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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

  • April 29, 2011
  • Dirck Edge
  • Evan Edge and Willy Ivins

2012 Yamaha Super Ténéré: MD Ride Review

We brought you a report direct from the press introduction in Europe, followed by a report from the separate press introduction held in the United States for Yamaha’s highly anticipated Super Ténéré. I had to ride this bike myself, particularly after hearing the positive responses from the test riders at the separate press introductions. Test units are in short supply here in the U.S., so Yamaha limited my time with the bike, but I did put several hundred miles on it, primarily on the street, but also off road.

The first thing that struck me about the Super Ténéré was the comfortable riding position.  It is bolt upright with no weight on the wrists.  There is a seemingly huge amount of leg room even though I never had the seat in the highest of the two optional positions.  Together with a comfortable seat, riding the Super Ténéré is genuinely refreshing in the sense that virtually none of the ergonomic compromises found on most modern motorcycles is present.

The optional seat heights are relatively tall, however (ranging from 33-1/4 to 34-1/4 inches), and I was not quite flat footed at stops given my 31 inch inseam (although I was not on tippy toes, either).

Clutch pull is reasonably light for a big 1200cc twin, and Yamaha has engineered out a number of the compromises traditionally found on dual sport/adventure bikes.  Modern, powerful brakes sufficient to haul down the ample 575 pounds wet weight, as well as fully adjustable suspension are present.

Somewhat surprising were the low vibration levels coming from the big parallel twin engine.  I think of parallel twins as “paint shakers”, but Yamaha has done a remarkable job by providing a very pleasant engine feel, almost like that coming from a 90 degree v-twin with perfect primary balance.

The engine has to be the star of the show here.  It is tractable and smooth with excellent throttle response from the carefully mapped fuel injection.  At the same time, it provides outstanding power from just above idle and throughout the powerband  . . . all the while providing those unique, pleasurable pulses you only get while riding a big twin.

I discovered that the chassis also deserves the accolades it received at both the European and U.S. press launches.  It indeed does feel light and nimble, given its considerable size and weight, once underway on the road.  Off road is a different story, however.

The Super Ténéré is fine on fire roads and gravel-strewn byways, where the traction control can really be put to good use.  I made good progress (I wouldn’t necessarily call it swift) on these types of surfaces, and even tackled some fairly tight single track.

The Super Ténéré has the ground clearance, engine guard and other accoutrements necessary for the occasional excursion off the highway, but it will prove too heavy for most riders to risk tight trails or circumstances with dicey traction, such as deep sand.  You don’t want to be wrestling a bike this big and heavy, or occasionally dabbing your foot to stay upright, where you might otherwise take a single-cylinder dual sport that weighs substantially less.

When viewed within these limitations, however, the Super Ténéré is really a resounding success.  The integrated luggage on our test unit looks rugged and utilitarian, and we found it to be so.  It is also reasonable spacious, although the bags will not hold a full-face helmet.

It is in the role of a long-distance street companion, with limited off-road capabilities, where the Super Ténéré shines.  I don’t recall being as comfortable blasting down Southern California freeways at elevated speeds as I was aboard the Super Ténéré.  That long travel suspension, all that leg room, and decent wind protection (with little or no head buffeting for me at 5’10” tall) was a fantastic combination.  The fact that I had the instant torque of a big twin made it all the more enjoyable.

The Super Ténéré squarely belongs in this evolving class of Adventure Tourer motorcycles.  With competitors like the big BMW R1200GS, the Super Ténéré is another street bike without an excuse to be uncomfortably hunched over, or in any other riding position that compromises control, comfort or visibility on the street.  The huge gas tank provides reasonable range (six gallons at roughly 40 mpg), and the chassis is made to order for carrying a passenger and luggage.   There are plenty of good bikes in this category these days, but the purchaser of a Super Ténéré will not ride home from his dealer unhappy.  Indeed, the Super Ténéré is a great bike not only for Adventure Touring enthusiasts, but virtually any fan of sport tourers who wants a bit more versatility and, dare we say, even more comfort from his mount.

U.S. MSRP is $13,900 for the Impact Blue version (shown) or the other available color, Raven.  Take a look at Yamaha’s web site for additional details, including the “Priority Delivery Program” involved in the limited availability of this bike.

The manufacturer provided Motorcycle Daily with this motorcycle for purposes of evaluation.


  1. BSteely says:

    Came to this thread a bit late but I can shed some light on what Yamaha’s website means when they say the the 270 degree crank contributes to excellent torque feel. Tom Barber got it right pointing out that torque is the work performed per turn of the crank. What’s important to realize is the turn of the crank is not constant in the course of a revolution.

    In a parallel twin that has conventional crank spacing, there is a period of time where both pistons come to a stop at the same time, at top dead center and also bottom dead center, and that has an affect on crank rotation. By the law of conservation of momentum, when the pistons stop, their momentum cannot disappear. What happens when the pistons stop is that their momentum adds to the crank’s rotation speed. Then, as the pistons begin to accelerate again, the crank gives up the stored momentum back to the pistons and is hence slowed down. This constant interchange of momentum between the pistons and the crank shows up as a continuous speed up and slow down on the crankshaft that is a form of torque “noise”.

    By quartering the engine as Yamaha have done, when one piston is stopped, the other is near its full speed. In this way, the pistons exchange momentum with each other instead of with the crank shaft. The crank shaft become free of this noise in its output so that the rider feels a more pure sensation of the engine’s true torque characteristic that comes about from combustion.

    So it may sound like marketing speak, but there is a factual basis behind what they are saying.

  2. mark from oz says:

    Tom Barber,please,oh please,tell me who you are,what world ranking you are as a racer or where you rank yourself in the world?Seems like a lot of effort on your part to explain some promo mistakes,that.. lets face it manufacturers do all the time.But please do tell and explain how shaft is not much different to chain in feel?Taken a Bmw on the track lately?Or have you done a back to back ride with chain driven vs shaft latley?

