Yamaha Super Tenere calls out the R1200GS

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Yamaha_Super_Tenere_Ad.jpg“And the unstoppable can be stopped,” reads the tag line on the promotional site for the upcoming Yamaha Super Tenere, kicking sand in BMW’s face; “Unstoppable” is the tag line for the BMW GS range of adventure tourers. Last month, we learned that the Super Tenere would feature 3-mode ABS and linked brakes, switchable engine maps, drive-by-wire throttle, traction control, shaft drive, a 1200cc parallel-twin with a 270-degree crank and side-mounted radiators. To our minds, that sounds like more a rival to the forthcoming Ducati Multistrada 1200 and its superbike + bicycle + chair + tank range of abilities, but Yamaha seems eager to recapture moral domince of the adventure touring market from BMW. As the marketing material emphasizes, the Tenere has a long and storied history of Dakar victories. Expect to see a production version of the superest of Teneres this summer, with sales commencing late this year.


  • kyle

    Wes – Thanks for pumping out all the content. I am now stopping by daily.

  • PeteP

    Of course, it’ll only be available in Europe!

  • RT Rider

    We will never see this bike in the U.S. Over 60% of our market are cruiser style motorcycles.

  • gary

    looks like a v-strom!


  • Russ

    I’d take a Ten any day over the GS. Only problem…at what price? This is the reason we may never see the big or small bore Ten in the U.S..

  • art

    Yamaha ain’t doing nothing in the Adventure Touring segment if they don’t bring it to the U.S. Does anyone know how many GS’s BMW sells in the UK vs the US?

    I’d think the states has to be, by far, the top adventure touring market. Additionally, most of the GS’s in the UK and Europe seem to be street-only rides. While the US has its share of blacktop-only GS’s, it also has a huge number of barred-up, banged-up, rode-hard dirt-sand-mud-n-rock GS’s, GS Adventures, KTM’s, KLR’s, DR’s and XR’s.

  • Wisher

    Kawasaki has done well with the KLR650 and BMW sells lots of 1200, 650 & 800 GS’s. I agree that the majority of bikes sold in the U.S are cruisers but I think there is still a market for the Tenere. I ride a BMW R1200RT and I am also looking for a dual sport bike. I would like to see the 650 Tenere imported to the U.S. Not everyone wants a 1200cc dual sport bike.

  • Mateo

    Mention the Super Tenere and I still have the Jawa/San People version branded into my mind.

  • H

    Art, hate to break it to you, but the US is not the target market of any of the adventure touring productions. Not sure why the comparison between the UK and the US either (the only thing those markets have in commmon is they both sorta speak the same language).

    Just so you know, BMW sells about 100,000 bikes per year – a third of which are 1200 GS’s in the different versions. Germany is its largest market at about 24% of unit sales. The USA, Spain and Italy swap around 2nd through 4th place over the past few years with between 11 – 13% each – except that their populations are hugely different. Spain (population 44M) or Italy (population 60M) compared to the USA (pop. 330M).

    So just between 3 countries (summing about half of the US population) they sell close to 50 % of their bikes – and the number one seller is the GS.

    BMW would love to sell bikes in the US in relation to the population base, but there just isn’t enough interest (or ways to get Americans away from their cruisers).

    The adventure style bikes were developed over the years on the back of the Paris-Dakar race image (something only a handful of Americans even bother to watch (or know about outside of the cognesenti).

  • Observer

    Well, H hit the nail right on the head. The U.S. market is dominated by the cruiser motorcycle. Motorcycle manufactures will not spend the dollars to get there bikes certified here if they feel no one will buy them. The U.S. mentality towards a motorcycle is something to cruise around on after work or Sunday afternoon. Just the opposite of Europe where the motorcycle is a major form of transportation. I was in England and Europe for quite some time and I saw very few cruiser motorcycles. Europeans think a Harley is a joke and they make fun of them. They can not understand why someone would buy such a large heavy motorcycle with so little horsepower and poor handling. I told then it is a image thing with most of the cruiser riders. U.S. motorcycle sales (non cruiser) are a drop in the bucket compared to European sales. That is why we will never get the Tenere in the U.S.

  • vic

    what is the benefit of drive/ride-by-wire throttle?
    i’ve seen it implemented on more and more motorcycles and i don’t really get why it would be usefull

  • Skipper

    Drive/ride-by-wire throttle is more precise than the standard mechanical wire loop. At least that is my understanding. There are no wires as on the standard bike throttle.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      It also allows for different throttle maps (ie tarmac/rain/dirt) and improves fuel efficiency by eliminating some peaks and troughs from rider input.

