Ride comparisons (request) for Super Tenure, Honda AT and BMW R1200gs

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by mikeodial, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. mikeodial

    mikeodial Been here awhile

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    I am looking to move up (finally) to an Adventure/Touring bike and am trying to figure out if the Honda AT or the Yamaha ST is the better ride. I have moved to Southern California and want to do go "off-road" when the opportunity presents itself, but most of my mileage will be on back roads with Freeway mixed in. If you asked me for the most important preference it would be all day comfort on paved roads, which will be the bulk of my riding.
    I live in the LA area, so I have access to the desert, coastal roads, and wonderful mountain passes. My current ride is a 2005 Honda VFR 800A which has been a great machine but I am ready for this change.
    I am 6ft 3in, 220 lbs and ride solo with luggage as needed. It has been very hard (impossible) to find a Yamaha or Honda dealer which has a bike for a demo ride, so I only have the BMW as a reference point. I got off a 20-year relationship with BMW when it was costing me too much to maintain by BMW road only bikes (four-cylinder machines)

    Thoughts and suggestions welcome.
    #1
  2. Stranger01

    Stranger01 Adventurer

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    From what it sounds like I think the ST would fit your needs best. It's a very utilitarian and reliable machine, that's great at eating up miles and more capable of road than most give it credit for. Desert roads are right in its wheelhouse.

    AT is geared more for off road and is a bit lighter than the ST. Which I think is great for off road but will make it more taxing dealing with those desert cross winds and dirty air you get from big trucks.
    #2
  3. mikeodial

    mikeodial Been here awhile

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    Thank you. The VFR is fantastic in windy conditions and following trucks etc. This is a feature I don't want to lose from changing out my VFR
    #3
  4. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    I used the AT to great effect in Los Angeles. Mountains. Canyons. Ocean side roads. Freeways. Commuting from Northridge to Burbank. etc.

    Didn't go offroad much. Bike was fantastic.
    #4
  5. Amphib

    Amphib A mind is like a parachute....

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    Similar bikes were on my list when I was last shopping, tho included the fjr, concours, and other st bikes.

    I'm in the mountains of wnc and have immediate access to incredible roads. Because of the great deal I was offered on a leftover '17 africa twin, I took it. I was mostly a road biased rider but was aok with trying to get on the national forest roads that surround me, for myself, it was the best decision I could've made. I've got close to 17, 000 miles on it now since late August' 18. I've had no issues.....it handles everything I throw at it well. I can ride with my dual sport buddies, st buddies, etc. It's been to 13 states including key west. Cruises at 90-95 easily when needed (Florida interstates). It's big enough for serious touring and still small enough for rougher off pavement doubletrack. I'd get the bike again in a heartbeat.

    But it's just my opinion and there's lots of great bikes out there. I've read many great reports from all the bikes you list. I guess I'd recommend making a bit more of a comprehensive list of what and where you want to ride. As I said I wanted a road bike, but having the AT opened a door that has totally changed what my riding focus is. It's a fun search and look forward to you end up with! Good luck.
    #5
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  6. fastring

    fastring Been here awhile

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    ST owner here. Use to live in SoCal with 75 mile one way commute. Did it on a 1190. In hindsight, a AT with DCT would be near perfect. ST is a great bike but DCT for traffic would let you focus more on the lane splitting? I love my ST but would love DCT. What about a VFR1200X DCT? Did you try the online ergonomics? Guessing that will steer you to a ST over the AT at your height. I am a bit taller and the ergo tool is a big factor in my prebuy eval.
    #6
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  7. millesecond

    millesecond Adventurer

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    Go to the yamaha web site. look for the demo rides. They have one or two 18 wheelers bringing bikes to dealers around the country for demo rides.
    #7
  8. HeliMark

    HeliMark Long timer Supporter

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    Both are great bikes, but it has often been said, that the Yamaha is better on road, AT off road. Having owned a S10 for 6 years and around 75K miles, it has never missed a beat. Lived in SoCal, and split traffic for a number of years when I was working, and the S10 did great. Cross country, the Gen 2 with cruise control, just works.
    #8
  9. Fatallybitten

    Fatallybitten Slow and getting slower Supporter

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    You won't go wrong with either choice. I have put over 120,000 kms on 3 Teneres without any significant issues. While the AT is more capable off-road, the Tenere has good off-road cred, especially in the hands of a good rider. The Tenere is heavier than the AT, but it has shaft drive and tubeless tires which, for me, are important fetures for an Adventure Travel motorcycle. And the gen 2 Teneres have cruise control which is especially nice on the highway.
    #9
  10. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    Almost every person who owns one or owned one almost universally loves it. One guy had genuine epic DCT issues and he wouldn't recommend it, understandably. An early buyer in the UK claimed he had a runaway throttle situation; except those 2016s have old fashioned cable accelerators. Computer can't accelerate.

    Other than that, and some "it didn't fit my needs" it's almost all universal acclaim.

