Yamaha Super Tenere 1200

Yamaha Super Tenere 1200

The Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 may no longer roll off the production lines, but its spirit of adventure thrives on the secondary market. This machine, built for the long haul and designed to conquer both asphalt and the untamed wild, continues to be a prime consideration for riders looking to explore the world of adventure touring without the price tag of a brand-new model. Its discontinuation has not dimmed its appeal; instead, it has cemented the Tenere 1200's status as a sought-after adventure touring bike for enthusiasts and discerning riders alike.

What makes the Tenere 1200 a standout option in the market is not just its proven reliability and performance, but also its unique blend of features that cater to both the hardcore adventurer and the daily commuter. This motorcycle's enduring appeal lies in its ability to offer a balanced ride, robust build, and comfort over long distances - qualities that continue to attract a loyal following. As we dive into this review, we explore the nuances that make the Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 a wise and rewarding investment for those looking to own a piece of Japanese reliability that provides enjoyment on the road and trail.

Adventure Riding Redefined: The Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 Experience

Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 front

The Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 emerges as a beacon of resilience and versatility in an era increasingly dominated by the appeal of lighter, more agile adventure motorcycles. This pivot towards smaller, more manoeuvrable bikes like the Tenere 700 has undeniably reshaped the landscape of adventure riding. However, our experience with big adventure touring bikes, has highlighted the irreplaceable value that larger adventure bikes bring to the table. This machine not only challenges the prevailing winds of preference but also redefines the essence of adventure riding by offering an unparalleled blend of versatility and comfort. The Super Tenere 1200 stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of the big ADV class, firmly holding its ground against the tide of small equivalents and reasserting its relevance in today's evolving motorcycle narrative.

At a time when the motorcycle community seems to be moving towards more compact adventure models, the Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 serves as a potent reminder of the enduring relevance of larger adventure bikes. Their innate ability to seamlessly blend on-road comfort with off-road resilience positions them as an unparalleled choice for riders seeking a singular solution to the diverse challenges of adventure riding. The Super Tenere 1200, with its commanding presence and robust capabilities, not only competes with but also distinguishes itself among the modern giants of the adventure segment.

While some may question its off-road ability in comparison to its lighter counterparts, the Super Tenere 1200 undeniably demonstrates that the spirit of adventure biking has evolved. It has transitioned more into the realm of versatile sport-tourers, adept at handling light off-road excursions with the same ease as cruising on asphalt. This evolution underscores the adaptive nature of adventure bikes, with the Super Tenere 1200 representing the balance between the legacy of adventure riding and the demands of modern explorers.

The Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 shines bright in the value department, coming in at a significantly lower price point than its competitors, especially when considering the wealth of features it comes standard with. From cruise control and electronically adjustable suspension to a maintenance-free shaft drive and generous valve adjustment intervals, the Super Tenere offers a compelling package for the long-haul adventurer.

Yamaha Super Tenere 1200

Riding Dynamics and Performance

At the core of the Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 ES lies its robust 1,199 cc parallel-twin engine, that delivers a harmonious blend of raw power and refined torque. This engine is carefully tuned to offer a thrilling experience on open highways, where its strength unfurls, propelling the bike with a zeal that's both intoxicating and assured. Yet, it's the engine's composure in the serpentine twists and turns of backcountry roads that truly astonishes; it navigates these challenges with a grace that belies its formidable output, making every ride an exercise in seamless power delivery.

While it's true that the Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 doesn't lead the pack in outright horsepower, its real-world performance transcends mere numbers. The bike showcases an adeptness for efficient overtaking, ensuring that riders have ample power at their disposal when it matters most. Furthermore, the Super Tenere's shaft drive system is a stroke of genius, eliminating the routine maintenance associated with chain drives and significantly reducing the overall upkeep of the bike. This feature, in concert with the engine's reliability, amplifies the Super Tenere's appeal for long-distance tours, presenting a compelling case for its selection as the adventurer's motorcycle of choice.

