Tenere vs Explorer vs Stelvio NTX

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Jud, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Jud

    Jud Long timer

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    I'm looking at replacing my beloved FJR and those are the three that have my complete attention. Was just wondering if there are folks here that have had the opportunity to ride each of the above and might want to lend their opinions.

    Like I said, I actually love the FJR but it just doesn't fit my needs anymore. My trips almost always end up with at least some dirt road type riding. Heck, the FJR prolly has more dirt road mileage than most GSs and DLs but it's terrible at it. While I know that each of the bikes I mention aren't dirt bikes,,,,, any one of them would be worlds better than the FJR off tarmac. Two up comfort is important as the FJR is my two up bike of choice.

    Each bike has plenty going for it and of course, a few things that many might not like.

    I like many aspects of the Explorer {especially the cruise and the power} but I dislike the fuel range {and please don't tell me it doesn't matter because it does to me, tired of carry fuel}. Dealer network while not as good as the UJMs, is better than the Guzzi I think. Reliability? Once again, I don't think it's a UJM but I haven't heard of bad issues with modern Triumph either. Don't like the cast wheels but not a deal breaker. How is the tranny gearing on this bike? Can you lug it along at 2-3mph and still cruise comfy at freeway speeds? Don't like the TC and ABS not being an option.

    I like the fact that the Tenere is a Yamaha as I have had very good luck with bikes from the Japanese Big Four and Yamaha in particular {the FJR has nearly 80K on it now}. I like the fact that dealers are everywhere. I like the fact that it seems that Yammy is having a hard time selling them and the prices reflect that. I can get a brand new one out the door for around 15K$ so it's probably the least expensive to buy and possibly the least expensive to own. I have heard that the Tenere has a fairly wide ratio tranny and will idle at walking speeds which is important for rough, unmaintained roads yet still has a tall enough top gear that it'll easily cruise at highway speeds. Matter of fact, close ratio tranny gearing is a pet peeve of mine on these adv and dual sport type bikes. This especially important since the final gearing is so hard to change with a shaft drive bike. Speaking of shafties,,,, I love the fact that Yamaha isn't a slave to stylish single sided swing arms. They are using a shaftdrive that has proven itself reliable since what,,, the early 80s or so! Fuel range isn't as much as I want but hey, better than the Explorer. Only drawbacks I see, weight is high but even at that, many say the weight is hidden well with a low Cg. I wouldn't know because Yamaha dealers don't seem to allow test rides for the most part. Let's see,,,,,, you want me to hand over 15K$ or so without a test ride? Nope, ain't gonna happen and Yamaha really needs to address this issue in my opinion. Don't like the fact that I don't think you can turn off the ABS.

    Now to the Guzzi NTX. I love the fuel range and how Guzzi incorporated such a huge tank on the bike while keeping it fairly narrow, compact and low and behold, it didn't result in the bike being terribly top heavy{so much for the Explorer's "little tank" apologists ehh?}. I like the air cooled simplicity and the easily adjustable valves. I hate the fact that you have to buy it loaded up with panniers and aux. lighting. I've looked at the panniers and I think they look easily damaged in a tip over and would prefer to have pelicans so I would end selling the stockers and buying aftermarket anyway. Despite that, the price isn't bad. Not as cheap as the Tenere but still not bad.

    So,,, any thoughts, opinions or observation especially from those that have rode all three?:1drink
    #1
  2. bahill

    bahill Adventurer

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    Hey Jud,

    Cycle Nation of Canton has a demo on the floor. Give Micky a call and he'll be glad to let you take a ride.

    However, be careful what you wish for or you'll end up like me. :D

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. Gooner

    Gooner DC 43

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    I've been looking at the same three and have come to the same conclusions. If you're willing to travel, I've seen inmates posting about S10s in the Sub-13k range in a few places around the South East.

    Good luck with whatever you end up with!
    #3
  4. wfopete

    wfopete Suffer Fools; Gladly!

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    Yeah, I think one is in GA.

    I paid $13K OTD here in Arkansas.
    #4
  5. DaFoole

    DaFoole Erudite inchoate...

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    If possible, I'd go ride them all and buy the one that sings to you.


    I don't think you would be disappointed in any of them.



    I do agree about the gas capacity. That's the one thing I miss about my GSA.