  3. Wilson R says:

    At 575# wet it weighs more than my Suzuki Bandit 1200S. And this Yamaha is supposed to be ridden off-road? I think while it may be a fun bike on the highway, it probably makes a better poser bike for those that want the image of being a tough off-road rider while having no intention of ever going off the highway (unless you call riding in the parking lot of the “Lookout” on hwy 74 off-roading.)

  4. andy1300 says:

    I say Barber is just full of himself,Yamaha spends 10’s of millions of dollars of engineering money to build us reliable motors for differate needs, that whats important
    to me and thats why I keep coming back for more.

    • Tom Barber says:

      andy1300, I say that your opinion is not worth a hoot. If you can’t say something semi-intelligent, then why would you bother to throw in your $.00000000002 worth?

      And you haven’t said anything remotely intelligent. For you to have said anything intelligent, you would have to have shown why something I said is incorrect. Nothing I said is at all incorrect. You don’t have to have any special knowledge of any sort to figure out that with the sort of crank that this bike uses, two distinct firing interval sequences are possible. If you simply sit and think it through, you will come to the realization that it can be either 270-450 (summing to 720), or else 90-630 (likewise summing to 720). This isn’t something that is especially difficult to figure out, and it is manifest that in one case the intervals are in the ratio of 3:5, and that in the other case they are in the ratio of 1:7. Anyone who stops and thinks it through should readily come to this same conclusion. Now, the only question is what Yamaha has claimed, and for that, all you need do is go to their web site, just like I did, and study it for a few minutes. I did not say anything that anyone who is willing to take a little time and look into it would not conclude just the same as I did. It is right there, for anyone who thinks that in circumstances where truth is at issue, that truth matters. You evidently believe that even though truth is at issue here, that truth does not matter.

      • Dirck Edge says:

        Tom – A couple of points. First, this web site is for everyone. I don’t like it when you denigrate other readers simply because they lack your technical background or knowledge. I also lack your technical background, apparently, and enjoyed riding the Tenere for the reasons stated in the article. I have not studied Yamaha’s web site or promotional material for any alleged “discrepancy” between a marketing video and the technical description of the firing order. You might be right that there is a discrepancy, I just don’t know. The fact of the matter is that Andy1300 is expressing a sentiment that has as much legitimacy as anything you have expressed. In fact, the point you are making is far more esoteric. This is fine, but I don’t know why you can’t just make the point and leave it at that. I don’t want other readers to be intimidated/bullied into not posting their comments. This comment board is for everyone of every background, technical or otherwise. If you want to discuss this off the comment board, send me an email that I can reply to.

        • Tom Barber says:

          Dirck – I do not denigrate others simply because they lack my technical background or knowledge. This is obviously your perspective, but your perspective is not objectively correct, because I do not do it.

          Now let’s consider the FACTS. The FACT is that Andy1300 wrote:

          “I say Barber is just full of himself …”

          Now you say that Andy1300 is expressing a sentiment that has as much legitimacy as anything that I have expressed. That’s just plain crap. By what stretch of the imagination does a comment directed at me personally, that denigrates me in an overt, direct, express manner, qualify as a legitimate comment? This is absurd on face value. You say that I denigrate other people. I do not. Andy1300 did however denigrate me in an overt, express manner, yet you overlook that and say that he was expressing a legitimate sentiment. Well, he did in fact express a legitimate sentiment, and if that was all he had done, then I would not have responded to what he wrote, and you would have had no reason to write what you wrote. But the facts are different, and they are right there in black and white. No one should be allowed to say something of the sort that he said about me. You should be ashamed for not saying that to him, and instead chastising me merely for defending myself. I will always defend myself whenever another person attacks me personally without my having given them reason to do so, and that is exactly what happened here.

          I did at first merely make the point about the discrepancy on Yamaha’s web site. My reason at first was only because there were comments made here that did come across as technically correct to me, and I thought it would helpful to illuminate the thought process by which it is easily possible to deduce what the 90/270 crank does and does not imply for the timing intervals. I thought that rather than repeat whatever nonsense I picked up somewhere else in the manner that is common, that I would illuminate the matter, not saying that it is this or that, but rather explain how, merely by studying the situation, you can arrive at the true implication that this particular crank has for the timing interval. That was what I did, at first. But then when someone else comes along and writes something along the lines of, “I think Barber is just full of himself,” then I am certainly going to respond. I will also note that THE PEOPLE WHO ARE PRONE TO DO THAT SORT OF THING RARELY EVER USE THEIR REAL NAMES. I am one of the very few people who dares to use their real name, possibly the only one. I do that intentionally, because I TREAT PEOPLE EXACTLY THE SAME WAY THAT I WOULD IF I WERE SITTING DOWN AT A TABLE AND HAVING THE CONVERSATION PERSON TO PERSON. This is in stark contrast with what most people do. The comment that Andy1300, whoever in hades he happens to be, is sort of borderline. I can see where someone would make a comment of that sort in jest with a buddy. But I do not know Andy1300, and I have no reason to believe that the comment was in any way meant to be in jest. But if I did not him personally, and he made a comment of that sort while we were sitting and maybe drinking a beer or two, I would have responded exactly the way that I responded. I think my response was entirely appropriate. If you think differently, it probably has a whole lot to do with the fact that you are not the person to whom the comment was directed. He did not say, “I think that Edge is full of himself.”

  5. Jeremy in TX says:

    If Yamaha produces an engine that delivers, there will be no wiping of egg or explaining to do. Nobody will care what the marketing guys are smoking.

