Curious about the Super Tenere

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Twinner, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Twinner

    Twinner Been here awhile

    Jan 11, 2008
    Hello fellow riders,
    I am seriously considering the R1200GS as my next ride but I am really curious about the Super Tenere. I will be riding it on the asphalt roads (including very bad ones) 99% of the time.
    I have bought a Triumph Tiger in 2010 and sold it the next season because I could not trust it in corners. It was just not confidence inspiring to me and corners is where I usually find the greatest satisfaction when riding.
    I would like to hear about Super Tenere owners regarding:
    - Handling;
    - Power;
    - Protection;
    - Comfort (for pilot and pillion);
    - Pros and cons.
    It is very difficult to get to test a bike out here, unfortunately, and I would like to avoid making a costly mistake again.
    Thanking you in advance for your educated advice!
  2. Anticyclone

    Anticyclone Ride more worry less

    Sep 28, 2007
    Norton, VA
    I'm sure Dalara will be along shortly and tell you to do a search:D

    I hear ya on the Tiger. I had a 1050 Tiger before the Tenere and sold it because I felt like I was always fighting it in corners especially when loaded down for camping, plus the wind management was atrocious. I've spent a little time on a 1200GS, probably less than 200 miles total though. I'm sure somebody will be along shortly who has owned both.

    Probably about a wash. The Tenere is probably a little slower steering.

    No contest, the GS is faster, the waterboxer likely even more so. The Tenere feels faster (torquier) though.

    Both will need an aftermarket screen for ultimate serenity.

    The stock seat on the Tenere is fine for me with a sheepskin pad for 500 mile days. I've never spent long enough on the GS to tell you. No pillion experience on either.

    Tenere, 28k mile valve check interval, GS 6k mile interval. Around here there is a Yamaha dealer in every small town, not that you need it. The closest BMW dealer is 3 hours away, and you will need it:lol3

  3. llamapacker

    llamapacker Mr. Conservative

    Oct 4, 2007
    Louisiana (North)
    I like corners also, and enjoy the Tenere in the corners.

    Been to Alaska on mine, couldn't have picked a better bike for the trip.

    Been places offroad 2up that lots of people wouldn't go on a dirt bike.

    The immediate torque at low rpms makes it an easy bike to handle just about anywhere.

    Don't know anything about the GS, but have lots of friends that ride them.
  4. scott123007

    scott123007 Been here awhile

    Aug 1, 2012
    jupiter, fl
    The GS is a slightly better road bike than the Tenere, but there are MANY bikes (smoother, more powerful, better wind protection) that are better than either the Tenere or the GS if ALL you are going to do is road. Hell, I'd even say if you had to be on smooth dirt or gravel 2 percent of the time, I'd still take a proper street bike. Then again, it's as much about your skill set and what you want to use it for, as anything. From a dependbility and value standpoint, the riders with the most experience, that are not hung up on status, will buy Japanese.
  5. StorckWhip

    StorckWhip Adventurer

    Nov 28, 2012
    Williamsburg, VA
    I sold a CBR600RR to buy my Tenere. I put a bit over 20K on the CBR in two years and really felt that it was the best handling bike I've ridden. Truly a scalpel. The Tenere is no scalpel. Not even close. But it handles remarkably well. I've been really impressed with the handling, even with the Tourance EXP tires that came with it. The back is a bit flat/squared off after 7K, but the bike is still fun in the corners. My only gripe, and it's a big one, is that the cornering clearance kind of sucks.

    Comfort is great for me. My wife loves it too. She did a 400+ mile day in the mountains at less than 50degrees and didn't complain.

    The ABS and traction control are both great. My favorite experience with the bike was running fire roads off the BRP and power sliding around corners in the dirt one minute, and then dragging the center stand on my favorite mountain road the next minute. The bike is totally happy in either environment.

    The power is...OK. Actually, the power isn't bad, but I'm not a fan of the engine. Better as the bike breaks in, but it's sort of a tractor. I sync'd the throttle bodies and it helped. Sometimes it feels like it knocks at about 3500rpms in 4th/5th gear with a handful of throttle. Plenty of acceleration so it doesn't feel like it's lugging but it doesn't really like it. My SV650 probably spoiled me for flexible engines. The CBR was as smooth as silk too. I'll live with the S10.

