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Old 08-28-2011, 01:05 PM   #1
thecynic OP
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R1200GS vs. Super Tenere

It is with great trepidation that I throw this question out there, but I really want to hear the opinions and experience of the ADVRider group on this one. I know that this is another one of those "here we go again" questions, but with so much combined experience out there I can't pass up the opportunity to learn from this group.

My riding is primarily highway touring, some light off road. Really no serious off road riding with this one, but I do really like the flexibility of a dual sport bike. I currently have a '09 G650GS and am eventually (hopefully soon) going to upgrade. I bought this one with the intent of getting some more riding experience and then moving on.

I have always looked at the R1200GS without question as the next choice, but with the new Super Tenere out there I am not so sure. I am hearing and reading some good things about it. I have been following the different threads here, but have not found a real head to head comparison of the two yet. Cost is certainly a factor in this decision, but at the end of the day I want to get the right bike. I haven't ridden either one yet, so that will obviously be a big part of the decision, just hoping to hear different opinions.

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Old 08-28-2011, 01:33 PM   #2
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Go to your local BMW dealer and test ride the GS. They'll toss you the keys and say have fun.

Then go to your local Yamaha dealer. You'll be lucky if they've got a Tenere on the floor. A testride? Ha.
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:36 PM   #3
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The Tenere is as complicated as a BMW without the great warranty. Also you can not turn ABS off. And the Yamaha dealer wont let me test ride one.
I am looking for a new bike but I don’t think it’s going to be a Tenere
I wonder how the wheels on the Tenere hold up. The spoke wheels on my GS are terrific.
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Old 08-28-2011, 04:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by gastone21 View Post
Go to your local BMW dealer and test ride the GS. They'll toss you the keys and say have fun.

Though BMW advertises test rides. The couple dealers I've lived near in the last decade or so do not offer them at all. Maybe state insurance issues, but I have managed to test ride buells, kawasaki's and yamahas at other dealers. But yea, good luck finding a tenere. many say that yamaha dealers don't want in on it. I think those people are foolish, but they haven't shown up at our dealers here and they would only take an order with a contract, not a simple deposit.

But I got to say, yamaha is, in my rather considerable experience, the best bike company out there. Subject to a little subjectivity. THe tenere is quite a bit similar in packaging to the low end GS though. IT'd be a hard choice.

If I was limited in funds where I couldn't buy the adventure and all the bits, I'd get the tenere if not just for the radiator. Traffic jam overheating is not ok at all. Serious flaw. I bet the tenere will be a lot lower maintenance and not have many if any engineering problems like the bmw has. Assuming built by yamaha japan, they are better at the quality control than the east germans have been.
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Old 08-28-2011, 05:51 PM   #5
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East Germans? Has the factory moved?
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:20 PM   #6
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East Germany went out business a couple of decades ago, unless my memory fails me.
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:26 PM   #7
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I would also say the Yamaha can expect less critical failures, doesn't mean I'd buy one though. I'd rather add a KTM and complete my unholy triumvirate of PIA maintenance.
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:42 PM   #8
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Got both of them, 2011 GSA and a 2012 Tenere. I am going to Utah from Dallas in a few weeks, going to take the GSA. The Tenere is a fine bike, just not up to my lofty expectations. It is in need of a bit of refinement and equipment additions and while Yamaha is a favored brand of mine, I may be retired from riding before they get around to it.

Both are great options.
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:47 PM   #9
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Island, when in your considerable experience did you find a east german bmw plant ? Are you thinking MZ perhaps ?
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:49 PM   #10
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Both BMW Dealers hit me in the head with the keys!

Yamaha would not let me test ride and marked up the bike $1500 from list in SD, CA.

Both San Diego County BMW Dealers have hit me in the head with the keys to ANY bike I stared at in their showrooms. GS1200 and the 1000RR.

No compliants about either of our BMW SD county dealers.

