Yamaha MT-10 SP Project Bike - Update 1

It’s been about a month since we introduced Motorcycle.com’s 2022 Yamaha MT-10 SP semi-long-term project bike. In case you forgot the premise of this whole thing, Yamaha offered us the opportunity to hang on to an MT-10 SP for an extended period of time, and since I have a soft spot for the bike, I decided to give it some tasteful upgrades to address some key weaknesses while also unleashing some trapped potential. The point here is two-fold: first is to see what the bike could do with some simple upgrades. Second is to not break the bank while doing so because otherwise, you could easily go buy one of the European competitors that would probably still spank this MT, stock. 

In the past month I’ve installed the upgrades and even taken the trusty MT to the track and ridden it on the streets a little. Read on to get my take on each upgrade, ranging from ease of installation to real-world impressions.

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Functional Fashion: The Best Leather Motorcycle Jackets

If there’s a piece of apparel most associated with motorcycling, it’s undoubtedly the leather motorcycle jacket. The leather jacket is part of our uniform, but even non-riders search the bins for cowhide when it’s time to dress up for Halloween, or down for any occasion that calls for cool. No matter what you ride, the best leather motorcycle jackets are versatile enough to look at home nearly anywhere, and on nearly anything. A premium leather jacket will never go out of style, and the more you wear a quality one, the more comfortable it will feel – there’s just something about leather that other materials can’t match. Bountiful and ubiquitous, with seemingly endless options to choose from, it would be impossible for us to feature every single jacket out there. So here we’ve gathered a small sampling of the best leather motorcycle jackets the market has to offer, listed in alphabetical order.

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Aprilia RSV4 RF Vs. Ducati Panigale V4 S - Dyno Shootout

Without a doubt, the biggest news in the sportbike scene for 2018 is Ducati’s Panigale V4 and the emergence of a mass-produced four cylinder engine – the Stradale V4. While Ducati has finally left its beloved V-Twin engine behind (at least in terms of superbikes), there was no way the folks in Borgo Panigale would conform to tradition when it came to its new four-banger. For starters, as the name implies, the new engine is arranged as a 90º V4 – essentially multiplying  its V-Twin tradition by two.

The similarities don’t end there, though: the V4 is arranged with a “Twin Pulse” firing order, meaning each bank of cylinders fires closely together. The end result is a four cylinder that sounds awfully similar to Ducati’s traditional V-Twin (or L-Twin for the Ducatisti who will inevitably whine about the improper nomenclature) until revs start to climb to the Stradale’s 14,500 rpm redline. Then the Stradale roars like nothing else out there. To get a deeper understanding of what Ducati did to the Stradale engine, check out Kevin Duke’s First Ride Review.

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2018 Kawasaki Ninja 400: Exclusive Dyno Run and Measured Weight!

Kawasaki’s all-new Ninja 400 is ready to upend the small-displacement sportbike category by offering the triumvirate of appealing motorcycle characteristics: class-leading power, a reasonable price, and swanky good looks.

At a base MSRP of $4,999, the new 400 retails for the same price as the previous Ninja 300, and the 400 is also endowed with a seriously attractive profile. But we already knew that when the Ninja 400 was announced.

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Does A Dented Exhaust Pipe Restrict Power?

So how does slamming a suicidal rock, thus spewing hot juicy oil all over your rear tire, sound to you as you’re flying down your favorite mountain road? Sorta frightening, right? Because it is. Ask me how I know. Then ask me which of my favorite four-letter words I chose to spit out of my helmet were once I realized that this could have been really bad. Reeeeeealllly reeeeeaaalllly bad. I was thrilled to be climbing off my bike by choice as opposed to a sudden unplanned eviction over the side of a mountain. Guardian angel, this round’s on me.

But, seeing as this is Motorcycle.com, I found two positive things came of this unexpected “oily bike upright” skills test.

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Yamaha FZ-10 Dyno Tested

Actually the first minute or so of this vid is a great graphic presentation of the Yamaha “Crossplane” crankshaft it introduced in its 2009 R1. Crossplane is a cool marketing word for a four-cylinder crank that scatters its four pistons equidistantly around its 360 degrees – each one 90 degrees apart – instead of everybody else’s flat, or 180-degree crank, where two pistons are at top dead center while the other two are at bottom dead center.

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Indian Scout Vs Indian Scout Sixty on the Dyno!