    The 270 is a good thing in my opinion. I assume that since Yamaha has made a big deal about getting away from the big-bang model on the R1 that combustion events will be spaced evenly apart which I agree would be nothing like a “big bore thumper” as implied by the marketing group. I think they were taking liberties more to get us to associate the Super Ten with the off-road traction and luggable grunt we associate with more purpose-built, dual-sport bikes than to inform us of any technical data.

    And for the record, primary balance (with respect to engine configurations) does not refer to balancing and/or matching weights of any engine parts. (That is a related issue since “perfect” primary balance assumes that you begin with “perfectly” weighted and uniform components.) So “perfect” primary balance is by nature theoretical, but it is the goal and model. The concepts of primary and secondary balance in engines are clearly defined contrary to what one poster implied. It is arrogant to propose that the subject has no “strong technical significance” just because one doesn’t understand it.

    • MikeD says:

      Your first 2 sentences, Sad but True, I Couldn’t have wrote it better myself…(^_^ )

  6. blackcayman says:

    after wading through all the extended science I thought we could all use a refresher on the Mighty “Entabulator dot wmv” on You Tube. If you haven’t yet seen it yet I refer you there. It’s an exceptional laugh – which I believe we could all use about now.

    This Big Yamamha isn’t my thing…But if it’s yours – Enjoy

    • Brendan says:

      Sweet Jesus i just watched the Entabulator video. I am about to go home and change my pants.

    • Tom Barber says:

      I just watched the video, and it is absolutely hysterical. The seriousness of the facial expression is just too much. And believe it or not, toward the end, he actually used the word “sinusoidal”. Now the problem is that every time I have a legitimate reason to use that word, I won’t help but think of this video. The funny thing is that a lot of people would probably think that it refers to a sinus condition of some sort, and then when you look at that guy in the white coat …

  7. Mr. Mike says:

    This would be a much more compelling option for me if the engine size was somewhere between 650 and 800cc. Having found myself in unanticipated, precarious positions far from home on more than one occasion I’ve come to value lightness over power, and a lower price wouldn’t hurt either. Still, I applaud Yamaha for taking the initiative to bring this model to the states.

  8. Tom Barber says:

    The nice thing about web sites such as this were readers can make comments is that people with pent-up frustration over the inability to comprehend technical matters can make believe that they are experts.

    When the two crank throws are aligned, the two pistons move in unison, and the firing can occur either in unison or separated by 360 degrees of rotation, uniformly.

    When the two crank throws are separated by 180 degrees, such that the two pistons move in opposing directions, the firing of one cylinder is necessarily delayed from the firing of the other cylinder by either a half-rotation of the crank or else by that much plus an additional full rotation. The two possibilities are distinguished only by which cylinder you designate as cylinder #1. The two intervals, 180 degrees and 540 degrees, are in the ratio of 3:1, in terms of crank rotation as well as time.

    For the 180 degree crank, there is a single unique firing interval. This is no longer the case when the two crank throws are offset by 90 degrees (or 270 degrees). After one cylinder fires, the other cylinder can fire 90 degrees later, or it can fire 270 degrees later. These are unique possibilities, because they do not sum to 720 degrees. As before redundant values are obtainable by adding 360 to these values, but the point is that there are two unique possibilities, one where the intervals are 90 degrees and 630 degrees, and the other where the intervals are 270 degrees and 450 degrees. In the first possibility, the two intervals are in the ratio of 7:1, which would qualify as a very uneven firing sequence. In the other possibility, the two intervals are in the ratio of 5:3, which is by no means even, but notably is more even than the 3:1 ratio that applies to the 180-degree crank. The crank that they use can either make the firing intervals more even than occurs with the 180-degree crank, or else make the firing intervals less even than occurs with the 180-degree crank.

    So which is it? If you look at Yamaha’s web site, you read: “…270 degree firing order … 270 degree crank for excellent torque and traction … 270 degree crank for superior traction because both pistons fire so close together. It’s almost like having a big-bore thumper …”

    Now, I doubt if I personally would like a big-bore thumper, but that isn’t important. The language that you find on Yamaha’s site absolutely indicates that the firing intervals are in the ratio 7:1, i.e., that the special crank is used so that the firing intervals are caused to be less even, not more even, than occurs with the 180-degree crank.

    But there’s a problem. There is also a video on the site, and although it is too fast at first to make much out, a few seconds later it slows down to where if you watch it closely, there is no question that the firing intervals are 270 degrees and 450 degrees, and thus in the ratio of 5:3, not in the ratio of 7:1 as implied by the text.

    Most likely, the more even firing interval was a key part of the total rationale for this engine design, as envisioned by the engineers over in Japan. Evidently the marketing gurus at Yamaha Motorsports (USA) either did not understand or simply decided to apply their own unique creative talents with respect to the marketing. Or, perhaps that video is simply wrong, notwithstanding that it was likely produced by the engineering folks over in Japan.

    • Tom R says:

      So professor Barber, is the 270-degree crank thingy a good thing or a bad thing? Please answer slowly for all the “pent up” readers.

      • Tom Barber says:

        Now I’m laughing so hard that my sides are starting to hurt …

        I know of no reason to doubt the claims regarding the traction advantages for uneven firing. But I haven’t experienced this first hand, and I haven’t attempted to learn just how carefully this has been studied. On the other hand, I personally like smooth engines, and in the case of a twin, I would be inclined to go with the smoother firing intervals. I ever I get the chance to ride this bike, I certainly will look forward to it. I just wish that Yamaha would be more careful and more technically exact with their marketing approaches. This is the first time they’ve done something of this sort, and they are certainly not the only manufacturer to do this. But if it turns out that the firing intervals are in the ratio of 5:3 and 270-450 as is indicated by that video, and not in the ratio of 7:1 and 90-630 as is absolutely implied by the text, they are going to have egg on their face and some explaining to do. This isn’t like the botched job with the dual counter balancers on the FJR, where virtually no motorcyclists understood the stuff well enough to realize that the implementation was not fully what they claimed. In this case, as soon as owners start performing valve adjustments, they are going to quickly figure out whether the intake valves open at intervals of 270-450 vs. 90-630, and they will immediately know whether Yamaha’s statements regarding behavior akin to “big bore thumper” are genuine or just crap manufactured for the purpose of selling bikes. The manufacturers know that they get away with this sort of thing all the time, i.e., that consumers have poor memories and take for granted that short of quantitative data that appears on spec sheets, everything else that comes out of any marketing department should be taken with a grain of salt. But I still wish that they would all be more careful to make certain that their marketing claims are technically correct.

