What is it?
This 1200 cc dual-purpose bike is the big brother of the XT 660 Ténéré. Despite its size the “Super Ten” is a pleasure to ride off road, will eat gravel highways with impunity and is surprisingly nimble for commuting to boot. Since its launch in South Africa in June 2010, the Super Ténéré has been a worthy competitor for the BMW R 1200 GS.
The Yamaha has a smooth 1 199 cc (straight) two-cylinder engine that delivers 80.9 kW @ 7 250 r/min to the back wheel via a virtually maintenance-free drive shaft.
Style, instruments and equipment
The cockpit of the Super Ténéré features a combination of analogue and digital displays. The engine speed is indicated by a traditional clock (red-lining at 8 000 r/min) while speed, fuel level, modes, time and even ambient temperature are indicated on the digital display.
The rider can switch between three traction control options: TCS1 is the standard setting, which intervenes when the rear wheel starts to spin; TCS2 relaxes traction control to let the back wheel spin; and the third option switches traction control off completely. The engine mapping can also be switched between S (Sport) and T (Touring). Sport delivers instant throttle response, while Touring delivers smoother, more sedate acceleration and better fuel consumption.
The Super Ténéré is a pleasure to ride, thanks to its forgiving suspension and strong torque. ABS is a standard feature, together with what Yamaha calls a Unified Brake System (UBS). This system will divide braking force between the front and rear calipers when only the front lever is pulled. If the rear brake is applied before the front brake, the Unified Brake System function is dormant for that moment. ABS can be deactivated (cheated) through a rather complicated procedure. Ask the salesman or mechanic to show you how.
Ride and handling
On the open road, tall gearing provides a very relaxed ride, while in the city the bike feels a lot smaller than it is. The seat is comfortable and its height can be adjusted from 870 to 845mm, a 10-second procedure. The adjustable windscreen gives ample wind protection.
Like: The promise of adventure
Dislike: The expensive yen and subsequent high price
Verdict and rating
The Yamaha Super Ten is a superb dual-purpose tourer that will eat the kilometres with a smile. It’s too heavy for technical off-road riding, however. If you are that way inclined, get an 800, 650 or 450 cc machine. Rating: 8
BMW 1200GS, KTM 990 Adventure, KTM 1190 Adventure, Triumph Explorer 1200, Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer
Specifications of the Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré (2012)
- Engine Liquid-cooled, four-stroke, DOHC, in-line two cylinder, fuel injected, twin spark
- Gearbox six-speed, shaft drive
- Power 81 kW @ 7 250 r/min
- Torque 114 Nm @ 6 000 r/min
- Weight 261 kg (wet, full tank)
- Seat height Adjustable 845 to 870 mm
- Ground clearance 205 mm
- Fuel capacity 23 litres
- Fuel consumption (city and highway combined) +/- 6 litres/100km
- Tank range +/- 360 km
- Warranty and servicing Two-year unlimited mileage and 10 000 km service intervals.
- Price R170 000
- Review by Bert Kirsten, August 2012
More info from http://www.yamaha.co.za/site/motorcycles