    (BTW, VERY happy Super Tenere owner. All that stuff everyone said about how well it does in the dirt is true....)
    #5
  6. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

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    I've had two FJRs and really liked them. (Gen 1 was a furnace)

    After buying a Tenere the FJR just sat in the garage. You can't help but miss the top end
    rush of the FJR. The friendly ergos and mid range of the Tenere appeal to my senior
    riding style more.:gerg

    Now instead avoiding certain routes I look forward to the paved road ending and letting the
    Tenere do it's thing. Which it does surprisingly well.

    I did not look into the other models you mentioned. Mainly for all the things you already said
    about the Yamaha. Peace of mind goes a long way.
    #6
  7. roarin calhoun

    roarin calhoun Been here awhile

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    Jud, if 2 up is important to you as you said, you'll like the Tenere just fine.My wife loves the thing & we had a BMW GS12 for 4 years,used for dirt roads in western mountains mostly. Wife feels the Tenere is far more stable in rocks,etc & she loves the fit & that non-slip rear seat. 2 new BMW's(GS12 and an RT) over the years and a buncha jap bikes(including a FJR & 2 ST1100s & a ST1300--boo the latter) have cured me from buying ANYTHING made in Europe (except French flea spray for my hounds).
    A pal & I were just out riding rough forest roads,he on his Vstrom 650,me on the Tenere. He was amazed (& slightly appalled) by the Tenere's ease of hammering over boulder fields at some speed. He said his sunglasses shook off on the Vstrom. The Tenere is quite a bit more stable in such stuff than the BMW was(the beemer bounced a lot & frontend at times didn't seem planted.....& it broke a lot--both my beemers did). The Tenere carries TONNES of M&Ms,Snickers bars & other fat goodies too---ask Pluric.
    We hit a couple 100 yards of remnant snow ,we were on a slight downgrade. The ONLY thing the Tenere is worse at than the BMW is backing up. It is definetly harder. We could have worked thru that snow but were near home & a lounge on the deck seemed more appropriate. Good luck.
    #7
  8. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

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    Perhaps roarin should use the phrase "significant other" instead of wife. Who are we to judge???

    [​IMG]

    PS

    Hey roarin, it looks like your SO could use a few M&Ms, just sayn':wink::D
    #8
  9. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff.

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    Hi Judd

    Like Pluric, Calhoun, & others, you ought to recognize me from FJRForum, as I had a 2004 and 2007.

    I too switched to the Tenere and love it. The FJR still looks better to me and I love the smooth power of the motor. Yet, there's a mod to short the Tenere clutch lever safety switch that will give you another 15 hp. With that and the low cg, I'll take the Tenere over the Beemer GS any day. My son & I just got back from a nearly 10,000 mile month to Alaska that I would not want to re-run on the FJR. Also nice to have the luggage spot when the rear seat is removed, as I use a duffle there for a back-rest to carry the tent, rain gear, etc.

    With respect to range, the mpg is a few less than the FJR and I typically get gas at 200 miles, but have gone past 220 on reserve. The back of the Tenere has proven to be one of the best bikes available for 2-up.
    [​IMG]
    Haven't ridden a Stelvio but like the looks. The Explorer is a bit more street oriented than the Tenere. Both are going to be more expensive and subject to how good your local dealer is. The Triumph dealer near my borther in law is fantastic, the one near me has to order absolutely everything, tying up bikes. I wouldn't want to drop either brand in East Bumfork and have to order a spiffle-nut though.

    Join us on the Super Tenere Forum with a buncha other FJR retreads!
    :D
    #9
  10. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff.

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    Pluric - You're a sick cookie.
    Funny as heck.
    But twisted!
    :lol3
    #10
  11. olie

    olie Long timer

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    That is the lateral bags set up I am planing for my SuperT. Perfect picture from lateral. If you have a picture from the back, I would appreciate if you could post it. THANKS.
    #11
  12. bahill

    bahill Adventurer

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    A quick cell phone photo is about the best I can do at the moment. I don't know if this shows what you are looking for but with the GIVI PLR367 Rapid Release Side Racks they are about one inch from being symmetrical from left to right side.

    Hope this helps...


    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. olie

    olie Long timer

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    ....perfect !!! you even gave me the answer about the mounting as I was unsure about Givi or Moto SW. Thanks!

