2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere: the R1 of adventure tourers

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Calling the 2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere “the R1 of adventure tourers” isn’t just hyperbole, it shares important technology with the superbike, most evidently in the crossplane crankshaft. In the R1, that innovation eliminates inertial torque and alters the power delivery to make the most of available traction. In the Super Tenere, that should help get the 110bhp and 84lb/ft the 1199cc parallel-twin makes to the ground, whether that ground be asphalt, dirt or sand. Helping that along is a three mode traction control system that measures relative speeds of the front and rear wheels, then adjusts power to suit the riders demands. The traction control system is fully defeatable, but the ABS brakes are not.>

The Super Tenere’s interesting mechanical spec doesn’t stop there.
There’s one radiator, mounted on the left side of the engine and final
drive is shaft to reduce maintenance. The parallel-twin engine is
mounted as far forward in the chassis as possible and relative to
opposed- or v-twin competitors is relatively short, allowing for an
exceptionally long swingarm, which should, in turn, help traction. The
battery and electrical components are mounted to the right of the
engine, mirroring the radiator.

Despite the lack of an ABS “off” switch, Yamaha is serious about the
Super Tenere’s off-road ability, fitting it with a 19-inch front wheel
and a 17-inch rear. Both wheels are spoked, but tubeless. The riding
position has been optimized for both seated and standing positions and
brush guards are standard. Stand up on the pegs and the
vibration-reducing rubber insert will compress, allowing your boots to
grip the spiked metal pegs. Side engine protectors and a sump guard are
also standard and the rear subframe is reinforced to survive impacts
even while the panniers are fitted and fully loaded. At 6.07 gallons,
the oversized fuel tank should allow some serious distance between fill
ups. A 12-volt power socket mounted in the  is also standard, the seat
adjusts between 33.3 and 34.3 inches in height and the screen is also

Fully-fueled, the Super Tenere weighs 261kg/575lbs.

Yamaha USA has no official plans to import the Super Tenere. However, we
hear that should enough interest be registered and if the financial
numbers ad up, we could see it here soon.


Type:    Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, inline 2-cylinder, 4-valve, fuel injected, twin spark engine
Displacement:         1199cc
Bore x stroke:        98 x 79.5 mm
Compression ratio:        11.0:1
Firing intervals:        270- and 450-degree points
Max. Power:            80.9kW (110PS) @7,250rpm
Max. Torque:            114.1 Nm (11.6kgf・m) @6,000 rpm
Lubrication system:        Dry sump
Fuel supply system:        Fuel Injection
Clutch type:            Wet, multiple-disc diaphragm spring
Ignition system:        Twin spark
Starter system:        Electric
Transmission system:    Constant mesh, 6-speed
Final transmission:        Shaft
Throttle system:        Yamaha Chip-Controlled Throttle (YCC-T)
Yamaha D-MODE:        2 modes, Sport (S) and Touring (T)
Traction control:        3 modes, TCS1, TCS2 and OFF
Exhaust System:        2-into-1

Frame:    Steel tube backbone
Front suspension:    Upside-down telescopic fork, 43 mm inner tube, adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping
Front wheel travel:        190 mm
Rear suspension:        Monoshock, adjustable preload and rebound damping
Rear wheel travel:        190 mm
Front brake:    Hydraulic Twin 310 mm wave discs, ABS/Unified Brake System
Rear brake:            Hydraulic Single 282 mm wave disc
Front tyre:            110/80/19
Rear tyre:            150/70/17

Overall length:        2,250 mm
Overall width:        980 mm
Overall height:        1,410 mm
Seat height:            Adjustable 845-870 mm
Wheelbase:            1,540 mm
Min. ground clearance:    205 mm
Wet weight:            261 kg (includes full oil and fuel tank):
Fuel capacity:        23 litres
Oil capacity:            4.2 litres

  • jconli1

    Depending on the pricing, that could be an applaudable effort. However if, like Honda’s new VFR, Yamaha feels the need to price it like a BMW… what’s the point?

    Riding offroad with non-defeatable ABS is really, really not fun.

    I still think the F800GS is the best tourable dual sport by a wide margin in both value and ability.

    • Russ

      “I still think the F800GS is the best tourable dual sport by a wide margin in both value and ability.”

      I thought so to until I read the reviews. The reviews are mixed on the actual touring part of the equation. Add in the bits and pieces to make it more tourable, (screen, seat etc.) and it gets quite pricey.

