Super Tenere XT1200Z personal ride review June 23 2010 Vienna, Austria by Patrick Peck
My view of the bike is derived from my years of riding the XTZ 750 since 1990 continually to today over 250,000kms with seven personally owned Super Tenere's. With a 15 year gap between models I have plenty of time to make up my wish list and the new Super Tenere has most of them.
It appears that Yamaha is being very subtle with their marketing as this was claimed by our salesman as the only XT1200Z demo available in all of Austria and it was first released in Istanbul mid Feb 2010. It will not actually be available for sale till mid July.
The bike looks much heavier than it feels at speed and stationary. The salesman went into panic mode when I dropped the bike down as low as I could get it without actually touching the carpark asphalt. It came up faster and easier than I expected. Apparently the sidemounted radiator has allowed the motor to be positioned a few centimeters forward which will give better balabnce to the bike with a pillion and luggage.
Many of my questions to the salesman were unanswered as he didn't speak English and he really seemed unaware. He said that there was a catalytic converter, but it must be hidden in the muffler. If so, leaded fuel countries would be off the list to travel.
With 72kms on the speedo we headed out 2 up, into rush hour traffic of Vienna. Seating was the most comfortable of any bike we have ridden with plenty of room for both me and my wife. The adjustable seat was at its lowest and my feet were planted firmly on the road and my knees were not extended. My height is 183cm.
It wasn't long before the fan came on to cool the engine down, but the heat light had not come on and there was no temp gauge, so I couldn't judge how hot the motor really was.
The minimum walking speed without using the clutch is important for tough terrain and traffic congestion. 20kms/hr indicated was as slow as possible without clutching where the XTZ750 is 12kms/hr.
Finally, heading out towards the open road the bike cornered onto the freeway as confidently any road bike I have ridden and accelerated as you would expect quite exhilarating from 110 horsepower, the XTZ750 has 69 hp. In fact, it had great acceleration at any speed up to our top at 168kph and would have a lot more speed up its sleeve. Redline was 7800rpm and showed 4500rpm at 145kph. Our GPS showed a 9kph over error. Vibration was as low as you will find on any big twin and the bike felt ultra stable including the 3 kms of dirt road that we found which was surprising considering it was fitted with full on road tires.
Gears were very smooth shifting both up and down. Wind seemed to catch only the top of my helmet at all speeds and if it is of concern, there is a larger windscreen available. Braking was very strong but never really put the ABS to use for fear of being overridden by some big Merc. By the end we had 165kms on the clock and the fuel warning light was flashing!!
In the parking lot I measured the ground clearance to the centre of the bashplate while on the sidestand: 23cm where the published stats are only 20.5cm. I spotted a BMW F800GS in the parking lot that measured 25.5cm and my 1994 XTZ750 measured 30cm with the standard rear shock. Front forks were upsidedown, very substantial and adjustable. Rear shock had an easily adjustment, Hard - Soft. Lightweight faring protectors were mounted midway up the faring but it is hard to judge how effective they will be.
The engine has a Dry Sump Oil System that will not allow all of your oil to drop on the road should you knock a hole in the sump from a rock or other hard object.
My wishlist from the old XTZ that are on the new bike:
Good riding lights
12 volt adaptor
Traction control (hadn't really thought of that one)
Adjustable front and rear shocks
Easy access oil filter
Lightweight luggage racks
Stainlees steel exhaust pipes
Very comfortable rider and pillion seats
More horsepower (110hp may be excessive for my style of riding)
Stability at high speed
Six speed gearbox
Heavy duty bashplate
Twin spark ignition system for fuel efficiency
Smaller fuel tank
19 inch front wheel
No easy access for airfilters
Low ground clearance
Lefthand faring seemed loosely attatched
High price tag at 14,750 euros
Shortcomings are few in number and can all be changed with time.
It would be nice if they would release an Adventure model as BMW has done with its 1200GS
From what I have read on the Super Tenere club forums around the world, members would like a smaller version with the TDM 900 bulletproof engine, brakes and lights. Original 26 liter fuel tank of XTZ750 and suspension of the WR450. By using components already in production the retail price could be a lot lower and Yamaha profit could be higher without the risk of experimentation that comes with a totally newly invented bike. Are you listening YAMAHA??!!
Would I buy the new Super Tenere? Yes, but it would live a much more subdued life than my XTZ750 have lived. I have been a passionate Super Tenere owner for the past 20 years because the bike has been strong enough to carry me, my wife and 12 months luggage without mishap or brake down and Yamaha has service outlets in even the most "out of the way places". As long as you carry a parts list to present to the dealer, you can get that much needed part anywhere in the world!
My wife says I am obsessive about Super Teneres, at the moment we own four XTZ750's placed in as many cities around the world, so perhaps I am!!
This is a list of our luggage- we need ALL of this, we dont leave any out or bring any extra, as there simply will not be any room.
Some of this you will not have, so you will need to buy it from a good outdoor, camping shop. Good stuff is expensive, but will last you a VERY long time and you can use it for lots of other outdoor pursuits.