        • Kjazz says:

          ….are you telling us there are moving parts inside these engine thingies…..???!!!!

        • MikeD says:

          “They are going to have egg on their faceand some explaining to do”.

          LMAO.That right there has made my night.

          • Tom Barber says:

            I Googled to find out what LMAO meant, but I still can’t infer whether you mean to agree that Yamaha might have some explaining to do, vs. something contrary to that.

            I mistyped something in my previous comment, where I wrote, “this is the first time they’ve done something of this sort” That was supposed to be, “this is NOT the first time”.

            When it comes to marketing, Yamaha motorsports, a USA marketing company, takes greater liberties than is typical for the handful of similar companies. If the marketing people did not understand how the crankshaft design influenced the firing intervals, should they have gone ahead and made those claims anyway? Is ignorance a blank check to say whatever is in your personal best interest? I was always taught that this is dishonest, i.e., that ignorance does not excuse a lie.

            When the FJR first arrived to the US shores, Yamaha was selling some synthetic lube for the final drive, which was insanely expensive compared to similar synthetic lube that you could buy at any auto parts store and that was almost certainly the same. In the owners manual, they said in effect that you had to buy this stuff and use it to replace the factory-installed final drive lube. I don’t recall for certain, but I think that they stipulated in the maintenance schedule for this to be done at the first scheduled maintenance. They changed their tune when people on Web forums started to point out that this was a blatant violation of the federal law that prohibits this sort of thing. Even if they were ignorant of this law, they should have known that what they were doing is not ethical. I abhor that sort of blatant demonstration of lack of ethics.

          • MikeD says:

            Haa! No,no…i was agreeing with u as in how USA Yamaha Marketing Department probably just pushed a load of bull manure out there on us to make it all sound so sweet and techy…when most probably is nowhere close to the real deal.

        • Wilson R says:

          Can you explain that again Professor Barber? This time in english?

    • MikeD says:

      I had it. Im emailing the Triple Tuning Forks Headquarters on Iwata, Shizuoka Prefecture this instant. We’ll get to the bottom of it…what was it that we were arguing about again ?
      Seriously, will someone with the official “word” step in ? How did it go from “2wheeled Ford Excursion Review” to “firing intervals and crank configurations” ? Meh, im still having a ball so it must be alright.

      • Tom Barber says:

        But seriously folks, it wouldn’t be out of the question for Dirck (if we talked him into it) to contact Yamaha and point out the ambiguity, and ask for clarification as to whether the firing intervals are 270-450-270-450 and thus in the comparatively even ratio of 5:3, as implied by the video, vs. 90-630-90-630 and thus in the comparatively uneven, thumper-like ratio of 7:1, as implied by the text on Yamaha’s site.

        • MikeD says:

          The TRUTH, I want the TRUTH…! I can handle it…i think.

          Dirck Sr…can u call upstairs(Yamaha HQ) and ask one of the really smart guys with the white lab coats to xplain whats what ?

          Oh wait, R&D is stationed on Iwata, Torrance only got “representatives”…no research/development engineers there.

          I could be way wrong.

  9. Tom R says:

    “Sinusoidal”. Sheesh, used not just once but twice. As a public service I have looked up both the noun and adjective definitions:

    si·nus·oid [sahy-nuh-soid]
    –noun Mathematics .
    a curve described by the equation y = a sin x, the ordinate being proportional to the sine of the abscissa.

    si·nus·oi·dal [sahy-nuh-soid-l]
    1. Mathematics . of or pertaining to a sinusoid.
    2. having a magnitude that varies as the sine of an independent variable: a sinusoidal current.

    Regarding what Yamaha apparently said about the 270 degree crank delivering excellent torque, I know what they are trying to communicate to us non-MIT/Cal Tech graduates. The power pulses are delivered the rear wheel in a manner that the tire “hooks up” better on dirt and other low traction situations, much like the “big bang” engine of the R-1 is meant to allow the rear tire a better chance to maintain traction during acceleration on pavement.

    • Mr. Mike says:

      MIT/Cal Tech? I could swear we covered Sinusoidal curves in my crappy high school (where most of the kids were preparing to work on their parents’ farms) or at least community college in the 1970’s. Is this evidence of the decline of the US educational system?

    • MikeD says:

      Please, PEOPLE, quit calling the R1 crankshaft a “BIG BANG”…cause it is NOT ONE.
      Is nothing more than a SMALL BLOCK CHEVY Crank(Rod journals 90* apart) missing 4 Conecting Rods/Pistons and another Bank of 4 Cylinders. All it does is make the power strokes be farther apart from each other isntead of one after the other and then nothing for so many crank degrees or revolutions like the true “big bang deal”. Nothing else.
      One of the reason why it lost some top end HP after the crank switch.

      PLEASE…get your facts right.

      • Tom R says:

        Note the parntheses around the term big bang (indicating that it is general or even slangish term), and that the point of the post was the difference in the power strokes relative to the crankshaft rotation of a more “conventional” design.

        • MikeD says:

          Ok,ok…im cool now (^_^ )…i should have noticed (-_- )’, going back to regular programing now.LOL.

