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Old 07-11-2013, 04:58 PM   #1
cw1 OP
Joined: Nov 2008
Oddometer: 2
Yamaha Super Tenere report card

Cycle World Magazine just wrapped up a Long-Term test on our 2012 Yamaha Super Ténéré test bike. In our print articles, we like to include quotes from owners of the specific model we are wrapping up, about their experiences with their own bikes. So let us know what you think about the Super Ténéré in general, voice your concerns and let us know what mods you have made to your bikes. What works and what doesn't.

Thanks for your comments in advance

Blake Conner
Senior Editor
Cycle World Magazine
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:07 PM   #2
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Blue Mnts Ozstralia
Oddometer: 5,424
You loose your wrenching expertise. I always have to re learn my skills every year.
Have to replace the oil and change tires occasionally.
Could be lighter. They could take it back to bullet proof from large munition proof at least a variant for the light duties people.
Trac Control could be changed on the fly. That would be nice.
They could dump the first 3 gear power reductions. I mean really? Is the lawsuit problem that bad?
Lights could be better. Like the Vstroms, but keep the look, No need to make it ugly.

It surprises me in its confident unassuming abilities. It just goes where you point it and does the job well.
At sane and legal speeds I can get 4.5L - 5.0L / 100km and the bike works really well at sane and legal speeds on most surfaces as well.
Will run low octane fuel (91RON/87AKI) without drama. I need that ability and the bike has no problems.
Works really well in Australia's rough and crappy dirt and tar roads.
Covers huge distances with ease.

Change tires to more aggressive off road types often.
Panniers etc. ACD bash plate.

Other wishes that would add to the other 1% of riding time...

Increase torque, spread it out a bit, if that gets more HP then fine, but the ability to travel some crappy roads and just let the motor spin up and down without hunting for shift leavers is great. They could make that greater I suppose.would be better for passing, dirt, sand, and more relaxed as well.
They could increase 6th gear a tad and degrease first a tad as well, and I mean maybe 3-5% percent not a lot.

It has really been a pleasure so far. I could complain about the bike not having 200HP and 64way adjustable everything, but really, it has what I need 99% of the time and works well where I need it 99% of the time in real life.
It's a bike that is tuned into real life riding for mere mortals. As well as that it lets me ride more because if it's not broken I am riding and that's 100% of the time so far.

Not 1 problem to date.

It's now out of warranty, so instead of buying another bike I think I might do some top spec suspension and an ECU reflash, but I am not in a hurry to do it.

For the people at Cycle world. The KTM, BMW, S10 video and review was great. These bikes are compromises and a clear indication of where they are positioned is great. I really don't care for win / lose on these things. I appreciate the comments on where the bikes work well and where they work less well.It helps with the decision making.

Ryan Dudek on the S10 was one ting that convinced me that this bike wasn't a complete pretender in the "jack up a street bike" mould.

Good to have someone who knows ahat they are doing off road and someone who doesn't. Both ends of the spectrum are good.
"It's better to ride a boring bike than push an interesting one" ... Canuman

"I just may as well admit that my other bikes are toast. I don't ride them. Plain and simple. I didn't want this. It wasn't the plan." - snakebitten

GrahamD screwed with this post 07-13-2013 at 12:13 AM
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:08 PM   #3
Gimpy Adventurer
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Salt Lake
Oddometer: 17,494

Won't go so far to say that they are not bendable....
The wheels have been my only complaint. The reflash cured any fueling
issues and woke the slumbering Beast up.

