for a rip roaring touring conversion, unfortunately it seems there are only simple touring accessories from Yamaha with luggage cases that won’t carry very much. Its handlebar feels narrow and undermines the masculinity of the machine. Imagine an elephant with the ears of a deer. Just place your hands on the grips and how does that feel? Even if it feels normal, I implore you to shift your hands outwards, just until your pinkies rest on the tips of the handlebar balancers. Do you feel the difference? Do you feel more inclined to want to push the machine just that little more on the road with that stance and a little more feeling of control? Perhaps it’s just preference for something bigger and beefier to hold on to.

Yamaha MT10 Instrument Cluster and Speedometer

And now, the area where both of them feel outright odd, the seats. Made of some harder foam then they probably should, perhaps the foam guy lost count of measure while mixing the resins for the foam. Those seats are HARD! And built for someone with bigger hips perhaps. Heaven forbid, those machines aren’t definitely made for fat bottomed girls alone! But the edge of the seats dug into my thighs. They are not sharp, but you won’t want to sit at the traffic lights for long or your legs might go numb. My in-seam is 32 and my feet were well planted, but even you could take some foam off the edges to soften the bite on your thighs but they would still be hard. They do give you a nice wide area of coverage, but that’s about it.

Yamaha MT10 Side View

Yamaha XSR900 Rear View

One more thing to mention would be the cable adjusters on both.

Yamaha XSR900 Clutch Cable AdjusterYamaha MT10 Clutch Cable Adjuster

Would have been nice to include a sleeve to shield those pivot points from grinding grit that would wear those cables out prematurely. Would have been even better if they had been hydraulic clutches, or at least on the MT10?

It would be good if they offered test rides to get a better feel as well and truly see whether that seat does stand up to some time in the saddle but unfortunately in Singapore, nobody has heard of any agents selling the Japanese brands offering test rides. Why not? Beats the hell out of me.

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