Where do I begin . . . ? I have posted comments on the subject of the Super Tenere before so Iíll try to be brief.
I currently own both a 2013 Super T (169,000km) and a 2020 FJR (6,000km). This is my second FJR: previously I owned a 2006 (151,400km)).
Watch Ryanís review, which in my opinion is very fair. Pay particular attention to the final minute and 14 seconds (from 10:50 on) and youíll understand the beauty of this bike. Call it boring if you like, but in this case Boring = Good. It is also practical and fun, and Iíd call it ugly, especially when compared to the FJR, but Iím allowed to say that because I bought one on purpose!
I have had a few issues with my Super T: A rear wheel spoke broke or unscrewed itself (24,000km) and damaged the wheel (replaced off-warranty by Yamaha) and swing-arm (cosmetic, not repaired), the FD leaked twice (37,000km and 126,000km), the steering-head bearings were replaced twice (111,200km and 137,000km (very strange)), a bearing in the front wheel broke (82,500km (also very strange)), and the compression rings stuck over the course of one winterís storage (125,900km (very, very strange)).
Another ďproblemĒ with the Super T is that it requires 91 octane gas, which generally isnít available in the remote areas I sometimes travel. Apparently the bike will run on 87 octane but it doesnít run very well, though I guess it beats pushing the thing. I canít confirm this as Iíve never tried 87 octane or pushed it other than out of the garage. If Iím heading to parts lesser known I always carry extra gas.
While the motor may only produce about 110hp and 85ft/lbs of torque itís plenty because it produces a lot of its power well down in the rev range. The 270 degree crank is likely the reason as it makes this parallel twin perform very much like the woefully under-powered Harley V-twin. If you've ever ridden a big Harley you'll know what I mean - gutless but somehow they are surprisingly quick up to about 100km/h. The motor does sound like itís grinding itself to death, but rest assured itís not, and you may get some strange looks from folks when you start it up. No worries, the engine is bullet-proof.
I am on my 14th rear tire and 9th front tire. After burning up the street tires the bike came with (Metzler Tourance EXP) I have run Heidenau K60s almost exclusively: I did try 2 sets of Mitas E07. With the right tires, and with the power delivery attributes that Ryan speaks about, this bike is a joy to ride on a dirt road.
All 1200+ cc adventure bikes are big and heavy and I don't believe that any of them are suitable for full off-road riding except maybe by younger (Iím guessing that the average age of members on this Forum is north of 50) expert riders. I think the manufacturers know that the majority of these bikes will never even see a dirt road (check out the tires most come with as part-proof) let alone a gravel pit or sand dune. If you want a true adventure bike buy a 700 Tenere.
The bike truly is all-day comfortable: more upright seating position than the FJR and way-wider bars, and more distance between the seat and pegs, however some have complained of a forward slope to the seat. I too was bothered by the slope but only on occasion (weird). I trimmed the rear pads on the riderís seat and I use an Airhawk or BeadRider: problem solved.
As further proof of the bikeís comfort and capabilities, I have completed the following IBA rides on the Super T: Saddlesore 1600K, Saddlesore 2000K, and Bun Burner 2500K, and I have ridden the bike as far north in the Province of Ontario as one can on permanent roads (meaning, not ice-roads), which meant 250km of gravel road. The road had since been extended about another 60km so I guess Iíll have to ride it again to keep my bragging rights.
As far as the Super Tís agility and handling are concerned, I donít have a problem with either. In fact, maybe itís my familiarity with the bike but currently I may be faster on the FJR but Iím quicker on the Super T, and that makes it more fun to ride than the FJR on the back roads and an absolute blast to ride on dirt roads, where no FJR should ever tread.
Lastly, let me quote Ryanís final words on the Super T: ďThe Tenere is just easy, easy, easy and when you run something for 24 hours straight . . . well, easy is what you want.Ē
You bring up Good points, especially about the Octane rating as I did not know that. However My Buell Uly needed premium or it sounded like marbles were rolling around inside anytime you got under a load and it was warm out. I do not conisder that a deal breaker, but it is worth noting.
I also dont think only 110 HP is necessarily boring, as for its intened purpose it should be plenty.. It has also been noted several times across the web that a simple 250 dollars allows the stock ecu to be flashed and gain something like 19 Ponies from what I am reading. Yamaha has them in there and maybe they are just waiting for a redesign to unleash them or something, I dunno.
I am most comftorable on a "dirt bike feeling " motorcycle since thats where my history lay... It is natural to me.