This is a list of our luggage PER PERSON as requested by others!
Our motto is wash one set, wear the other, anything else is too much!
2 pair undies!
2 pair socks, one thin, one thicker
1 pair hiking sandles
1 pair hiking boots
1 pair riding gloves
1 riding jacket (summer)
1 pair riding pants or long pants and knee protectors
1 thin rain jacket
1 fibrepile warm and windproof jacket (quick drying and compact)
1 long sleeve shirt or long sleeved thermal underwear (quick drying)
1 pair zip off long pants (quick drying)
1 singlet for really hot weather
2 pairs quick drying tshirts
1 pair swimmers
1 pair swimming goggles
1 pair running shorts (quick drying and compact)
1 pair sunglasses
1 small compact sun hat
International drivers licence from RACV (very important)
photocopy of eticket from travel agent
photocopy of passport and all other important documents,
plus leave a copy at home
toiletries, all in bottles less than 100ml for the flight
Injections for the country going to
Bring injections book from Dr, plus leave a photocopy of this at home
mobile phone and charger
All of this should fit into a stuff sack in a day pack, with the bike gear in a larger back pack or soft bag, no suitcase!!
Introducing Miss Adventure III that usually resides in Romania! note the flooded Danube River in Hungary in the background.
Brand new Super tenere XT1200Z we took for a test ride in Vienna.
Hanka and Erica riding Miss Adventure III at their place close to Vienna.
Pat on an ATV in Groote Island, Australia
Pat and Murray on hired bikes in the Philipines.
Pat on Miss Adventure II in Oman
Belinda sitting on a rock, instead of a bike in Ethiopia with Gelada Baboons and amazing scenery.
Belinda and some Swiss bikers we met in Ethiopia.
Pat helping a Zambian local get his bike down a steep hill!
Us at the latest BMW at a launch in Windhoek, Namibia
ATVs again in the Namibian desert.
Pat and Johan and Dries in South Africa..playing in the dirt!
We have thousands of photos of us and others on bikes...this will give you enough of an idea!
Quick update! We are now in Romania with our wonderful friends Csilla and Oli and little Dominik (2 years old) Schul. We have bought 50% share in their Super Tenere and Pat is now putting on a Scottoiler and converting her to Miss Adventure III. We now have a Super Tenere in 3 continents in the world- we are getting close to Pats goal!!
We left our beloved Miss Adventure II tucked up nicely for South Africas winter with our great friends Dries and Erica Van Schalkwyk in Potchefstroom, near Joberg, South Africa.
Next step we spent 2 wonderful days in Rome with Bins Mum and Aunty Pam, then a fantastic time with David and Ruth in Holland. Next, was the most magnificent experience in our lives so far!! We did a 15 day river boat cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest with APT tours with Dad and Maz to celebrate Dads 70th birthday. The boat had 145 Australians and New Zealanders on board, average age about 70 years old!! We partied on day and night and 15 days later were absolutely exhausted! I hope we have as much energy as some of those 85 year olds had when we are that old! Pat wasnt so keen on this idea, but loved every minute of it and said if this is as good as Heaven is, then he can hardly wait! Cruising on a luxury riverboat along the Rhine and Danube Rivers, eating 3 times a day the food and drinks of the countries we were passing through, it doesnt get much better than that! It was wonderful travelling with energetic, entertaining Aussies and we just love the Aussie sence of humour! We stopped at many villages and did walking and bus tours around as well. Everything was organized, we didnt have to make any decisions, we didnt have to pack and unpack everyday, it was pure heaven and a real break from roughing it in the last 6 months in Africa!
Csilla and Oli picked us up off the ship in Budapest and hand delivered us to Romania! Amazing friends, hey! Next leg is by motorbike again from Romania to Switzerland following as many rivers and mountain ranges as we can find! Mid July- mid Aug we will spend in Switzerland, then drive the motorbike back to Romania (via Denmark maybe) end September.
October 8 we will be back in Joberg, South Africa with our son, Johnathan (22 years old) riding behind us on a KLR650. Six weeks later our daughter, Kate, 23, will join us in Capetown, South Africa for her turn to ride the bike behind us!! As usual, bring it on!
Peck's going troppo on Zanzibar spice tour!
Loading up Miss Adventure II on ship from Oman to Zanzibar!
Wonderful Ethiopians, such poverty, yet so warm and happy!
Pat and Miss Adventure II in Capetown HU members Johan and Nicki Naude's wonderful driveway.
"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."
"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"
Next HU Events
- USA North Carolina: Sept. 4-7
- France Mini: Sep 5-7
- Canada Ontario: Sept. 11-14
- NEW! UK - Haggs Bank: Sept. 19-21
- USA California: Sept. 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 2015
What others say about HU...
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!
What turns you on to motorcycle travel?
New to Horizons Unlimited?
Membership - help keep us going!
Books & DVDs
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!
Story and photos copyright © All Rights Reserved.
Contact the author:
Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.
Hosted by: Horizons
Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!