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.
First up, the brakes. EBC was kind enough to send its HH sintered brake pads, which are its most aggressive. For only $80, it’s a huge value for dramatic braking performance, especially over the stock pads. Installation is super easy, too, as you just need to remove a clip, slide the old pads out, slide the new ones in, and reinstall the clip. It’s an easy five-minute job with big results. Of course, don’t forget to take some high-grit sandpaper or a Scotchbrite pad and wipe down the brake rotor before bedding in the new pads. This removes the old pad material and lets the new pads bite onto the disc.
As for the results – well, let’s just say it reinforces what we say a lot here at MO: brake pads can transform a mediocre brake setup. The initial bite is immediately stronger than the stock pads, which is a big complaint with the soft standard pads. And thanks to that strong initial bite, the overall braking power feels more robust, too. The harder I pull the lever, the more eager the bike is to slow down. If I were to nitpick, I’d say the Brembo master cylinder is now the weak link, as there feels like a tiny bit of play in the lever, different from air in the lines. But overall, this upgrade is an absolute must for any MT owner, in my opinion. If you have the standard MT-10 and not the SP, I’d suggest changing the pads first, then replacing the rubber lines for steel.