      • jconli1

        That’s one of the best parts about BMW : screw the reviews, go out and test ride it at your local dealer and see what you personally think. Having nearly 100k on both Stroms, big boxer GSs, small single GSs, etc… the F800GS twin turned out to be what I wanted all along. Will definitely be my next bike.

        • Russ

          I will agree with you about screwing the reviews. I rented a 1200GS for a couple of days, and I was very disappointed. Just not my style. I had high expectations and came away with the impression that it was very big, overweight, spongy and lacked the reason why I ride motorcycles; passion! All the reviews say it is a great bike, but it’s not for me.

          I still disagree with you about the F800GS. I have not test ridden one, but sat on one many times, and in regards to my opinions; they won’t change with a test ride. For example, the seat is torture, wind protection is minimal, and power for luggage and passenger is at best workable. That’s why I think the Super Tenere is positioned to sell to a different market. Just like the 1200GS, it CAN go off the pavement (despite what some are saying on here) but that is NOT what people buy them for. People are confusing what they want in the Super Tenere, with what Yamaha (and BMW) have found what the majority of people will pay for in a big adventure tourer.

          Personally, I’m looking at the F800GS, but for the price and the extras added to make it more roadworthy it will be touching the base price of a 1200GS. I’m actually starting to consider a G650GS despite it’s negative connotations. For a smidgen over $8000, I can buy last years model or slightly used, add a screen and some off-road bits, and I would be happy. My wife hates to ride, so I don’t need the power, and for the offroading I’ll be doing, it may be the perfect bike.

          • jconli1

            Russ – have you tried the F650GS twin instead of the 800? Lower spec suspension, lower seat height, but still the same excellent engine and ergos – a way better street/touring setup. Add a Ztechnik Vstream shield for $190 and you’re golden. I have 650GS single and love it for trails, but not so much on multi day trips. But to each their own.

            • Russ

              “Russ – have you tried the F650GS twin instead of the 800?”

              I have not tried the 650GS twin, but that bike isn’t cheap either with some of the aftermarket bits to make it more tourable. I would still need a seat and windscreen. With a couple of other cool add-ons, I would spend close to a $1000 on top of the cost of the bike. However, I did find a used one for $9500. I have heard that the twin is far more agreeable on the highway than the single. I’m interested to hear your experience. Should I shy away from the single if I would be doing some touring?

    • Cameron Baum

      “Riding offroad with non-defeatable ABS is really, really not fun.”

      I’d call it suicidally dangerous.

      And we are not even talking about real off-road. Just riding an ABS bike down a lose gravel road and you can feel like you are driving a Toyota Prius when you pull the brake lever. Can’t stop, can’t throw it sideways to slow -no, you are just FKD.

      I won’t ride any bike that has a non-defeatable ABS because I am not the kind of RUB that will turn around when the pavement ends. Gravel roads are FUN.

      And by defeatable I mean something that turns off and STAYS off over multiple restarts/resets. If I pull over to take a piss and drink some more water and I start the bike back up after a few minutes I don’t want to have to remember to shut it back off before I’m reminded in the WORST WAY at the next corner that I forgot to go through the complex process of defeating the damn thing again.

      A guy can get killed by these crazy things. They work well on pavement -but once you roll off the asphalt they are a liability.

  • Casey

    what is the e-mail, snail mail or phone number I could call to generate this interest to maybe get it here?

  • We Want This Bike in The USA

    Send your request to:

    Henio Arcangeli Jr.
    President, Yamaha Motorsports USA
    6555 Katella Avenue
    Cypress, CA 90630

    • TeeJay

      Don’t be so hasty, they might change him in a month… LOL.

  • TeeJay

    “Crossplane crankshaft”
    The 270° firing order is nothing new, the TDM900 has that too – maybe the Rotax-BMW F800 too? (Not sure about the second).

    If you look up the crossplane crankshaft eg. in wiki, you’ll see that this is nothing new, and well used in automitive in V8s. There is a slight remark, that the ’09 R1 also does so. :-DDD

  • Mike Major

    I don’t like the side mount radiator, a friend of mine has an RC-51, lives on a dirt road and the dirt gets into the fan housing jamming the fan.

  • General Apathy

    Looks like a KTM Adventure and a 800Gs had sex and this was the result.. And it’s overweight.. If it was <10k I would be into it, but it wont be. And WTF, ABS is defeat-able in every other bike in it’s class.. That fact alone makes the MTS1200 look more trailable cringe.