    Anyway, another pro for me is fuel mileage. I'm getting about 45-46 avg. No worse than 40mpg. And the heated grips. Amazing. And the shaft drive. I love not dealing with chains. And not having to inspect the valves for 26K. Overall you couldn't pry the bike out of my cold dead hands.
  6. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

    Dec 4, 2006
    Salt Lake
    I had two FJRs before my Tenere. Still have an FZ1. After not using the FJR once in 6 months
    of Tenere ownership I sold it. I personally like the cornering of the Tenere better. I also liked the
    plusher suspension. The upright seating position appeals to my aging bones more too. I know the
    OP stated his intent is for 98% pavement, I think the Tenere will tempt him to change those numbers.:D

    I agree the BMW has a perfomance advantage. You are really talking tenths of seconds. In the real world
    the Tenere has more than enough to get out of it's own way. Couple of easy electrical mods help wake it up.

    To me the biggest deciding factor was a total lack of reported break downs. It's become a quest to find
    someone who has had a trip ending failure. Leaking fok seal, weaping hub seal, some sumps that
    have taken a hit and cracked, dreaded loose nipple OMG! Just seems to be a lot of very happy owners
    enjoying drama free rides.
  7. Roadscum

    Roadscum Long timer

    May 7, 2007
    SW Florida

    Most magazine review give th Tenere an edge over the GS on road and the edge to the GS off road, two good bikes in my opinion.

    The Tenere isn't perfect but none are. Fuelling is an issue with a hesitation just off idle and power is restricted in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gears. Their are several method to cure these issues. I've added a Madstadt 20 inch windscreen and adjuster along with the OEM wind deflectors and find rider protection from the elements to be excellent. Most find the OEM seat to be, we'll, a pain. Sargent and other seat mfgs. offer good alternatives.

    I also own a BMW R12R and like that motor better, but for going long distance and the option to explore off the Tarmac I ride the Tenere.

    You can't go wrong with either th GS or the Tenere.....
    But why an adventure style bike if you're not planning to ride off the pavement?
    Do you plan on touring or just day rides and a weekend away now and then?
    Is fuel mileage and range a concern for you?
    How much of your riding will be two up?

    Regards, Paul
  8. Flydream

    Flydream King of the Atlantic

    May 26, 2012
  9. roarin calhoun

    roarin calhoun Been here awhile

    Jul 26, 2011
    I'd agree with pluric. Imagine, if he likes the blew one that much how ecstatic he'd be with a black one.
    Anyway, I had a new GS1200 & a new BMW RT ( I was kinda hard on both, just as I had been on all my previous jap bikes) . Had lots of trouble with both beemers which was a new experience for me as all my previous bikes were trouble free & of jap origin. The reliability of the Yamaha alone, as pluric says, is reason enough to buy it. My experience with BMWs amounted to a constant & disgruntled sense of "what's going to break next" in contrast to the almost total unawareness of the jap bikes as I rode them concentrating on corner blasting & scenery rather than wondering where the nearest tow truck was. A mighty big difference ,that.
    The GS was ok when it wasn't busted. On dirt I liked it a bit better than the Yamaha but I'm hard put to say why. The weight of the Tenere has been a concern on dirt,but less so as I ride it more & find amazement in it's competence & seeming lightness ( hard to explain). I can't think of anything the GS really did better,lots it did worse. I often ride 2-up ,mostly on dirt & my wife likes the Tenere LOTS better than she did the GS.
    While I'm more of a dirt guy nowadays, I always felt like the GS's frontend wanted to drift out when corner blasting on asphalt. Not the Tenere. Normal jap competence. I also find I'm not "gear hunting" nearly as much with the Yamaha which is really nice. Both have nice torgue.
  10. jaumev