    • Tom Barber says:

      Well, I suppose its possible that there are people who did not take advantage of the opportunity in high school to lean about trigonometry and who therefore are not comfortable with words like “sinusoidal”. I certainly understand why you would then want to look up the word, and I suppose it is possible that in doing so you have performed a “public service”. But of course we know that what we are dealing with here is truthfully sarcasm and cynicism, and that any public service of any sort was the very last thing on your mind.

      The point is that the notion of “perfect primary balance” is bogus. If you failed to infer that this was the point, it is a sad commentary on you, because I made this just about as plain and apparent as anyone possibly could.

      What Yamaha wrote about the 270 crank and “torque” is also patently bogus, notwithstanding your silly attempt to defend, which is not the least bit sincere. Everything that I wrote was fully sincere. I fully understand what you are TRYING to say when you talk about power pulses and the tire hooking up and so on, but this all has only to do with TRACTION, and does not relate in any direct, pertinent way to TORQUE, at least not when the understanding of TORQUE is within a country mile of being correct, and assuming that you are not alluding to the way in which traction places a limit on torque, which I am reasonably certain was not your point. No one who remotely understands what torque is would disagree. Yamaha’s use of the word “torque” in this context is pure marketing speak. There is absolutely nothing remotely correct or honest about it. To state it simply and without qualms, it is a lie. The really sad thing here is that the misuse of the word “torque” has now become so pervasive that people nowadays evidently think it is acceptable to use the word “torque” in any cockamamie sort of way so long as acceleration is also implied. That is, what I’m about to write is going to imply acceleration, therefore I’ll get away with using the word “torque” in any screwball manner that I like, because most everyone who is likely to read what I am going to write won’t have any better understanding of torque than I do.

      • Tom R says:

        1. I agree that use of the term “torque” in the same sentence with, and in relation to, the 270-degree crankshaft designation was at the very least not in the proper context.

        2. Were the Yamaha copywriters being deliberately misleading, or simply sloppy/ignorant with their choice and combination of words? It is debatable.

        3. My “silly attempt to defend” was actually quite sincere.

        4. One can get cynical and sarcastic when reading repeated over-the-top and arrogant assertions that apparently anyone who fails to meet certain standards of technical articulation is simply a lying, thieving manipulator…or just stupid.

        Try seeing the cup as half-full for a change.

      • Zuki says:

        “I made this as plain and apparent as anyone possibly could.”

        Write up convoluted essays to inform the slow and stupid much?

        If you feel an urge to educate with comments longer than the actual review then I suggest directing readers to your dedicated website where you are the overseeing “expert”. Chill out and allow those interested to ride the bike and decide if they like it or not. You should do the same, Professor Barber. Talk about beating a dead horse.

  10. Youth says:

    I really missed the Super Tenere 750 and TDM 850/900. Because do we really need that huge 1200 adventurer bike? I think 750/800 would be find too..

    • MikeD says:

      LOL, Ok…a question to answer yours…do we NEED motorcycles ?
      Yeah, same to u. LOL.
      Don’t like these 2 wheeled tractors? Not to worry, there’s lighter choices from the other OEMs…ignore it and keep walking. I’ll make sure to buy a used one u walked away from it. (^_^ )

  11. Hair says:

    It’s all good. The more bikes that populate the Adventure class the better.
    But if the guys want light with power. Then they might look beyond Triumph and BMW to the 950SER from KTM or Highland’s offering. That is if Highland can get production going again.

    As for me I am planning on making my first million importing Dynamometers into Japan. I am growing tired of not seeing the Hp or Torque rating on Asian bikes.

  12. Tom Barber says:

    This is another very good article from MC Daily and Dirck. This is another new motorcycle that interests me and that I would look forward to riding if ever I get the chance. I am especially interested in experiencing first hand what this big parallel twin with its unusual crank feels like.

    Now where did I put that soap box … oh there it is … now …

    “Perfect primary balance” I often see this phrase used in conjunction with different engine configurations, including 90-degree V-twins. The problem is that there is no universal agreement as to what this even means. People, especially marketing types, throw this phrase around as though it is technically precise, but the folly of it is that they are not even all talking about the same thing. I just took a few minutes to do a quick web search and quickly read through several different articles that made reference to “perfect primary balance”, and I found no fewer than three distinct meanings. How can this phrase be of any strong technical significance when the people using this phrase are not even talking about the same thing?

    The only meaning that seems substantive to me, is that an engine that has perfect primary balance does not exhibit any pure sinusoidal vibration at the same frequency as the crankshaft rpm. That is the only sense in which it seems to me that the word “primary” is particularly applicable. And with this meaning the folly of it all becomes even more apparent, because to achieve balance of this sort with any engine, all that is necessary is to add mass to the crankshaft such that the aggregate center of mass of the moving parts of the engine will not move in a pure sinusoidal manner at the same frequency as the engine rotational frequency.

    In particular, this notion about 90-degree V-twins being endowed with “perfect primary balance” is just a lot of marketing crapola. That’s all it ever was. As concerns 90-degree V-twins and balance, the only question that is substantive is whether they are inherently balanced, and the answer is that they are not. And in practice, the extent to which any 90-degree V-twin is perceived as smooth probably has at least as much to do with the way that the engine is mounted to the frame.

    As for the Super Tenere, which as I said is a bike that interests me a lot, the unusual crank will influence both the time spacing of power strokes and the engine balance. But as concerns balance, it also uses what Yamaha calls a “two axis primary balancer”. I don’t know what in particular they mean by this, but it is reasonable to expect that the perception of engine smoothness will have more to do with engine balance than with spacing of power strokes, and it is reasonable to expect that this balancer, whatever it is exactly, is designed expressly to work with this unusual crank in a parallel twin, and that it will have a strong effect on the perceived smoothness of the engine.