You’ll remember we, okay I, first rode Indian’s new Scout Sixty last November, where we laid out the differences between it and the regular Scout. Besides a substantial reduction in price to $8,999 and the doing-away with of fifth gear, the Sixty gets, “a simple sleeving down of the bike’s excellent liquid-cooled 60-degree V-Twin, from 1133cc to 999cc (69 to 61 cubic inches)… accomplished with 6mm slimmer bores, down from 99 to 93mm diameter. Stroke remains 73.6mm, meaning this is still an oversquare Twin that doesn’t mind using its 4-valve DOHC heads to rev smack into the 8200-rpm limiter now and then if you so desire. Compression ratio for the smaller engine is a bit higher; up to 11:1 from the 10.7:1 of the 1133cc version.”

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Kawasaki Z125 Pro Vs. Honda Grom - On The Dyno!

In my First Ride Review of the 2017 Kawasaki Z125 Pro I mentioned, “the Kawasaki, and its oversquare Single, feels like it has more bottom-end grunt compared to the Honda.” Of course, the Honda in question here is none other than the Grom.

Apparently, my butt dyno needs some calibration. We’ve finally got our hands on a Z125 Pro and the first place we took it to was an actual dyno – the one operated by our friend Chris Redpath of MotoGP Werks – and the result was a little surprising. The baby Z spun the drum to the tune of 8.3 hp at 7800 rpm, and 6.5 lb-ft at 6100 rpm. For comparison, in stock form the Grom puts out 8.7 hp at 6700 rpm and 7.8 lb-ft at 5200 rpm. So not only does the Honda make more power and torque than the Kawasaki, it also pulls off the feat with fewer revs. Advantage Honda. On paper, anyway.

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Triumph Street Twin Dyno Results

At both the unveiling and riding introduction of Triumph’s new Street Twin, the manufacturer noted that the new 900cc engine made more torque – and at lower rpm – than the previous 865cc mill. At the riding introduction, Triumph expanded its claim to include the Street Twin producing less peak horsepower than the previous, smaller engine. So, imagine our surprise when we actually get our sweaty mitts on a production model Street Twin and dash it over to our local dyno shop – and learn that the new engine makes both more torque and horsepower than the most recent dyno run we have of the old 865cc engine.

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2016 Ducati XDiavel Dyno Tested

The spinning steel drum does not lie: Ducati claims 156 horsepower at 9500 rpm for the XDiavel’s new 1262cc DVT (Desmo Variable Timing) L-Twin, and the MotoGP Werks Dynojet bears that out. The old rule of thumb is that rear-wheel hp (what the dyno measures) is generally about 10% less than crankshaft hp (what the manufacturers claim) on a chain-driven bike, and if that still applies then the Ducati is actually a few horses ahead of the game. Compared to the old Diavel, which never felt anything like slow, you’re looking at 10% more horsepower and 9% more torque.

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2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R Review and Dyno Test

The chance to review an all-new motorcycle prior to the bike’s world launch is about as rare as a Vincent White Shadow, but that’s the opportunity our Australian correspondent, Jeff Ware, received late last November when he got to spin laps aboard Kawasaki’s all-new ZX-10R. Because the new 10R is the most exciting new sportbike of 2016, we jumped at the chance to publish Ware’s review so we could be among the first in the world to share riding impressions of this important new machine. Our review was cleverly titled “First First-Ride Review,” because Motorcycle.com’s official first-ride review was intended to be posted after the bike’s world launch.

2016 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R First First-Ride Review + Video

Well, the Ninja’s official world launch took place this week at Malaysia’s Sepang circuit. Funny thing is, we didn’t receive an invite. Kawasaki tells us that, since “we” already reviewed the new 10R, it decided we didn’t need to ride it again so soon. That’s the price we pay to bring you news ahead of of the rest of the world.

Anyway, as you can tell from reading our review, the latest Ninja impresses for its World Superbike-bred chassis. Ware has huge compliments for its handling, brakes and suspension – and also for its thoroughly revised engine. But his ride was on a fairly tight racetrack, so we wondered how accurate his butt dyno was in measuring power.

Well, thanks to our friends at Farrell Performance, we now know exactly how much power a 2016 ZX-10R produces: 163.2 horsepower when measured at the rear wheel on a Dynojet 250i dyno. That’s about 2.7 more hp than the 2015 bike we tested last year, and 6.2 hp more than a run Farrell did on a ’15 under similar conditions.

