190mm travel adjustable preload and rebound monoshock
Front Tyre Size
Rear Tyre Size
Double 310mm wave discs
Single 282mm wave disc
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Yamaha Super Tenere review from new purchase to sale after 3 years and 24,000 miles
Background – I’ve been riding for 35 years and do a 4,000 mile trip each year. On this bike I’ve been to Portugal, the Amalfi Coast and the Alps. After 3 years of use I’ve decided to go back to Vstrom’s as I’ve had 3 before and it's a brilliant light tourer. Here are my thoughts on the XT1200
Excellent seat – I did Lake Garda, Italy to London in one day [950 miles] with no problems
Good vibration free mirrors•
Unobtrusive trouble free shaft drive
Reasonable tank range at 220+
Heritage – the much vaunted Paris-Dakar heritage gives you a bike with spoked wheels and a sticker with a sand dune on it. If you take this to the real desert [I’ve lived in the UAE] and drop the bike, you’re going to die if help doesn't come because you can’t pick up a 267kg bike on soft sand or mud. So dirt tracks are are as far as it goes and what all the promotional videos show
Weight – many reviews say how light the bike feels when it's moving. Frankly once any heavyweight bike is moving it's easy to keep it up. It’s low speed manoeuvring, particularly with a pillion, that may have you gingerly moving around fearing a drop. This is my main reason for getting rid of it
Luggage – once you have established this is not an off-road bike you might then look at whether it makes a good tourer. Luggage is high up for me. The luggage is plastic with aluminium sidings. Neither top box nor panniers can hold a helmet. The panniers are rectangular and if your pillion has short legs they will find it uncomfortable getting their legs to sit over the panniers. The locks periodically shake loose in the housings and have to be retightened and the method of attaching the luggage will amaze you with the multiple operations required compared to, say, Givi’s Monokey system. The soft inner luggage will quickly shed the zip pulls as they break off inside the boxes. Finally, the ignition key used to open the boxes protrudes 2 inches and could easily be accidentally snapped off in the lock. I had a spare made to avoid this
Residuals – I paid £14.5k for this bike and got £5.6 part exchange for a Vstrom. The value plummets faster than the GS it’s meant to be up against
Radiator – the radiator fan blows hot air over your left leg and travelling through Spain in 43C brought home that you don't want to go to the desert on this thing.
Insurance – I park it on the road in London. Because so few people bought this bike insurers were loath to insure me as they didn’t know how to price it. The day I bought it, the Yamaha recommended insurance agent refused to insure it as it wasn’t on their books and I finally found one company that would insure me for £700. Over 3 years I’ve got that down to £500 but it's something to watch out for. BTW I have 9 years no claims.
Cachet – While I’ve had this bike my pal has had a GS1200 and Multistrada 1200. Nobody looks at the SuperTenere against those bikes. This partly explains the terrible residuals.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I absolutely love this almost perfect bike. Have done over 5000km of pure pleasure.
The bike is fitted with state of the art technology but also has a back-up circuit. If the technology fails it gets bypassed. There is even twin independently controlled spark plugs.
A Merc on the freeway and amazingly capable off road for a big bike. The weight is your friend on the highway as it is stable with wind and passing big traffic. Just avoid the slippery and muddy smooth river rocks - when you come to a stop in a stick situation she's a bus. Can't have the high speed stability without the weight so live with the trade off. First gear is much too high but thanks to the massive grunt the bike has not yet stalled with lots of clutching. 4th, 5th and 6th gears are too close. A pain in the city as you seem to spend all your time going through the close gears. 6th gear could be a lot higher and used as a high speed overdrive. However because the motor is as smooth and quiet as an electric motor, the high revs are not a bother as long as you don't look at the rev counter.
Note to Yamaha: Fit a low range first and an overdrive 6th (with a speed limiter if you're worried about going too fast on a tall bike). Space out the remaining gears nicely. This way in town we pull off in 2nd gear and only use 6th gear on the higheay over 70mph. Then she'll really feel like a Merc at speed and will be even lighter on fuel.
If you bothered to read the owners manual it tells you to spray clear lacquer (or some other rust preventative product) onto the rims, spokes and all other shiny bits. Do this every two years or so and your bike will always look new and shiny after a wash.
