XT660Z Tenere or 800 GS

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by The Crow, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. The Crow

    The Crow Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Trying to (finally) decide between a new 800 GS or 660 Tenere. I know and understand that I'm not comparing apples with apples, but that is exactly my problem. BM feels more road biased and Tenere more dirt biased.

    This is NOT a "VS" thread.
    And a KTM or KLR is not an option as KTM is way TOO expensive in South Africa and KLR not to my liking.
    GSA or Super Tenere also not as I don't want or like a bike of it's size, bulk, weight and intended purpose.

    I will use the bike to
    * commute in the summer / spring (20k's round trip five days a week)
    * do weekend trips that will include some gravel
    * do solo rides that will include some more adventurous riding
    * aim to do one longer trip per year that will include gravel and unknown roads (Planning a Cape Town - via Namibia - Okavango Delta - Vic Falls - Zim - Mozam - Cape Town trip for next year)

    I have demo'ed both a couple of times and have been on longer demo rides as well, but I'm still battling to decide.

    My thoughts and considerations:
    General
    BM feels more road biased and Tenere more dirt biased. Planning to do both and dirt won't be gravel only. No single track or serious trails, but a smooth gravel road doesn't quite mean "off the beaten track" to me.
    Both feel comfortable and there isn't much in the perceived weight.

    Pro's & Cons
    800 GS
    - 16lt on the small side (Reported Rabge OF 280 - 350km)
    - fork has a lot of dive. Will have to spend money to get it to my liking
    - List price is R25000 more (Roughly $3500), but comes with ABS and heated grips
    - Average service price is more and 1000km service is for my pocket
    - Dealing with BM has a more corporate feel to it
    - Throttle response is snatchy at lower speeds and RPM
    - OE accessories are more $$$ than Yamaha's
    - Every ride so far has left me a bit underwhelmed
    - Not a "bikers" display (see +)
    - Needs a bigger screen for sure

    + Stronger engine
    + Less vibe
    + Comes with 3 year road side assistance on top of std 2 year warranty
    + Comes with ABS and heated grips
    + Easier to get my feet on the ground
    + Trip Computer gives useful info

    660 Tenere
    + 23lt Tank big enough to cover longer stretches especially in Africa (Reported Range of 400 - 500km)
    + Suspension handles dirt better, less dive inspires confidence
    + Can buy FULLY kitted Tenere for same price as stock GS
    + Services are cheaper and 1000km service is included in purchase price
    + Dealing with Yamaha feels like dealing with bikers
    + Was a lot easier to ride the Tenere smooth from the off
    + OE accessories are more affordable
    + Bike has surprised me on every ride
    + Like the cockpit better
    + Stock screen is okay, and still better than BMW touring screen

    - During demo rides the single felt good enough for me, but not as strong or smooth as GS
    - Vibrations is noticeable when climbing from Tenere straight onto GS
    - Std 2 year warranty
    - No ABS option or heated grips
    - Seat is a bit high, but okay
    - No trip computer to give range and fuel consumption

    So when I look at the list above and read through my own thoughts, I wonder why not just buy the Tenere. It's all there!

    BUT:
    Unknowns:
    * Just how much will the Tenere battle to pull with it loaded
    * How will the single handle being two up and loaded (Yes, I know the GS will be better, but will the Tenere be bearable)
    * ABS...will I look back and regret buying the bike without it
    * How tiring will the single's vibrations be

    Will the
    * Afford ability
    * Bigger Fuel Tank
    * Feel

    make up for
    * less power
    * no ABS (I've had one or two scares. One during a demo last week on a ABS-less Tenere...not nice)

    Would be great to hear from rider's who have OWNED or RIDDEN both
    #1
    OneAUout likes this.
  2. JensEskildsen

    JensEskildsen Long timer

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    As for the tank, I think the 800 will go as long on a tankfull, as the tenere. The bmw doesn't use all that much.

    I've never rode with abs, but heard lots of stories... Perhaps a search would be great, it seems "big" for you.

    I have a xt600, and when om on big gravelroads, or pavement, I cant tell if Im hauling 30kg of gear or not.

    The bike seems adequade 2 up aswell.

    Remember, theres no right or wrong, both bikes could be THE bike for you. All of os have a bike we change to suit or needs.
    #2
  3. switch

    switch Romanian Trailbiker

    Joined:
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    I had the same dillema. Now I'm saving fro the 800gs.

    The Tenere, for all it's might, is a big single. It lacks top end torque and power. It's annoyingly lazy and vibey at high speed and every pound of luggage increases annoyance. The more it's loaded, the faster you want to go, the more it will vibrate. Compared to the 800gs constant roar, it's a no-brainer.

