Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré

What is it?

This 1200cc 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 1200 GS.



The Yamaha has a smooth 1199cc (straight) two-cylinder engine that delivers 80.9kW@7250r/min to the back wheel via a virtually maintenance-free drive shaft.

Style, instruments and equipment

The cockpit of the Yamaha features a combination of analogue and digital displays. The engine speed is indicated by a traditional clock (redlining at 8000r/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. 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. However, 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 a 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 bike that will eat the kilometres with a smile. It’s too heavy for technical off-road riders who may want to consider an 800cc or even a 650/660cc machine. Rating: 8

Also consider

BMW 1200GS, KTM 990 Adventure, KTM 1190 Adventure, Triumph Explorer 1200, Honda VFR1200X Crosstourer

Specifications for Yamaha XT 1200 Z Super Ténéré

  • Engine  Liquid-cooled, four-stroke, DOHC, in-line two cylinder, fuel injected, twin spark
  • Gearbox  six-speed, shaft drive
  • Power  81kW@7250r/min
  • Torque  114Nm@6000r/min
  • Weight  261kg (wet, full tank)
  • Seat height  Adjustable 845 to 870mm
  • Ground clearance  205mm
  • Fuel capacity  23 litres
  • Fuel consumption  (city and highway combined) +- 6 litres/100km
  • Tank range  +- 360km
  • Warranty and servicing   Two-year unlimited mileage and 10 000km service intervals.
  • Price  R170 000 (August 2012)
  • Ridden by  Bikeroutes
  • Review by  Bert Kirsten

More info from http://www.yamaha.co.za/site/motorcycles 

One thought on “Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré

  • Jul 26, 2013 at 10:18 am

    too heavy!

Leave a Reply