Yamaha MT-10 SP review - improvement in ride quality compared to stock MT-10 – and better looking!


  • Gen-2 Öhlins semi-active suspension
  • Unique SP paint and finishes
  • Braided steel brake lines

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £230
Power: 164 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.9 in / 835 mm)
Weight: Medium (472 lbs / 214 kg)


New £16,610
Used £13,900 - £16,500

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Yamaha MT-10 is a full-on super naked that pulls no punches and has happily taken on the best Japan and Europe has offered up to rival it. However, for some, excess is never enough and if you want to up the ante even further, the Yamaha MT-10 SP is for you.

Billed by Yamaha as the ultimate MT, the SP was launched a year after the stock MT-10 (which itself featured a CP4 motor and chassis derived from the R1 sportsbike) and came with upgrades that included Öhlins semi-active suspension and a TFT dash.

With both MT-10 models updated for 2022 through a new electronics package that includes a much-needed IMU, revised engine and new styling, is the SP still the top dog? Yes - but the gap is closer than before because the base and SP models feature the same updates for 2022, therefore making the £2500 difference (when launched - the difference reduced to £2300 for 2024) harder to justify.

Yamaha MT-10 SP front

However when you ride the stock MT back-to-back with the SP you realise where the extra cash goes as the SP’s semi-active Öhlins delivers a far more assured ride than the KYB suspension on the base bike.

Is it enough of an improvement to excuse blowing £2300 more on the SP? Yes it is as it makes the bike easier to ride briskly and less demanding over bumps – not only that, the gold forks stand out a mile against the MT-10 SP’s dark front end and give it a huge amount of kerb appeal that the stock bike can lack a bit.

Yamaha MT-10 SP turning left

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Replacing the stock bike’s KYB suspension, the SP features Gen-2 Öhlins semi-active suspension (NIX30-SV forks and a TTX36-SV shock), which automatically controls the damping levels while leaving spring preload manually adjustable.

Featuring spool valves rather than traditional needles valves, which Öhlins claim deliver faster adjustment and a more accurate responsiveness at the low and high ends of the adjustment range, the SP’s suspension can be set in one of three semi-active damping modes (A-1, A-2 or A-3) or one of three manual setting (M-1, M-1 or M-3), which remove the semi-active function and allow fixed damping settings to be selected via the dash.

An incredibly impressive system, the semi-active suspension responds to undulations in the road’s surface instantly, smoothing them out and making the SP feel like it is gliding over the bumps. Harsh ones still give you a kick, but unlike on a conventional system the semi-active damping instantly recovers and keeps the MT nicely composed, a feature that reduces its tendency to shake its head when exiting bends under hard acceleration.

Yamaha MT-10 SP rear shock

On the UK’s roads, A-2 is the best option for bumpy B-roads where A-1 suits fast smoother road better and A-3 is more for straight line cruising as when the pace ups it feels a bit soft at the rear end. And the SP’s brakes are better too...

Fitting braided steel lines can make a bike’s brakes feel horribly dead at the lever as they lack rubber lines’ comforting initial squish, however on the SP there is still enough feel to allow you to apply small amounts of pressure accurately via the new Brembo radial master cylinder.

They don’t scream ‘race bike’ and aren’t as fierce in their bite as some rivals’ set-ups but are fine for use on the road and it is great to see the SP (and stock MT) now featuring cornering ABS thanks to the addition of an IMU in this latest generation.

Yamaha MT-10 SP front brakes


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Good and bad news with the new Euro5-compliant engine. Starting with the good, thanks to the revised fuel injection system the throttle response is now smooth (in B-mode, A-mode is still a bit too aggressive for road use) and the crossplane’s enhanced mid-range surge of power is staggering – as is the wonderful off-beat sound (which has been tuned through a new intake system) and feel.

But despite lengthening its gearing, the MT remains a noticeably thirsty bike and recorded 41mpg on our first test ride, which is what Yamaha claim but still equates to a range of just 155 miles until the 17-litre tank is empty. Get spirited and it’s a thirsty beast, at 32mpg during our group test, and just 120 miles to the tank from full to dry...

Yamaha MT-10 SP engine

Power is up from 158bhp to 164bhp, torque from 81.9lb.ft to 82.6lb.ft and there’s more oomph between 4000rpm and 8000rpm, not that it lacked midrange anyway.

There’s more of an airbox growl now, too, thanks to a shoutier new airbox and what are essentially speaker vents cut into the tank cover.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

If you opt for the SP, alongside the Öhlins suspension you gain braided steel brake lines as standard as well as a three-piece belly cowl, black bars and levers and a stitched seat. Unlike the stock bike, which comes in three colour options (cyan, blue and black), the SP is only available in Icon Performance and it also features a polished metal finish on its swingarm where the stock bike has a black painted one.

Everything else, including the engine and electronics package, is identical between the two MT-10 models, which is good news for MT-10 owners but a bit disappointing for SP owners who may feel like they deserve something extra to brag about aside from suspension. Which brings up the question of price...

Yamaha MT-10 SP turning right

Our Yamaha MT-10 SP owners' reviews don't indicate any prevailing problems you need to worry about. For the previous MT-10 SP's reliability, the only adverse comments are around corrosion, which prompts us to encourage you to keep the bike cleaned and well maintained.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The MT-10 SP costs £2500 (at launch, dropping to £2300 for '24) more than the stock MT-10 at £16,000, which is tantalisingly close, especially when you look at a finance package. On a PCP deal after a £3000 area deposit, you are looking at paying about £35 a month more for the SP when compared to the stock bike.

