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Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere

Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere

5.0 from 6 reviews

Why Did I wait so Long......?

Looking to Replace my beautiful Black 1400GTR missile, with more Adventure focused bike with long range retirement plans afoot and co-padres already purchasing GS Adventures etc .
After the GTR my wishes for the replacement were simple, a good tourer but with off road capabilities (not Enduro or MX capabilities) plus Cruise control and heated grips, for the long hauls (have arthritic hands).
I Test Rode at different times BMW GS (Mates GSA), KTM 1290 Adventure R, Honda Africa Twin, Triumph Tiger/Adventure 1200, Suzuki V Strom 1000 and the Yamaha Super-Tenere
Everyone of these bikes were very good when tested, especially on road all tracked and handled well and would eat miles no problems and of course had comfy upright riding positions.
The new KTM and BMW GS & Triumph basically were $27K + ,out of the Budget range, once kitted with panniers and the heated grips & Cruise. (PS the KTM had the cruise std but not grips & BMW opposite had grips but no Cruise and cant buy as a single option,had to buy Optional BMW "Tourer Pack"$$$$, ).
Anyway looked at Africa Twin Adventure, Suzuki V Strom similar great Price but both would have had to try fit after market cruise.
Finally the Yamaha XT1200E Tenere, tested a 2018 Demo model with 1500kms, WHY Did I wait so long to do the adventure bike thing, great to ride loved it as soon as I rode it,heaps of torque where you need it, Yamaha have the weight balance perfect, it's so light once underway (+55kgs less than the GTR wet). Comes Standard Complete with Cruise / Multi adjust Heat Grips / Multi riding Modes and Traction / ABS / Linked Brakes /Full digital screen/ Electronic adjustable Suspension front and rear (not active), 23litre tank/ Yamaha Panniers/ head light protectors ...... I fitted Yamaha crash bar system / fog lights / Tank protector and all for $24K.
Rode the bike two weeks after purchase to Phillip Island and back via Eden / Gippsland route, The bike was a dream, just think of it as a Big Dirt Bike and ride accordingly, scraping the boots through the forest sections on the Metzler tourance next tyres. When it rained ( we were in Vic ) on the run, set the mapping to Tour and electronically softened the suspension, and surprisingly the combination of the std bark-busters the screen and the wide tank deflect a lot of water similar to my old Kawasaki's fairing.
Fuel economy -so far its been between 4.8-5 liters /100Kms highway/ stop start stuff, giving a calculated range of nearly 470 usable kms for highway work.
Easy to ride, more than enough torque for the road or dirt, all the electronic gizmos you could want, good fuel range, 270 crank gives great exhaust note,
looks the business, typical YAMAHA quality and reliability, Much cheaper purchase & running costs to the Europeans Off road capabilities.
Is good for fire trail stuff but No KTM when in the real off-road situations. ( for what I use it for, not an issue).
Fuel gauge bar graph typically not accurate, starts flashing when you still have 5+ litres of fuel still in the tank, Fuel Range on readout display similarly is erratic.
Yamaha Panniers - Not difficult but very fiddley to put on and take off using the key (Do not need to be, there are plenty of system they could take a leaf out of Honda / Kawasaki etc). My bike came with them, if were buying a set would look at after market systems , Givi / Tourertech , etc
Summary , if you are looking for a Quality made, Bullet proof reliable, Good priced, very well equipped ,easy & cheap to maintain adventure bike that will take you around the block or around the world and keep a smile on the dial...definitely take one for a ride before you make a purchase.

Date PurchasedSep 2018


If you decide to buy a BMW R1200GS instead of the Super Tenere and go off road, you WILL at some point drop the bike.
The BMW will land on the Cylinder and more than likely cause enough engine damage to disable the bike. The engine guard does little to protect against this and there are online reviews where the testers have split open valve covers even with the engine guards fitted. The weight is simply to much the guard
Don’t risk it.
You’ll be left stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Date PurchasedJan 2018

Best bike I have ever owned and I've own a lot.

I love this bike like a family member. It has been 100% reliable everyday for the past 7 years!
It's super stable and handles like an extension of my body.
It's has a presence which commands respect from other road users.
It's comfortable and the controls feel great.
It's super easy to maintain and has had 0 things wrong with it.
It's big and heavy, but like an obese ballerina (youtube it).
It's thirsty and not much of a head turner.

Date PurchasedDec 2010

I'm surprised

I’ve just sold my GS and did 40,000k on it - only to go out and buy the new BM GS Adventure, because I love these bikes, – until I test rode the Trumpy and the Super Tenere . Went off the Trumpy early, as the weight of the thing put me off.

I'm only interested in the bigger adventure bikes as they offer more load carrying capacity, and comfort over long distance. ie Sydney to Cameron Corner and the like.

To my surprise I think the Super Tenere is the better bike for what I do. Am privileged to have been able to spend a day riding the 201 6 BM and a 2015 Super Ten on the same roads and tracks. The following is my criteria, as to why I will likely buy the Super Ten over the GS. It might be a mistake - and I may go back to the BM - but that's another 40,000 k away.