  • george

    Wes, who should we contact at Yamaha in LA to encourage them to import this?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Just register your interest here, they’re readers.

  • RTRider

    I am looking at a KLR650 or maybe a BMW G650GS but if the Yamaha Tenere was available I would buy one today. I am a avid Yamaha fan and have had 4 Yamaha motorcycles so far. My first motorcycle was a Yamaha 80 that I bought in 1963.

  • TeeJay

    You’re sorry that you do not get the Ten/SupTen in the states, I’m sorry we will not get the CB1100F over here in Europe. :(

  • j r de wood jr

    as the roads are more funky & economix dominate,
    the overall shift from cruisers will take more
    significant prominence, so that adventures will
    become more important niche market that can carry
    its own. lots of models from the various manufacts
    are hovering nearer the adv style bikes, even now
    in more mobile & tactile & rideable in various
    conditions, similar to the suv extravaganza, so
    then the advs will be more tenable! throw some
    wit in there to charge the heads pondering what
    is going to be the future so they can catch up
    to knowing how now is forming! also the durability
    factor come strongly into play. w beings holding
    on to the machines w more replacing. so there is
    less turnover, except in size transitions. meaning
    the tenere should do exceedingly well here. that
    is against the beamers & katooms, as well the suz,
    the ducs & even the kawis. power & durability &
    roadability & more capacity & further miles &
    better sturdiness> whew, when they going to get
    how that is unbeatable combo?! as beamers show.
    bring that supten here now, shitbrains! before
    we take you hostage out in the desert & urban
    moto battle zones! rit, in fact going against
    kawi w military models isn’t bad idea either!?!!?
    ok, enuf rant. one way or other or however comes
    thru, supten is me next machine ~ & i got a big
    vtx cruiser modified hordes for delivering here
    in bar spread bay area zones! supppeeeerr ten!?!
    oh, yeah> should say i looked at gs & 990. they
    are very tempting. but the side engines on bmw &
    chain drive on ktm, knocks both out for me. the
    standing two on yamaha puts more heat forward &
    the shaft keeps shit out of the roll. what more?

    j r de wood jr 1 415 850 9851

  • Angelo Constantine

    I currently ride an 06 BMW 1200 GSA and cannot wait till the Super Tener lands in Oz. I’ll be trading big bertha in quick smart. Set me free from German engineering and get me back to Japanese.I’ve always been a Yamaha man anywayz.

  • Fatboy

    Far too much generalization. About the only thing I would agree with is that an import company will not bother with a product that it cannot sell.

    As for myself, I see hordes of riders outside of shops with good dealership networks. Less trusting of shops/brands that seem to have few bikes in stock or too distant to depend upon in a pinch. There is always the nagging … what if? Especially when you start talking dual sport bikes.

    Harley has been around for a very … very … very long time. Entrenched. I can find fix-it shops in every neighborhood. I rode them back in high school and think they are sweet rides on Fall days on winding roads strewn with leaves and colors. Going for a ride is not always about how fast you can get from point A to B.

    My local BMW dealership is always packed with guys that have climbed off their 1200/650/800 GS … and so I don’t see them selling to the so called cruiser crowd. I’d say much the opposite. I’ve never enjoyed the looks of a bmw but I certainly do enjoy the workmanship and warranty.

    The local Italian shop is nice. Great looking bikes but seriously … 80 miles to a tank of gas. I mean that is just around the block here in Texas and I can’t get past this fact whenever I feel tempted. Have the Italian bike designers ever ridden a bike over here? I love them … just can’t get past some design points.

    A bike doesn’t have to be a big displacement to sell. I mean how many years has KLR been a well known name? Our shops sell all they get in stock. I’d absolutely love the XT660 … a nice step up from a KLR650. And my own 2008 KLR650 is a strange duck. Definitely not a dirt bike and equally not a road bike. I don’t see how giving it or the tenere a bigger engine would help much.

    Here is a novel idea:

    - how about 200 miles on a tank of gas
    - weight under 400 pounds (91kg)
    - modest v-twin engine to ease the highway miles
    - 19 inch (47.5cm) front tire to compromise dirt/road
    - tubeless tires … cross laced whatever
    - suspension setup for a large adult
    - high mounted exhaust pipe
    - adequate guards for when you drop the thing
    - available options: heated grips, power outlets, …

    Gosh, I’ve rambled. -F