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What is the best Masters of Torque bike?

Yamaha's Masters of Torque modelsYamaha's Masters of Torque models product
Yamaha's Masters of Torque models

Yamaha has now completed its Masters of Torque range with the introduction of the mighty MT-10 based on the R1, but which is the best bike for you?

I’ve now ridden all the bikes and recently had the opportunity to reacquaint myself with them at the MT-10 launch on the Sunshine Coast.

But which is the best for you?

All bikes in the Masters of Torque range represent excellent value, which is probably one of the main reasons they are selling so well here and throughout the world.


Yamaha MT-03 masters of torque
Yamaha MT-03

The MT-03 starts at an unbelievable $5699 yet comes with ABS and is powered by a twin-cylinder 321cc engine.

It’s ideal suited to commuter traffic, yet I was amazed at how good it is on the highway with less buzzing through the bars than I expected.

It was also able to keep up with the bigger bikes through the twisties because it brakes later thanks to its light weight, changes direction quickly on its narrow tyres and holds high corner speeds.


Yamaha MT-07LA Masters of Torque

Next up is the MT-07LA which comes with ABS for just $9599.

Motorcycle manufacturers rarely make one-off models for specific markets, but they reduced the engine size of the MT-07 from 689cc to 655cc to make this learner-approved bike for the Australian and New Zealand markets.

The parallel twin is a sweet motor and perfectly matched to the frame and weight for agile handling through commuter traffic, canyon passes and out touring on the highway.

Once you graduate to a full licence, you can open up the airbox, grind off the throttle stop and most people wouldn’t notice the difference in power from the MT-07.


Yamaha MT-07 HO masters
Yamaha MT-07HO

In Australia, we call the MT-07 the MT-07HO for high output, although it is just the standard bike available elsewhere in the world. In many places it’s called the FZ-07.

It arrives at $10,299, yet doesn’t come with ABS.


Yamaha MT-09 Tracer
Yamaha MT-09 Tracer

Next up is the MT-09 triple at $12,999.

When it was released a few years ago it didn’t have ABS or traction control and certainly wasn’t a master of traction.

Last year they added ABS and this year traction control, all without increasing the price.

If you love the smooth and creamy torque of a triple, this is an idea bike that now masters its wild lashings of grunt.

In 2015, there were Tracker and Tracer variants to add some style and touring ability.

MT-10Yamaha MT-10 bargain hunter 4

Now comes the master of all Masters of Torque to complete the line-up.

The MT-10 costs just $17,999. That’s amazing since it’s a stripped-down R1 which costs an extra $5500.

It’s retuned for street duties with three-stage traction control, three engine maps, titanium exhaust, cruise control, a 12V outlet and electronic steering damper.

Amazing value matched by amazing performance and handling.

It’s probably still too much bike for most people and most heavily patrolled jurisdictions.

But if you love cutting butter with a chainsaw, this is your bike.


Masters of talk
Masters of talk at the MT-10 launch

Everyone is different and all the motorcycle journos at the MT-10 launch had varying views on the bike, although I would say a straw poll of the Masters of Talk would have given the vote to the MT-10. After all, there is no replacement for displacement.

However, I love the feel of a parallel twin and find the value and added safety of ABS irresistible in the MT-07LA. I could also live with this for a variety of duties more than any of the other masters.

Pass me that grinder!