  • Is it the Shamu of Adventure tourers?

    575 pounds gassed up seems kind of heavy (539 dry). The BMW R1200GS weighs 474 pounds dry and is also a shaft drive.

    So this Tenere is about 150 pounds heavier than the new Ducati Multistrada. It is a lot nicer looking than the Multistrada or the BMW though.

  • Jim

    Looks nice. But it’s overweight, and I’m guessing going to be overpriced.

    Didn’t anyone watch Long Way Down/Around? Why would anyone want to take a 1000cc+ bike offroad??

    Still hope it makes it to the US however, along with it’s smaller 600 sibling. I wonder if Suzuki will make any changes to the V-Strom as a response?

    • Russ

      “Didn’t anyone watch Long Way Down/Around? Why would anyone want to take a 1000cc+ bike offroad??”

      People buying this bike, and the 1200GS for that matter, are not taking the Road of Bones in Russia. They want a big heavy tourer with wind protection, nice seat and can carry a passenger and luggage with no problem. Hence the big engine. (Not easy on the F800GS or the smaller Tenere) Plus, they will pass muster on most off-road stuff. Just take it slow.

      Not even Ewen or Charlie wanted this big of bike from the very beginning. They got the sponsorship and took what was given to them. This summer they will be in South America going up. It will be interesting to see if BMW puts them on the F800GS.

  • pepi

    Hey TJ:
    How many actual in-line-4 you know that are crossplane?

    • TeeJay

      Yes, so…?
      Maybe there is a good reason others do not making it. Maybe it just fucking expensive toy, and 99.9% of the bikers cannot use the advantage of it.
      On the other hand 3 cyl Kawa H1 crackshaft was a 120° one, so it is not a revolutonary thing at motorcycles either.

      • Ammerlander

        But the H1 was a two-stroke wasn´t it?
        They´ll generally have different crank angles because they fire every cylinder once every 360° crankshaft rotation as opposed two once every 720° in a four-stroke.
        That´s why a crossplane-crankshaft in an inline 4-cylinder four-stroke is noteworthy, while in a two-stroke it wouldn´t be.

  • AGP

    So apparently price with luggage in the Uk is 13,500 pounds. That’s more than fully loaded GS.

    You really want it in the US? For that much money I’ll take the GS or a Multistrada any second, or if I want to be seriously going offroad a KTM 990 Adventure will do me much better (and now it’s even cheap!).

  • Jason

    The weight caught my eye too, but you have to compare apples to apples. Yamaha’s listed wet weight is with skid plate and side bags. If you compare it to the GS Adventure that’s similarly equiped, the wet weight is only about 7-10lbs different.

    It will be expensive, but gone are the days of expecting a bike to be cheap just because it’s Japanese. The quality and technology has always been there, unfortunately with the dollar to yen where it’s at we have to actually pay market value for it now.

    • AGP

      Yeah, but the GS adventure has a ton more gizmos (including ESA II suspension) and a tank that’s 10 liters larger (we are comparing fully loaded, fully fueled weighs here).

      • Jason

        I have to admit that I don’t know much about this class of bike at this point. I know the Adventure has some other upgrades like you mention, but I figured the 60lbs difference between it and the standard primarily came from skid bars and cases. The extra fuel is obviously a big part of that too, almost 22lbs there alone.

  • JR

    looks great!

    Hope it’s priced right. I want.

    ~600cc version?

    • TeeJay

      The 600 version is actually a 660 version, and is on the market for two years now. Well maybe not in the US.

  • pepi

    The R1200GS Adventure is only 5 less Kg of weight.
    No difference.

    and lately, the reliability of the BMW is regrettable.

    • AGP

      Why are you comparing this thing to the GS Adventure? The Yamaha holds 10 liters less fuel, does not even have a cage… it should be compared to the base GS, not the Adventure. No matter how you look at it, this Tenere is seriously heavy compared even to the heaviest bikes in its class.

      Oh, and even my BMW K1300S’s ABS can be fully disabled at the touch of a button… I can’t imagine what Yamaha was thinking here.

      • Jason

        Yeah, sorry, like I said I’m still learning about this segment. So since Yamaha’s weight includes skid plate and hard bags and BMW’s base model does not, what would that make the difference between the two? I realize the Yamaha would still come out heavier, but the difference would be cut down to 20-30lbs maybe? Given Yamaha’s reputation for over engineering everything I’d hope that extra weight would be well placed at least and add some additional durability over the competition.

