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Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by ralogan, Jan 24, 2002.
Hi there, check this forum for more information on the s10..
Ok. I will check out that forum.
Btw. Interesting to see that there is less talk about the Super Ténéré on ADVRider than about the Transalp and Africa Twin.
This is the case all over the world.. The africa and transalp sold way more bikes.. Most people will advise you to go with the honda, but most of them havent been on a tenere.. The best would be to test them both and make your own decisions.. Tenere is cheaper but harder to find a good sample..
in essence the S10 is a nice bike with lots of flaws and lots of strengths. I don't know why it's not as popular as the AT. it has some drawbacks... the frame is not as strong as on other bikes, making modifications necessary if you inted to ride it hard off road. the brakesare shitty. but a bigger front brake cylinder, steel braided lines and redoing the calipers will work wonders. depending on the regulations in your country swapping everything to bigger brake disks, or swapping the front end entirely might also be an idea. because the front fork is way too soft. but the reason is - as always - often a lack of maintenance. my fork oil was so old and thus thin... no wonder it felt so wobbly. clean it, put in new oil and - if one has the cash - add progressiv springs and it feels way better. and replacing the rubber dampers under the handlebar gives you eve more precission.
Then there is the electric system. as with almost all old bikes the connectors are full of dirt and corrosion, resulting in high resistance, fried reg/rec's and boiled batteries. the S10 is no exception. in addition the wiring loom is stupid. but you'll have the same problems on an AT. Damn, I'm having the same problems on my Honda CB250 Twin and my 80 year old Guzzis. Rear suspension can be replaced with aftermarked shocks, if one has the money. But the stock shock is "ok". I replaced the sprokets and went for a longer gear ratio... ideal for cruising.
The engine itself is... unspectacular. it just works. check the valves every 40-50tkm, and that's about it. yeah, carburetors can be a pain. but if they're set you're good for a while. Switching to the "swiss jets" helps reducing fuel consumption. And the nice thing: if you need more power just do an engine swap: TDM850 is more or less plug in, TDM900 needs some modification. Lot's of people add another exhaust for nicer sound (and performance... whatever...). But the more I drive it, the more I like the stock exhaust system: quiet and unobstrusive. Thus ideal for traveling. and with a simple mod the fuel tank holds almost 30l... which equals 500km range.
the best thing about the S10: they're cheap. everybody is looking for an AT, Transalp or a BMW. That's why I got myself a S10. Did I regret it? Hell yes, lots of work and modifications and swearing about the weight, poor handling, broken side panels and shitty headlights. Would I do it again? hell yes! the only problem I was really struggling with is wind buffeting. But that depends on rider hight and helmet. I own a Schuberth C3... and it seems that helmet doesn't like buffeting at all. Most fix the problem by adding a higher screen. Tried two S10 with different screens: no help. I then removed my screen completely... and the buffeting is gone.
The bikes seem popular in the UK; Germany has not many but an active community, Italy also has a nice and big community. Poland, CZ and other eastern countries do some nice mods to those old beasts, and in Greece they seem popular too (guess because the Police drove them, thus lots on the market).
tl;dr: most problems are common failures and issues old bikes have: eletrical system and poor braking/suspension due to a lack of maintenance. the engine is bullet proof, and many mods can be done to improve overall quality/performance. It comes down to personal preference. But whatever old bike you buy: if you plan on traveling upholster the seat... after >20 years they're just finished...
Thanks for that extensive answer Marc-s. That is a great help. In your experience, how does the handling of the S10 compare to the Africa Twin and the 1100GS? I rode both. Found the Beemer to be nice, but heavy and somewhat uninvolved. Might have been the one I rode, but though it was fast enough it never gave me an excited feeling. The Africa Twin was better, but I really needed to ride it hard to make it fun. With more power, that could be a nicer bike. The S10 could possibly deliver that.
And what would I look for to see whether I have found a good example? And are there how-to's on strengthening the engine mount and the rear subframe? I saw a 91 for little money that I am considering a move on.
Honestly? I don't think handling is better on the S10. It's the same type of vehicle. The engine and overall handling isn't any more exciting than on other comparable bikes. Ride one and you'll see if it fits your needs.
Have you looked at the new Super Tenere? Pricier, but used bikes start to appear. I hear it's a joy to ride, but haven't riden one myself yet.
how to check if you have found a good example: it's the same as with all bikes... list of modifications done to the bike (more mods = more time spent under then on the bike ). if you sit on the bike and it squeaks, than the bike has probably been neglegtec (squeaking = no grease in the rear suspension wishbone bearings). if the battery is faulty or has been recently replaced, then there's work to do; if the owner has converted to double headlights with relais then he knew his bike. check when the valves were adjusted (compare to service intervals). And then just ride the damn thing. If it feels shitty, it is shitty. If the transmission is not smooth (shift forks bent), the handling in general poor (front fork neglegted, wheel bearings not replaced, wheels not trued), acceleration bumpy (dampers!) it speaks for itself. But it always comes down to the time and money you're willing to invest.
The problem with those machines is, that a lot of people just use them on a daily basis for commuting, or just rtide them. and when they're fed up they sell it to the next, who just rides them. Milage is often high, and service intervalls where ignored. They still work, but most of them are not in mint condition anymore. So work is always required.
but first of all just ride one and check if the bike in general is what you're looking for.
/I see you're from the Netherlands. There will be a big Tenere Meeting taking place on the 18.-20. June in Bergeijk. Check it out to get in touch with the community and to get more information about the bike.
