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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

2011 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré Unveiled

With six gallon fuel tank, shaft drive, super strong spoked tubeless wheels, 1199cc parallel twin engine, ABS, traction control and selectable ignition maps (three in all), the new 2011 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré plans to take the adventure-bike category by storm. Boasting carefully centralized mass and a low CG, the go-anywhere bike could rule the asphalt twisties as well. Photos indicate it will come with street-biased (90/10) Bridgestone Battlewings on its 17 inch rear and 19 inch front wheels. A claimed wet weight (presumably, with that six gallon tank full) of 575 pounds, the Super Ténéré should be among the lightest bikes of its kind.

Fully adjustable suspension and adjustable seat height add to its versatility. We have no word from Yamaha whether this fascinating new machine will be made available in the U.S., but European customers should be on the road with the Super Ténéré this summer. Stay tuned.

Features –

  • Shaft drive inline 2-cyl engine – 270-degree crank
  • Mass kept low and central for agile handling
  • Intelligent Unified Brake System and ABS
  • YCC-T with 3-stage traction control plus Yamaha D-mode
  • First edition adventure pack
  • Tough spoked, tubeless aluminium rims
  • Adjustable front and rear suspension
  • Adjustable seat height
Engine –
Engine type liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, Forward-inclined parallel 2-cylinder, 4-valve, fuel injected, twin spark engine
Displacement 1199 cc
Bore x stroke 98 x 79.5 mm
Compression ratio 11.0 : 1
Maximum power
Maximum torque
Lubrication system Dry sump, oil tank in crankcase
Fuel System Fuel injection
Clutch type Wet, multiple-disc coil spring
Ignition system Twin spark
Starter system Electric
Transmission system   Constant mesh, 6-speed
Final transmission Shaft
Fuel tank capacity 23 L
Oil tank capacity 4.2 L
Chassis –
Chassis: Steel tube backbone
Front suspension system   Telescopic forks
Front travel 190 mm
Rear suspension system Monoshock, adjustable preload and rebound damping
Rear travel 190 mm
Caster angle 28°
Trail 125mm
Front brake Hydraulic Twin Ø 310 mm wave discs
Rear brake Hydraulic Single Ø 282 mm wave disc
Front tyre 110/80R19M/C 59V
Rear tyre 150/70R17M/C 69V
Dimensions –
Length 2,250 mm
Width 980 mm
Height Min:1,410 mm / Max:1,440 mm
Seat height Adjustable 845-870 mm
Wheel base 1,540 mm
Minimum ground clearance   205 mm
Wet weight 261 kg
* * *

MD Readers Respond:

  • Bring it I will buy it   Former GS rider.
  • I was just at the show in Istanbul where they first showed the bike in flesh (and Fazer as well), I don’t know what the MSRP is in US but the tag here was higher than a fully accessorized R1200 GS Adv.
    Why would I buy a “naked” bike while a one with years of shaft drive experience and goodies exists?   Ilke

  • Sorry, but Yamaha’s new XT1200Z so-called “adventure” bike is one UGLY
    99.9% pavement-oriented two-wheeled SUV. Even the paint job is ugly.
    What’s with the horrible black scar with white stitching? Memo to
    Yamaha: Your attempt at being funky fails miserably. If you must market
    to juveniles by attempting to be funky, at least make it appealing. This
    one needs to go back to the drawing board.   Bob

  • This is the bike I have been waiting for since I sold my TDM 850. I would sell all the bikes in my garage to have just this one. Please, we’ve been good.   Mark
  • Please Yamaha, please can we have this? There are those of us looking for just this bike (read: me!). Can’t afford the Italian beauty or afford to keep it road-worthy. Can’t afford the German tank and don’t want a bike with drivetrain problems (weither they admit to it or not!). I want dependable, comfortable, well enginerred, sturdy and not uber-expensive or beautiful but fragile and also uber-expensive………, please Yamaha? Don’t make me get on my knees, please?   David
  • This will be my “trip to Alaska” bike if they bring it to the US.   Bruce
  • Ok papa Yamaha, bring it here and I will buy one. Boom!   Mack
  • Yamaha has done it this time.
    I have waited for years for a twin cylinder, shaft drive bike like this.
    The last (perfect) bike anything close to this, was the Honda VT500 Ascot I bought in 1983.
    The only other bikes with shaft drive that aren’t cruisers or luxo tourers, have been the
    Moto Guzzi’s and BMW’s I’ve owned.
    But the lack of dealers is not to my liking. And the distance I have to go to get to the dealer is terrible.
    The 4cyls Sport Tourers ( Concours, FJR, ST1300 )don’t interest me. Most are too heavy and don’t get the gas mileage that my BMW R1200ST does.
    I can hardly wait to see a road test of this bike.
    When it is offered here in the USA, I will most likely buy one.
    Yamaha, BRING IT ON over.   Russell

