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I too am giving serious consideration to getting a new Tenere. At £5,000 or so it seems a really good deal compared to BMW/KTM alternatives that are considerably more expensive.
I see you mentioned Autobahn riding - this is the only area where the single cylinder won't perform well. Providing your happy sticking to no more than 70 MPH all day, it'll be fine. To ask anything more of a single is simply not being realistic. Same kind of thing with my XT6. It's great around town and on country roads but forget high speed long distance stuff.
Small and light is the way to go. The Long Way Round/Down guys looked idiots riding those monsters where they did. Cut down on weight and sheer bulk and it will reap benefits in almost every respect. Forget the BIG monster adventure bikes unless you propose to carry a pillion or intend to do a lot of high speed motorway stuff.
The new Tenere should have plenty of grunt to briskfully push along a heavy rider and his RTW gear. I understand that the engine is derived from the XT660 which has plenty to go in the mid range.
The Tenere's pedigree is second to NONE! Don't be put off by any negative comments here. Anyone who knows a modicum about the XT range to tell you this thing is probably likely to be the very best model ever, although many would say the first generation Tenere's were King through sheer simplicity.
You won't find a better priced new trail bike (although at only £3,000 the Kwaka KLE 500 is rather good value too).
The Honda XR650 is a good bike but is simply not in the same league as a XT or Tenere when it comes to RTW. I rode my mates XR650 last week and was blown away with it's RAPID exceleration! Wooooooooow it goes like stink! But it was very uncomfortable to say the least. It had no cush drive which made it very snatchy. Glad to get back on the XT6 sofa afterwards.
I reckon you should give serious consideration to the TENERE! I am...
Hey guys, many thanks for your detailed feedback and the pics, Patrick. I think the decision comes down to whether I will ride more highway or dirtroad. If highway, stay with the GS; if dirtroad, Tenere! I think I am in the phase of dirtroad. I rode touring bikes, RT & GT, for a few years to many countries in Europe. Nowadays, I just wish I could go offroad more and am content with 120-140km/hr on highway, but feel being tied down by the big GS. Although I took the BMW enduro course in Germany last year riding the GS and I did ok despite falling numerous times, a lighter bike gives me more confidence. I could pick up the naked GS, but with luggage will be a problem. For example, today is my first day I used both saddle cases and the top case filling with only clothings, I could immediately feel the bike's weight and its loss of handling.
Patrick, you are right, the GS comes close to all-purpose bike, but it leans just a bit towards the long distance asphalt stuff, while I see the Tenere leans towards the soft offroad stuff. The hair is thin, but the bikes are vastly different.
The Vietnam trip also let me see I don't need a lot of stuff to travel sufficiently, I don't need to have a big machine to travel, and I don't need to travel fast, but still have a grand time. May be because of that, I've also come to a bit of philosophical phase in my life, in which I just get rid of stuff I don't need or I haven't used (hence the three cases of clothing to red cross), and am trying to minimize my possession, both at home and on the road. Travel light is the key. I think the whole idea of coming to a leaner and smaller machine that allows only truly essential luggage is central to my bike decision.
As you can tell, I am leaning towards the Tenere (bloody hell if yamaha is not so slow delivering the bikes, I would be riding it now rather than talking about it . Nevertheless, I am still trying to see if there are MAJOR negatives of the bike. For example,
1) heat issue - as the head pipes go around the engine under the seat, how would the rider feel when idling?
2) if it goes for hours on highway at 120-140km/h, any heat issue, oil consumption issue, strain on the engine etc.?
3) Chain vs. shaft drive - I have been pampered by having a shaft-drive bike for years, is chain really that maintenance intensive? I heard that ideally one should clean and lub the chain after every extended ride.
4) I don't have a garage, so the bike is left outside year in year out through winter. BMW doesn't give me serious starting problem, any common starting problem in cold on a yamaha, especially for an electric start that has no choke, i.e. the new Tenere?
What are your experience, recommendations? Any thing else I should be mindful of if I own the Tenere? Many thanks.
The Tenere is not going to improve the ease in the dirt much as all. According to some sites it's heavier dry than my Dakar which is a real pig. That's why I suggested the new KTM adventure or the DR. Have you looked at the KLR? You could get a DR first (cheap) and wait and see what's coming out of the factories in 6 months. Honda is pretty quiet on this new and growing market as is Suzuki.
Suppose it depends on the type of off road you're looking at. Maybe some pictures? The pictures Mollydog and I put up would be a real struggle for any 200kg bike (wet weight) with an inexperience rider and not really an off road bike. I think KTM is really the only brand that build dirt biased adventure bikes. All the others seem to be more road biased which makes sence when you consider the market being in highly populated Europe and US.
If the new KTM 690 adventure is going to look like this and costs around EUR 10,000 with luggage, I will take it. Two problems: 1) I can't wait, and 2) the one in the pic apparently costs over 30grand EUR.
once again, someone posted a picture on this here hubb wider than many monitors in internet cafes are able to display, so that the readers of this thread have to keep scrolling left and right in order to read the thread.
The picture is too many pixels wide - not to mention, why is it even here - it doesn't add relevance to the post - just adding bandwidth because someone has a picture of ?? something?? not sure what it is - the guy in the sleeveless t-shirt?
