My Ténéré has passed the 40 day mark and has a couple thousand miles on the odometer, since it returned from the shop. So far its accomplished a multi-day trip and daily commuting duties. We have tackled high heat, rain and even some chillier temperatures. The Ténéré has handled them all by simply being a good motorcycle.
Great is an overused superlative when describing motorcycles, but the Yamaha Ténéré is good at everything… not great. It's good on the road, it's good on the dirt, it's good on long trips, it's good in mixed weather -- you get the idea. Let's take a look at what the bike is doing so far and where it can be improved.
The stock seat is supportive and holds me to the bike tight. There is a rough textured finish to it that helps keep me planted and it never feels like the padding is too soft or that you’re sitting on the seatpan.
Many other stock seats start off firm and then turn rock hard within 50 miles. My wife agrees and the pillion seat gets the same marks for comfort. She has plenty of legroom and there is room for her to stretch her legs if she needs to.
The ergonomics are pretty close to perfect out of the box. The bars are high enough to make standing on the pegs easy and comfortable. The reach from the seat places your hands at a comfortable angle with a nice bend to your arms allowing them to stay loose and comfortable.
Wind protection is good--there's that word again--with only a slight amount of buffeting in the top most position. It has four tool-less adjustments that are easy to do. You do have to stop to make the adjustment as it takes both hands to accomplish, like two locks that control the plates holding the wind screen in place. When you loosen them it loosens the plates that have to be moved out to allow the windscreen to move up and down. Great for security of the screen, not great for ease of use.
The stock hand guards do a good job of protecting my hands from rain even with just vented leather gloves on.
The engine power makes useable power, it has good grunt off the bottom but runs out of breath at the top of the rev range. Throttle response is smooth and controllable if never really exciting. Again delivery is good but never quite hitting that great description. The one good thing I can say is it runs like a truck plenty of power but not real exciting. It does not notice a passenger or luggage or anything else that gets in the way.
The Ténéré does not come with crash protection as a standard item so I can't really say anything good or bad yet.
The Path to Greatness
My wife and I are still breaking the seats in so for now they will be status quo. Same goes with the ergonomics, they’re good as is.
Wind protection is one area that could be improved for foul weather. I can see when it gets colder a taller shield will be handy. We will be fitting an aftermarket windscreen to see if that can be improved. The stock shield scratches easily as well, so hopefully a new one will hold up better.
The engine is going to be a main focus of upgrades. We have already fitted a Yoshimura RS4 slip-on. There is also a Bazzaz Z-Fi with traction control, quick shift and auto fuel-mapping Z-AFM accessory coming. Each step will be documented and dyno tested. It's safe to say, the slip-on has made a huge difference, this motor is simply chocked from the factory.
Crash protection is fitted courtesy of Alt Rider and is currently being tested in everyday riding. The skid plate is under redesign to fit the 2014 so we are a little limited in off-road testing at the moment. Definitely look for more to follow on these items. Alt Rider has a huge catalog of accessories and protection for just about every side and part on your motorcycle.
There will be more on the ADV luggage as well. Look for a review of the Wolfman Rocky Mountains saddle bags in a couple weeks.
Things are headed in the right direction. What upgrades do you want to see? Comment below!
Read some more of the Yamaha Ténéré adventure.
First: Adventure Gear
Welcome Home: The Return