    I rode a 650 with similar performance to the XT660z for about 10k miles and an R1100GS (a bit more powerful than the 800gs but a loads bulkier) for about 4k miles. I can say for certain that the XT660z will begin showing off it's limits the more you ride it. Put a pillion and it's already lazy. Put on lots of luggage and pillion and you'll want a bigger rear sprocket. Bearable I guess, but then again there's guys that tour the world on DR350s. Yammy ain't nowhere near as comfy as a BMW for long trips. It will do them but ...

    And that one time you need to stop on wet road... let's not go there. ABS is simply KING on pavement. Off the asphalt, it's useful if you're a beginner. Otherwise switch it off. I know three ocasions where ABS was/would've been a godsent. One ended up with a broken bone and almost totaled bike.

    I'd get the F800gs hands down. The 660z is nowhere near in terms of performance or versatility. Except for the 'feel' of the bike, which is subjected to one's own opinion, and maybe service performance (up here in Romania we have shit fro BMW dealers), there's literally no technical reason to choose Yamaha over BMW.
    #3
  4. Pcfly

    Pcfly Dude?! Seriously??

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    I don't own either but have ridden a F800GS and I own a 1200GS. I've done two cross America trips on the 1200GS and on one of them a friend on a G650GS (The old single, not he new "F" 650) came along. What I found and why I would say, go YAMAHA and the XT660z is.......CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP......BUT GOOD AND SOLID!! BMW doesn't have the name "Bring My Wallet" for nothing!

    The 650GS on our trip had enough fun, enough comfort, and enough power to handle everything my 1200GS could handle and it was lighter to pickup! Everything about the 1200GS COSTS MONEY.....it's amazing how much service, maintenance (even it done by the owner), and care that the bike can need and take. I'm not saying it's not rewarding owning the bike because it is BUT it amazes me the overall ownership coast as compared to just a 650GS.

    Simply put, the XT660z is going to give you a 6gal tank on a bike that can give you 70MPG for commuting. It's RANGE IS AMAZING if you really baby it! Now if you decided to gun the thing the range is still A LOT better then the F800GS! You can look up real world MPG figures on www.fuelly.com about the F800GS and see that 45-60MPG is about average. The XT660 is 55-70! Either way the Yamaha has a 6gal fuel tank as a-posed to 4gal tank on the BMW! Last but not least, It will give you MUCH better wind and egomaniacs then an F800GS and it will be an extremely inexpensive bike to own!

    Lastly, it all comes down to you! If your a speed freak with deep pockets and you care what your friends think or you want the latest touratech farkal then go F800GS. If your like me, I have a 1200GS, I've given my left arm and some blood to BMW and are looking for simple, economical and fun, get the YAMAHA and keep you money! Just my bloody two cents.......crap, that's two more bloody cents to BMW. :bluduh
    #4
  5. Pcfly

    Pcfly Dude?! Seriously??

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    Also, it's rumored that Yamaha is to add ABS to the XT660z this fall! Someone else here on ADVrider posted something about it......do a search.
    #5
  6. Piwell

    Piwell n00b

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    Hey man, i don't give a shit, but I have the XT 660 Z Tenere 2008 and I suppose that you want that bike too. In cause of price - BMW is much more expensive. I live in Czech Republic, near Pilsen, so very close to Bayern in Germany, but prices of BMW is really other. When I need Yamaha genuine part, I go to my local Yamaha dealer (about 30 km), and I order some parts. It costs for example 200 Euros. If I need the same parts for my girlfriend's BMW F650 GS, year 2002, I pay about 350 Euros. For BMW parts I'm waiting for two or three weeks. For Yamaha parts I'm waiting for max. three days, ordinary two days. You have enough? Yamaha XT660Z Tenere is newer, more fun and cheaper. And is much more enduro ...

