1200 Super Tenere - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-14-2020, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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1200 Super Tenere

I love my FJR.. Really don't have complaints. I know I have said the stock seat is fine, but after coming back form the beach on Thursday and hopping on the bike Friday Morning to ride 350 miles for a birthday dinner that Evening in WV and then hopping back on it to ride 400 miles home the next morning I was a tad sore. I looked at a Seat for sale on this forum and thought about it, but while I was in WV A strange thing happened. Honda/ Yamaha shop is less than a mile from my sons house so we ran over there and I started looking at the Super Tenere. Kinda Fell In love with it to be Honest. Seems it could tour about 80% as good as the FJR and off-road about 75% as good as the DR 650... Go from 2 dedicated bikes to one multipurpose bike. Cruise control, traction control, different Maps etc.. Seems like a solid deal. Weighs ALOT compared to some other big Adventure tourers but I think A good chunk of that is the Shaft drive. Weighs about the same as a BMW r1200GS and those things go everywhere. I had always anxiously awaited the Africa Twin to come out and then when it did i started reading owner reports of Fork issues and ECU issues, very Unlike Honda who usually has their stuff together before release so I decided to look elsewhere. I have to be honest, I think If the employment climate had been different, as in pre March of this year I would have taken funds out of the bank and ridden the Tenere Home Yesterday. IM still really thinking Hard on it though!


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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-14-2020, 10:30 AM
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Ron I am sure you checked a few video reviews, but here is one more that pretty much sums it up (for me), and after a few test rides I have to agree on most points Ryan (FortNine) made in his review, with "Tenere = boring bike" being a main factor why I didn't buy one so far. (the close second factor is the weight: "don't buy an off-road bike you CAN'T pick up by yourself when it falls over")
Otherwise the bike has great qualities and Yamaha reliability and who knows, in the future I may consider to own one, but first, Yamaha would need to "built in some character and excitement" in Super Tenere. I test rode the GS1250 the same day as Tenere and all I can say is GS =
[I am still on the fence about bmw's, (recalls, reliability, cost of ownership, price etc) even though some people I know that ride beemers advised me to; "stop reading all the bitching on various forums, and just buy one"]
Good luck with whatever you decide, IMHO "a DEDICATED tool for the task is always a better choice" Cheers

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-14-2020, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Damir, I have watched several reviews over the last 2 days and even did some poking around on ADVENTURERIDER,, Have been a member there for several years as well. Seems there is quite a following for the bike, and several folks who feel it is perfect while several folks feel it is boring. It seems that is common no matter the bike. Yea the weight is a negative, but the shaft drive a positive. there are only two bikes in that category with shaft drive other than an old Caponord. While If I went this route, nothing flips my switches like the Big KTMS and a 1090 or 1190 would be better suited over the 1290 Adventure.. However I have in the back of my head, 1200 miles to the UP of Michigan and then several days of dirt roads and back country and would just trust the Yamaha more in that situation. I also Like the GS, I ride with a gentleman from church who owns one and he is pretty fond of it. but the amount of money for that bike does not equal out in dollar amounts for performance gained. meaning the bike does not give you a 10K advantage over something like a much cheaper Vstrom 100 XT etc..
I dunno its all thoughts at this point, but my wheels are turning.


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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-14-2020, 05:09 PM
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I hear you Ron, tough life decisions ,
also don't forget the Triumph Tiger 1200 XRT and also here in Canada we had the Honda VFR1200 Crosstourer 6speed or DCT available for one year and it got discontinued this year, both bikes are shaft. I wish the VFR is still around, but no wonder it didn't sell, in 2018 I got a brand new '17FJR-ES for CAD $17,900 and VFR-DCT was more expensive, and as per some reviews it wasn't all that good "on-road and off-road" but who knows? Multistrada should have been shaft. KTM is a power house but again "chain" (i am all about shaft)... that Triumph seems like a good compromise between the say Tenere and GSA and according to some reviews it's closer to GS performance. It seems there is "no DO IT all well" bike currently available, even the famous GS is still 80% road bias.

I guess if you never owned a FUN bike (like FJR) then the Tenere might satisfy you, but once you set your bar high everything else is "meeh average", like you mentioned following your GS friend on your FJR is a hand full, with the Tenere your friend will be waiting for you all the time. It's always fun shopping for your next bike, isn't it?

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-14-2020, 06:18 PM
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I have thought a lot about the Tenere also and I have a DR 650 as well.

I try and use best judgement when out alone on the DR on backroads and less travelled in maintained roads. Picking up the DR is doable in most circumstances but can be a handful so to speak for this grey haired guy.
I know I would not have the fun on the Tenere as I do on the DR. I would simply not take the chance as I may be able to upright the Tenere in ideal conditions, Iím not so sure if conditions are less than ideal.

I do however like the thought of continuing on after the pavement ends as the Tenere would enable. ( Yes Iíve been down some roads and over some NH notches on the FJR that it was definitely out of its element, and always try to not get into those circumstance)

On the Boring part, I find it hard to embrace the roughness of the Tenere engine, compared to the smooth power of a 4cyl in-line.
I have been told, a good flash for the Tenere takes the boring away. It is substantially detuned in 1st,2nd,and 3rd below 5000rpm.getting this taken care of really wakes them up and you get what you would expect from 1200cc.