    Well, I almost wish that I hadn’t gone to look at Yamaha’s web site, because when I did, I found where they wrote “270-degree crank for excellent torque …” The marketing departments of most car and motorcycle manufacturers play on what they know that people believe, and this is just another case of that. When they do this it does harm over the long run, I believe, and this is why it annoys me. Engine torque obeys a constant proportionality with the quantity of work performed (and energy consumed and fuel consumed) per each individual rotation of the crank, or each individual intake stroke. As such, the only way that it possible to influence engine torque (at a particular engine speed) is by way of influencing the quantity of air/fuel mix that the engine swallows per individual intake stroke (at that engine speed). Therefore, anyone who believes that certain crankshaft configurations are more advantageous than others for torque, needs to explain how it is exactly that the crankshaft configuration influences the amount of air that the engine draws in and captures on an individual intake stroke. There are no doubt various ways that various subtle aspects of the engine layout can influence things like the shape and cross-section area of the intake plumbing, but these sorts of subtle influences do not qualify as a fundamental, inherent coupling between the crankshaft layout and the quantity of air that they swallow on the individual intake stroke. There is no strong, direct, absolute coupling between crankshaft layout and engine torque. Not at low rpm, and not at high rpm.

  13. johnny ro says:

    My only suggestion is lost its vestigial off road flavor. Make it purely on -road, which requires only some styling cues and 100/0 road tires. Same for my wee-strom and other 450 + lb adventure bikes.

    One could still negotiate unpaved roads just fine.

    Well, also its a lot of money, a whole lot of money.

    • MikeD says:

      Perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to “milk” the platform more.
      Like have a “road only” version alongside of it…think Multi 1200 or KTM SMT(17″ front,cast wheels,better elements protection(less dirtbike looking),etc)…take advantage of that and take out the old FJR1300 and come out with a NEW one…not some “new color this year” deal.

  14. andy1300 says:

    WOW’ Now i like to see that motor in a side by side ATV, That would be Hot !

  15. Cowboy says:

    575 POUNDS? An Adventure bike? Ouch.

    Knock 100 lbs off that piggie, Yamaha.

    Guess I’ll be trying a Triumph 800.

  16. billy says:

    Yawn. Heavy, expensive, complicated, weighs a lot, expensive.

  17. S Calwel says:

    I believe there is a significant market for a lighter, 800/900cc (you don’t need extra power if you have less weight) dual sport ergonomics, street oriented bike. I’ll bet over 95% of the time most “dual-sport” bikes are not off road, many of them never. BMW and Triumph are getting close with their 800’s but they need to trim about 50 lbs off, that would make a huge difference. Why don’t the mfg’s accept that and trim unneeded pounds. Kawasaki could trim some weight, bump the displacement of the Versys and it would be a strong contender in this category.
    The Super Ténéré? Way too heavy to even consider.

    • Tom R says:

      “BMW and Triumph are getting close with their 800’s but they need to trim about 50 lbs off”.

      Triumph 800: 465 wet, minus fluids about 410 dry
      BMW F800GS: 455 wet, minus fluids about 392 dry

      Lose 50 pounds? Seriously? Where would you suggest they deduct this from? No lights or turn signals? Thinner metal in the frame and engine cases? Maybe no rear seat and accompanying subframe? How about shrinking the fuel tank to hold only one gallon? Perhaps they could make them almost entirely out of carbon fiber and titanium, assuming buyers don’t mind a $60,000 price tag. You might want to actually take a close look at how these bike are constructed, and the requirements of the government AND the overall desires of the market place. These bikes are not intended for motorcross triple-jumps, and there is no free lunch when it comes to losing weight (pun intended).

      • mark says:

        Doesn’t the Ducati Multistrata 1200 weigh in around 470 lbs wet?

        • Tom R says:

          Apples vs oranges. The Ducati has a build spec for paved roads, not for prolonged use on dirt paths with bumps, ruts, and embedded rocks. When the new Multistrada was designed its mission was deliberately shifted away from even the pretense of the kind of riding environment that the others are designed to withstand and thrive in. It also has a price of $18-20K while the others are $12-13K.

          The Ducati is a bitchin’ motorcycle, but it is not meant for the job of the others.

    • Mark says:

      I agree – I think an 800 cc bike universal bike (not necessarily a UJM) would be just about right (seems like the 800 Triumph Tiger is pretty darn close). Upright ergos, little to no plastic, an unobtrusive muffler (the pipes on the Ducati 1200 Multistrata come to mind), and put it on a diet! Leave out the traction control, electronically adjustable suspension, automatic transmission etc etc. Keep it simple, and affordable. I’d love to see an 800 cc version of the Verisys and maybe even a new bike from Honda with a downsized version of the VFR 1200 engine (but without all the bells and whistle). I know Honda has a “new” version of the 800 VFR…looks to me like just a lot of new ugly plastic on the same old bike. Don’t get me wrong, I love the VFR – I had an 06 and it’s a great bike, but would be so much more fun it if lost 50 pounds. And lets be honest, how many 800 cc Adventure biles would see much dirt (along with the 1200 cc porkers already out there). I’d hate to drop one on the street – can’t imagine trying to right one in the dirt!

  18. Bridgestone must be happy with the exploding ‘adventure touring’ genre, seems that every one of them have battlewing or trailwing tires (GS, Vstrom, F800, Super Ten, etc.)

  19. Tom R says:

    Ah, here we see some of the BMW haters begining to express themselves. I am just excited to see another product coming to this growing segment. This is good for everyone.

    The main reason that we won’t see many of the “SupTen” available for sale in the US is that the dollar valuation thing makes it more profitable for Yamaha to sell the thing elsewhere. What a shame that geopolitical economics is going to keep a lot of us from even considering this worthy motorcycle.