    btw - I'm sorry for my english, I'm slavic ...
    #6
  7. ColonelS

    ColonelS Adventurer

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    #7
  8. mickd

    mickd crash test dummie

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    hi all
    i for one have gone down the road with the tenere,ive had the bmw's in the past and they are not so off road as you think? the tenere will go anywere you want to,get you there and you dont even have to worry about the bike, its a go anywere type of bike,as for loading the bike up and having the mrs on the back,i do this all the time and she feels nice,you dont feel that its fully loading(well abit)as for the motorway buzz i dont get that at all she is smooth pulls well and is a joy to ride
    cockpit is large so ive got all the room for the zumo,and other bits i like to have
    fuel..its brill iam getting around 450 500 on and off road,seat height.. well ive cut mine down a bit (30 inside leg) and now its perfect for me
    no wind buffing at all

    at the end of the day what do you want from a bike some of the above posts asks you that,

    some times its a toss up between the ktm990adv or the tenere when i want to go for a ride:D
    #8
  9. switch

    switch Romanian Trailbiker

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    Eastern Europe
    You're right. I asked a local Yamaha dealer. 2011 will add ABS to the XT660z, for about 500e/$500. The price was an estimate. After talking he even suggested that he might be able to get the ABS for free if I buy in advance. First ABS models ship november 2010 in Europe.
    #9
  10. Pcfly

    Pcfly Dude?! Seriously??

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    SWEET!!! I wonder if it's selectable on off or if the bikes going to be like the S10 and have a dirt mode where it's always on?

    Still hoping they bring this to the states and they announce something this year?! :cry :ear
    #10
  11. MadMax

    MadMax Marveling...

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    Not that America and the Continental Divide Trail are anything like your country, but I've loaded down my 650 Xchallenge BMW-single and it has handled everything I've asked of it. I bought it on the East Coast and rode it to the West Coast, for three weeks, no problems. This year I did the CDT ride and again, no problems. I commute with it in Los Angeles freeway traffic with a small windshield and it is perfectly comfortable at 80mph. I'm 6-4, 250lbs and the power is quite enough for me, even loaded with camping gear.

    I bought the big single because it is considerably lighter than the 800GS when it decides to take a dirt nap. I can pick it up without help, so I can ride alone when my friends can't make it.

    After 22,000 miles with this single, I doubt I'll ever go back to anything much heavier. I know you'll enjoy whatever you end up with.
    #11
  12. DR650SEDDY

    DR650SEDDY ride2discover

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    Oh man if i have access to a 660 TENERE in z states i will grap 2 not one :lol3 in a hard beat. Z 660 TENE. is z bike that do it all in one super machine .
    #12
  13. FreeSpirit

    FreeSpirit n00b

    Joined:
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    5
    Hi, everyone!

    I'm 1.73m and have found the Ténéré to be somewhat (!) tall. I'm in the market for a XT660Z within the next month or three and would really like the ABS version. Why? Well, because it's lower!

    I spoke to my local Yamaha dealer today who immediately called his contact at Yamaha regarding the ABS version. I waited with bated breath only to be told that Japan will NOT ship ABS (also lowered) versions to South Africa.

    I wonder if Yamaha Japan realise just how many more sales they will make with the ABS version shipped to more countries? Just imagine, e.g. the number of female riders, wishing to do adventure biking and touring, (and not relishing the thought of lugging around the GS1200 or the 1200 Ten) will be set on buying the XT660Z.

    Bottom line: What do I do? I'm not keen on lowering the bike, believing that it will affect the handling and also make the bike resemble a delivery bike. Won't cutting away (professionally done) the seat solve the problem (and obviate the need to cut the side stand as well?

    I'd be grateful for any advice from those who've had experience in this.

    Thanks!
    #13
  14. The Crow

    The Crow Adventurer

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    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Any more feedback or thoughts here? Long story short, bought the GS, sold it due to ear operation, was off the bike for a couple of years, was given a XR125L to commute with, bought a DRZ400E, sold it to go back to a XR125L, sold that to buy a CRF250L...and now I'm back here.

    800GS, 660 Tenere or 690 Enduro R?

    CRF250L is great fun, but kinda lost somewhere in the middle. Kinda leaning towards the 690, but can not see myself buying a bike with a reputation for bad reliability.
    #14
  15. javahitman

    javahitman Been here awhile

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    get 690 E, you will have lots of fun offroad
    they all have issues and bad batches.
    #15
  16. The Crow

    The Crow Adventurer

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    Rode one back to back with a 800GS and can only say that the 690E definitely exites and stirs the soul.
    #16
  17. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

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    Tenere.. Only because we can't get it in the USA :photog
    #17
  18. MeinMotorrad

    MeinMotorrad Long timer

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    I'd dismiss the XT and choose between the 800GS and the 690. BMW if fun in the dirt is not a priority, 690 if it is. 690 reliability is no where near as bad as it's reputation suggests. Very easy to work on and lots of help and advise on here.
    #18
  19. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    Is the Triumph Tiger 800XC or similar offered by you? Is Honda going to sell the new Africa Twin in your area?
    #19
  20. webmonstro

    webmonstro A Aventura Continua....

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    Five year old thred , most likely allready made up his mind ....
    #20