F800GS VS. Super Tenere

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by ggamster, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. ggamster

    ggamster Been here awhile

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    Ok, so last night I went and picked up my 2012 Super Tenere. I traded in my 2010 F800GS (my second one). I love the F800GS but at speeds above 80mph is felt very unstable. This isn't from a safety stand point but more a a comfort/relaxing stand point. I change bikes about every six months or so. Primarily because I like to know what is out there and how it compares to the competition. I just thought I would give you a quick comparison of my riding impressions thus far. Since last light I have put about 200 miles on the Super Tenere. Here is the break down on the major deal makers/breakers.

    Visual appeal:
    I would say for me the BMW is much sexier. It deffenatly has a much better fit and finish. I thought the quality of the materials used on the BMW, the paint work, and panel fitment are superior. I can;t stand that huge steel gas tank with the rubber door molding wrapped around it. I like plastic tanks with a cover. No dents that way. To me this wasn't a deal breaker on the Yamaha because my bikes are daily riders and most are dirty and kind of shitty looking most of the time anyway. The displays on both bikes are vary good. I think the BMW's is of higher quality. I like the read outs on the Super Tenere better but I think the instrumentation on the BMW is more accurate overall

    Weight:
    Two sides to every coin. The 800 is lighter, but has less power. Off-road this is a blessing but high speed interstate riding this isn't. Two up it isn't, I only storm dirt roads and wide relatively easy trails so I would take the Yam and ride.

    Comfort:
    Absolutely no comparison in these two bikes. The 800 is comfortable for what it is but the Yam kills the 800 in this category. Seat, distance to pegs, Stand over height, and wind deflection. I will say that the suspension on the 800 is a more plush ride and the heated grips are great. I have not messed with the Yams suspension yet. I hope to be able to adjust this very small issue somewhat.

    Drive Train:
    Again the Yamaha is so far beyond the 800 it is crazy. If you took the 1200GS and put the Yamaha's drive train in it you would have one hell of a bike. This engine has the best feel of all of the Adventure bikes out there (haven't ridden the Moto Guzi) It feels much more happy to do what I want it to than both my 1200GS and my 800GS. I love the sound of it. The gear switches are perfect, the shaft drive is much better with less slop, the engine breaking is quite a bit less. It is still there just not so abrupt. It is one of the few engine I have driven that gets smother with revs. It is a 1200 but not wide like the boxer. I like how narrow the 800 is but they aren't even close to being in the same game. The Yamaha dominates in every way. Oh and mpgs. The 800 I averaged 46mpg on my 1200gs 38, on the 1200 Yamaha 41 and the engine only has 200 miles on it.

    Wheels:
    To me this is wash. I think the wheels on the 800 are of better quality for sure. I do however feel that the 21" front wheel is detrimental to its on road manors. I wouldn't want another 21" front wheel on anything I take on the street at speeds above 80mph for anything!

    Brakes:
    No contest, the Yamaha has much better brakes in every way. The ABS isn't intrusive and the feel and function is much better. The linked system is nice but I am very active trail braker so I don't much care about that.

    Maintenance:
    This was a concern for me. I used to love the professionalism of the BMW service techs. Now I don't think they are worth more than any other tech. Some of them are good and other down right suck. What I did like is if you are in any town in any state you can get parts for the Yamaha. For the BMW you can't. The parts are cheaper and and the Yamaha is more user friendly to work on overall from what I can see and what I have read.

    Price:
    The 800gs with OBC, TC, ABS, Heated Grips will sell at most dealerships for around $13-14K. The Super Tenere can be bought for $12200 out the door. This is close enough that I would call this a wash. A $1000 shouldn't be a deal breaker for anyone in this class of bike. Now if you are looking at the 1200GS you would just be down right crazy to buy it when compared to the Super Tenere, but like I said the visual appeal is much higher on the BMW and for some it maybe worth the money to have the look of a BMW bike.

    Overall:
    This is very subjective I know and I am expecting people to argue. I am not trying to change anyone's mind as I have had six BMW's in the last four years. I will say that the Yamaha overall is a better bike for me. Just ride what makes you happy and have fun.
    #1
  2. Future ten

    Future ten Been here awhile

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    Where did ya get a S10 for 12,200 OTD I found nothing new under 14,000 when I bought my Tiger. The 10 was my original thought. (scrn name) Love the bike but the price was out of touch for my meager income. Good info, two very differant bikes. My tiger (21" front) tracks like a champ at xxx mph with 2 up.
    #2
  3. fullmonte

    fullmonte Reformed Kneedragger

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    Buy the OP's bike in six months for a steal.:deal
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  4. bmac

    bmac Been here awhile

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    Nice write up!

