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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 1 Jun 2008
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Trading R1200GS for the 2008 Yamaha Tenere?

I have a 2007 R1200GS but I am considering trading it for the new Tenere. Yes, it looks like I will get some cash for the trade which I think would be a fair amount, but I am interested in your opinions on the bikes themselves.

I don't have a car and live in Germany, so the bike is my only transportation mean. I have ridden K75RT, K1200GT, and the GS, all beemers. But these days, I like to ride more offroad and perhaps taking overland journeys. That is why I am starting to think about a smaller yet capable bike. Plus after my trip in Vietnam riding on a 125cc, I am more convinced that a smaller bike is better.

I like the GS and have ridden it for over a year or 15,000 km. I am thinking about the Tenere because:
1) I like to do more offroad
2) I like the design
3) I have more confidence in learning how to do some basic repairs myself
4) It feels smaller although it is not on paper, but I am 5'8" (172cm) tall so the GS just feels a tag bigger and heavier.

What I am not sure of about the Tenere is:
a) how is it handled on autobahn for a long stretch?
b) any maintenance issues on long distance travel?
c) it is only 20kg lighter than the GS but with only half the horsepower and torque as the GS
d) GS has this front shock in addition to the fork spring, which prevents from hard front-diving when hard braking, would driving a Tenere require significant changes in my driving style?

Honestly, my heart has already left the GS and gone to Tenere, so I'm looking for some harsh reasons why I shouldn't trade. Naturally, I am interested in any of your opinions and experiences.

Many thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 2 Jun 2008
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I reckon that the Tenere will be as much of a pig in the dirt as your 1200 or my 650 Dakar. Better of with a DR650 IMHO. Super easy to work on and plenty of farkles. OR wait for the 690 adventure. I hear the 690 enduro is a pearler (sold like hot cackes here) and light as for the trails. Rode a 625 which is a few kg heavier than the 690 and compared to the Dakar it feels like a 450. Just can't do anything wrong with it. Hopefully KTM will aim the adventure towards the luggage friendly adventure riding with a beefy alternator. If I had another year I would have waited for it now that I do more trail riding. Man I wish I was in you shoes. G650X is nice too.
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  #3  
Old 2 Jun 2008
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Like you I'm 5'8" and ride a R1200GS, but the Adventure version. After putting 48,000 miles on my previous 1200GS, I've now done 45,000 miles on the 1200GSA in 20 months and have done 3,000 miles offroad, mainly riding solo in Morocco.

I took my XR400R on one Moroccan trip but this didn't have electric start, had extremely limited fuel range, problems with luggage and couldn't handle fast main roads, let alone motorways. So I've now sold that.

I wanted something lighter and lower for a second bike, but still something that could do gravel/rock tracks, take luggage, had a reasonable tank range and could handle long distance (France>Spain) motorway sections. A year ago I would have said the Ténéré would be the bike I was going for, but in the end I decided on the new 800cc F650GS twin cylinder which I'm picking up this week.

On paper it's a compromise on the offroad specification, but I think it will be ideal for my particular set of needs.

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  #4  
Old 2 Jun 2008
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Thanks Tim and Tmotten. Yeah, As I have been a Beemer guy since I started my riding career, I have also thought about the G650X with Touratech Rallye remodifications and the F800GS. Also I have thought about the XT660R with Off-the-Road remodifications into a Rallye type bike. On remods, the biggest issue for me is its resale value. Very few people would want to buy that. I have seen a F650GS (old version) of the true dakar-ready version selling at half of the full price (bike + remod= EUR 20,000) on only 10k km. Still EUR 10,000 is not exactly cheap. On the F800GS, I think it is a good bike after I test drove it, but I just don't like the look. If Touratech is going to make a Desierto 3 fairing or similar for the F800GS, that would be a different story. But Tim, I am sure you will have a good time with it. My Touratech guy here told me they are going to make a bigger tank and a different shield/fairing probably next year, so watch the Touratech space, Tim. My current idea is if I get the Tenere, I will go to Off-the-Road and see what sort of remods I can do such as the exhaust system etc. in order to both lighten the bike and boost the power. I think the not-so-radical kind of remodifications would not hurt the resale value, I hope.
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Old 2 Jun 2008
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And yeah Tmotten, I have also looked at the KTM 690 Enduro and the dealer told me the adventure version would come next year. However, I've always heard the negatives of KTM, e.g. break down a lot, difficult to fix (or even change oil), parts take long time to come by or even difficult to get in other places, and the maintenance schedule is really short (6000 km on KTM vs. 10,000km on Beemer or Yamaha). Yes, most guys ride KTM at Dakar, but they seem to have a whole crew fixing their bikes every night. Admittedly, I have this subjective bias, but I'm open to hearing the facts and your opinions too.
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  #6  
Old 2 Jun 2008
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It's all relative and personal really. I know that in Europe there is less of the really tight stuff single trail than here in Oz. Being European myself I think I know what you're saying in terms of type of off road stuff. Not too sure about resale once you start taking it off the road though. I know that my Dakar is only a year old but looks like it's been to Iraq and back. I'm not expecting anything back for it, which is a shame because only recently I started riding with this bloke and his mate, and it's a lesson every time.


He bought it for the Aussie Safari but does 1500km days on it (no joke). Hasn't had any issues with reliability. Same for his mate. I know what you're saying about KTM though. They seem to have more lemons than most other brands. Still dying to see the Adventure though, but it all depends how long you want to wait. My dealer is saying later this year. They'll walk out of the door.

The bloke on the 1200 didn't last the whole day. He had the wrong tires, but still he would have struggled later on. Our Dakar's were by far the heaviest and we knew about every kilo in them.

Last edited by tmotten; 4 Jun 2008 at 07:21.
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  #7  
Old 2 Jun 2008
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Yamaha Ténere !