    BTW, I am assuming you have a Givi windshield... I just order one today.
    #13
  14. bahill

    bahill Adventurer

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    ...:thumb


    .
    #14
  15. kirb

    kirb should be out riding

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    I had an FJR (recenly sold) to put a deposit down on a NTX. I have a Griso now and love the Guzzi motor and character. That is one item that you cannot replicate in an online review.

    I liked some items of the Explorer (I never buy first year anything), didn't want another Yamaha, and needed something more touring to replace the FJR. I have a KTM, so the far off road requirement doesn't impact me. I wanted a long haul touring rig with good range and the NTX is ideal for me. It's also comfortable as all hell. The only other mount I was considering was a 1200 Multistrada, but it didn't speak loud enough for me.

    I really like the package that Guzzi put out. Fully decked out (short heated grips, but control is still there) and ready for long tours. They took a good package, improved it, and made it great. Mine shows up in August and I cannot wait.

    I think your concerns about the factory luggage is true for all the models you list. They all have weak luggage and/or mounts. The SWmototech seem to be more stout than most.

    I have a close dealer, but it doesn't bother me about the light network. The bike is about as simple as you can get these days and the overall CARC drive train has proved itself quite rugged since 07. Guzzi build quality is very good. You can see it when I service my Griso. I just adjusted the valves, reset the TPS, and adjusted the throttle bodies. Took an hour.

    Owning a v-twin is something everyone should do...ducati, aprillia, guzzi, or harley. There is just something about them that you cannot put on paper.
    #15
  16. Jud

    Jud Long timer

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    Thanks for all the replies and man,,,, it looks like there are alot of happy Tenere owners!

    Now if I could just figure out how to mount the Guzzi's 8.5 gal tank and the Explorer's cruise!!!!:cry:rofl
    #16
  17. Jud

    Jud Long timer

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    Funny you have a Griso as I have been buggin on one since they came out. Absolutely stunning bikes and aout the only reason I haven't broken down and bought one yet is because I already have 5 bikes and I just have a hard time buying a bike just for looks. More of a "Function over Form" type feller. But if I had alot more of my financial pie that I could spare for bike,,,, a red or black Griso would be next to the FJR for sure.:1drink

    As far as the luggage goes,,,,, what I ment to convey was that I can't buy the NTX without the OEM luggage and I cn buy the Explorer and Tenere without it and add what I want later. The NTX is a very good deal for all the stuff it includes "if" you want it all. I like the tank, the grips and the wheels. Not too found of the luggage but,,,,,,, only because I know Murphy on a first name basis.:eek1:cry:rofl
    #17
  18. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Jud, I'm surprised you haven't been able to throw your leg over a Super Tenere yet. I got to take a demo out a few times at Mountain Motorsports, plus I rode Bloke's when he had one.

    The Tenere is definitely a nice bike. I loved the transmission on it and definitely enjoyed riding it. My only complaint was I could feel the heat coming off the radiator, but since you owned a 1st gen FJR, I'm sure it wouldn't bother you. I haven't got a chance to throw one around off road though.

    I was there with you at Rider's Hill when we were looking at the Stelvio NTX. Definitely gotta appreciate that big tank.

    I do love the way the Explorer looks and is my background on my tablet. The 5.3gals on it though is a bit disappointing. Its not terrible, but not where you really want it.
    #18
  19. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

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    #19
  20. Jud

    Jud Long timer

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    Yep, that is cool. I can weld, I can do body work but I would screw something like that all up!:cry:D

    I have been wondering how much it would cost to do that very same thing to my wife's Honda Ascot. Derned thing has a 2.5gal tank and I would love to get it up to around 3.5-4gals at least. In the end, I know it would be cheaper just to run a smallish dragster type fuel cell mounted on a rear rack along with a T fitting and a cut-off valve before the OEM petcock.:1drink

    I know I'm griping but man, these are supposed to be "Adventure" touring bikes. Bikes that just might be taken places where fuel stops are far and few betwee. It's would be soooooo easy to engineer in a tank that would give at least 250-300+ miles but most of the manufacturers just can't be bothered. The kicker is that the Explorer actually originally had a large tank but it was redesigned {screwed up} because some marketing wiz listened to the "It's too top heavy/it's too ugly" crowd.:huh:puke1

    But hey, I'm just sweating the small stuff but I figure if I'm spending upwards around 15K$ I should damned well be able to bitch about "stupid" if I want to!:evil:rofl
    #20