Yamaha Super Tenere 1200

Ergonomics and Comfort

Yamaha has shaped the Super Tenere 1200 ES with an unwavering focus on rider and passenger comfort, making it a sanctuary of solace on the long hauls for which it is designed. The bike's ergonomics are thoughtfully crafted to accommodate a wide range of body types, offering a spacious seating arrangement that ensures comfort over extended periods. The seat itself is engineered for support and softness, striking an ideal balance that mitigates fatigue and enhances the overall riding experience.

Adjustability is a key theme in the Super Tenere's design, exemplified by its adjustable windshield. The windshield can be tailored to the rider's height and preferences, providing effective protection against the elements and reducing fatigue on long rides. For those opting for the ES model, heated grips are a significant addition, offering warmth in cooler temperatures, extending the riding season, and ensuring comfort in diverse climatic conditions. This feature, along with the bike's other design elements, underlines Yamaha's commitment to creating a versatile and comfortable adventure touring experience.

The Super Tenere 1200 ES's suspension system, featuring electronically adjustable settings, deserves special mention for its significant role in enhancing the bike's exceptional ride quality. Exclusive to the ES model, this advanced suspension offers a broad range of adjustments to cater to different load settings and riding styles. It ensures that the motorcycle remains composed across a spectrum of terrains, from navigating the urban asphalt jungle to traversing uncharted dirt paths. The ability of the Super Tenere 1200 ES to absorb shocks and bumps with aplomb, maintaining stability and control, is a testament to Yamaha's commitment to rider comfort and bike performance. This comprehensive approach to ergonomics and comfort, combined with the motorcycle's dynamic performance, solidifies the Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 ES as not just enduring the journey, but significantly enhancing it.

Yamaha Super Tenere 1200

Main Features, Spec and Considerations

Specs - Main Features
ENGINE 1199cc, Liquid-cooled, DOHC, inline 2-cylinder; 8 valves
MAX TORQUE 117 Nm @ 6,000 rpm
POWER Approx. 112 HP (83.0 kW) @ 7,250 rpm
FUEL CONSUMPTION Approx. 5.6 litres/100 km (18 km/l or 42 mpg)
TRANSMISSION 6-speed with multiplate wet clutch
DRIVE Shaft Drive
FRONT SUSPENSION Upside-down telescopic fork, 43 mm tube diameter, adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping
REAR SUSPENSION Monoshock absorber, adjustable preload and rebound damping
FRONT BRAKES Dual 310 mm hydraulic disc, ABS
REAR BRAKES Single 282 mm hydraulic disc, ABS
TYRES (FRONT - REAR) 110/80R19 - 150/70R17
WHEELBASE 1540 mm (60.6 in)
SEAT HEIGHT 845 mm (33.3 in) / 870 mm (34.3 in), adjustable
FUEL CAPACITY 23 liters (6.1 US gal)
WET WEIGHT 261 kg (575 lb)

Pros and Cons

  • Reliable Japanese Performance: The 1199cc engine is known for its robust power, reliability, and torque for diverse journeys.
  • Rider Comfort: Ergonomic design with adjustable seat height and windshield, plus optional heated grips for extended comfort.
  • Durability and Maintenance: Features a shaft drive for low maintenance and is renowned for Yamaha's build quality.
  • Cost Advantage: More affordable than many competitors due to its discontinuation in 2021, offering great value.
  • Weight: Relatively heavy, which might challenge newer riders, especially in off-road scenarios.
  • Off-Road Limits: Although capable, its size and weight limit its off-road capabilities compared to lighter bikes.
  • Seat Height: Tall seat height may be challenging for some riders, despite adjustability.
Yamaha Super Tenere 1200

Concluding Thoughts

The Yamaha Super Tenere 1200, despite being part of an increasingly competitive segment, stands out for its blend of value, features, and versatility. It offers a unique proposition for adventurers seeking a bike that excels on the pavement while retaining the spirit of off-road exploration. As adventure biking continues to evolve, the Super Tenere 1200 remains a compelling choice for those valuing comfort, reliability, and the freedom to roam off the beaten path.

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Fun Facts

Did you know the world's longest motorcycle was over 26 meters long. It was presented and measured at Lakhota lake, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, on 22 January 2014. The bike was more than 4 m (13 ft) longer than the previous record holder's.

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