An unwritten rule of motorcycling states that once you get a motorcycle built by manufacturer X, you loose all ability to make rational decisions, become hopelessly in love with all merchandising that includes X branding, will sign-up to all and any online forums for your bike’s Make (or even Model) and will only ride with people who own the same make or model. It’s called the fanboy effect.
One of the consequences of said effect is that the few unaffected by it are left with a feeling of misplacement. There is nowhere for us: the Maker agnostic.
Sure, I’ve written a couple of blogs based on the bike I had at the time; I’ll even confess to owning a pair of (very stylish) KTM boxer shorts, but the fact is I don’t understand how anyone can commit to a single brand. At the very least you’ll be missing out on experimenting with a whole host of wonderful different bikes.
Having said that, I am a sucker for brand events (regardless of the motorcycle maker in question) and given the opportunity to jump in on Yamaha’s Dark Side of Japan Tour to test-ride of the new MT10, I just couldn’t say no.
Having been to a few of these events throughout the years I have to say no one does it better than BMW (hard to compete with Circuito do Estoril race track booked for a full day to offer riders free test-rides on track), Yamaha however seems to be the best of the Japanese brands at it!
A nicely (albeit slightly empty) decorated Kromhouthall, free drinks and nice food. Oh, yes and bikes, too!
Considering we are in a flat country with absolutely no good riding roads and the only half interesting ones on any given sunny day are full of bicycles, cars and tourists Yamaha did a decent job at finding us a route to try the bikes. At 41km and over one hour it was probably one of the longest test-rides I’ve had. And despite the low average speed due to road conditions and traffic meaning I only got to use 1st and 2nd gear, the MT10 did prove to be a fantastic bike with superbly smooth fuelling and exciting power delivery. The suspension also did a decent job of absorbing the potholes despite being obviously on the firm side and the little I could experience of the handling felt great. The biggest take way though is the engine, that crossplane motor sounds and feels better than any other inline 4 I have ever tried!
I’m a big fan of big naked bikes and the MT10 is still not quite up there next to the Inline Triple of the Speed Triple or the V-Twin of the Super Duke but damn did they do a great job with that 4 cylinder!
As for theroute if you want to have more detailed look at it, click HERE