I would go for the Ténere, I think it is a great bike. I own a 2007 XT 660 R that are modified for RTW trip that I went last summer ( Round The World - sverrirt.blog.is) and the bike was perfect. No problems at all, very low fuel consumtion, easy to maintain and fix yourself if needed. One of the thin that I did with the bike was to put in larger fuel tank and change the exhaust system to 2-1 system that does not go under the bike. The new ténere has fixed that also, so they basically copied my bike. I also lifted the bike a little bit, ( I am 6,4") and raised the handlebar. I recommend the Yamaha, simple and reliable bikes.
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  #8  
Old 2 Jun 2008
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Hey,

The TEnere got rave reviews in an off-road mag my mate gets apparently. I think it's called 'Trail'. Will try to find out for you.

Matt
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
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Old 2 Jun 2008
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i was investigating the xt660r's for a while. went to yamaha.com and compared the new tenere and xt660r. engine and frame looks the same. just the fairings and a bit extras make the difference (eg, tank, suspension, engine guard, etc)

anyway, my main issue was the surging. i have read that in low speeds it surges in previous models. how is it with new xt660r (2007-2008 make) and the new tenere? there is also a mod called kev mod on xt660.com, but i wouldn't do any mods.
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  #10  
Old 2 Jun 2008
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As far as what I have read, the surging problems are history. Besides, the frame, the rear sub-frame in particular, is apparently designed for carrying luggage, so stronger and hence heavier. Also, the exhaust system is very different, the Tenere has its head pipes wrapped around the engine and end in a flat exhaust box which looks like two pipes but it is not. The R has two pipes come out and lead to two exhausts but sacrifice the ground-clearance. I sent a couple emails to the dealership and Akrapovic to check out the specs (weight savings and horsepower etc.) on their expensive "dual exhaust" system on the Tenere. Will keep you posted when I hear anything.
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  #11  
Old 2 Jun 2008
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2 cents worth

Quote:
Originally Posted by josephau View Post
As far as what I have read, the surging problems are history. Besides, the frame, the rear sub-frame in particular, is apparently designed for carrying luggage, so stronger and hence heavier. Also, the exhaust system is very different, the Tenere has its head pipes wrapped around the engine and end in a flat exhaust box which looks like two pipes but it is not. The R has two pipes come out and lead to two exhausts but sacrifice the ground-clearance. I sent a couple emails to the dealership and Akrapovic to check out the specs (weight savings and horsepower etc.) on their expensive "dual exhaust" system on the Tenere. Will keep you posted when I hear anything.
You've had some good information in the responses so far: no one has mentioned that the Yam is a single cyl - I know it is obvious, but you don't say if you like riding singles - just something to dwell upon: on the highway, the single is never going to perform like a twin etc (there is an earlier thread about twins Vs singles if you want to get more ideas on those lines).

Weight: all modern bikes are getting heavier I reckon - get rid of the cat converter when changing the exhaust and that has to help with the XT660Z.

Finally, the Tenere is excellent value at the asking price (but Tims' new GS650 is also right in there on that point!).
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Old 2 Jun 2008
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Yes, I am aware of the fact that it is a single, versus my twin boxer GS. Your reminder hits the nail of my dilemma, as I know the highway is the ultimate sacrifice for a single. The undecided element of my decision is the highway drive. Is it stable? How's the handling, the vibration on a long stretch of highway or autobahn for that matter. I don't need the really high speed. I had the 2006 K1200GT with over 150 horses under my seat, I was never comfy enough to go over 160km/h. On the GS, the fastest I went was 180km/h. The most comfy speed for me is between 120-140. At that speed, I would like to have as good of an idea as possible to see if it is 'acceptable'. Yes, I could test drive it, but since I will need to lower the bike significantly at the purchase, I could not test drive it with the seat-height lowered. No dealer would make the modification to let me test drive it. So it's a paradox. The only way for me to know is to gather as much experience/opinions from you guys as possible.
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  #13  
Old 2 Jun 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josephau View Post
Yes, I am aware of the fact that it is a single, versus my twin boxer GS. Your reminder hits the nail of my dilemma, as I know the highway is the ultimate sacrifice for a single. The undecided element of my decision is the highway drive. Is it stable? How's the handling, the vibration on a long stretch of highway or autobahn for that matter. I don't need the really high speed. I had the 2006 K1200GT with over 150 horses under my seat, I was never comfy enough to go over 160km/h. On the GS, the fastest I went was 180km/h. The most comfy speed for me is between 120-140. At that speed, I would like to have as good of an idea as possible to see if it is 'acceptable'. Yes, I could test drive it, but since I will need to lower the bike significantly at the purchase, I could not test drive it with the seat-height lowered. No dealer would make the modification to let me test drive it. So it's a paradox. The only way for me to know is to gather as much experience/opinions from you guys as possible.

Well IMO, the only single that can be described as smooth on the highway is the "old" F650GS which can hold around 80 MPH all day without too much vibration from the engine (or wind blast for that matter): it is a hard act to match or exceed I reckon for a single in these areas of consideration, but the new F650GS looks like and a very good successor. Only time and folk such as Tim in buying the bike will tell.
No help I know!!
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Old 2 Jun 2008
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Seems like everyone want you to have a got on the Tenere. Here's some info.

2008 Tenere - ADVrider
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  #15  
Old 3 Jun 2008
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Yamaha Tenere

The biggest problem with the Tenere is trying to buy one.
I have been trying to get a test ride for months, but the dealer could not give me a delivery date, so i gave up and bought a Tiger.
The dealer rang me last weekend to say they had been allocated only 2 bikes(Fowlers of Bristol).
Hopefully the supply is better in your country.
Cheers Ourade.
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