That’s about the price of a takeaway meal for two every month, which seems a small sacrifice to gain that all-important Öhlins bling.

In terms of running costs, both the SP and stock MT-10 have the same poor fuel economy and cost roughly the same to insure and service, so that’s not a factor in ownership, and the SP should hold its residual value a bit better.

Yamaha MT-10 SP on the road

How does it stack up price-wise against its rivals? Very well. The SP is £16,000 where a Ducati Streetfighter V4 is £19,551 or £21,651 in S guise with semi-active suspension.

The Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory is £16,900 and during our group test in 2023 was deemed the better bike overall compared with the MT-10 SP. The KTM Super Duke EVO is £17,899 but suffers some reliability issues, and the British entry, the Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS, costs £15,500 but lacks semi-active suspension). The supercharged Kawasaki Z H2 SE is also a theoretical rival at £19,079, although perhaps a slightly different proposition with more touring capability.


4 out of 5 (4/5)

Sharing the same tech package as the stock MT, the SP is no less impressive when it comes to its safety assists. Thanks to a six-axis IMU you get cornering ABS and TC as well as slide control and anti-wheelie that sit alongside an up/down shifter, engine braking control, cruise control and variable power modes, all of which are controlled via the new 4.2-inch colour TFT dash (which lacks connectivity).

While the electronics perform faultlessly, and the quickshifter is excellent, it is tricky to see which of the various acronyms you are selecting should you wish to tweak their setting while on the go as their lettering on the dash is quite small. There again, the speed and revs are nice and clear – as is thankfully the fuel gauge.

Yamaha MT-10 SP dash


Engine size 998cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 16v, inline four
Frame type Cast aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 835mm
Bike weight 214kg
Front suspension 43mm inverted Öhlins forks, fully-adjustable with semi-active damping and manual preload adjustment.
Rear suspension Öhlins monoshock, fully-adjustable with semi-active damping and manual preload adjustment.
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston radial calipers. Cornering ABS
Rear brake 220mm single disc with two-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £230
New price £16,610
Used price £13,900 - £16,500
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 164 bhp
Max torque 82.7 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 155 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2016: Yamaha MT-10 – The first MT-10 is launched. Using a chassis and engine derived from the YZF-R1, the MT-10 lacks an IMU but ticks just about every other box!
  • 2017: Yamaha MT-10 SP – Yamaha up the game with the SP model, which features unique paint, Öhlins semi-active suspension, a quickshifter and a TFT dash where the base bike has an LCD unit. In the same year the stock MT-10 gains a quickshifter as standard.
  • 2022: Yamaha MT-10 and MT-10 SP – Both MT-10 models are heavily revised with an upgraded electronics package that now includes an IMU as well as a fresh look and tweaked engine. The SP packs Gen-2 Öhlins semi-active suspension and unique paint.

Other versions

Standard 2022 Yamaha MT-10.

Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA MT-10 SP (2022 - on)

3 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA MT-10 SP (2022 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your YAMAHA MT-10 SP (2022 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Equipment: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £230
5 out of 5 Great Allrounder
04 September 2023 by Steve

Year: 2023

Annual servicing cost: £200

Really great allrounder

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Plenty of feel for public roads. Ride is amazing on the Ohlins- worth the extra £. A pussy to cruise and a monster if you want.

Engine 5 out of 5

Wow responsive. Very flexible and fun engine.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Yamaha what more

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

First service

Equipment 4 out of 5

It’s all very practical and works well

Buying experience: Easy

4 out of 5
16 May 2023 by The Ludojay

Year: 2022

Annual servicing cost: £250

The bike's best feature is its engine which is really strong in the midrange [for a litre 4] & the sonorous bellow under acceleration which is something else. Its worst feature is the TFT dash: It's too small & cluttered as a result but that's nit-picking really.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Ride is excellent on the semi-active Ohlins. The brakes are not so good [lever pressure is too high when slowing the bike from speed].

Engine 5 out of 5

The CP4 motor is wonderful & is probably one of the best motorcycle engines yet built. It has a broad spread of power with loads of thrust in the middle of the rev range whilst still having impressive power at the top.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

2500 miles on the odometer & no problems so far

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

First service only so far

Equipment 4 out of 5

I fitted the optional Yamaha screen & comfort seat. These make prolonged motorway miles bearable. The S22 rear lasted me about 2K miles [the front still seems OK at 2.5K].

Buying experience: Bought new at list price

4 out of 5 MT10SP 2022
16 May 2023 by The Ludojay

Year: 2022

Annual servicing cost: £250

It is a very good bike. There are a few aspects though that require improvement for a 5 star rating.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Brakes need surprisingly high lever pressure to slow the bike from speed. Riding position is fine for all day on the twisties with Yamaha tall screen fitted although prolonged speeds 85+ are not really practical.

Engine 5 out of 5

The CP4 motor is wonderful. It sounds great & has loads of grunt (for a litre four) which makes it ideal for rapid, twisty road riding. The top end power is more than anyone could want.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Fault free so far (2.5K miles).

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

First service was as expected.

Equipment 4 out of 5

I did not fit the Yamaha top box & rack as I thought it spoilt the looks (marginal to start with...). Soft luggage (SW Motech Pro Tail Bag) goes on OK in lieu.

Buying experience: Bought new at list price with Yamaha accessories extra (screen, handguards & tank protector fitted for free).

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