Yamaha Super Tenere XT1200Z (2010 - present) review

Gets the job done, just not as well as BMW's GS.

By Visordown on Tue, 22 Jun 2010 - 12:06

Details
Manufacturer:
Yamaha
Category:
Adventure
Price:
£ 13620
Overall
4
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More weight, more money, less vivacious and without the options list. You’ve really got to not want the BMW.
Good fuel range, long distance comfort, very stable and secure handling.
Too expensive, lacks the GS’s long options list, engine lacks sparkle.

The temptation was obvious: sales of BMW’s GS and Adventure combined make it the best-selling motorcycle in Britain, and we don’t even like trail bikes. Ducati wanted some of that big sales action so they created a bike that overlapped the GS, then added the most advanced electronics in motorcycling and stuffed a mad superbike engine in it. A very Italian take, and by being the same but different, it captured imaginations – and sales figures – everywhere.

The Super Ténéré from Yamaha takes a different approach. As the GS sells so well, let’s make a GS, with a Yamaha badge. So it has an 1199cc twin, the same power output (if a bit less torque), shaft drive, it’s high and wide and off-roady and also comes with tin boxes instead of plastic panniers. The cylinders stick up rather than out, otherwise it’s much the same.

It works well enough too as the tourer these bikes really are. On our mostly gentle ride from Madrid to Lisbon, on motorways, up mountains and down sinuous country lanes, the big 23-litre tank demanded a refill only a little way short of 200 miles, though that does mean 42mpg where the GS would be getting 48mpg or so.

Comfort’s good (as it should be with the same GS riding position) as long as you can set the distant screen to the right height. This adjusts, but only with tools which need another tool from beneath the seat to get to, so you won’t be altering it at traffic lights. Set it too low and the turbulence is very noisy, even with earplugs, but taller riders won’t be able to raise it enough, though Yamaha does offer a higher accessory option.

Passengers, and these bikes often travel two-up, are well looked after aside from those boxes pushing their feet forward on the pegs. This’ll strain your thighs unless you have a backrest or are allowed to cuddle the rider, who’ll also be irritated by the luggage as you can’t leave it unlocked, meaning you have to take out the ignition key every time you want to open it. The locks are sticky and fiddly too, and the lid only hinges one way, unlike BMW’s clever ones that open from either end (how do they do that?).

Move on to the next page to read more and find out our verdict on the 2010 Yamaha Super Ténéré

The temptation was obvious: sales of BMW’s GS and Adventure combined make it the best-selling motorcycle in Britain, and we don’t even like trail bikes. Ducati wanted some of that big sales action so they created a bike that overlapped the GS, then added the most advanced electronics in motorcycling and stuffed a mad superbike engine in it. A very Italian take, and by being the same but different, it captured imaginations – and sales figures – everywhere.

The Super Ténéré from Yamaha takes a different approach. As the GS sells so well, let’s make a GS, with a Yamaha badge. So it has an 1199cc twin, the same power output (if a bit less torque), shaft drive, it’s high and wide and off-roady and also comes with tin boxes instead of plastic panniers. The cylinders stick up rather than out, otherwise it’s much the same.

It works well enough too as the tourer these bikes really are. On our mostly gentle ride from Madrid to Lisbon, on motorways, up mountains and down sinuous country lanes, the big 23-litre tank demanded a refill only a little way short of 200 miles, though that does mean 42mpg where the GS would be getting 48mpg or so.

Comfort’s good (as it should be with the same GS riding position) as long as you can set the distant screen to the right height. This adjusts, but only with tools which need another tool from beneath the seat to get to, so you won’t be altering it at traffic lights. Set it too low and the turbulence is very noisy, even with earplugs, but taller riders won’t be able to raise it enough, though Yamaha does offer a higher accessory option.

Passengers, and these bikes often travel two-up, are well looked after aside from those boxes pushing their feet forward on the pegs. This’ll strain your thighs unless you have a backrest or are allowed to cuddle the rider, who’ll also be irritated by the luggage as you can’t leave it unlocked, meaning you have to take out the ignition key every time you want to open it. The locks are sticky and fiddly too, and the lid only hinges one way, unlike BMW’s clever ones that open from either end (how do they do that?).

Move on to the next page to read more and find out our verdict on the 2010 Yamaha Super Ténéré

Price: £13,620
Top speed:
140mph (est)
Front suspension:
43mm telescopic forks, adjustable preload, rebound and compression damping
Rear suspension:
Rising rate linkage monoshock, adjustable preload, rebound and compression damping
Front brake:
twin 310mm discs, four-piston callipers
Rear brake:
single 282mm disc, 2-piston calliper
Wet weight:
261kg Seat height: 845mm/870mm adjustable Fuel capacity: 23 litres
Colour options:
blue, silver

Engine: 1199cc liquid cooled parallel twin, 270 degree crank
Bore x stroke:
98 x 79.5mm Compression ratio: 11.0:1
Power:
108bhp @ 7250rpm Torque: 85lb.ft @ 6000rpm

Score Breakdown
Overall
4
Engine
3
Brakes
3
Handling
4
Comfort
5
Build Quality
4
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