Apologies, that wasn’t my picture and wasn’t hosting it, which I do now.
This is a question not related to on the road while travelling stuff, so bandwidth shouldn't matter IMHO.
It's relevant to provide some context as to what some people consider off road, and others call 'I'll never go down there' off road.
Hmm, I appreciate photos never capture how difficult the terrain looks, but this looks like the upper end of the sort of trail that I have done in Morocco on my 12GSA (some even with luggage). Though I have to say that it's the experience I gained riding harder trails on my XR400R that gave me the confidence to tackle more difficult stuff. I did 60 miles of piste riding in the dark last month, though this wasn't planned!
There's a short write-up of the Ténéré in Bike magazine which says the Ténéré is better in sand than a Transalp or a 1200GS would be, but mentions that at 183kg dry weight, the bike is heavier than BMW's new twin (800cc) F650GS. When you look at the high weights of the Ténéré and the Transalp you realise what a good job BMW did with the 12GS!
The article complains of the Ténéré's finger-numbing high-frequency vibes, abrupt fuel injection and "lack of easy grunt at any speed, and above 70 mph in particular..." Plus criticises the bike for under-damped suspension and having a merely-adequate hand-me-down engine.
On the positive side they write that the ride position is good, the tank has 200-mile potential range and the windscreen provides adequate protection. The article concludes says it's a genuinely dual-purpose machine like no other.
While I am looking for ways of reducing the weight of the Tenere if and when I get it, here is some info on the Akrapovic muffler on the new Tenere straight from Akrapovic itself:
The slip on system for 2008 Yamaha Tenere has already gone into production. You can buy it only through Yamaha´s dealership. Due to agreement we cannot give you detailed information. Our system has two mufflers is actually 1 - 2. The complete system weigh about 0,8kg less than stock. For more information, please contact your Yamaha dealer.
0.8 kg of weight reduction is puny given the cost.
I never saw the benefit in having twin exhausts on a single cylinder engine when many twin cylinder engines manage perfectly well with a single exhaust! As well as the weight penalty it interferes with pannier mountings.
josephau: What about keeping the GS for the moment and getting a really lightweight 250-400cc low-cost second-hand trail bike to help improve your technique? At only 20 kg lighter than the 12GS I don't think the Ténéré will allow you to have the confidence to build your technique.
I appreciate it's not the advice you're after, and logic has nothing to do with bike purchasing decisions.
Exactly what I have thought on bikes like the Honda Dommie:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis
I never saw the benefit in having twin exhausts on a single cylinder engine when many twin cylinder engines manage perfectly well with a single exhaust!
+ no matter which side you drop the bike, a silencer is going to get damaged.
Totally agree about the weight saving on the new(ish) 1200GS over the 1150: I have mused for some time about that loss of 30Kg, compared with all the new offerings from Honda etc that are increasing in weight.
Thanks Tim for your suggestion. Having more than one vehicle is not exactly on my agenda, because a) I don't have a garage, and b) I used to have a car and a bike, then realized I never really get to know or enjoy either. Besides, I doubt that I want to get into too hardcore of dirt riding. I know it may sound a bit contradictory to my earlier comments, but I do see a difference, at least for me, between hardcore offroad and soft ones. In addition, while the weight is an issue on offroad, it is a positive thing on highway to gain stability. As you and others say, there is no perfect bike for all road conditions, but I am trying to figure out that personal sweet spot in a large common grey area.
I just read another guy who test-drove a F800GS and a Tenere, and he is trading his Africa Twin for the Tenere. He agrees on the lack of power on the Tenere comparing to the F800, but he seems to love everything else of the Tenere.
This friday I am making a test drive on the Tenere with the seat taken out and my sitting on some blankets in order to solve the seat height problem.
Take a look at the F650GS as well, at least it's the right height for you!
we headed backwards on the same route (like mostly off-road) now mounted on the F650GS, mag wheels and all – yes I know all the BMW press has said that this is no off-roader, but off-road we took ‘em. Let me tell you folks – this little wunderkind is the unsung hero, with my jaded cranium now fueled with Espresso and not , I found myself chucking this little bugger around on the dirt with a huge grin on my dusty lips.
For a bike that’s not meant to be off-road – this one took everything that I threw at her – sure it doesn’t have the suspension travel that the big brother 800GS has, but it still handled the dust proper. If you’re a person who’s travelling down the West Coast and you see a dirt highway you want to investigate, but you’re worried coz your missus or some mates are on one of these – don’t be scared, the F650GS will handle it no worries mate. We ramped them, scraped them, bounced them across gravel and rocks, splashed them across water crossing and the tuff little buggers came out smiling!
Thanks for the articles, Tim. May be I forgot to mention, I did test-drive the F800GS, though not the 650. 800 is a solid bike with solid performance, but the look just never rocks my world. It looks to me a wannabe mini-1200GS. Yes, this is the irrational part of the decision. Its capability on highway is unfortunately negated by the useless windshield, so what's the point of having all those horses under the seat when I may be blown off from it. I know Touratech has a large screen which looks like a mini-barndoor, and it said that it is coming up with a larger tank and perhaps the 1200-type Desierto fairing, but next year. We shall see that, but I just can't wait that long.
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