Having owned BMW , I wonít go there again, and preferring shaft leaves the Tenere the only choice for adventure bikes.

I am thinking that when I retire in 3 yrs (I hope) I will then go to one bike.
I would love to ride a Tenere for a 500-600km day to see if my back likes it, and I will have to do this before I make my decision.
Maybe in 3 years there will be a 900cc shaft adventure bike out. Lol

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-14-2020, 06:30 PM
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One of my friends (well, acquaintance is probably more accurate) has a Super Tenere. He regularly logs 1000 mile days on it.

And what is wrong with "boring"? Camrys are boring but you need to beat them to death with a drop hammer.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-14-2020, 07:30 PM
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After 6 FJR's in 16 years, I retired and moved to Tasmania. I soon found that Tasmania is not FJR friendly, it's like using a Ferrari as a rally car, wrong machine for the job. Tasmania is relatively small, mountainous, and under developed. Most of the roads are narrow, bumpy, twisty, and often wet and icy.

So I changed to a Super Tenere, I'm now on my second one. As mentioned above, I am not interested in any bike that has a chain drive. Also, at 70 years of age, I am not interested in serious dirt riding, I can't pick the thing up if I fall down. So, I stick to sealed or good dirt roads only, and I use road pattern tires, not knobbies.

Be careful when reading reports on the S10, there are Gen1 and Gen2 models, and also bikes with and without electronic suspension. My first S10 was a Gen2 without ES. The rear shock was a pig of a thing to adjust, the motor was quite noisy, and no heated grips, but otherwise good. My second S10 is a 2019 model with ES. It has all the same features as the latest FJR, except for electronic windscreen, you have to adjust that by hand. The motor is much quieter, I don't know what they have done to achieve this.

The S10 is obviously not as fast as the FJR, but make no mistake, it is still bloody fast, and has no trouble hauling a pillion passenger, which I do all the time. I do not feel the need to flash the ECU, or otherwise enhance the power.

As for handling and comfort, it is better than the FJR in nearly every way. I can get around these tricky Tasmanian roads faster than I could on the FJR. I do not feel the need for huge windscreens, extended handlebars, or modified seats. And the weather protection is better than the FJR.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-14-2020, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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I think boring is relative, as coming off an R1 the FJR may seem Boring, Coming of a Pure dirt 450 xc KTM, the dr 650 would be boring..It's all in the comparison. I get bored at times on the FJR.

I guess in my mind the rider makes the ride. I know I could get of my KTM 300 and get on my sons XR 80 they had when they were younger and have a blast. Im a fairly good rider off road and the weight doesn't really scare me too much other than the picking it up if I needed too.

I have seen videos of folks single tracking the big 1200 and I really like the torquey feeling of twins over 4 cal bikes, even though they are traditionally a little rougher. I also considered bikes in the 800 class, like the ktm 790, and the Tiger 800 xca I just feel they would get a lil wound up at hours on the freeway.

Can the bike run 90 MPH all day if needed.. Check.
Can it run Gravel and an occasional woody trail.. Check
Can it be a pack mule if need be.. Check
Will it have easily accessible parts and long maintenance intervals.. Check
Will it have cruise control .. Check.
Will it it have a wide network of dealer support if it needs it...Check

I think the Super Ten checks all the boxes.

I have had more than my share of KTMS and although I will always have a passion for them, those sometimes had issues with parts availability. Im thinking there are typically japanese bike shops a little more frequently encountered than the beemer and other european bike shops would be.


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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-14-2020, 11:40 PM
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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


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2013 Yamaha Super Tenere
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-15-2020, 06:55 AM
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I have owned both an FJR and Super Tenere and while they are different I genuinely loved both. Please keep in mind that my comments come from the perspective of a sport bike junky that is currently riding a Ducati Multistrada.

The Super Tenere is a great bike. It can be somewhat underwhelming but it is also the bike I would choose to ride through a nuclear wasteland. I can honestly say mile for mile and hour for hour it is one of the bikes I enjoy most. Mine was a ‘14ES and I would not recommend going with the base model or older bikes, the ‘14+ ES is that much better in performance and value. So here’s the thing, leave a light beside a Camry and ride like you’re on an FJR and the Camry will leave you for dead, leave like you robbed a bank and you’re gone. I had mine in FL one winter and my riding buddies all ride GSs and S1000XRs and generally faster bikes. After a week of frustration I started riding the Super Tenere like I stole it. Surprise surprise I could run with or outrun everybody. I could easily carry a ton of corner speed not possible on other bikes. It’s not FJR fast but it will go just fine. After a winter of thrashing the bike it used 0 oil, had no maintenance issues and if anything ran better than it did to start. The power is more street usable than my Multistrada. I think it has so much low end grunt that people drive it like a farm tractor and never see what the bike can do. I do recommend a reflash, it doesn’t make the bike any faster but makes it more responsive to ride. For some reason from the factory Yamaha neutered first and second gear so full twist of the throttle only equals 60% throttle at the motor.
As far as comfort the bike is first rate. IMO the perfect amount of wind protection, the bags are great, the factory seat is terrible but that is both common to lots of bikes and easy to fix.
Best part if you search a bit there are new leftovers out there that can be had for a pretty good deal. It is one of the few bikes I would recommend.

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