YAMAHA XT1200Z SUPER TENERE (2010-on) Review

Published: 09 June 2010

"As good as the Super Ten is, it can't live with its rivals in terms of on-road performance, build quality and all-round fun-factor"

Yamaha Super Tenere

"As good as the Super Ten is, it can't live with its rivals in terms of on-road performance, build quality and all-round fun-factor"

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

There was a time when Yamaha’s Tenere range of bikes ruled the earth, literally. As desert and dirt blasters for Paris-Dakar like competitions, the name Tenere became synonymous with adventure and off-road riding. Then it all went quiet and BMW took on the mantle of Adventure bike champions with its modern-day GS range.
Yamaha’s revival started with the 2008 XT660Z Tenere, a delightful 660cc single-cylinder thumper dressed in traditional desert-romping plastics (high screen and seat height, long suspension). The introduction of the XT1200Z Super Tenere carries this adventure theme further.
The big sticking point is the £13,500 price tag, which makes it more expensive than a fully-loaded BMW R1200GS Adventure, over two grand more than a KTM 990 Adventure and just £700 less than the all-singing, all-dancing Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring.
As good as the Super Ten is, it can’t live with its rivals in terms of on-road performance, build quality and all-round fun-factor.
In short, it’s way overpriced for what it is. 

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

A wet weight figure of 261kg borders on hernia-in-the-making. Well, you’d think so. The truth is the Tenere loses any sensation of bulk when its wheels are turning. Yamaha have got the weight distribution spot on and the only time weight is a problem is backing it out of the garage or picking it up. Surprise of the day was how stable the Tenere is at speed. At 120mph it’s rock steady and can cut an easy swathe through fast A-roads and nadgery stuff. It’s easy to get carried away… What is an absolute pain in the neck and upwards is the savage wind buffeting from the top of what is a very low placed screen. If it wasn’t there you could live with a blast to the body, but the low screen accentuates the noise in the helmet to induce a headache. It is height adjustable via four piddly screws whereas the competition has two easy grip thumbwheels. 

Engine 3 out of 5

A 1199cc liquid-cooled parallel twin that is just as adept at autobahn speeds as it is lugging rider, pillion and luggage. Performance isn’t ground-breaking but the engine is smooth and there are minimal vibes.  Power delivery can also be tamed (not that it needs to be) by switching to Touring mode via a bar-mounted button. Smoother throttle response and claimed improved fuel economy are the result. MotoGP tech features in this engine – by placing the crankshaft closer to the rider and low in the chassis, while maintaining decent off-road ground clearance, the crank’s gyro effect doesn’t intrude on the bike’s steering. Yamaha’s ECU-servo throttle-injection system also figures.   

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

Purposeful chassis components… in other words there are a lot of component parts that come out of the same bins as many other Yamaha models – at least we know they work. The new engine should not be feared because Yamaha’s relationship with parallel twins is longstanding. There’s a nasty Rickman fairing-type rubber trim on the tank and for £13,500 rubber brake hoses seem cheap. 

Insurance, running costs & value 2 out of 5

There’s nothing wrong with the Super Tenere other than the price. This is a machine with the same kind of build-quality as a Honda Transalp, which is perfectly acceptable but nowhere near worth its £13,500 price tag. If Yamaha had priced it under ten grand it would be a cracking package, but as it is you can have a lot more from the competition for a lot less. Find a Yamaha Super Tenere for sale.

Insurance group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

The Super Tenere has ay traction control system that is hardly noticeable when it cuts in and can be turned off for off-road use, 2) clever ABS and linked brake system that can measure lever pressure against speed and balance the braking effort between front and rear. Use only the rear brake and its ABS module doesn’t cut in to allow easy/safe turning around in the middle of the road, 3) fuss-free shaft drive, 4) complete pannier system. It doesn’t come with all the toys you can get on the new Mutlistrada and R1200GS Adventure, though. Compare and buy parts for the Tenere in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

20 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA XT1200Z SUPER TENERE (2010-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your YAMAHA XT1200Z SUPER TENERE (2010-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.7 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.2 out of 5
Equipment 4.2 out of 5
4 out of 5

If she was a truck she would be called Bigfoot.

22 June 2016 by R Smith

Fantastic bike and very agile for its weight also very sure footed. The power delivery is very smooth and gives the rider a real feel of confidence I just wish the bike came with a gear indicator as it is a feature I have enjoyed on previous bikes Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Lovely comfortable commanding riding position and great brakes.
Engine
4 out of 5
Great lazy engine with bags of low down grunt when you need it.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
No bike is 5 out of 5.. if there was we would all have one.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
The bike is easy and access able to work on so I carry out my own maintenance. So I only purchase the parts and oil.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Everything I require is on the bike as standard but I do miss the gear indicator.
Buying experience

Fantastic experience and the bike was better than described. A big thanks to Gavin at Crescent Motorcycles Bournemouth.