    jaumev Long timer

    Jun 5, 2011
    Don't buy it it can cause seriuos brain injuries :eek1

    I was a normal person before I buy this beast!! :evil :D

  11. Kenbike

    Kenbike Been here awhile

    Jul 13, 2009
    South of the big lake
    I have 2000 miles on a used 2012 I purchased a month ago. Was toen between the GS and the Tenere and decided with it. Sold a ZX-14 and KTM 990 adv. I really like the Tenere and it is a much better road bike than I expected. Corners better thsn my KTM or ZX-14 and is good off road. I just did 8 days on it in Western NC and had a blast on the fire roads. Ny has the clutch mod, Arrow header, two brothers slip on, and a PCV with a custom map by Wheelers Cycle in Robinsville NC. After the dyno session I find it is much smoother, pulls much harder and still get around 44 mpg. I do not like the fact that it always resets to TC1 every time it starts! Carries a load of 40 lbs of gear no issue and good wind management.
    The BMW is a great bike but I could not live with the poor dealer network and the number of recalls and warranty issues the BMW's seem to experience.
    Very haapy wit the bike overall.
  12. jaumev

    jaumev Long timer

    Jun 5, 2011
    I had a GSA before the ST. Both are great bikes but the Tenere is more reliable and fun.
    I'm very happy with it :clap
  13. Twinner

    Twinner Been here awhile

    Jan 11, 2008
    Wow! Thanks a lot guys for the feedback!
    Well to answer the question about why an adventure bike and not a touring bike instead.
    I had the opportunity to tour several times on a V-Strom and coming from a sportbike background, was really, really impressed with the bike's capabilities. You can litterally eat the tires to the very edge in corners, no issues whatsoever.
    Plus, I really liked the upright, natural position. Also and importantly, an adventure type motorcycle eats up the bumps, cracks and holes in the roads we have like no touring bike can.
    I cutrently ride a VFR1200. It is an amazing motorcycle, but after an hour in the saddle, I get so tensed between the shoulder blades (old injury) that it ends up in a headache. I want back to the straight up position that I liked on both the Tiger and V-Strom, but with a bit more power than the Strom and with a shaft drive.
    How are the vibrations on the Tenere when cruising at 120-140 Km/h?
    Where is this that the bike starts to loose it's composure/comfort zone both handling and engine wise?
    Thanks guys, you are the best! :-)
    (I was very sad that the Tiger didn't suit me. I thought it would be everything the V-Strom was and then some, but the handling killed it for me)
  14. tremor38

    tremor38 Long timer

    May 30, 2006
    The Tenere stays pretty composed until you reach the 150+kph range. At that point it could use a re-valve in the shocks and fork to give it better high speed damping. I you do any sustained speeds in that range, there are mods availabe from various vendors including Ohlins, Wilburs, Penske, Superplush and there's another cartridge maker that is slipping my mind. I think there is also a Spanish company that builds suspension parts.
  15. Flightar

    Flightar Been here awhile

    Nov 14, 2011
    Sebastian, FL.
    I don't own an S10 but I have ridden one. I really liked the comfort and the smoothness. The engine I also liked, but it runs out of revs quickly, and does not give you a strong top end rush. I get that sportbike type performance isn't what it was designed for though. The brakes worked great, and the wind protection was adequite...aftermarket fixes I'm sure would make it much better. My only gripe about the bike to be honest was that its kind of homely, and I'm a guy that likes the looks of the GS.

    Here's my list of adventure bikes I've ridden and my very brief impression of each. Assuming, 99% on road use which fits me to a tee.

    MTS 12: Wow what a bike!...actually bought it. :happay
    S10: Great all around bike, very comfortable and smooth, but let down by its quirky and ho-hum looks... :huh

    1K VStrom: Hated EVERYTHING about it after I rode it. :puke1

    12GS A/C: Great bike...wouldn't buy it though now that the much improved and better looking W/C bike is out. :D

    Tex: Fantastic bike, great handling, great comfort, heated seat, standard cruise control...if I hadn't bought the MTS this would have been the bike prior to the W/C GS's debut. :nod

    Stelvio: Great bike but heavy and really tractor like, and almost zero dealer support where I live. :wink:

    Ymmv of course...
  16. Gundy

    Gundy Long timer

    Nov 6, 2010
    Philly 'burbs
    I sold my Tenere after about 5 months with it, partially because I was buying a house (not the bikes fault).