        Would the braking system on this bike be an issue for dirt roads and fire trails? I’d be inclined to think that would be the most aggressive riding that the majority of the ones sold would ever get used for. At least that’s the most aggressive riding I’d ever do with it. :)

  • KRT

    Holy crap i cant wait to see images of this thing in dirt that wasn’t photoshopped in.

  • Penguin

    Am I the only one who doesn’t ‘get it’? It looks the worst parts of a KTM 990 and a Wee-Strom bolted together. And an R1 inspired engine? Who the hell do they think they are kidding – The original Super Ten had a 270 degree crank, stacked gearbox and a 5 valve head – IN 1989!

    It’s defiantly not a real adventure bike – the stuck on ABS is a prime reason for this plus the weight. It’s defiantly a ‘High Tech, High Seat Tourer’ and nothing more.

    Adventure? Only if it’s black top.

  • Devin

    Combining a couple of comments above with my own experience, taking a 575 lb bike off road with ABS is pure suicide. Even a slight downhill slope in hard-pack dirt could turn into a nightmare scenario. Yikes.

    As far as comparing this to the R1200GS, that bike has been around in roughly the same form for decades, if Yamaha was going to design a new bike from the ground up they could have done better than this, especially at the price they are asking.

    I will keep waiting for a Tiger 675/Vstrom 800/next generation BMW. Also, to answer the above comment about the F800GS, it’s a great oversized dirtbike, but the Strom’s and R1200′s will kill it for long-haul adventure touring and sport riding.

  • Wong

    Europe price – €16.999

  • Why so much?

    Europe price – €16.999
    1.00 Euro = 1.36 U.S. Dollars
    €16.999 = $23,118.64


  • Why so much?

    This bike should cost no more than an FJR1300 (i.e. between 13 and $16k).

    17k Euro is overpriced.

  • szu

    Here in Poland, they’ve written in magazines that the SuperTenere ABS will work as follows:

    1. Press the “front brake lever” only and you’ve got assisted braking using both wheels.

    2. Add “rear brake lever” to it and you’re back to old school braking.

    Sounds clever to me, but I’m not an offroad rider.

    • ChuckNorris

      Alright, have they mentioned what happens if we pull the front brake lever, and step in the rear brake at the very same time?? ABS on, no no off, oups on, noooo off, on off on off..

  • The Grudz


  • MTGR

    2 strokes and 4 strokes have the same crank spacing requirements and limitations, only the number of crankshaft revolutions per power stroke vary. Most 3 cylinders, whether 2 or 4 strokes, run 120 degree crank spacing.

    I do agree it is silly of Yamaha to play up the 270 degree crank as a “crossplane” though since they originated it as a 270 deg crank themselves back in the 80s and the Triumph Scrambler and a number of others already run the exact same thing under the original name Yamaha themselves coined. 270 deg crank.

    Yes, Yam was the first in the bike market to make an unusual crank spacing work effectively in an in-line 4, so coin whatever name you want there, but what does that have to do with parallel twins where the tech is already widely used under a different name? Strictly marketing BS, as, it appears, 90% of the this new Yam turned out to be. Its not bad, but given a clean-sheet start, and the current levels of tech out there, it is a little disappointing.


    I want to see(buy)a HP2 rival,comeon yamaha undress this heavy beast and put off road wheels on it,pleas?

    • Russ

      KTM might help you out.

  • AGP

    Kevin Ash just posted a neat spec sheet shootout, just for fun. Draw your own conclusions:


    When it comes to serious off-roading, it is obvious nothing comes close to the KTM Adventure, but for the road Ducati really seem to have a great challenger to the GS dominance.

    This Yamaha – I still don’t get it…

  • Is it the Shamu of Adventure tourers?

    2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere: the Shamu of Adventure Tourers

    First the Honda VFR1200, now this XT- Have the Japanese lost their minds?

    Have you noticed how the Japanese have a tendency to enlarge their cars through successive generations? We seem to witnessing this same phenomenon now with their motorcycles. The new models are getting heavier than previous ones- that’s not good- it’s not how it’s supposed to be.

  • PeteP

    I’ll keep my DRZ400 and old-school Concours, thank you.

    Total investment, $3500, and I can go anywhere.

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