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Top 3 Yamuglies: Yamaha MT01

Updated on May 7, 2009

I've already pilloried Yamaha for their retch-inducing styling of late, and taken them to task on the hideous Raider and the completely unspeakable VMX17. I have to clarify that there are plenty of other examples from various other motorcycle manufacturers of bikes styled to resemble a Kristy Alley Gluteus Maximus Cellulite Collection with BMW, Ducati and Buell most definitely at the head of the class (see the 100 Ugliest Motorcycles In History). However, I'm picking on Yamaha first as the Japanese have traditionally produced motorcycles with fine if not outright beautiful aesthetic qualities and somewhere in the last few years the triple tuning fork stylists have succumbed to the LSD in their coffee to a far greater degree than their counterparts at Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki.

Don't worry, Yamafans, I'm not an anti-Yammy fanboi as not only have I owned and loved a whole whack of Yamahas as part of the 33 bikes I've owned in my several decades of riding, and I promise that I'm also going to get to the other marques who have created rolling eyesores in future Hubs. For now, let's take a look at the three top ematogenic Yamahas that make you wonder if they were designed by a bunch of deranged hyenas. First up the MT01!

What is this pile of metallic offal? This looks like the transmission of a 1958 Soviet Stalingradskii Traktornyi Zavod tractor. Could you possibly add any other shapes to turn the side of a motorcycle into a vast junkyard? You have circles and spokes and wings and buttresses and diamond shapes all conflicting with every other element as if the motorcycle was designed by two dozen different completely berserk designers who had never spoken to each other.

There is absolutely nothing to credit this part of the design. The strangely coppery bulbous headers feed into a bolted together spaghetti junction with what looks like a big thick hose clamp. The exhaust collector loses some of the copper sheen and becomes gray pot metal as it terminates into what has to be one of the messiest welds seen on a Japanese motorcycle in decades.

As for the rear engine housing, I'm still not clear on whether all those lumps and bumps and ridges actually have any relevance to the underlying mechanical parts or they're just leftover set details from Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

Could this be any uglier if Yamaha glued orange shag carpeting all over it? Absolutely not! It would be much better looking as it would then cover up all this nauseating metal detritus.

For all those who thought the other side was ugly, welcome to the main depository of MT-01 hideousness. This side of the powerplant absolutely breaks all ground for nonsensical, revolting, vomit-causing excuse for styling. Where to begin? It's all so unspeakably stomach-turning!

Under all that black icky ridged, bumped and spoked pot metal lies what could be a very attractive V-twin engine. However, you'd certainly be excused for not realizing it as it is buried underneath acres of metal dung.

The front crankcase cover literally has no reason for existence. If there is anything of any significance under there it would surprise the living daylights out of me, as I've never seen a V-twin that required that huge tumor sprouting forward of the front cylinder. If the eleven, count 'em eleven, bolts aren't enough to have you reaching for the barf bag, the four notches that look like the rider made a tight left turn into a large four-tined fork definitely seal the deal.

However, the profound pointlessness of that front crankcase cover is dwarfed by the magnificent stupidity of that whatever the hell it is that sweeps from the rear part of the cover halfway up the rear cylinder. This is a shape unlike any other ever seen outside of a collection of modern art created by lobotomized users. Is it an inside out bent penny loafer? Is it a matte black Dr. Scholl's foot arch support? Or is it just a piece of Yamaha's most profoundly malodorous dreck?

Even the somewhat Vee shaped chromed some damn thing cover between the cylinders is malformed and mutated out of all possible recognition. And could someone please explain to me what that upside down paint can handle is doing drooping down from the sides of the cover?


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      Marxist 6 years ago

      Hi there !

      I thought first reading this post that you were an idiot not having a clue about the the subject you were speaking about...reading the rest of your "hubs" finished to convince myself :)

      I would be curious to know what you are actually riding :D If anything... Get your fat ass on one of those and maybe you'll understand what the MT01 is all about ;)


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      Elliot 6 years ago

      Hal, you said you've owned 33 bikes. At least one of them had to have been a pushrod v-twin, no? If you're such a seasoned rider as you make yourself out to be, how come you can't recognize an oil reservior (on all such twins) or external oil lines? It's a naked bike, so they can't hide all the ugly parts from the hardcore riders such as yourself :)

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      AkaMadcow 7 years ago

      I am on the fence with this one. Its not beautiful nor is it ugly in my book. It kind of reminds me of Fairuza Baulk. A little off but attractive in a dirty kind of way. It may not look perfect but there is something about its appearance that just begs to be ridden hard and leads one to believe it can handle whatever you may decide to give it. I myself would enjoy riding this bike around just for the shock appeal. You would get countless people inquiring as to WTF you are riding. This is when you reply I only bring this freak out on the weekends when I am feeling a little frisky!