    That is one heck of a steal on an S10. With a tax rate of 6.25% plus all the other crap involved in the sale puts the purchase price well below $11,500. Where did you get that kind of deal? I will have to keep them in mind next time I am in the market for a bike. I couldn't find anything close to that in WI.
    #4
  5. 2tallnwide

    2tallnwide Long timer

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    Thanks for the write up...:beer

    The only time I got a little less than 40 mpg on my R1200GS was doing 80mph to 100mph on a long slab stretch. I avg'd 43, with 47 being the high. That being said, mine was always overloaded weight wise, and I didn't take it easy either.

    I'm looking forward to the review of your new 1200 Tiger adventure, and if it is as good as I hope it's going to be PM me when you get ready to sell it...:deal

    :D
    #5
  6. ggamster

    ggamster Been here awhile

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    There are two places and I can't spell ether.
    Abernathies in Union City TN
    Holtzhowers in Nashville IL

    That is no TTL. but all dealer fees, setup, delivery, ect.
    BTW they don't know a spark plug from a tire but they are very cheap! They hate each other and I was very fun calling them back and forth saying the other one had the better deal. It was crazy to see how fast a $14500 bike can become a $12195 bike! They tell you "they can't be offering that. That's below what we buy it for." They say that for about three price drops until they say "if they have it at that price you should get it from them".
    #6
  7. ggamster

    ggamster Been here awhile

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    I had talked to the owner of Moto Europa in STL. One of the nicest people in the game. He offered to put me up in a hotel and let me take the demo as soon as it comes in in May. I don't love the Mag wheels and it is going to be about $16K. That is a lot of money. I will wait for a spoked rim version. I also am not convinced on unsupported/single sided swing arms off road. I know that the engineers are great at Triumph so we will see how theirs do. I just don't think it will have much dirt in it's blood at all. I hope I'm wrong however. I can assure you that with this growing segment of "Hummer" bikes the competition will yield some amazing bikes.
    #7
  8. 2tallnwide

    2tallnwide Long timer

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    Never had a problem with my GS off pavement other than going down 2up one time....a little scratch to the cylinder cover, and my pride, was the only damage there....:D

    When I think about dirt bikes 1200cc 100+ hp pigs don't spring into my mind anyway, to me they are road touring bikes for big guys, that will go off pavement better than normal touring bikes...:deal
    #8
  9. GrahamD

    GrahamD Long timer

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    I know the Look thing is subjective, but about the steel tank...

    The problem with plastic is that it punctures relativity easily, where as the steel will dent, but rarely hole. Honda also won't use plastic tanks because of safety and the history of plastic and composite tanks that can to swell or split.. I know that "retro" looking door molding is a bit 70's but it is only there to protect the edges of the tank from chips when removed and hopefully prevent rust starting to do its thing. There are a lot of light weighting going on with the bike in the peripherals but not the main chassis and engine. Have a look around, there is a bit of plastic around.

    Yes I agree it can look a bit "naf" but I can guess why they have done it. I suspect that once the bike is established they may start moving weight off things and pushing power up, hopefully without loosing that bottom end, but at this stage I think the main goal was for reliability, not sexy. If something breaks on a new bike it suddenly becomes the lemon no one wants. Ask Suzuki about their TLR and VStrom sales hits for what were really minor non problems when they were first released.

    And as usual with a new model, they were going to keep the risk as low as possible. After the bike is around for a few years and established they may get a bit more bleeding edge. Time will tell.

    It would be nice to have a few kilo's shaved off here and there with some lighter tanks and some nice clear coat satin silver paint on the swing arm etc, but really the mat black is probably just tough not pretty.

    For some reason the Japanese or Koreans don't get forgiven for things that break in general.

    Thanks for the feedback, was an interesting read.
    #9
  10. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    Funny, I have my second 800 GS in the garage right now and a new Tenere as well :freaky

    Overall a good first impression and I think I'm in line with most of it. The one thing I think is worlds different is the way you describe the suspension. Stock vs stock I'd never call the 800 forks plush, in fact they were down right awful off road and jarring on bumpy pavement.

    Now I know you stated you just got your S10 last night, here's my experience on the suspension. First impression was that I thought it was on the stiff side. Broke her in hard on all bumpy backroads ridden fairly aggressive, and a few days later and 600-800 miles on the clock and it was like a different suspension. Soaks things up well and still tracks solid. I've hardly touched the clickers yet, at some point I'm going to spend some real time and try to optimize the stock equipment. Of course I feel a high end aftermarket system tuned for me could take the bike to another level, but I think the stock suspension is pretty good. Far better than what the stock 800 did for me.