Other mods that I did:
Wrap around crash bars with 5mm stainless steel skid plate.
Carry a tubeless puncture repair kit with compressed air cylinders under the seat.
Placed a strong 20m long tow strap next to the tool box and added better quality tools. (If you get stuck alone wrap the strap around the rear hub and tie it to a tree. It will pull you out like a winch).
Fitted an 8AH gel battery under the seat by removing the separating cover. This is wired to the main connector but not connected. It serves as an emergency back up only.
Now all I need it the time and money to put some serious miles on this baby.
SUPER TENERE neat bike i have 21500kms on mine used in about 25 % dirt riding quite capable, Yamaha bash plate is next to useless as it is attached to the rear of the sump ,holed sumps here in Australia are not unknown ,there are some good after market bits availible ,do some homework ,since the bike is now close to two years old since first release after market bits are plentifull cheers to all Harley
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I agree with most of the reviews on here where the S10 get's a hard time in the Magazines and papers, Try looking at other countries reviews and they are loved.
I'm also sick of hearing how dear they are.... why do we not hear all the time Gs's are too expensive... Why can't Yamaha make a dearer bike??
It comes as standard with.
1. The best ABS system and brakes in the buisness
2. Three mode traction control
3. Two riding modes (T) touring and (S) sport
4. One of the best engines on the market today (my opinion )
I'm not nocking GS's or any other bike out there I have owned many including two Tiger 955i's ( I love those ) But the S10 is better in everyway ( than the equiverlant machine ) handling, grunt,comfort,fuel economy, looks, I could go on.
This bike every time I ride it makes me smile and that to me is what it's all about.
Ok I have not had any problems with the standard screen and side buffers ( if that's what they are called ) the seat is comfy for 200 miles or so, the bike handles like a dream and is so smooth.
I have played around with the settings ( as you do ) and have put the bike back to standard as this works for me and I'm a big bloke.
The main problem for me is the side stand which is to near the gear leaver and in the early days I pulled up and engaged neutral then went to put the side stand down and put the bike back into first with the engine running it's not funny, So now I always switch the engine off an then put the sidestand down.
It has ran trouble free ( I know it's early days for the new engine but Yamaha have been making the (XTZ 750, Tdm 850, Tdm 900) for years and those engines are tough,,,Lets hope.
I did have one occasion on my new bike when I pulled up to Carter-Bar ( England - Scotland Border ) when a couple of Gs riders came across and said to me "Jesus that's the first one of them I have ever seen" my reply ( you guessed it was ) well that's funny because I've seen loads of yours.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
So after owning the XT for a while now I would like to offer my initial thoughts on the bike in order to put some real world data out there amongst some of the varied and at times downright biased views of the British motorcycle press. Just to put some detail into that last statement I cant believe how skewed some of the UK reviews have been, especially when compared to other European, Australian and American reviews (and I have checked the bike is the same for all markets!).
In terms of comparison, I have ridden the Tiger 955i, both models of the Tiger 800 and an 08 GS1200, I cant reach the floor on the KTM 990 so sorry no comparison with that!
Price – Yes this is an expensive bike when new, but this is more due to the current Pound/Yen relationship than Yamaha marketing. That said, when compared to a similar spec bike its £3k more than the Tiger 800 XC with the extras I wanted, about the same as a GS with the extras I wanted and some £3k less than a Multistrada. I didn’t buy mine at the list price as its an ex demo, so to compare with the same showroom I paid £1500 more for my new XT than an 08 model GS that didn’t have traction control, engine bars, spot lights or topbox fitted.
ABS – The ABS cant be switched off, apparently this is a bad thing when off road! I don’t know but hopefully I will find out more when I get my day with the Yamaha off road school :).
Throttle Cable Routing – Apparently this can obscure the view of the dash – although I have only experienced this when on full left lock so not really an issue as far as I am concerned.
Exhaust – I personally don’t mind the look of the very very big exhaust, however it is soooooo quiet, my mates GS800 is louder with its standard exhaust, let alone the new twin cam GS1200.