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Old 07-11-2013, 06:59 PM   #4
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Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Texas at large.
Oddometer: 1,634
In general I feel the Super Tenere is a very well rounded bike that can replace a touring road bike and provide the extra benefit of feeling secure should one want to take it off road. The seating position, wind protection, long suspension and relaxing motor provide great comfort while riding rough choppy paved roads at high speeds. Compared to my sport touring bike, I am much less tired after a 500 mile day on the Tenere.
What doesn't work:
My only concern so far is that the motor could use more punch when passing vehicles - you don't want to be in T mode when passing.
What Works:
The brakes and ABS are stellar, the bike handled a high speed emergency braking event to avoid a deer, and the bike remained composed.
The riding ergonomics are perfect for long distances in the seat, but also very good for riding in the standing position when off-road. And the low center of gravity of the engine makes the bike handle well.
The lights are very good.
The motor is soothing and actually pretty much disappears over long distances - it is never an annoying distraction, like a four cylinder can be.
Engine heat management is excellent, I never feel like I am being roasted while riding.
The narrow motor and infrequent valve adjustments and overall low maintenance requirements sold me on the bike too. I have several motorcycles to maintain - and having one that requires so little from me is important.
The entire concept of the bike works - because it was designed from the ground up as an adventure bike, rather than merely being a road bike that is on tall suspension.
I have not yet made any modifications to the bike, and don't feel any are needed as long as one stays on pavement. However, before riding any gravel roads a skid plate and engine guards are a must.

Thank you for your reviews of the bike, I enjoy them!
"... I lock my rear up at least once every time I throw a leg over a bike."
The RideDualSport Forum
Mountain State Super Tenere Adventure
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:15 PM   #5
Well there it is..
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Joined: Nov 2008
Location: God's Country
Oddometer: 1,468
Awesome Motorcycle, this thing is pretty much bombproof and will surprise the hell out of You offroad...
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:16 PM   #6
Studly Adventurer
Joined: May 2006
Location: Illinois- land of straight, flat, boring roads.
Oddometer: 663
I was one of many that pestered Yamaha USA to bring this bike over. When they announced the PDP program on Sept 1, 2010, I put $500 down and waited almost 11 months to get here. I replaced a 2008 ST1300 and a 2008 KLR 650 with the Super Tenere and am very happy with my decision to do so, even though I loved both of those bikes. The Tenere can cruise down the highway effortlessly and comfortably like the ST did and it can explore rustic back roads and two track trails like the KLR did. I do miss the electric windscreen of the ST, but certainly don't miss the engine heat.

I have an Akrapovic silencer which added a bit of tone and got rid of the only item I didn't like on the stock bike, that ugly muffler. I have added SW Motech luggage racks and Trax panniers, SW Motech crash bars and skid plate. I have an adjustable windscreen bracket with a MRA Vario screen that works well for me.

The engine runs better as the miles are added to it and a reflash really wakes it up in Sport mode. I only use Touring mode for riding in the rain. With a set of Pilot Road 3's on it, it handles like a sport bike with the added advantage of having comfortable ergos.

I have owned many bikes in over 45 years of riding and I can't think of one that I have enjoyed more. Actually, I can't think of where I laid my glasses either, but that's another story.

fredz43 screwed with this post 07-12-2013 at 07:05 PM
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:22 PM   #7
Super Tenere Rider
Joined: May 2010
Location: Houston Texas
Oddometer: 9
Yamaha gave the public a rock solid nearly indestructible platform in which you can modify into the adventure touring machine of your dreams at a price point lower than the competition.

Even after you modify this motorcycle with the best suspension system, ECU flash, headers, and even heated grips you are still under the price than you would pay for the competition.

Suggestions for yamaha:

1) Although you cant feel the weight they need to drop a few pounds from her.
2) Match the HP of the competition and remove the restrictions in 1-3.
3) ABS off switch
4) Traction control switch on the handlebar and make it so it stays where you put it, not reset every time you turn the key off. Forgetting to reset it while off road has actually caused me to crash in a steep hairpin on dirt due to loss of power.

Otherwise its an awesome machine! over 20k miles and NOT A SINGLE PROBLEM! Oil, Gas, and Tires is all she needs.

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Old 07-11-2013, 07:25 PM   #8
Ride more worry less
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Jackson, MS
Oddometer: 5,852
Off-road ability (for such a large, heavy thing)
Low maintenance

It's a large, heavy thing
Motor lacks grunt, but a re-flash from ECUnleashed fixed that

A year ago I had three bikes in the garage. A Vstrom 650 for adv duties, a Tiger 1050 for commuting/street touring, and a DRZ400 for light off-road. Now I'm down to just the Tenere. The Tenere was a direct replacement for the Tiger and Strom obviously, but the DRZ didn't accumulate more than 700 miles last year. The Tenere is just as good on fire roads and the sort of two track I ride. It just wasn't worth keeping the DRZ for the once or twice a year I get to ride actual single-track.