4 out of 5

impressive and getting more well known

09 April 2016 by melward53

brakes and weight balance excellent, needs crash bars to protect fan and radiator, not as common as a GS! Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
its heavy but balance is very good as radiator to side and engine forward, linked brakes excellent (front brings in back with pressure related to speed and weight), bike stops really well, impressive
Engine
4 out of 5
not super high power but fuelling clearly better than pre 2014 models, don't see the need to re flash, Touring mode is good for being lazy and bike pulls well from low speed in 3rd or 4th, doesn't need reving like a GS
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
seems well made, no obvious corrosion through its first winter. lost one rear spoke nipple which didn't stop me riding it, dealer warranty job
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
reasonable dealer costs for 6000 service, parts cheap if you do it at home too
Equipment
4 out of 5
get cockpit wind deflectors, they work well got a big back rack, the OE is small
Buying experience

Yam dealer, 2014 64 demo model with 200 miles and 4 months old. £10,600 in early 2015

5 out of 5

Flying sofa

07 February 2016 by Carr u like

Very comfy, great in the Alps. Great on the motorway. 40000km came round quickly in two years. No issues. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Use this all year round in Switzerland, when there's no snow on the ground. 14 hour days back to back no problem.
Engine
5 out of 5
Smooth. Lots of pull. Great sound on overrun coming down the alpine passes. On autobahn will cruise (control) at 200+ kmh. 400km on a tank means only three stops to the UK.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Touch wood, 0 issues.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Self serviced, new tyres, oil, filters, plugs, each year.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Cruise control great for long mway trips. Electronic suspension great on cobbled passes like Tremolo. Added gps and some better headlights for the dark mountains.
Buying experience

Local Yamaha dealer. Great support and advice. I don't see him often though as it's so easy to work on the bike yourself.

5 out of 5

Excellent adventure tourer

30 June 2015 by Bob

the best bike I have owned in 30 years of riding Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
It rides excellent on everything from motorways to mountain passes, I have just returned from the Alps where the bike was faultless. Comfortable for 400 miles a day.
Engine
4 out of 5
Lovely 1200 twin, smooth drivable power, but as always more power would be nice.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
very well built and finished
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
reasonable service costs for a large motorcycle
Equipment
5 out of 5
Everything you need easy to read
Buying experience

Bought from a dealer with a good discount made it a good deal for such a good motorcycle

5 out of 5

Ideal Long Term Bike

23 June 2015 by cowmando

Great: Comfortable ride. Reliable. Great build quality. Comfortable to ride. Inspires confidence. Great for 2 up for short commutes or day-long riding. Fuel efficient. Reasonable maintenance needs. Not so great: Bike is big and heavy, especially... Read more if you install panniers and top box. Doesn't come with sufficient protection (crash bars and roost protection, like a bash plate). Slow maneuvering can be a pain especially in heavy traffic but you get used to it. This bike is my daily commute. To and fro work is about 38 miles daily. Tropical heat and humidity. Mostly highway both in heavy and light traffic. Recreational riding on weekends too. Farkle friendly. Lots of stuff you can get aftermarket to spruce up your ride. :)

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Very very comfortable. This bike gobbles up the miles and you're left wishing you had more energy to carry on riding to the next day. Brakes are great. Have never had to activate the ABS but in the few instances where I needed to squeeze and stomp on levers to stop, bike has pulled up without fuss or wheel lock. Great in the wet with decent tires. Wear waterproof boots as water tends to splash on left foot. Perhaps a consequence of my Alt-rider bash plate. Can get warm on the left due to the radiator's placement but it isn't a deal breaker. I ride in extremely hot conditions (95F before heat index) with mesh jacket and kevlar armoured pants and the heat from the radiator is insignificant. Keeps you nice and toasty in cooler weather though. ;)
Engine
5 out of 5
Predictable power band. Smooth. Some owners complain about vibration, but it isn't noticeable. Decent pick-up but because of weight you're not going to fly like a sports bike. If you want that kind of acceleration, get a sports bike then. :) Roll on power while in 5th or 6th gear is respectable. No real need to drop gear. Pulls like a tractor, there's lots of torque. Reliable (see above).
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Extremely reliable. Parts easily available. Predictable in that you just follow the maintenance schedule and you're good to go. Never once have had to tow the bike. Only major issue so far is the spark plug distributor cap thingie which corrodes as water collects at the spark plugs. I ride a lot in the rain (consequence of where I'm located). This is easily remedied by getting a splash guard matt and bracket.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Maintenance cost breakdown: $150 (3 times a year) for replacement Mobil 1 twin oil, yamalube shaft drive oil. Spruce up K&N air filter, oil filter. $250 ($1000 every 4 years on average) for valve adjust (including labour and required replacement parts like gaskets etc.) $169 ($338 Metzeler Tourance tyre lasts an average of 2 years) Compares very well to a BMW GS and KTM. Also expect long term ownership to be much cheaper compared to the other brand equivalent. Did extensive research before making the plunge and buying my first Yamaha. Been a Honda rider all my life. But Honda doesn't have equivalent ride (perhaps the new Africa Twin but I couldn't wait). New BMW adventure bikes have a multitude of mechanical and electrical issues that surface post warranty, KTM's not reliable. And both these brands don't seem to fare well in the high heat and humidity where I'm located. Empirical and anecdotal research persuaded me to get the S10. 39-43 mpg average.
Equipment
4 out of 5
I use ACF50 on all exposed unpainted meal surfaces so no issues with rust. I follow a 4 month application schedule to ensure rust is kept away. Galfer designed wavy brake rotors fitted. Wish the bike came with more protection but I did have fun hunting for and installing my own farkles. Bike is very farkle friendly. Installed GIVI outback trekker aluminum boxes. Grocery runs are doable. Have actually sold my car as I was getting more utility and fun out of the bike.
4 out of 5

