R1200GS vs. Super Tenere

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by thecynic, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. thecynic

    thecynic Adventurer

    Apr 28, 2010
    People's Republic of Minnesota
    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.:ear 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.

    THANKS!!!!! :y0!
  2. gastone

    gastone R.I.P. sweet Angus

    Aug 22, 2010
    Fredvegas, VA
    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.
  3. Mudcat

    Mudcat Unregistered

    Jul 22, 2004
    Bay Area
    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. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
  4. island808

    island808 We are 100% SNAFU

    Sep 19, 2009
    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.
  5. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

    Dec 24, 2006
    Next to Rio Bravo
    East Germans? Has the factory moved?
  6. Wandering Nomad

    Wandering Nomad Obsessive Traveller

    Jul 26, 2005
    Pasa-Get-Down-Dena, TX
    East Germany went out business a couple of decades ago, unless my memory fails me.
  7. OConnor

    OConnor Bad juju

    May 22, 2004
    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.
  8. broop

    broop Adventurer

    Nov 9, 2008
    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.
  9. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

    Mar 24, 2004
    Andover, N.J.
    Island, when in your considerable experience did you find a east german bmw plant ? Are you thinking MZ perhaps ?
  10. Poway

    Poway SHED (Shit Head)

    Oct 6, 2010
    Formerly San Diego CA/ now P'Cola FL
    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.
  11. micksouthere

    micksouthere Adventurer

    May 20, 2011
    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 BMW...off 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
  12. Cumminsman76

    Cumminsman76 befuddled

    Jun 30, 2007
    Where the bikes parked. STL
    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.:rofl
  13. GSA GIRL

    GSA GIRL Been here awhile

    Sep 18, 2007
    Central California
    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!!!!!!!!!!!!
  14. tcourdin

    tcourdin Resident Spooner

    Apr 3, 2008
    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.
  15. Boxer-lust

    Boxer-lust Banned

    Aug 21, 2011
    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...:lol3
    The Super Tenere' takes 6 seconds longer 0-125 according to BIKE;that is a lot of difference in performance...:huh
    As for BMW is made in east germany?
    Berlin is central germany,east germany is called poland today...:D
  16. Mr.Efficiency

    Mr.Efficiency Adventure Wuss

    May 17, 2007
    1. I don't think anyone would debate the overall superiority of the BMW R1200GS to its competitors, which only leaves its off-road capabilities and its overall value to question and comparo.

    2. If I were going to take a motorcycle on anything worse than a fire road, there are 20 other bikes I'd rather do that with than an R1200GS or a Yamaha Super Tenere. But there is no other bike in the world, I would rather run down 1000 miles of slab, and 400 miles of twisties, then run on dirt and gravel roads and more challenging pathways than an R1200GS.

    And yes, I just did this last week. I am not that world-renowned adventure guy, but I do ride a GS as it was designed, to ride on improved and unimproved tracks in a spirited manner.

    3. If I were going to ride something other than the best all-around bike in the world (the GS) because I'd rather be eaten by wild dogs than spend $22k on a motorcycle (and I will tell you, there is something seriously wrong with my head and I know that)... there are 20 other bikes I'd pick before the R1200 Super Tenere. KTM, Triumph, Suzuki, Motoguzzi and Ducati all make bikes (or several bikes) that impress me tons more than the superT. That being said the SuperT is a nice bike, I just wouldn't consider replacing my GS with one; whereas The KTM and the Triumph both call my name... and I listen.

    4. There's a lot of this on the internet. Go to a dealer with your riding gear and buy the bike that you enjoy riding the most. That bike will be the GS, if you can swing it. Your visits will also say a lot about the service you'll get. My dealer is a clubhouse. I can go there when I'm bored; there are snacks and TV and motorcycles to steal for an hour or so. The Yamaha dealer probably won't have a Super Tenere for you to ride and they will tell you just how fabulous it is and that if you buy one, they will move the heavens and earth and get you one.

    And when you get it, you'll see why they don't have one on the floor to compare with a GS, because it's like comparing a Chevy Cruze to an all wheel drive SuperPorsche.

    5. The only really great things I've heard about the bike are from owners, and they've all had them for less than a year. I'll wait ten years or 100,000 before I get a verdict.
  17. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Feb 11, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    It's still there, but the Russians aren't!:evil

    Jim :brow
  18. kikele

    kikele Been here awhile

    Nov 2, 2008
    The Super Tenere is made in France! With a friend we exchange bikes for a few miles, I ride a GSA1200 and there are no comparison with the GSA. Supertenere is as heavy as my GSA with a less capacity fuel tank, the center of gravity of ST seems to be higher and it´s harder to turn, you have to lean really hard to make the ST turn. ST breakes sucs, I didn´t like it at all. The engine lacks of fast response. I already tested the Honda Varadero and for me its nearly the same bike with some additional farkles that looks like an Adventure bike but when you try it is just made for tarmac.

    At the end my final comment is that the Super Tenere is a good try from Yamaha to get some of the market share that BMW GS´s have but they need to work harder if they want to succeed, the bike was far away from what I expected.
  19. dcstrom

    dcstrom Long timer

    Jan 20, 2006
    On the road to South America
    That's WAY more ridiculous than saying BMW's are made in East Germany... They are made in Iwata (no, it's not a little town in the Bordeaux region).
  20. Whip

    Whip Onward through the fog

    Mar 28, 2005
    San Antonio Tx


    Welcome to my world.