  20. Hot Dog says:

    Ramrod, are you sure you shouldn’t have got one of these instead of a little pea shooter 650 V Strom? Oh the shame.

  21. Joe White says:

    Nothing wrong with the noise a 180 degree crank vertical twins makes (also perfect primary balance that only needs a single balancer to quell torque reaction across the crank, so more efficient), sounds esp good on the overrun and once on the cam. It does sound a bit disgruntled at lower revs but I personally don’t like vee-twins so there you go.

    Yamaha have a great motor in the TDM900/1200 but what we really need is a lightweight, naked street version at a competitive price (actually Yamaha need it more as they are pricing themselves out of the market)

    • MikeD says:

      A few months back…i saw some patent filing documents by Yamaha that was rumored could be a TRX 1200.
      Who knows…but that been said lots of people speculated that it wouldn’t make sense to build a new powerplant/frame just to go wasted on one model(XTZ 1200 SUPER TENERE) and that possible spin-offs ( Think Reverse VFR800 VTEC to CrossRunner Parts Bin Special) were going to be seen “at a later time”… 2012 ?

      I honestly would like to see it happen (the driveshaft is a plus for me) fed up with chain maintenance already (i wouldn’t argue about it being belt driven either wich i think is even better than shaft (JMHO).

      P.S: Sorry, a TRX 1200 won’t be a liteweight…specially a shafted one.
      P.S2: Yes…all those “affordable” prices that Japan Inc used to offer are long gone or in the way out…forever… (-__- )’
      But specially Yamaha, that seems to believe their bikes crankcase is full of liquid Platinum…like BMW. LOL.

    • Tom Barber says:

      Dude … as best as I have been able to figure out, the notion of “perfect primary balance” is correctly an attribute of any crankshaft that has been balanced properly, so that any vibrational modes will occur at frequencies higher than the crankshaft rpm. As such, all engines wherein the manufacturer has taken the effort to properly balance the crankshaft exhibit perfect primary balance. Engines that exhibit vibration are unbalanced in the secondary sense only. When you say “torque reaction” you might mean torsion; I can’t tell, but torque reaction is simply torque in the direction opposing any applied torque. It is not possible to balance any 180-degree twin using only a single counterweight unless it is caused to move in a very complex manner that counterweights are not normally caused to move, and regardless of how many counterweights are used, they have no appreciable effect on the efficiency of the engine, owing to the fact that the associated incremental friction is completely overwhelmed by the dominant sources of friction within the engine, particularly the sliding friction between the piston rings and the cylinder walls.

  22. Tommy See says:

    I sure enjoy reading all the comments but like Kents.
    400-450 lbs and smaller displacement. Why didn`t Yamaha come out with a
    900 Tenere based on the TDM that we in America cannot have?
    Still enjoying my 650 V-Strom

    • Andrew says:

      .. because then people would say, ‘why couldn’t Yamaha come up with something new and fresh instead of giving us a rehashed 10-year old design?’

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Why didn`t Yamaha come out with a 900 Tenere based on the TDM that we in America cannot have?”

      patience. it could be yet to come. but first priority is getting a chip in the full-size adventure game. remember, this is the niche business of motorcyling, not the BIG business of automobiles.

  23. Ex-bmw says:

    I have the raven black on order. Seen and demo’d one as well. Great riding bike. Comes stock with a lot of technology you have to pay extra for on a BMW. Can’t wait to get it.

  24. Moto Addict says:

    Due to Tsunami issues in Japan, bike will not be released till November.
    Ordered my Super Tenere in September last year and word from the Dealer is an early christmas.

  25. Bruce says:

    I agree a 2 up review or comment would be good.

  26. Bill says:

    good gravy, even a V-strom is better looking than this thing

    • Norm G. says:

      i like the look. think it’s a nice hybrid between the corporate/techy GS and the extreme paris/dakar look of the KTM.

    • KC says:

      Not quite. The V-Strom is a great bike – that’s as ugly as cancer.

      • ben says:

        Funny, I am always hearing people say the strom is hideous. I have a black on black 05 model V-strom and I think it looks great

        • Bill says:

          ben, I have always loved the vstrom, i believe it can do everything the other bikes can do at half the price,i like their looks in photos, but everytime i sit on one….good grief!

        • Stinky says:

          Tenere ugly, V Strom hideous, Diavel fugly? All you see on a riden bike is the instruments and top of the tank. Every cosmetic comment should be followed by “Nancy you have an eye for fashion,why don’t you go purse shopping with Paris”

  27. Mondo Endo says:

    So I DID see a super ten out on the banner grade today while out riding…… now just want to see one in my garage

  28. kpaul says:

    Nice Review! Another nice bike in a growing segment. 🙂

  29. kent says:

    Let’s see a version with 600 to 800ccs, and 400 to 450 pounds.

    I like my bikes tall with upright seating. I just don’t want to wrestle 550 pounds (which probably means 600?) in commuter traffic. I’m willing to bet that far more of these will be ridden to work than to Tierra Del Fuego.

    I’ll stick with my 650 V-Strom and hope Yamaha makes a bike that competes with it. Competition makes us all better.

    • John H. says:

      You mean the Yamaha Ténéré (XT660Z)? It would be nice if we could get it in the states. Instead we got a sleeved down FZ1 with cheaper components (FZ8).

      I’m excited about the Super Ten, but I’ll admit that an 800cc twin version would be just as exciting, and easier to afford.

  30. ABQ says:

    I am a BMW owner that is not sniveling, or banging my shins on the boxer engine. I bang my shins on the foot pegs. I would probably do the same on this fine bike also. I just hope that the after market comes up with some ‘Adventure’ parts for the Yamaha. Engine guards, light bars, matching top box, eight gallon+ gas tanks, windshields, etc…
    The front shock system, and superior shaft drive on the BMW GS is still worth it.