    Quality and dependability.
    Best two-up bike I have had
    Handled very well for a 600 lb bike, very planted on gravel
    Abs and traction control were nice features
    Ergos were tall friendly. Frequently rode 3 hours without stopping.

    600 lbs. not noticeable once moving, but there are scenarios were you just can't escape it.

    The tractor feel was good on long rides, not so great for my urban/suburban riding and I just did not have the desire to explore offroad with it, although some are willing.

    While not a race bike, I found myself doing things I shouldn't with 95 hp on tap.

    I will miss it for two-up rides for sure.
  17. garandman

    garandman Wandering Minstrel

    Feb 5, 2007
    Dorchester, MA / Sunapee, NH
  18. GrahamD

    GrahamD Long timer

    Oct 11, 2009
    Blue Mnts Ozstralia
    The Tenere in general will be a lot less costly mistake than a GS. Both initially and in the long run if either turned out that way. Given that a Strom would be a less costly mistake than any of them.

    Handling? Stable and secure is the word on both. Off road the pros tend to give the nod to the Tenere by a bit, still stable and secure and predictable, where the GS can bite a bit if you loose momentum. Close call either way. Since you don't want off road that is moot. The GS has that slightly detached feel and may be less scary for noobs. Close but different.

    Power,? The Tenere is a low compression motor, is tuned more as a linear lugging machine, has a nice flat curve after gear 3, (under gear three you can do the clutch switch mod, (50c for the base model mod and $10.00 for the deluxe option with switch). The GS has more power up top and a bit less down low. The GS motor is more street machine and the S10 more Dirt bike. 10% either way. If you want to win drag races you would go the GS.

    Protection? Standard ADV bike fair. Neither of them is a Goldwing. Lots of options on both to get you further than stock.

    I can do long trips no problems. Part of the comfort factor is the relaxed nature and stability of the Tenere. Less concentration = less fatigue. The Tenere just goes where you point it and does what you want. Seat is average on both but it seems I have average butt so it's not an issue. The Tenere fits me better out of the box and pips the GS on ergs out of the box for me. The new Wasser GS is a Tenere copy in the seat department any way.

    Pros and cons?
    YAMAHA Pros. Solid machine, Built as advertised. Quality design, Covers a variety of terrain with confidence. 450Km range ridden sensibly if you have to. Stable over nasty section of "road". Doesn't fall down often. Lots of aftermarket. It's not a boxer. It has it's own character.

    Cons.? All the good design work that makes it so easy on unpredictable surfaces is lost on street riders. Still a good street bike but is a bit less "sharp" than the "Jacked up street bikes".It's not a boxer. It has it's own character. Fuel economy deteriorates over 130Km/h

    Ooh and aaahs, Prettier external finishes. Quality design. Good on the road, Plush. It's a boxer and has it's own character. 15Kg lighter than the S10. Lot's of switches. Radiator out of harms way.

    Reliability. You can get one that never had issues, but it's more of a lottery. Price, It's a boxer and has it's own character. More fragile but for street probably not an issue. 15Kg lighter than the S10. Lot's of switches. Fuel economy deteriorates over 130Km/h

    Where I live I have to pay a 40% premium over a Tenere once it is optioned. Maybe worth a 10% premium for design but deduct 10% for Q&A problems. So no go for me. So at the same price I could have gone either way.

    But the big question is you can get better protection for 99% street from an RT. Maybe you should have a look at something like that as well. More comfortable in a nice quite bubble of air.
  19. William42

    William42 Long timer

    Oct 16, 2008
    Champaign, IL
    I don't think you were ever a normal person. :evil
  20. RocketJohn

    RocketJohn Hook em' Horns!

    Apr 15, 2002
    Denver, CO
    If the S10 cost $5K more than the BMW, I would have still purchased it.

    I am very particular about what bikes I would buy, especially new. If you cannot tell which bike to spend $15-20k on, you need to do more test rides and read more reviews. These are not machines of necessity, so some of the why you choose a bike isn't tangible and cannot be explained.