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At 1st I has been surprised at how closely I was sitting behind Bruce. I am used to there being a void between us, but the big top box pushed me snugly behind him. The pillion's part of seat was spacious enough, and I was happy to have the support of the top box's integrated backrest. I am 5ft 6in and the pegs were not the lowest I have ever recognized, but my knees still had a reasonable angle to them I was pretty comfy. That kind of sums up how I felt during the trip, over which time I quite warmed to the bike. I loved how smooth its motor was and that, unlike on many other bikes, there was not a ridiculous amount of vibration. I was really sheltered behind Bruce, so the wind and rain did not annoy me too much. It helped that my part of the seat did not tower above the rider's, so I was not exposed to the elements. As much as I liked the comfort seat for that reason, I did find it uneasy beyond 100 miles or so. Another criticism is the lack of anywhere to really hold on to. There was a leather strap at the front of the seat, but I was usually covering it. Still, for its not many faults there were lots more things to be positive about, like the easy climbing on and off. I'd happily go more next time. The accessory Sport Screen was a great addition to the bike. For two up travel, the motor is more than able and proved to be silky smooth.



Averaging around 40mpg, which seemed just enough for the fast speeds we rided at. The A74 M welcomed us once over the Scottish border, winding between the silhouettes of towering mountains on either side, eerily lit by the moon. We were at least two thirds of the way and the ride was still showing enjoyable. From my perspective, I was still comfy enough, seated in a upright stance with a relaxed reach to the bars. Over four hours in to the ride and my legs were not feeling cramped on the low set pegs, though the aftermarket comfort saddle was beginning to lose its comfy edge. Shuffling became more and more needed for that last drag, which got considerably slower as we exited the M74 and took to the meandering A702. It was the most direct path to Edinburgh, and it proved more pleasurable than the alternative the M8 motorway link across from Glasgow. The MT-10 was instantly at home on this relentlessly twisting road, which got lit up well by the powerful headlights the major beam was dazzlingly bright. These roads were the 1st on our journey that were dry, which made the run in to Edinburgh better. Following a good night's rest, the rear shock's preload has been increased to put more weight onto the front of the bike to help it steer less feverishly. A sightseeing ride through Edinburgh's streets, at a pedestrian rate, proved the modification had done the trick, the bars were certainly less twitchy at slow speeds. Another refill of fuel made the bike feel more stable as we headed out of town and aimed north for the M90. Having passed Perth, we picked up the boringly speed governed A9, but cruise control helped to take the sting out of the average speed part to north of Pitlochry. I'd ridden this path last year on a bike without cruise control, which proved a right ache. The cruise feature is standard equipment on the MT-10 and was effortless to operate. You may change speed by touching an up or down button, which alters the rate by 2mph increments each way. The MT's motor is really smooth nevertheless but I thought I'd get some more brownie points from Anna by making her life as jerk free as possible. The view of the stunning Cairngorms prompted us to leave the major road and take to the A889 before reaching the much smaller A86. The small road was bumpy and a great chance to test how the bike's suspension coped with imperfections. On the whole, the ride was really smooth as the top quality units sucked up the bumps. Considering the suspension is same to that used on the Supersport R1, it could be reasonable to have projected the suspension to feel severe, but the feeling was quite the reverse. We made no more modifications to the setup, but continued west past lochs and forests en path to Fort William. Those types of roads are the most trying for any laden machine, but the Yamaha dealt with them a treat. The ride continued south with Loch Linnhe glistening to our right. Joining the A82, Loch Leven then became our guide as we turned inland and headed towards Glencoe. The volcanic formed mountainous region is stunning beyond description, with its severe and arid disposition. it is a must ride path, made all the better by the smooth surfaced, heavily undulating A82 that guides you along the pass. The MT-10's motor was given a workout, asked time and again to drag its passengers and luggage up steep ascents.


On flat roads, the MT could pull from 20mph in 6th, but that did, predictably, prove too much on the hills, causing the bike to uncharacteristically stutter and shake as it fought under the strain. A change down, although only to 5th, made life much easier. Around Tyndrum, the terrain changed from overwhelming mountains to concentrated forests and rolling green hills. The Highlands were behind us as we entered the Trossachs National Park, skirting just north of Loch Lomond. We reached Dunblane that evening after another 300 mile day in the saddle. The Yamaha was showing adaptable to touring, steadfastly refusing to fall short on anything we asked of it. The bike's electronics were an unassuming still important part of its design, which we'd use to make our ride more comfy and enjoyable. The MT comes with three engine modes A, B and standard. A is the most docile, and it was our favourite, the ride being much smoother. The three tier traction control had also come to our aid on some instances, saving our bacon on the last leg of the day's ride around the hills of Dunblane the smoothsurfaced road we followed deteriorated into a battered, loosesurfaced trail.