The XTZ750 Super Tenere

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by ralogan, Jan 24, 2002.

  1. ralogan

    ralogan Adventurer

    Jul 28, 2001
    Tucson, Arizona
    Just some thoughts/experiences about the Super Tenere (Yamaha XTZ750). Quite popular in Europe and winning the Paris-Dakar in the the early 90's, this bike was made from 1989-1994 and never distributed in North America. Mine is a gray-market 1989 model which I've owned for about three months.

    The Ten is about 100 pounds lighter than my 1996 R1100GS. I bought it primarily for day rides with some of my dual-sport buddies, where the GS has been a handful compared to the KLR-class bikes they ride. It would be a competant adventure tourer, but even with five valves/cylinder developing 75 hp, it cannot match the GS for long-distance fun factor. It compares more favorably with the F650GS, where it is at least as competant (except in braking) at doing the things for which that bike is designed and is considerably less costly.

    Other than a new massive 530 chain, it was essentially stock when I got it. The frame is of Deltabox contruction using a monoshock on dual-sided swingarm. Modifications since purchase include a Laser Pro-Duro muffler, Acerbis hand guards, Metzler Karoo tires, braided stainless front brake lines, PIAA extreme white auxilliary light (in the right-side fairing two-inch faux ram air intake), replacement of the old duplo bulbs in the twin headlamps with bright H4's, vinyl protectors for the headlamps, and fairing protection bars. On order is a stage 2 jet kit for the dual downdraft 38mm Mikuni carbs, and K&N air filters.

    What's it like owning an older gray-market bike? Many of the parts are interchangable with the TDM850, a bike that was marketed here; those parts are available from dealers. The Ten sold well in Germany partly because it was a true dual-sport that dealt well with autobahn speeds. There is a specialist there, Kedo, that is experienced dealing with American owners and has very low prices. (E.G., Hepco-Becker aluminum hard cases are about (US$280/pair plus shipping).

    Compared to the vastly popular KLR, it and the Tenere (TEN- ray) are large-displacement water-cooled dual-sports with big fuel tanks, while the Ten has about 30 additional HP and 50 extra pounds. On moderate dirt roads the bikes are reasonably well matched. TheTen's extra power helps though. Of course more aftermarket options exist for the KLR. The unusual Ten is quite apealling to the eye and gets more than it's share of attention.

    The point is that even in the U.S. there are many good options for those seeking a Beasty Adventure Bike other than the half-dozen models that are marketed so well here.

    Regards, Rich
    slipknot and lithodave like this.
  2. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

    Aug 20, 2002
    Good info. Suprised no one replied....
    tonyubsdell likes this.
  3. modrover

    modrover BOOMSHANKA!

    Oct 21, 2003
    WA, USA
    I know about "grey market" living... having a 1988 RD03 Africa Twin. It's a very special feeling for me when I'm riding it. Sure, it's old tech., but like you had mentioned... this is model that was actually used in the PD (with very minor mods) and actually won it (more than once). :freaky

    Nice report on a sweet ride... now post some photos of that beastly ride! :1drink
  4. atgreg

    atgreg Africatwinarama

    Mar 10, 2003
    Sydney Australia
    Mate the ST aree a great bike but he Dakar winners really were prototypes, they were as much the same as the production XTZ as the NXR750's were to the Africa twins.

  5. Possu

    Possu de-nOObed!

    Jan 9, 2004
    Oxford, UK
    You can fit the later 850 TDM engines in to the Super Ten, pretty much a straight swap. Best option is the 270 degree crank TDM motor, in effect a detuned TRX lump. The TRX lump will also fit but it's in a higher state of tune, makes it more of a handful offroad though.

    Long service intervals for the valve clearances but fiddly when they need doing - 5 valve heads, shim under bucket, similar to FZR1000 technology.

    Friend of mine bought one cheap, the brakes were binding as it has been sat for a year or so. He told the vendor that the gearbox was on it's way out, hence the difficulty in pushing it out of the garage..........
    tonyubsdell and lithodave like this.
  6. rockt

    rockt Long timer

    Oct 13, 2003
    Ralogin, pics of your Super Ten, please.

    (Sorry, what I really meant to say was PPPLLEEASSE!!!, but I didn't want to appear like I was begging)
  7. Geltvaha

    Geltvaha n00b

    May 12, 2006
    How's it goin'? I live in Dublin, Ireland, and own a 1991 Xtz 750. I love the bike and the one I own is particularly lean, never off roaded. I personally think the xtz 750 is the nicest looking bike of its type anywhere even though the BMW GS Adventure and the KTM 950 aren't bad, not to mention the Africa Twin. I am put off the GS as every Tom, Dick and Harry have one. They are 'walking around on their own' as we say here ever since 'The Long Way Round' gave them popularity. The KTM is a great looking bike but, in Ireland anyway, the parts are like hens teeth...very hard to get your hands on. If only KTM were as good at supplying parts and service as they are at creating nice bikes. The minuite I say my XTZ, it was love aty first site; everything about it is awsome, although I do wish it had an extra gear on the motowways. It handles great for its size, the torque is legendary. I can honestly say that I would buy a new one, if they still made them, over a new GS or KTM etc. As a result, I have decided to hand onto mine, and as soon as I can scrape up the cash, I am going to strip it and rebuild it from scratch, including the engine. It will be like a new bike when I am finished. If you guys own one, lucky you, if you don't, go get one, they are great fun, look the biz and a chunky, rugged way. Yamaha horribly turned the XTZ into the TDM. I like to know that I can go on any road, rough or smooth. One would think that with the GS's selling like hot cakes worldwide, that Yamaha would bring back the XTZ (but not changing it too much). The overall balance in looks, comfort and handling is perfect. I'm looking forward to creating my 'new' Tenere! ....Wil

  8. speckypete

    speckypete Been here awhile

    Jan 29, 2004
    Campo de Gibraltar
    My TDM is tatty and old, though the motor is good. I would like to find a superT and put my engine in it. Maybe next winters project!:1drink
  9. Gruebane

    Gruebane Pawn Star

    Jul 1, 2004
    Johannesburg,South Africa
    Mate of mine here in South Africa bought one a couple of months ago with about 60 000 km's on it. His is a 94 model an off road this bike goes really really well. Also grey imports here but parts are no problem as the internet is a great place..