    • Brad says:

      Liquid cooling and a network of dealers almost everywhere and a much lower price when comp. equiped … priceless 🙂

      • Tom R says:

        Liquid cooling? Why bother with the extra junk required for this if a bike works fine without it?

        • Brad says:

          You must not live in the desert like I do. Try 116 deg. heat in the Utah/Nevada desert and you will know why.

          • Tom R says:

            Why the flock would any sane person ride in 116 degree heat? That is just plain dangerous and stupid.

          • Stinky says:

            Sorry, the GS was developed in the Paris Dakar. Makes Utah/Nevada look like Palm Springs.

          • Brad says:

            Stinky, Lots of people in Las Vegas Nevada and Saint George Utah ride in this heat. The GS was developed in Munich Germany (the Alps) it was raced in Dakar but that is racing it’s not the same thing. I have riden the GS in this heat and the heat off of the cylinder heads cook your feet so bad it is insane.

        • Tom Barber says:

          Sheesh. What a silly comment. Do you mean to say that there are no advantages of liquid cooling? As for Brad riding in 116 degree desert heat, that isn’t something that appeals to me, but I don’t know just how dangerous and stupid it is, and even if it is something that no sane person would do, that in and of itself does not obviate the advantages of liquid cooling.

          • Tom Barber says:

            Arrrgh. This was supposed to respond to Tom R’s comment, not Brad’s.

          • Tom R says:

            What I meant/said/implied/communicated was that liquid cooling is not necessary if an air/oil cooled design works appropriately for the expected design parameters and actual use by the consumer. If the cylinder fins and oil cooler radiate heat away from the motor sufficiently enough given the expected conditions, power level, and longevity, then the plumbing, hoses, and coolant radiator are unnecessary extras.

            Some engine/body configuations and power levels require liquid cooling. Some do not. As an example, the original Multistrada did not have liquid cooling. The recently redesigned version was given 20% more displacement, but about 50% more HP. I believe the original bikes are still operating pretty well despite the lack of liquid cooling. I haven’t heard of any melting away after 20-30K miles.

            So no, I do not mean to say “that there are no advantages of liquid cooling”. Liquid cooling has advantages WHEN ITS NEEDED. It also has disadvantages such as extra complexity and weight…and we all know how many MD readers gripe about the weight of motorcycles.

          • Tom Barber says:

            Jabberwocky. It makes no sense to speak of the amount of power that certain engine/body configurations “require”. This is B.S. Sure, it is always possible to move the bar wherever you need for it to be so that you can jump over and then point to the fact that you fully accomplished what you set out to accomplish. This is all that you are really doing, and it is folly. You emphatically asset that liquid cooling has advantages “WHEN IT IS NEEDED”. This sort of argument just annoys me. It is obviously just a bunch of words assembled in a fashion to make it seem that there is logic where there actually is none. What, objectively, constitutes the “need” for liquid cooling?

    • Tom Barber says:

      The advantages of the front suspension on the GS are inarguable. But as for the rear suspension, the biggest difference between it and other well-designed shaft drives is probably the extra weight. The difference comes down to the physical pivot having been replaced with a virtual pivot located approximately over the front wheel. As good as that is, the truth is that except for when a more conventional shaft drive is poorly configured, they don’t feel all that different from chain. The approach that Honda has taken with their latest shaft drives likely has for intents and purposes the same feel as chain drive, but with much greater simplicity and less unsprung mass than in BMW’s approach. Unless I had actually ridden the Super Tenere and had experienced an effect first hand that I was certain I had not imagined due to prejudice and expectation, I would refrain from any assertions as to the inherent, absolute superiority of the BMW shaft drive. It is however certain that it adds complexity and weight, to include unsprung weight.

  31. Gary says:

    The best part of owning this bike would be listening to BMW riders snivel how their bikes have superior engineering (justifying the price they pay), then watching them bash their shins on the boxer engine. Great sport!

  32. Norm G. says:

    really interested in the sound of this engine…? are the crank pins and cam lobes arranged like that of an F800 (boxer mimic)…? like that of a bonnie/thunderbird…? like that of a speedmaster…? or like that of a GS500…?

    • Norm G. says:

      cancel, i just went back to the old link and read what they’ve done. basically, it’s the sonic equivalent of a GS500.

      • Goose says:

        Not correct. The Super Tenere crank is a 270 degree design. The power strokes are the same order and spacing as a 90 degree V-Twin. The GS500 was a 180 degree design.

        Personal opinion, the 180 degree design has one of the least appealing exhaust notes of any twin. The 270 degree design should should sound like a Ducati or Moto Guzzi, one of my favorites.


        • MikeD says:

          Ahh, opinions…always fun,we got to love it.
          I for one like the little screaming sound of the 180* crank @10k rpm on the Ninja 250.

        • Norm G. says:

          you’re right. as i looked further after commenting i saw it was a 270 (i refer to it as a 90). then it’s like a speedmaster, but the cams are phased opposite. or are they…?

    • MikeD says:

      It’s suposed to sound like a 90* V-TWIN…or like the SpeedMaster(same crank configuration).

  33. Mickey says:

    that was in reply to Rider below.

  34. Mickey says:

    I have asked for that info before too. Apparently there aren’t enough of us that ride two up to warrant gathering and passing on that info. Or the testers don’t know any women that like to ride.

  35. Kjazz says:

    Somehow, Impact Blue, isn’t my color of choice………(just the name)!!

  36. BlueSkyGuy says:

    The new standard in multi-surface motorcycles.

  37. Rider says:

    Good review for the time you had it, but can’t you put someone on the back for passenger impressions, as well as handling with a passanger? These bikes are often ridden that way and that part of the review would be very helpful to many of us.

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