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Author: Alun Davies

For the answer, maybe we should look at what we do know; Yamaha have suffered serious financial losses over the past year; motorcycle sales are generally in decline; we are in tough economic times and it’s looking like it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Add those three known facts together and from a business point of view, it’s not healthy to be holding large quantities of stock of a new and untried product, especially one that is priced at the top end of a market that contains some serious competition – BMW and Ducati to name but two.

Under the circumstances, this feels like a made to order policy – I’ll try and get a handle on delivery times which may offer more insight into that – and I’d expect to see Yamaha rely more on extensive below the line PR campaign rather than a full on advertising blitz. We’ll see.

However, two things are for sure; Yamaha know how to build adventure bikes – the XT500 was arguably the first of the genre – and that shaft drive is going to be a lot slicker than some others on the market. All in all, and certainly on paper, the new Super Tenere 1200 has the makings of a classic though wouldn’t it be nice to pop into the dealers for a confirmation test drive.

Anyway, the Yam PR department is well under way with their ‘Ride For Life’ campaign with 7 Super Tenere’s just about to depart from Paris en route to Marrakesh. On the Paris to Lisbon leg the bikes will be ridden by ‘celebs’ which include Helder Rodrigues (4th in Dakar 2010) whilst the remaining stretch down through Morocco will feature 7 (or is it 5, their website says both) lucky members of the public one of which is Brit Jonathan Geoffrey. On arrival in Marrakesh, 5 Super Tenere will be donated to Riders for Health, an organisation dedicated to help bring heath facilities to outlying regions of Africa by way of motorcycles.


Shaft drive inline 2-cyl engine – 270-degree crank
Mass kept low and central for agile handling
Intelligent Unified Brake System and ABS
YCC-T with 3-stage traction control plus Yamaha D-mode First edition adventure pack Tough spoked, tubeless aluminium rims
Adjustable front and rear suspension
Adjustable seat height


Engine type: liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, Forward-inclined parallel 2-cylinder, 4-valve, fuel injected, twin spark engine

ABR Internal 1

Displacement: 1199 cc

Bore x stroke: 98 x 79.5 mm

Compression ratio: 11.0 : 1

Maximum power: 80.9kW (110PS) @7,250rpm

Maximum torque: 114.1 Nm(11.6kgf+m) @6,000 rpm

Lubrication system: Dry sump, oil tank in crankcase

Carburettor: Fuel injection

Clutch type: Wet, multiple-disc coil spring

Ignition system: Twin spark

Starter system: Electric

Transmission system: Constant mesh, 6-speed

Final transmission: Shaft

Fuel tank capacity: 23 L Oil tank capacity: 4.2 L


Chassis: Steel tube backbone

Front suspension system: Telescopic forks

Front travel: 190 mm

Rear suspension system: Monoshock, adjustable preload and rebound damping

Rear travel: 190 mm Caster angle 28° Trail 125mm

Front brake: Hydraulic Twin Ø 310 mm wave discs

Rear brake: Hydraulic Single Ø 282 mm wave disc

Front tyre: 110/80R19M/C 59V

Rear tyre: 150/70R17M/C 69V


Length (mm): 2,250 mm

Width (mm): 980 mm

Height (mm): 1,410 mm

Seat height (mm): Adjustable 845-870 mm

Wheel base (mm): 1,540 mm

Minimum ground clearance (mm): 205 mm

Service weight (kg) 261 kg


Super Tenere Ride For Life

Yamaha Super Tenere 1200

ABR Internal 1