  • Lightest in class maybe, but honestly Dirck still way too heavy. If it was 100lbs lighter it could well be what I could be looking for and I’d be quite satisfied with 7~800ccs as well. So I guess it’s still just the Wee Strom or perhaps a small BMW. If only you could buy a small shaft driven adventure tourer.. When will BMW realize that Regardless of market research many of us expect them to have a shaft drive…   Ian
  • Must have! Let’s hope they bring this thing to North America! I don’t know about lightest of it’s kind, certainly the KTM 990, V-Strom, et al would disagree, but maybe you’re referring to shaft drive dualies? Either way another more reliable and cheaper competition to the GS would be nice. Hopefully they include those panniers! After ½ dozen recalls and 3 dead by the side of the road failures, the GS is gone from my driveway.

    Great site. It’s the one I check every morning. Keep up the good work.    Bryan

  • I would love to own the Yamaha Tenere with shaft drive, if only to ride over to my local BMW dealer to piss him off. Bring it to the USA, Yamaha! I want one.   Joe

    . . . p.s. please

  • “We have no word from Yamaha whether this fascinating new machine will be made available in the U.S., but European customers should be on the road with the Super Ténéré this summer”

    We’d have a market here for such fascinating machinery if we’d just collectively get our heads out of our Harley-centric ways. Those days may be coming?

    Dirck, I’d love to see you do a piece on just that. It’s relatively easy to understand we Americans being drawn to an American brand with a long history but I think there’s more. Harleys are in my mind all basically the same type machines except for styling licks and perhaps the touring bikes. But the rest typically have the cruiser central theme. I’ve always felt that motorcycling was of most interest because of the diversity of equipment. We’re not all alike so why should our bikes? But look at the numbers of riders, or would be riders, that gravitate toward Harleys. Don’t get me wrong, several of their models get great reviews but there are other great bikes too. Is it the want to belong to something larger than themselves that draws many of them? Am I wrong in my observance that most all H-D owners don the obligatory riding leathers (black), tats, emblems, attitude, snobbery or what not, or am I simply stereotyping? Is there something about dressing up as a “Road Pirate” when one wants to go riding?

    Bikes like the Super Ténéré deserve a broader marketplace but we so typically lose out. Thanks, -Rick

  • One question that always pops into my mind when I see one of these giagantic trail bikes is how do you pick it up when (not if) it ends up on its side in the dirt…..if it ever gets ridden in the dirt? Are most of these bikes the 2 wheeled equivalent of an SUV that never actually leaves the pavement? This might be a good topic for a article from you guys – how to upright a fallen bike (not an expose on the phenomenom of the off-road posers). The arcicle should be about ANY bike, not just a dirt bike. I hope I never have to try to pick up my porky little VFR. I get back pains just thinking what it would be like to upright a Goldwing…

    Oh btw, I think the bike looks pretty cool! I’d look good posing on it!   Mark

  • A parallel twin putting out 1200 cc’s……….I am definitely awaiting your ride review on this one. Is it Yamaha’s answer to the Multistrada type of motorcycles?   Charles
  • Thanks for breaking the story for North America. Does the 270 degree crank mean it will sound like a v-twin?   Vince
  • Your article says the Super Tenere at 575 lbs “should be among the lightest bikes of its kind”. BMW’s website says the R1200GS weighs 504 lbs (229 kg) According to guideline 93/93/EEC with all operating fluids, fuelled with at least 90% of usable tank capacity. That’s 71 lbs difference!!! 71 lbs!!! (and is Yamaha using the 93/93/EEC measurement procedure?- probably not). Although I, and many others, are desperate for an alternative to the overly expensive R1200GS, I think you are way off base in this assessment.   Steve
  • Well now, I hope Yamaha brings the XT12 to the U.S., but I won’t hold my breath. We have met the enemy, and he is us. A bike like the XT12 would certainly generate sales on this side of the pond, if for no other reason than I’m sure (I’d hope..) it would cost thousands less than the popular R1200GS. Kudos to Yamaha!   Chris
  • Sweet! Yamaha, bring that bike to the US!   Michael
  • I love it, and Yamaha needs to bring it here, now. And if I was Moto Guzzi, I’d be really bummed out.   Ted