I think that the engine is in fact more exciting than the vtwins.. I've only riden the transalp 650 of the rivals that you posted.. There is no comparison between the TA and s10.. The s10 is soo smooth in low rpm, you can ride with 5th and 1000-1500rpm witgout the engine complaining. Then you open the throttle and revs freely and fast with beautiful sound.. Its not that fast, but you never get bored.. In tests ive found, they say as a negative that the suspension is harder than on africa.. Then you find that the owners of both africa and s10 put even harder springs .. I think that the s10 is better everywhere, except brakes (they are shity in every onoff of the era anyway) resale value and maybe looks..for more usual problems and thinks to look, you will find many threads on the forum ive posted above..
Good luck :)
The AT's are even softer? they must ride like crap then
The engine is not so bad. that's true. you can cruise with low RPM if (!) your carburetors are set properly and if your dampers in the rear wheel are not worn out. And if you are somewhat lazy like me and don't like shifting a lot then S10 is not so bad at all. That's true. And I like being in the low revs. But the engine comes to live above 5000rpm... If speed and agility is a main requirement, then you'll have to stick to the upper revs. But it all depends on your carburetor settings. There are a lot of people complaining about a lack of performance in the lower or upper revs, and try "fixing" it by rejetting the carbs, putting in aftermarket air filters and performance exhausts. But they'd be better of just going back to the stock settings. If you get them properly, than everything will be fine.
The TRX motor swap turns the bike into something like a Japanese version of the Ducati Elefant.
A bit high strung, low gear is a wee bit high, not really great in the slow single track.
Certainly much more entertaining on the pavement. : )
Ok, so I have got my eyes on one. There are upsides and downsides to it. Marketwise, it has been resprayed in black. Seems to be matte in the pictures. Apparently the owner before the previous one did not like the green and purple and decided to respray the whole thing before heading out on a trail around the Balkans. Plus is that it is reasonably low mileage (58K km) and has wider footpegs etc. It has been serviced and on first sight, looks pretty nice. Though I would consider doing a respray into something a bit nicer to look at.
The owner says that the mounts and subframe are good. So that helps. And it would leave me some money to change needles and possibly springs, and maybe strengthen the frame and subframe.
Thanks. Became a member of that forum, but it seems not to be very active and hard to browse... A good page with a buyers guide would be nice. And one with a list of common mods to lights, brakes, fame, subframe etc would be nice.
That might be fun, but not for now.
Hey, it is not a KTM 1190R... But I am well aware of that. And that is fine with me. The Transalp only had 50bhp when new. the S10 at least had 67, which is a great improvement. The one I am thinking about has the Laser Produro on the back. No other mods. And I do like that sound.
Honestly is great, thanks. On the other hand, the Transalp is just a different machine. Smaller, lighter etc. The S10 will always be heavier and less easy to throw around due to weight and size. That is not a problem. I did like the AT and the R1100GS, but both do take getting used to.
Have you looked at my budget? Not an option. And if it were, I would probably go for the KTM 1190 series. I rode the 1190 Adventure for a day. Man, that thing is a hooligans' road warrior. Like the looks of the 1190 Adventure R better though. Having said that, I think I might loose my license quite quickly on one of those.*
Well, I have a Yamaha XJ550 in pieces in the back of the garage at the moment. Taking care of those issues would be one or two days work. If the price is right, I wouldn't mind the money. But like you said, looking at and riding a bike shows a lot about how it was kept. What is that double headlight conversion that you were talking about? Is there a link where I can read more about that?
Mileage on this one is alright. It has not done much in the past two years the current owner told me. Which is also the reason why he wants to sell.
If it is anywhere near the handling of the AT or better, then that is the way I want to go. But will need to ride one.
The Dutch club asks you to fork out for membership first, before you can read about what they are doing. That is slightly unfortunate. And I am not in the Bergeijk area this week. But will keep my eyes open to see what other opportunities arise from there. Thanks.
Why do I torture myself with threads about bikes I can never get in the states?
Don't know. Do you want me to ship you one?
My wife is mad enough at the panniers for the xtz1200 showing up in the mail... I can only imagine if a bike showed up in pieces.
Hey, if that is the problem, I can ship it whole with panniers.
Did you change only sprockets or did you get a chain conversion?
Enviado do meu C6903 através de Tapatalk
I changed the sprokets and went to a DID 525 chain. (they had a good deal on the 525, but it's nowhere near necessary).
re the headlight conversion: in most countries high beam uses both headlights, low beam only one. the typical headlight conversion consists of adding a relays on the headlights, new 2.5mm wires from there to the front (to bypass the old, fucked up loom) and wiring them in a way that low beam uses both headlights. In addition to more light it also uses more energy --> less is wasted on the reg/rec. Most people add a switch to disable one headlight (e.g. when they use heated grips or the battery is low). I didn't add the switch yet, but will do later.
in addition I replaced the headlights with new, clear glass ones. just used the old ones, took out the glass and cut them out, and then glued the new ones in.
I ve recently built a polyester "Dakar" type screen
and on the bike
That looks nice. Any shots from the front?
Have the WR set-up on the bike:
:eek1 very nice!
Do you have front wheel clearance issues with that much travel? I have a WP front end on mine with 295mm of travel running a low guard and mine is very close at full compression to touching the headlight surround...
Oh, I've dropped the forks through the triples about 25mm since taking this photo to get a better balance but it's now made clearance slightly worse.. It's never touched but I am running 0.65kg front springs so maybe never will.