    Excellent bikes these
  10. GSPD750

    GSPD750 Adventurer

    Feb 14, 2005
    Calgary, AB
    Pity Yamaha never brought them to North in the Africa Twin.
    Nice looking bike.

    quinn.mclean likes this.
  11. heikkil

    heikkil Been here awhile

    Sep 29, 2004
    Nummela, Finland
    Re-built a '89 Super Tenere last winter and must say finished bike feels like a time machine; suspension components (f + r Wilbers units) + bearings, bushings etc. were renewed completely, suspension also raised a bit, frame re-welded + sand blasted + powder coated, plastics + tank getting P-D war paint etc. etc. and engine got also a moderate stimulation package. Practically the only thing reminding that it is a 17 year old bike are the brakes; front dual disc is not too bad but certainly not as refined as modern brake systems.

    But what amazes me is the engine. My previous bike was a Wee-Strom and Super Tenere's engine (breathes easier with K&N filters, Dynojet Stage II kit + Laser s/s larger headers and Wings silencer) feels so much stronger specially on lower revs. And when the rev meter gets above 5000 - 6000 rpm Wings really _talks_...

    In a way this is the perfect combination of my two previous bikes: a Yamaha XT600Z Tenere and Suzi DL650. Great on gravel (and Finland is pure heaven when it comes to gravel roads!) but also enough power for longer trips on tarmac.

    What next? Maybe during next winter a TDM850 conversion and Dakar-style IMO / roadbook dash...

    Previous thread here:

    PS Geltvaha: Sorry that I found your question so late at the Horizons Unlimited - replied a couple of days ago...
  12. Tuco69

    Tuco69 Diablo on two wheels

    Jun 12, 2006
    Cairns, Qld, Australia
    Thats right Greg - the winning PD bikes (91,92,93,95,97,98) were actually YZE850T bikes and not XTZ750's.

    However I will agree that the XTZ750 makes a great adventure bike.

    I have a friend who has travelled 2 up on these bikes over the last few years with much success and joy.

    His site can be seen at:
  13. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

    Dec 14, 2005
    Payson AZ
    hey ralogen,, i live up in Phx and hope we can ride together sometime, would love to check that ten out in person. i ride a cagiva elefant. i dont know of any africa twins around, otherwise it'd be a triple threat in AZ:lol3
  14. Mario Shi

    Mario Shi Been here awhile

    Feb 25, 2006
    Santa Barbara, California
    There is an Africa Twin in Cave Creek, AZ
  15. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

    Dec 14, 2005
    Payson AZ
    well where is he?? just rides to the coffee shop or what?
  16. Tim

    Tim Long timer

    Dec 9, 2002
    Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK
    Should be pronounced Ten-eh-ray as there is an accent over all of the "e"s.
    lithodave likes this.
  17. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

    Dec 5, 2003
    I have one


    Bought used for less money than a GS set of cases .-)
    only "soft spot" the electric regulator/converter on the early series, that as in Africa Twins overheats and may burn all the rest of ignition... but nearly all the bikes still avalaible were modified .

    I really never would understand Japanese bike makers brains ..:deal
    In Europe these bikes were a success, still have a place on the market and they discontinued them ... just to see BMW GS and LC8 sales soar,
    In Northern America, were are best suited for , long distance confort, good offroad capability, long range ... were NEVER offered and even discouraged the "grey" import.

    Superténéré is an excellent bike, a little top-heavy , but with a very good frame, a nevending motor for power and durability and suspensions soft... but with right displacement. Standard brakes are PERFECT for offroad use and knobbly tires, but may be easily improved for road use simply changing the pump with a wrecked sportbike one

    Yamaha may just take the old XTZ, throw into the TDM900 injected engine (easy task), a little restyling of the fairing, a good front fork and shock .. and voilà : the LC8 killer... 105 hp, dry weight under 215 kilos and should cost no more respect TDM Europe around 8500 euro...
    but they are fools...
  18. Northwoods Yeti

    Northwoods Yeti Almost house broken

    May 3, 2006
    West Coast of WI
    You hit the piston right on the head. U.S. dealers are full of cruisers sometimes it's hard to find even a dual/sport parked in a showroom. They need to buy a clue, pull their head out or whatever it takes to build and distribute these versatile machines world wide.I for one, would be more then happy with handing over 10 grand for bike like you've described. KTM is a bit up there for their long term reliability issuses. Yamaha has requested customer info and interaction/reaction for their new v-max. We should write in a candidate for production 900 Tenere for Prez!!!:deal
  19. wibble

    wibble Been here awhile

    Jan 19, 2006
    Paris, Fr
    Just to add an action shot..........:wink:
    Go giorgio!
  20. Bagz

    Bagz n00b

    Feb 10, 2007
    I am about to put my 1991 Super Tenere (750) up for sale. It is in Canada (outside of Toronto), but if there is interest, it could obviously be shipped. I haven't even had a chance to think about what I want for it - I had assumed I would never part with this unique bike. The bike is mint with just over 30,000 km. I replaced the stator with a new 'finned' unit to avoid overheating. Other than engine guards and a whited-out windscreen (I have the original too), the bike is pretty stock. I will post pictures and details of the bike soon.