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MO Tested: Sprint Air Filter

What’s the first thing motorcyclists look for when modifying their bike? More power. So, when we got an email claiming a 1 to 4 horsepower increase from Sprint Filter air cleaners, we decided to check it out. Our test mule would be my beloved 2003 Yamaha R6 that is still – as far as the fuel and exhaust systems are concerned – basically stock. (In the interest of full disclosure, it does have a set of Factory Pro Velocity Stacks that I’d forgotten about until I opened the airbox.) What better way to finally get my 13-year-old 600 to the dyno to see how it compares to current generation sporting hardware?

However, before we get to some actual numbers, let’s consider what makes the Sprint Filter P08 different from the other aftermarket filters using the familiar wire-lined folds. First, those other reusable aftermarket units may look similar, but their filter material is actually cotton fiber, which can, over time, break down – especially if it is not cleaned properly – reducing its ability to filter out anything smaller than the mouse turds left over from the nest your rodent friends made inside your bike’s airbox last winter. Okay, so maybe that’s not true, but if you don’t clean a cotton filter properly, it will shrink and develop gaps in its fiber. (Don’t believe me? Go dig your former favorite shirt – you know, the one that spent too long in the dryer – out of the bottom of your t-shirt drawer, and after you confirm that it still binds uncomfortably in your armpits, check the label. Yep, 100% cotton.)

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2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 Tested On The Dyno!

I felt as giddy as a kid at Christmas when I heard Yamaha’s new R1 was prepped and readied for MO’s home-soil evaluation. We already knew it was ready to challenge the best of the best – our Troy Siahaan came back from its launch raving about how the R1 is resetting the bar in the stupefyingly magnificent superbike class – but I was anxious to find out for myself just how impressive it is.

2015 Yamaha YZF-R1/YZF-R1M First Ride Review + Video

And it looks sensational in person, more like a European exotic than a run-of-the-mill Japanese literbike. The MotoGP theme starts at its number-plate-like nose and continues when its crossplane-crank inline-Four is fired up, changing from an animalistic growl to an otherworldly howl as revs climb. It sounds pretty much like Val Rossi’s bike. A quick blast on the freeway revealed power output levels about as good as anything in its class, maybe even BMW’s awesome S1000RR. I expected to see about 170 horses from its rear wheel.

2015 BMW S1000RR Review + Video

So, my first stop was a dyno to see what it could do, but our R1 was handicapped in two ways. First, the engine had fewer than 250 miles on it, which means it was relatively tight. Second, the Moto Shop (formerly CM Motorsports/Cycle Mall) dyno where I was headed is notoriously stingy with its numbers. Their Dynojet 250i is often referred to as the Heartbreaker.

The Moto Shop dyno lived up to its name, registering a peak of 158.2 horsepower from our 2015 R1, which is a nice number but not quite as big as what we anticipated. The R1 is purported to generate 200 horses when factory rated at its crankshaft, and when equipped with the accessory Circuit ECU. Subtract a loss of about 10% after going through a transmission and a chain drive and one would expect nearly 180 ponies at the rear wheel. However, there’s more to this story. Much more.

The (pre-2015) BMW S1000RR produced just 163 hp on the Heartbreaker, placing the R1 just five horses down on the class champ. Also, Moto Shop’s owner, Tige Daane, sets his dyno software to the SAE correction factor, which produces lower numbers than the STD setting, and to maximum smoothing, which polishes off the spikes caused by sensor glitches and/or drive-lash. Simply changing the correx factor from SAE to STD results in a 162.2-hp reading. Removing the smoothing function makes it jump to 165.2 hp.

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Church Of MO – 2004 MV Agusta Brutale S On The Track, Dyno & Street

If there’s one thing you can count on in the world of motorcycledom, it’s that MV Agustas will always be beautiful. Case in point: the Brutale. In this case, the 750cc inline-Four Brutale S, designed by none other than the great Massimo Tamburini. In this week’s Church of MO feature we go back to 2004, and Sean Alexander’s impressions of the stunningly beautiful 750 Brutale. Sean was still at his fighting weight back then, AMA racing and all, which makes his thoughts about the MV all the more interesting. Does beauty translate into a winning street and track naked? Read on to find out. Also, be sure to check out the five-page photo gallery for a lot more pictures.

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