Motorcycle-USA readers asked for it, and after making its European debut for 2010, Yamaha has wisely chosen to import its flagship adventure touring motorcycle, the Super Tenere, to the U.S. in mid-2011 as the early-release 2012 model.
Motorcycle-USA readers asked for it, and after making its European debut for 2010, Yamaha has wisely chosen to import its flagship adventure touring motorcycle, the Super Tenere, to the U.S. in mid-2011 as the early-release 2012 model. The Super Tenere is a street bike designed to fuse the touring and off-road worlds, giving motorcyclists a machine that can go virtually anywhere and do anything.
Powering this do-it-all machine is a fuel-injected and liquid-cooled 1199cc Parallel Twin, a configuration Yamaha chose specifically due to its compact size. Each piston slides within a cylinder that has a bore and stroke measuring 98.0 x 79.5mm and compresses fuel to a ratio of 12.0:1. The engine’s firing order has been set so both of the cylinders fire closely together so the powerband mimics that of a large single-cylinder engine, which they claim enhances power delivery to the ground. A two-axis primary counter-balancer mitigates unwanted engine vibration.
The engine wears an eight-valve cylinder head with dual overhead camshafts operating the valvetrain. Similar to its sportbike line, the Tenere employs Yamaha’s Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) ride-by-wire system as well as the D-Mode, a toggle on the handlebar which allows riders to switch between two engine maps based on road conditions or riding preference. More technology comes in the form of a three-way adjustable traction control system. Engine power is transferred through a manual cable-actuated clutch; 6-speed transmission and shaft final drive, which was chosen for its all-around durability and relatively-low maintenance.
The main frame is comprised of a steel backbone that uses the engine as stressed-member of the chassis for better handling. Making up the rest of the chassis is an aluminum swingarm and subframe, 43mm inverted fork and hydraulic shock absorber. Both ends provide 7.5-inches of suspension travel and offer adjustability in the form of compression and rebound for the fork and spring preload (hand adjustable, without tools) and rebound on the shock. An aluminum skid plate is also fitted to protect the bottom of the motorcycle from hard impacts.
In terms of ergonomics, the Super Tenere employs a standard-style handlebar and the seat can be set in two different positions; a low height of 33.26 inches or the standard height of 34.25 inches. It also comes with a windshield and plastic hand guards. A relatively large 6-gallon fuel tank complements the set-up and will no doubt make for amble range between fill-ups.
It rolls on a set of spoked wheels fitted with tubeless Bridgestone Battle Wing tires. Front and rear hydraulically-operated disc brakes incorporate both ABS and a linked brake feature in which the rear brake is activated automatically when the front brake is engaged. However, when the rear brake is manually actuated it can be controlled independently of the front.
Like the rest of Yamaha’s line-up, a variety of accessories are available, including a full set of hard luggage options that have been fully integrated into the design of the bike.
If you’ve just read this and nearly jumped out of your seat in hysterical joy, as you absolutely know this is the bike for you (judging by the number of comments we heard when it was originally announced in the 2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere First Look), then listen carefully: This will be limited-run machine. And to purchase one you will need to pre-order it from your Yamaha dealer between September 2010 and March 2011 at a retail price will be $13,900. Once April 1st rolls around you will have missed the boat, so don’t procrastinate as this bike is sure to live up to the hype. If you are lucky enough to get one of the production run, your bike will then be delivered sometime in May of 2011.