    Now go ride the piss outta that thing and let us know if your opinion changes at all after you thrash her a bit :evil
    #10
  11. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff.

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    Welcome to the Super-T community. There's a big part of the group who've come off the Beemers.

    "If you took the 1200GS and put the Yamaha's drive train in it you would have one hell of a bike. This engine has the best feel of all of the Adventure bikes out there"
    To each their own - I really don't like a lot of the features on the 12GS, and that especially includes the front end.

    As somebody else mentioned, the bike really comes into it's own at about 1500-2000 miles and asks that you ride it hard. Tried Sport mode with the traction control off yet?
    #11
  12. roarin calhoun

    roarin calhoun Been here awhile

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    Wreckchecker, we agree about the GS12's front end. Mine was far more bouncy in rough stuff than my Tenere's. Put the Yamaha's drive train in the GS you say? What are you going to do for BRAKES. My GS12s brakes were dangerous. Pieces of trouble prone stinkie shit. For my part, I don't want ANYTHING BMW anywhere NEAR my Tenere. Might be contagious. BMW=never again.
    #12
  13. Murphy Slaw

    Murphy Slaw Long timer

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    :D

    Couldn't help it.

    Great thread.
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  14. ggamster

    ggamster Been here awhile

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    Hey guys, so I did 500 miles this weekend. It broke down kinda like this. 50 miles was four lane, 60 miles dirt with light gravel here and there with big pot holes, everything else was two lane wonderful back roads. I need help setting this bike up. I started riding and thought oh, this is much firmer than I am use to. One under way a bit it started coming off a bit harsh. I left the front preload alone backed the rebound out two clicks (counter clock wise) turned the compression out two clicks. The rear I turned the preload counter clock wise one click and the rebound out three clicks. The bike didn't feel much different. Once I got on the dirt the bike felt like it lost composure. It felt as if it was chattering over the washout/ripples. I turned the rear rebound out two more clicks. It still felt very similar. Once up on the ruff highway It was chattery. I am 190lbs. Does anyone have any mixed road suspension settings that work great for both on and off road riding? I guess I don't know what I am doing.
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  15. ggamster

    ggamster Been here awhile

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    I love the comfort of the stock seat, however I don't love the tilt forward. I discovered if you leave the under seat plastic riser in the high position and remove the two 3/4" or so rubber spacers that would make contact with the top two standoffs you can place the seat hook on the rear of the seat info the low mount and the front of the seat into the high mount making the seat level. It changes the seats tilt by 10 degrees. I hope this works for you and if no one else has posted this mod yet can we name it "grant's comfy ball mod".

    If you do this be sure you get the rear mounting tab under the lower mount or the seat will be loose as a goose.
    #15
  16. Mad Mac

    Mad Mac Adventurer

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    Doesn't the Super Tenere have tubeless radial tires? Doesn't the 800GS have tube tires? To me, that would make a huge difference. Tubeless tires and shaft drive makes the Yamaha competitive with BMW's big GS, in my opinion. But I could be wrong. I often am. Enjoy your new ride.
    #16
  17. ggamster

    ggamster Been here awhile

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    Yes, I was trying to achieve a 25% sag. I unloaded bike on the center stand. I measured from the dust seal to the bottom of the axle on the front with a measurement of 12 5/8 and measured from the center of the furthest back grab handle bolt to the bottom of the rear axle with a measurement of 24 3/4. the bike has a wheel travel of 7.5" approximately. Therefore I thought that a sag of 2" would be a good sag a little between 25 and 30%. I took the bike off of the center stand and sat my weight on the bike. to get the correct sag I had to turn up the rear almost all the way to the hard and the front to six lines exposed which is only about a half of a turn. I am confused with me only weighing 190lbs why do I have to have the preload turned almost all the way up on the rear? What to people do that ride two up or weigh 225 and gear? I know I am getting of topic so I will post this elsewhere. I'm just looking for help where I can get it.
    #17
  18. ggamster

    ggamster Been here awhile

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    Yes it does and I found that lowering the psi in the rear mad a big difference in the feel of the suspension.
    #18
  19. Mk5mike

    Mk5mike Been here awhile

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    Looking for an update on this thread. If both bikes are near the same price which bike should I be spending my money on? Commuter sight see er with two up on occasion?
    #19
  20. Mk5mike

    Mk5mike Been here awhile

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    Also looking at maintenance scheduled and price of them. Guessing s10 is less to maintain then the f800gs?
    #20