Most of my analysis is based on whats best on dirt roads and single track, because for me, the adventure really starts when you hit the dirt.

1) Dirt roads and some single track – I could predict the Super Ten's handling better, and therefore rode faster with more confidence. Its really an obvious difference to a dirt rider to me! Was the suspension better on the Super Ten? - maybe only just. Maybe its Yamaha’s unprecedented reputation with dirt bike design coming through. The Super Ten just feels more "dirt" then the BM to me. Mad Mick the guy I rode with, also agreed. Only negative could be slightly less ground clearance on the Super 10?

2) On road comfort and performance – I found they were on par with each other. The Super maybe needs a different seat – could just be me though.

3) Power and torque favored the BM but I could not really notice this on dirt or road. On the dirt we had about a dozen “off the line drags” The Super Ten generally edged out the BM. The Yam just felt more low down torquey. We judged the tyres to be of fairly equal off road capability too. This really surprised! We didn't get to drag testing on the tar - perhaps we should have?

4) Electronics – generally on par with each bike. Couldn’t turn ABS off on the Super Ten but the 10’s abs seems to be set up still to skid and dig in, so I felt the ABS actually worked on dirt. Both have heaps of "on the fly" suspension settings heated grips, cruise control etc etc etc.

5) The one thing I do like about the super ten when it come to suspension settings. They use terms like "hard", "soft", and then there are increments of hardness and softness. So as an experienced rider I can set my bike up the way I would like using these increments. The super Ten remembers these settings as a base line to refine from on the fly. I am not so happy with the trend where you just select "offroad' "sport", "cruise" that preset to BM's idea of what is correct. Riders that set suspension this way probably don't fully understand or feel what settings are actually optimum - they just accept "off road" or "sport" as the answer to all suspension questions! (cause BMW said!)

6) I am led to believe the load carry capacity is the same as the GS. I could see the Elect Suspension has some very heavy settings.

I have a fair bit of competitive off road experience, and feel the Super Ten is better off road. Are we stuck in a rut where we just keep buying the GS cause that's what we do?? I almost did until I rode the Super Ten hard in the Aussie bush, and was quite surprised.

Date PurchasedMar 2015

Go anywhere bike

Sure it's heavy but feels like an XR650 weight when riding ( until youhave to pick it up) Tons of power, smooth gear box and a fuel tank that gets you there. 400k on road easy. Seat/handle bar/footpeg postion great for allday riding and the pillion seat is ok too with ample room for rider/pillion or load it up with "stuff" and do a lap of your favorite country. I love this bike. Still have an FJR but the XT1200z off road ability opens up a whole new bunch of roads.
Traction control is great on 2nd setting, fuel economy, comfort, power. Awesome on the outback roads..just awesome
There's a stupid spike sticking out of the side stand that is a spring retainer. It's way too long and your leg can get hooked up when your foot is down..Stupid safety oversight. Needs an switch to turn off ABS but only for hard core riders. Heated grips should be standard. Battery is behind fairing

1 comment
Get the ECU unleashed.. The power restrictions in 1st to 4th can be over ridden.. This bie is the real deal.. Been a lot of places since my 1st review. It's very crashable.. Yamaha have thought about this one .. it's still a big bike.. especially loaded up

I use to own a Harley but now I have rediscovered motorcycling

I luv the all round capabilities of this bike, it's very forgiving and does inspire confidence. I am not an aggressive rider I am in my 60s but I find my old riding technics coming back with this bike and I think it has a lot to do with the under lying technology built into this bike. Great work yamaha..

1 comment
agreed. I take all day to ride to a close rally now.. theres a lot of roads in my own back yard I never knew about.. no need to travel too far

Questions & Answers

I just bought a 2010 1200 Tenere. Is there any ECU upgrades for this bike. I believe it needs a throttle smoothing out rewriting job?
1 answer
Simple answer is Yes.. I read in an Bike magazine recently in a docs surgery, the test rider commented that there is a Upgrade for the Tenere which provides better mapping some hidden HP, it was not cheap around $400-500 odd. I have the latest model Super Tenere and Yeah noticed it on the first real run to Phillip Island 2018, when in Sport Mode the throttle response is touchy, especially in stop start traffic in the suburbs. Mine is still early days of Warranty so cannot play with the ECU stuff yet, but intend to get the extra HP once outside the factory warranty. Best place in the mean time to get info on Australian source is the SuperTenere Forums on line. There are a couple just google SuperTenere forum and log in ECU upgrade it will have numerous replies on the subject.

G'day, am looking to put crash bars and a bash plate on my just purchased 2011 xt1200z supertenere. Would be grateful for some advice as to which brand works best and is good value for money. Thanks
1 answer
Hello, yes I am very happy with the altrider crash bar that I fitted to my bike. I liked the look and contour line of the bar to the bike.


Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere
Release dateJul 2011

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