The engine – The UK press have described the engine as flat or uninspiring, I cant really agree with this, I love the engine even more than I loved the tiger’s triple. In sport mode there is loads of punch from 2k all the way up to 6k with a redline around 7500 rpm. In touring mode the torque is flattened off making the engine silky smooth, in fact in touring mode it feels like you are constantly one gear to high. Don’t get me wrong the bike still accelerates well just not as harshly as it does in sport mode, which increases MPG and increases pillion comfort. The engine is eager and smooth making overtakes and accelerating out of corners effortless with bags of available torque. It’s a much better engine than the tiger, and I would say on a par with the GS, it is one of the defining areas of the bike and puts a grin on my face every time I open the throttle.
The Handling – At 260 odd KG this is no light bike, but once it starts moving, even at low speed all the weight just seems to disappear. Both at slow speed and once making progress this bike hammers both the tiger and the GS into the ground, at speed the handling is stable yet agile when needed taking tight corners, roundabouts and fast flowing bends with no fuss or alarm, the dive under hard braking is limited and far less than the tiger. At slow speed the bike feels light and nimble and very easy to manoeuvre through traffic or at slow speed. Rear shock pre-load is probably the easiest manual adjustment I have seen with an easily accessible hydraulic adjuster. Front adjustment is the stand upside down fork type and again easy to use.
TCS – This is another little gem that has not really got the attention it deserves IMHO, the traction control is superb, in fact when it kicks in the only sign you have is the warning light coming on. With 3 settings you can have it set so it comes in nice and early with no wheel spin at all, coming in a little later, allowing some wheel spin or switched off completely so there should be something for everyone. I have managed to get the TCS to kick in, and when it did there was nothing alarming going on, it just stopped me doing something stupid (I thought I was in second gear so gave it a bit more throttle than I should have on damp roads as I was actually in 1st gear!!!).
Brakes – ABS is standard on the XT (extra on the GS and Tiger), and works well, although I have only managed to get it to kick in on the rear brake. The brakes are linked on the XT but you can disengage the linked effect by tapping the rear brake first, although the linked system is so good you cant really tell. The brakes are also only linked from front to back, not the other way around.
Lights – Having ridden 6 hours through the night, I can confirm that the standard lights on this bike are superb, in fact you probably don’t need the additional fog lamps, but once they are fitted to mine I will report on any improvement they do make. Both low and high beam these lights give plenty of vision, in fact they were not far off the power of a mates HID light on his ZZR1100 on low beam.
Comfort – Again this is a real plus for the XT, 2 hour stints were easily achieved with no fidgeting or adjustment required, and overall an 8 hour plus trip with no aches, pains or numb bum to speak of……… this truly is an all day comfortable bike.
Fuel Consumption – The UK press don’t seem to get the touring mode, well 56 MPG while marshalling a ride along fast A roads, overtaking 30 odd bikers all ‘making progress’ should make the point pretty well. On Mways and fast A roads getting from A to B this makes sense, I will say that again 56 MPG. 200 miles to a tank is doable giving enough range to keep pace with the tiger, GS 800 and GS1200 (but not the 36l tank of the adventure model). In sport mode this MPG does drop, but I haven’t run the bike in sport mode for long periods at a time yet but I would suspect 45-48 MPG dropping further if you are really playing in lower gears.
Off road ability – So this bike, like any big adventure bike, is never going to be a great mud plugger or enduro racer, but during my day at the Yamaha Tenere Experience its good enough to make an off road dunce like myself look good. Over the bigger gravel fire breaks this bike is great, giving loads of confidence and with the TCS on mode 2 even an idiot like me can play a little. Even on the smaller tighter sections which were either rock or gravel based, the bike works really well. Now I know hard core off roaders will disagree here, but I loved the ABS, on steep rocky descents using both the engine and the ABS, as long as you started slow (as you should) the big bike was easy to control and was very confidence inspiring. The team at Yamaha recon that the ABS works well in 99% of conditions and that if you ended up in a ditch with the ABS then you would have been in there without it and the idea being that you avoid that other 1% of situations by slowing down (this isn’t an enduro race bike). As I sat on one of the days scenic breaks I could picture myself riding my own S10 up a gravel track to get to a secluded campsite somewhere, and now I have the confidence to believe that the bike and my limited new skills will get me there.
Build Quality – As this is a new model from Yamaha the build quality is a bit unknown, but so far there have been no recalls and no issues are being reported on the Super Tenere forums that I can find. I would suspect this should not be an issue from Yamaha, but we will know more over the next few years.