Well Guys, since I started this post with a question, I am now going to answer it myself with feedback on the bike after 11,000km.
Yes, I made the switch in June. I got a good deal of trading in my R1200GS for the 2008 Tenere at a Yamaha Dealership in Germany. We swapped the bike with panniers, stock for stock, and I am happy with the terms and the eventual price. I actually received good amount of money from the dealer because I wasn't riding the GS that much so it had really low mileage.
At the beginning, it took some getting used to riding a single. The vibration was the most noticeable character that sort of bothered me. Then again, I came for twin, threes, and fours, the adjustment was required. However, this problem gets resolved later, which I will come back to later.
The fuel mileage just beats almost anything out there in the all-road bike category. Without auxiliary tank, it is reported to have gone over 500km or 310 miles in 23 litre tank. I personally have not reached that distance in reality probably due to my riding style, fear of getting stranded, and laziness of getting a canister. When I was riding the GS, I had to start looking for gas station at about 250km, whereas I could still go for a long while on the Tenere.
One of my big worries before trading was the Tenere's performance and stability on autobahn. To my delight, it is comfortable even with my BMW enduro helmet, decent speed and power, and very stable. It's not crotch rocket or Goldwing, but it does not alter much my usual riding style, speed, and fearless factor. Of course, if I want to push it, the bike does feel struggling a bit especially at unwise speed. Riding in the city or the countryside, the agility of this bike is about the same as the GS at worst case. It dances between lanes if I want to, or what some say it is flippable, with panniers. I also have more confidence riding in dirt and exploring new paths because at least I would not have too many problems lifting up the bike if it drops. It's not light, 183kg dry and 210kg wet, but feels much much lighter riding as well as lifting up comparing to the R1200GS of which the specs would say only 10kg heavier. How does it handle on dirt? Well, I don't think I am qualified to judge due to my limited off-road mileage, but I am definitely more confident on it with the Tenere than the GS, and I did much more offroad these days than when I had the GS.
The suspension is smoother than I thought and definitely than the GS. Going through bumps is unnoticeable whereas the GS is more telling. Having said that, I do like the telelever suspension (the spring behind the fork) which dampens braking dive, because it also provides highspeed curving with extra stability and confidence. It's a great concept, I wish one day someone would come up some universal adaptable system that would fit on any bikes.
The instruments are good except it is a touch too bright in pitch black, i.e. countryside where there is no street lights. I have the stock panniers primarily because I got good deal on it and I like the look. Yes, I am shallow
There are many after-markets offer which I am sure are stronger and better in quality, but I just like mine that is 95% waterproof due to its slim design and elegant mounting system. I was really thinking about replacing the exhaust, but none that is available that rocks my world after searching around. The problem in after-market exhaust is that the manufacturers tend to a) not disclose info on the weight/weight saving or the power difference if any, and b) a sound file. At the end of the day, we buy pipes because they look and sound good, and it would be a bonus if it saves weight and gives better power. The stock sounds good enough right now, so I am not going to fuss about it.
I took the bike for a 7000km up and down Scandinavia through 95% onroad and 5% offroad. The bike gave me zero problem. I just gas it up, lub the chain every so often but probably not often as it should be, checked the oil once but the bike eats puny amount of it. As the bike gets break-in more and more, the vibration also began to subside. It first occurred between 3500 and 5000rpm. As I rode more, the range shortened to 1000rpm difference, then to 500rpm, then to now almost unnoticeable. Yes, it could be I get used to it, but believe me, the break-in difference is significant on a single I guess.
The upgrades I now have are: heated grips, auxiliary power outlet, magura handlebar, acerbis handguards, bashplate, engine guard, TKC80 tires, DNA airfilter, and lowering kit. I forgot to mention that at 895mm stock seat height, there would have been no way I could ride this thing. So I had a 50mm lowering kit plus 30mm of foam shaved off from the seat. Now I am happy. Though when I had fully loaded luggage on my trip, the bike sank enough such that at times I could not extend the sidestand fully even it was already shortened, so I had to find friendlier surface to stand the bike.
I said it in another blog and I say it again here: The Tenere is not great at anything, but it is good at everything. No bells and whistles, just a simple machine that gets you anywhere on almost any terrain but with decent amount of comfort and efficiency. Yes, I am very happy with the trade.