Yamaha no test ride. I then complained. Our SD Yamaha dealer is located 500 yards down the street from BMW. I spoke to the Yamaha dealer, what's up? BMW has a no hassle test ride and you guys suck about test rides. His response was that the Yamaha dealership had younger riders than BMW. My response, BMW had no problem with my age 53.

No offense to any rice burner gents (I was one), the Tenere is a great bike compared to my 12 year old GS1100, not in the same league as the current GS1200. When you add in the Yamaha dealer mark up, IMO it's a poor value.

I wouldn't touch it.
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Old 08-28-2011, 11:29 PM   #11
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I've been lucky enough to test ride both 'down under'...dealers here are keen to sell stuff... The BMW is going to cost you 10k more near as dammit which is an awful lot of bolt on goodies for the yamaha.
The S10 was geared high...I liked my super low crawler gear on the BMW.
The suspension was better two up on the road and on road.
You can switch the abs off on both, however with much trepidation I didn't on the yamaha and had a ball, but did on the BMW and also had a ball.
Both are enormous for off road stuff but carry the weight well.
I got better fuel consumption on the Yamaha but then the BMW carries another 10 litres!!!
The Yamaha has better lights as standard.
The Yamaha vibrated less on long hauls one up on the freeway

If I bought either I would do the following:
serious bash plate
crash bars
swivel pegs
bar risers
extra spotties

if I bought the yamah then I would change the rear shock

That's the best part of 4k gone easy. either way... I'm lucky I have dealers close by for both. They are both awesomely good bikes and you would not be dissapointed with either. My choice was made by my wife who loved the pillion of the BMW....yet the other pillion in our test loved the yamaha...I have heard that the warranty on the BMW may be harder to get stuff through ... I'm not sure what the price difference is in the states but where your local dealer is to you may play a part?!?
Nether bike had any niggles gremlins of voo doo black magic moments in nearly three days of riding
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:25 AM   #12
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I did the follow the leader test ride from the Yamaha truck at a local dealer. It felt more comparable to the F800GS to me. More of a high strung engine unlike the torque monster of the 1200. If your going to offroad and travel I would be looking at the difference between the GS and the GSA. But thats another thread.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:35 AM   #13
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Our BMW dealer even has Track Days to test ride the S1000RR. Japanese Dealer, NO TEST RIDES, NO RIDERS CLUB, NO OPEN HOUSE PARTIES, NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our dealer is BMW of Fresno. I showed up one Saturday to lead a Club Ride and had a battery failure. It was under warranty. It was fixed instantly on the spot, we weren't even late departing on our ride. Jack Harwood and his guy's ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!

Kawasaki-Yamaha dealer was problems on my 2008 KLR650. I won't go back to them.

Yeah, BMW is more expensive. IMHO this is one of those cases where you pay more and you get more!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:45 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mudcat View Post
The Tenere is as complicated as a BMW without the great warranty. Also you can not turn ABS off.
Oh wow I didnt know you couldnt turn the ABS off on the Tenere! I'm not really thrilled with the abs on my GS, if I couldnt turn it off when riding off road I wouldnt own it. I'm sure you can just pop the fuse and ditch the abs though?

Funny about the test rides, I've bought many Jap bikes and usually known what I was buying and never asked for a test ride. When I walked into the Beemer shop as others have stated they literally tossed me the keys to a new 1200GS and had me test ride it.

I do enjoy my local Yammie dealer and really like all my other Yamahas, so I'm sure the Tenere would suit me fine. I'm a bit bummed it came out weighing as much as it did though. If I was buying a new bike today and didnt already have one I'd probably try the Tenere just for the convenience of the local Yamaha shop near me.
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:53 AM   #15
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On what island do you live 808 ?
I han't ridden or even seen any Super Tenere' at any Yamaha dealer here in CA.
A radiator is for me a big MINUS.No water no leak...
The Super Tenere' takes 6 seconds longer 0-125 according to BIKE;that is a lot of difference in performance...
As for BMW is made in east germany?
Berlin is central germany,east germany is called poland today...
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