ECUnleashed re-flash (A must do)
Leo Vince slip on (Eh, to each their own)
Jesse Bags (Love them)
Altrider crash bars (they have been tested, and work)
Rideonadv skid plate (same)
Clearwater Krista lights (Holdover from the Tiger, but great!)
Vstream Sport-tour shield (works for me)
Yamaha lower wind deflectors (works for me)
Eastern Beaver fuse block (GPS, lights, battery tender)

Anticyclone screwed with this post 07-11-2013 at 07:35 PM
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:51 PM   #9
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Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Barossa Valley South Australia
Oddometer: 3
1000 miles in a day no problem, just as good as the 7 BMWs (6 GS/GSA 1 R850R), less dealer issues. An unsung hero of an Adventure/Distance bike.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:03 PM   #10
Joined: Apr 2004
Location: Fresno, CA
Oddometer: 70
The "Toyota Camry" of adventure bikes...competent everywhere...spectacular nowhere (well perhaps the ABS)...reliable...minimal maintenance costs...passable looks.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:11 PM   #11
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Blue Mnts Ozstralia
Oddometer: 5,424
Originally Posted by mchaskell View Post
The "Toyota Camry" of adventure bikes.
Boooo Hisss
"It's better to ride a boring bike than push an interesting one" ... Canuman

"I just may as well admit that my other bikes are toast. I don't ride them. Plain and simple. I didn't want this. It wasn't the plan." - snakebitten
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:13 PM   #12
Bumpy Backroader
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Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Western Canada
Oddometer: 3,017
Just Awesome!

Had mine for 1 1/2 years 24,000miles. Excellent machine all around. Had an 08 GS1200 and an 06 KTM Adv S before that. The Big Yamaha is my favourite and definitely the most reliable by a long shot. I'd buy another right now if I was looking for a new bike which I usually do every 2 years or so. Do about 60/40 bumpy pavement and gravel. Feel quite secure doing over 100mph on gravel in the straights. Very confidence inspiring in all terrain. Do the free clutch switch mod for extra power in the 1st 3 gears. Did not enjoy the BMW experience dealing with the Dealer. Too expensive. KTM had a big grin factor but I was always worried about reliability. The Yamaha S10, just ride and wash once in a while. Could use a few small improvements. Shift on the fly Traction Control would be nice. Speaking of TC and ABS. The Yamaha's system beats the BMW's hands down. This machine does it all and the actual ownership experience is wonderful!
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:15 PM   #13
Joined: Apr 2004
Location: Fresno, CA
Oddometer: 70
Originally Posted by GrahamD View Post
Boooo Hisss
Well perhaps the Lexus RX350 then...
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:21 PM   #14
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Mar 2008
Oddometer: 212
Not a Camry, more like an FJ Cruiser with better fuel mileage. Run the hell out of it, rinse, repeat! Wait, we're supposed to goto the dealer once in awhile? My accessory of choice has been ECU reprogram, crash bars and skid plate. Some will knock the lower engine case as being susceptible to damage. I give kudos to Japanese for making it inexpensive to even replace if damaged.
I have also had mine for two years and 14,000 miles coming off of Honda ST's this surpasses every aspect of what an all around bike should be.
Jeff Haar
2012 Yamaha Super Tenere
Issaquah, WA
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:11 PM   #15
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Seattle
Oddometer: 608
It just works


When you are by yourself, 3-4 hours away from any help and way out of any cell range, on some gravel road or dirt double track that has seen little use, it's hot, and it is getting late in the day....

I start to think about the tubless tires, shaft drive, good low end torque, its stability and balance, decent fuel range, and that it never seems to have any problems, and there you have it.

Never mind the 6 hours of Interstate that it took to get you there in very reasonable comfort and the 8 more that it will take to get you back home in time for work Monday morning.


Support Mental Health or I'll Kill you.

Ironically, Chuck Norris’ hidden talent is invisibility.
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