I agree that the XT is a great bike and I also do recomend them.
I've had a road spill with my ténéré in August, the bike survived fairly well, I couldn't get up again and continue as I broke my knee.
Considering the violence of the event, the ténéré coped well;
front rim broken (S shape)
Kayaba fork NO damage !!<-----
Frame NO damage, but smashed steering end metal, which is no important detail!
scratch on tank, not beautiful but no leak so who cares?
gear shift lever bended
So I repaired all damage + some extra uppgrades as changing steering bearings etc
Now she's up on wheels again and runs like ever before.
I almost wanted to stop biking after the fall, cause it badly made me hesitate and consider the reality of all dangers and I kept feeling lucky having had just a broken knee..
but once home my love for the ténéré detraumatised me and got me riding again, but less uncarefully!!!
I've ridden ténéré for years and sometimes I've sold it and bought newer bikes..Husky Triumph etc
But I always sold them and bought an old ténéré again !
Simple, solid, mythical, beautiful !
What else can I say: longly tested and approved thumper with an engine improved from the XT500 model which was SPECIALLY developped for african rallys in sandy environment.
I love it !