They say never meet your heroes.
They also say power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Correct on one count.
Everyone knows what this is. Yamahas FZ-10 (or MT-10, depending on your market) the lovechild of the hardcore R1 and naked FZ/MT line up. But for those who are unaware, this decepticon audition carries a 998cc I4 with a cross plane crank shaft, cranking 160HP and 81ft-lbs to the transmission. this hooked up to a 450lbs bike on one of the SHORTEST wheel bases you can buy these days (1400mm flat) means that this thing is a RIOT to ride any way to you look at it.
Now that we have the numbers laid out, what was it like to actually ride?
So first, the power. Yes it is there. it is READILY apparent it is there. If you are in ride mode ‘A’ there is no such thing as a smooth take off. or smooth anything. its POWER EVERYWHERE. DANK WHOOLIES BRO. Thankfully, the TCS had other things to say and kept the front end down during the demo ride.
The other thing that must be discussed in the presence of the FZ-10 is the noise. oh sweet baby Jesus the noise. This has to be one of THE meanest sounding motorcycles sold on the market today. that cross-plane crank I4 is unmistakable in its tone and voice, and with a pipe it is just intoxicating.
Other awesome stuff? For a big brutish super naked, the riding position on this thing is remarkably subdued. its fairly upright, but not so far as to trick you into thinking you are on an adventure bike. The seat was comfy and well padded, and fit me pretty well. the front part of the seat is a little skinnier and lends itself well to more aggressive riding, and if you shift to the rear the seat widens out and is better for touring.
And the looks. There are no doubts that this bike is a love it for hate it deal. I am firmly in the ‘love it’ camp. I love that industrial look. powerful and striking, if a bit busy from some angles. The LED lights are awesome and powerful and the whole thing just oozes bad-ass.
Niggles and complaints? I do have a few actually. For one, the dashboard. This is a $15,599 (CAD) motorcycle. there is absolutely NO reason why it should NOT have a full TFT screen for the dash. instead, it has a LED segment screen. Which works, dont get me wrong. but at nearly 16K before taxes, this just feel like cheaping out.
#2 on my complaints list: the brakes. Brakes have never been a yamaha strong point, even on the top spec R1 and R6s. The FZ 10 is no expection. The dropped the radial master from the R1 in favour of an axial unit, which again, just seems cheap. but the lever felt a little soft and could have provided a little more feedback if I am honest. A set of stainless steel braided lines and perhaps a radial master would solve this issue no doubt.
The biggest issue i had with the bike is cost. Forget the buy-in price. This thing is HEAVY on consumables. On my test ride, I averaged 10l/100km. That is 23 mpg. on a motorcycle. The WRX we rode in to get there got better mileage. Not to mention, being a liter naked, this thing chews through rear tires at an alarming rate. not a bike for those with a light wallet then. In total fairness to the bike, it was LITERALLY brand new. at the end of the 45min demo ride, it had 50km on it. Also, we didn’t really get it out of 3rd gear.
Oh, and just as a footnote. when i took the FJR out, the ride leader had this (end of the day ride). He didn’t make it far before having an argument with the TCS and bringing the nose to the sky :D