    To think, Honda could have made this a home run by simply including the 12v outlet, heated grips, cruise control and tubeless tires. That's something they'd charge an arm and a leg for, but wouldn't cost them much more than $300 in manufacturer cost. That's mostly electrical stuff; very cheap to integrate at the factory. Literally pennies.
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  11. Rethy

    Rethy Been here awhile

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    Thoughts and suggestions welcome.[/QUOTE]
    I put 50K miles on a Gen1 Super Tenere and now own a an AT. For road miles the S10 hands down. Better wind protection and better pack mule. The AT is so much more nimble that it is far more superior when you leave the asphalt. The S10 is as superior on road as the AT is off road. You can put a lot of miles on any bike. But when it comes to comfort on the road a bigger heavier bike is usually preferred. From what you described I would get the S10.
    #11
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  12. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    T12 is hard to beat when it comes to all day comfort. CC and Shaft drive adds to the equation.

    AT feels lighter and more nimble, but I find the T12 to be better balanced.
    The T12 engine has significantly more grunt than the AT engine - but it's also more agriculture and less refined.
    GS 1200 (latest version before it became 1250) place itself between the the AT and the T12, but close to the later.

    I have ridden all 3 and are very happy with my 4 years old T12 with 106.000 trouble free km on the clock.
    If I was to replace it today (fortunately I'm not), I would probably go for a T7 or a 790 Adv R - I would not even consider an AT, it just doesn't do it for me...
    #12
  13. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    I owned an Africa Twin DCT for a couple years. Prior to that I had a Gen. 1 S10 for 5 years, and now am on a Gen 2 S10. For a rider who is going to spend a lot of time on dirt I'd give the nod to the lighter, more nimble AT with its 18/21" wheels. For someone who's going to mainly ride tarmac with a few dirt roads every now and then, I'd give the nod to the S10 with its more powerful motor, shaft drive, tubeless wheels and suspension that hauls heavier loads with no complaints (unlike the AT, which needs rear shock work to do that).

    Of course, I haven't tried the 2020 1100 AT with ES so my comments don't apply to that.
    #13
  14. mikeodial

    mikeodial Been here awhile

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    Would anyone like to comment on-asphalt handling on the S10 versus the AT? Much of my riding is on the curves in Southern California and the inevitable freeway riding to get there.
    #14
  15. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    First of all - both bikes handles really well!

    The AT feels lighter and more nimble.
    The T12 is the definition of stability.
    It easy to change directions on both bikes. The higher weight of the T12 is somewhat negated by its lower COG, 19" front wheel and wider bars (little input required).
    On both bikes it's important to find the right suspension setup to achieve good handling.
    Due to the wider tank and front plastic the weather protection is better on the T12 even with similar sized windscreens.

    To me it comes down to personal preferences which of the 2 bikes that handles best on-asphalt.
    #15
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  16. JustGoForARide

    JustGoForARide Grump Free Zone Supporter

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    If you get a chance, test ride a R1200GS/1250GS. You won't regret it. :)
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  17. mikeodial

    mikeodial Been here awhile

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    Will do. Thanks.
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  18. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    Having owned an AT for two years and many years on an S10, I concur with this. The AT needs suspension work to handle more than a solo rider with little luggage. The S10 is good out of the box for anything from solo to two up with luggage.
    #18
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  19. RangerJay

    RangerJay Sport touring since 1973.

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    For the most part, you can't really go wrong with any of these choices. I just went through a similar dilemma myself. I did a test ride on the Africa Twin DCT. Almost bought it but decided to first check out a 7,000-mile BMW GS1200GS. Since I already have an R1200RT in my garage which itself replaces a Honda ST1100, I'm a fan of both brands.

    I also test rode and came pretty close to getting a Moto Guzzi V85TT just because I've never owned a Guzzi and I like the staff at OC Motorcycle, my local dealer. It was a pretty impressive machine and in my mind, the best looking of everything I considered. I also tried out a KTM 1290 Adventure which was monstrously powerful but just isn't my kind of bike.

    Ended up with the lightly used GS because there were no dealer fees, it was loaded with with stuff you can't get or cost extra on the Honda (like good heated grips and adjustable windshield) then finally decided I no longer want chain final drive. Used BMW 1200s have come down in price since the 1250 came out and there are some low-mileage beauties out there. I'm also in SoCal so I have the same choices of roads.

    I also like the selection of aftermarket and factory accessories available for the BMW since it's the most popular Adventure model out there.

    Final recommendation: They're all good and will do what you want. Buy the one that gives you the biggest smile when you walk up to it.
    #19
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  20. CA-Cincinnatus

    CA-Cincinnatus Semi-retired GI-Bill student, husband, GSD-host Supporter

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    What this guy^^ said. I grew up on Yamahas, have had Kaw & Suzuki, got a K12R for 13 years & 75K miles, now on a 1250GSA. Incredible power, smooth as silk, and built for street & DS. Go to any BMW dealership and ask to take it on a test ride. You'll be blown away. :D
    #20
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