excellent

14 May 2015 by amit

excellent combination of long touring bike with off road abilities Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

jackintherok

20 June 2014 by jackintherok

10,000 miles in and this bike gets better. Pretty well meets expectations or better in every quarter. Definitely is not better than a sports bike, sports tourer, cruiser, commuter, or an off road bike at what they were designed for, but it’s... Read more competent at all. Low speed manoeuvring took a bit of getting used to but practise cured that and now it’s better than any large capacity bike I’ve owned. Holds corners really well with Pilot Road 3’s (not as well with stock Bridgestone’s). Flippablity remains an issue at speed in curve combinations, because it’s a bit of a lump. As my interests changed I considered other more tailor made rides, but after a couple of days decided that the S10 offers the best compromise. As compared with the R1200 GS, well I’ve not owned one so can’t say, but with a 32 inch inside leg the BMW is problematic for me on uneven sloping/ground, and here in Korea the beemer is 20% more expensive, is driven by posers, and has a reputation for unreliability. Main issue with this bike is that its reliability makes it a little boring. It just goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on …. and when others hit problems I’ve gotto wait for them to be fixed or act as gofer.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

bargin

01 March 2014 by homer11

when yamaha dealers are selling super tenere's old stock 2013 models for less than the cost of the new v-strom 1000 it has to be an absolute bargin Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Great ride, great fun, long distances.

06 February 2014 by Anonymous

I took a Super Tenere for a test ride 18 months ago and did not get on with it at all. Having spoken at length to other riders including one that raced for Yamaha I concluded that the TDM900 was the bike for me, plenty of power, runs all day without... Read more problem either mechanically or me physically. Been around long enough to be well sorted, I brought one, rode it to Marmaris in Turkey, high up into Norway and the highlands of Scotland. I then took it to my local Yamaha dealer for a 12,000 mile service and they gave me a Super Tenere as a loan. I clearly missed something on that first test ride because I instantly fell in love with it. Handling was fantastic, brakes smooth and powerful, willing and silky engine, comfortable to ride and could see no reason why it would not suit my long distance tours. I returned it with reluctance, picked up the TDM and went up to Norway. Every time I saw a GS the ST came into my head, it was going to be my next bike, I would not fall for the hype that is put about around the BMW and who wants to be part of the 'flock' anyway?? The 18,000 mile service came up so I took the ST out again, this time for a full days riding and I did not give it back. I've only had it now for two weeks but have no regrets, it still ticks all my boxes. Yes its heavy when you're pushing it around and I'm sure I'll curse loudly if I ever drop it but bikes are for riding not weightlifting. Yes its expensive but compared to the GS its running costs are going to be lower so cost of ownership over your length of ownership is the more important figure. Yes the standard luggage does not have the toughness of some of the aftermarket kit. No its not a sports bike but it will still beat 99.9% of anything on four wheels from a standing start and with a bigger grin factor, sport mode is a lot of fun. Who truly has produced the perfect bike, they don't exist, if they did why would the manufacturers bring out new models every year? As one other reviewer so rightly pointed out if you look at the reviews from the US and in particular Australia where they do use their bikes in proper adventure conditions this machine competes with anything else on the market. I have no regrets and look forward to my next adventures and not all on tarmac!!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

I think its a great machine

03 February 2014 by patann

I brought my super Tenere which cost me around £13500, which was fully equipped with panniers and top box and tank bag, and lots, lots more, in May after a test ride. Since then I have covered 5200 miles. This summer did a tour of Europe doing 2500... Read more miles. Previously I could only manage to do about an hour, hour and an half due to wrist pump problems. I think the bike is a fantastic machine and is vastly underestimated. I am at present thinking of up grading to the 2014 model which has a few more gadgets on it, these changes can only make it a a more formidable machine. P.S dependant on who test rides the machine.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
Read all 20 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2010
Year discontinued -
New price £11,999
Used price £5,500 to £12,000
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost £420
Performance
Max power 109 bhp
Max torque 84 ft-lb
Top speed 136 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 230 miles
Specification
Engine size 1199cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4v four-stroke parallel twin. Six gears
Frame type Tubular steel backbone frame. Cast ally swingarm with shaft drive.
Fuel capacity 23 litres
Seat height 845mm
Bike weight 261kg
Front suspension Fully adjustable
Rear suspension Adjustable for preload only
Front brake 2 x 310mm wave discs with 4-piston calipers
Rear brake 282mm wave disc with single-piston caliper
Front tyre size 110/80 x 19
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2010 – XT1200Z Super Tenere First Edition launched

Other versions

Super Tenere Worldcrosser, XT1200ZE Super Tenere

Photo Gallery

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