Introducing Motorcycle.com's 2022 Yamaha MT-10 SP Semi Long Term Bike
Long-term test bikes aren’t something we normally do here at Motorcycle.com, but when Yamaha’s PR guy Gerrad Capley said I could take the MT-10 SP home after the press intro, it was an offer that was hard to resist. When I asked him how long I could have it, he basically shrugged his shoulders and winked. “Can I modify it?” I asked. “Only if you give it back to us in stock form,” he said. Just like that, I dashed away with an MT-10 SP for an indefinite amount of time. Nice.
If you bothered to read deep into the comments section of my 2022 Yamaha MT-10 SP First Ride review, you might have seen that I was going to do something like this. I suppose putting it in writing with its own post makes it official. The plan is to put some miles on it, obviously, but also to add some bang-for-the-buck modifications to really extract the most out of it without getting too crazy. I also don’t want to price this thing into the category of some of its European competitors, which in stock form would still be better than the MT anyway. And since the bike is predominantly going to be in my hands, it’s going to see a life filled with racetrack miles to go along with the miles spent on the freeway and canyons. But since the MT will be ridden in between other test bikes floating around here at MO, don’t expect to see mega miles or maintenance along the way. Although, if the bike does require any unplanned repairs, that’ll be noted in future installments.
MO Tested: Dunlop Roadsmart III Long Term Review
If you’re making a tire in the sport-touring category, you probably have one of the most difficult jobs in the entire tire business. Where racers want the grippiest tire they can find, longevity be damned, and the touring set seek high-mileage with modest grip, the sport-touring crowd wants the best of both worlds. Oh, and it better have good wet weather performance, too. No easy feat.
With the Dunlop Roadsmart III, Dunlop thinks it has created the holy grail of sport-touring tires. Not only is Dunlop touting the longevity of the tire, but it’s also bragging about the grip and consistency of the Roadsmart III’s performance throughout the life of the tire – an important aspect sometimes overlooked. Our own John Burns got to try a set of the tires when they were introduced in 2017 and came back pleasantly satisfied with the results – even if he only got to ride on the tires for two days. (Click on the link for background and Dunlop’s story about the tires)
Live With It: 2018 Yamaha MT-07
Don’t be confused by the new appellation: The MT-07 is the same Yamaha FZ-07 that’s won every MO middleweight mashup we’ve thrown it in since it was new in 2014, beating up on all sorts of bikes since then, including the KTM Duke 690, all Suzuki SV650 variants, various Kawasaki 650 mutations, Hondas of diverse specification, the H-D Street Rod, et al.
2014 Middleweight Mash-Up Six-Way Shootout!
It would’ve done the same thing again this year, but there are no new challengers, so it’s been mostly sitting in the garage champing at the bit. Anytime anybody hops on it, though, they’re immediately reminded what a great little motorcycle the MT is. Little in terms of weight, at just 403 pounds wet. Big, really, in most other aspects of performance: 68.2 horsepower is plenty to get the job done, but the MT’s real talent lies in its midrange torque production – 47 pound-feet of twisting force at just 6500 rpm, courtesy of its 689cc parallel Twin. That motor’s texture is just as fine as its power production, thanks to its 90-degree offset crankpins making it sound and feel like a 90-degree V-Twin but without the bulk. Power delivery is spot-on, your six-speed gearbox and light clutch work as they should, triple disc brakes (now with standard ABS) are standing by, and you get real big-boy rubber including a 180/55-17 rear Michelin Pilot Road 4.
Live With It: 2018 Suzuki GSX-S1000Z Long Term Review
As a lifelong supporter of the underdog and a proponent of keeping things cheap and stupid simple, I was a big fan of the Suzuki GSX-S1000 right from the start. Basically, we’re talking 2005 GSX-R1000 with much improved ergonomics, more supple suspension, EFI, and other conveniences of modern life that make deploying 144 screaming inline-Four horsepower a kinder, gentler and more comfortable experience every time you leave the house.
2016 Honda NC700X Long-Term Review
The most important thing about the upgrades Honda gave its NC700X for 2016 is that it provided me the excuse to borrow one in order to evaluate them. And you can’t really ascertain whether a bigger windscreen, sharp new bodywork and muffler, and a bigger storage compartment are really what they’re purported to be without some long-term testing, can you? (Unfortunately, we can’t speak to the improvements in the Dual Clutch Transmission since we got the 6-speed manual; maybe we need to borrow a DCT when this one goes back for purely scientific purposes?)
Living With A Zero SR
We’ve tested plenty of electric motorcycles over the years here at MO. In the process, we’ve been able to witness firsthand how rapidly e-bikes have evolved. Through it all, however, we get asked the same questions over and over: 1. How far will it go on a charge? and 2. How long will it take to recharge the batteries? There used to be a third question – how fast will it go? – but through our testing and experiences with the greater e-bike community, speed no longer seems to be a concern amongst the critics.
In the quest to satisfy curiosity surrounding the first two questions, we ordered up a 2015 Zero SR and lived with it for two months. We used it as a daily driver, its intended environment, to experience just what it’s like to ride a bone-stock electric bike in the everyday. As you can see from the photos, ours came with a few choice accessories, which we’ll cover later on. For now, let’s tackle the two aforementioned questions head-on.
Longtime Companion: KTM 1290 Super Duke R
We took delivery of our KTM Super Duke R on March 26, 2014, and fought like rabbits for quite some time over whose garage it would reside in until its scheduled return. EiC Duke won, but being the benevolent despot he is, the wealth trickled down and around until the beautiful beast fell into my possession a few months ago. I haven’t complained about having it underfoot. As a matter of fact, the Super Duke might be the finest do-it-all motorcycle it’s ever been my pleasure to possess, living up to its award as MO’s Motorcycle of the Year.
Living With an Interceptor
When I realized that my days were numbered with my unofficial long-term Yamaha FJR1300ES, I began to wonder what I would do without it. Over a period of about nine months, I’d become quite accustomed to having hard bags and sporting performance at my disposal on a daily basis. As my thoughts turned to a worthy replacement, I began to consider the Honda Interceptor I’d ridden at its introduction back in June. The initial high demand for journalist bikes was over. So, perhaps, Honda was willing to keep a 2014 model on the books into 2015 to allow me to park it in my driveway and have some fun riding and modifying it – all for your edification, of course. Really, I was just thinking about you readers.
Why step down in size from a 1300 to an 800? Well, although I loved the massive torque of the FJR, I’m a middleweight bike guy at heart. I figured that what I’d give up in power would be countered by the lessened heft. Yes, I’d also be losing some other things (like cruise control and electronically adjustable suspension), but I was thinking that lighter weight and an easier reach to the ground from the saddle would make my daily motorcycle life more enjoyable. And I was right.