Janie Omorogbe got to ride a new Yamaha Super Ténéré from Portugal to Morocco, and wrote up her impressions for Motorcycle USA.
The Super Ténéré has been a long-awaited entry into the adventure bike category–long-dominated by the BMW R1200GS. Available only in Europe at present, a lot of people on this side of the pond have been eagerly awaiting news of it. Well, how we have some.
Most of her impressions of the bike seem positive:
[T]he Super Tenere is pretty capable and it’s extremely comfortable…The torque curve is as steady as a surgeon’s hand and the power delivery is predictable and measured…[A]ttacking twisties is actually really good fun, not only because of the superb braking system which allows you to grab a fistful at the last moment, (within reason of course) but the bike also has effortless handling…At a faster pace, the Super T feels planted and secure…It’s fun, comfortable and easy to ride.
So far, so good. Alas, all is not roses with the Super Ténéré , however:
But ask for more aggression, and the ST just won’t play ball…[I]n the mountains, the ST almost throws in the towel, wheezing through the thinning air indecisively. At “normal” altitudes, the bike behaves far more predictably…although it definitely has less punch than BMW’s latest GS…The onboard technology is as limited as the optional extras list…The screen is adjustable, but doing so is not exactly a two-minute job. Where the GS just needs you to twist a couple of knobs, the ST requires an allen key, screw driver and the removal of a side panel.
So, the engine is a bit sluggish, and there aren’t a lot of farkles. But that’s livable for many riders I suppose. What may not be livable is surprising, especially when compared to BMW:
But in the UK the biggest stumbling block isn’t its performance but its price. Compared to BMW’s R1200GS, it isn’t any better, it has fewer options and it is more expensive.
Well. That’s not good. The big knock on BMW is that they’re generally priced as if they were crafted from purest unobtainium. Now that may be unfair, considering how many technical and comfort doohickeys BMW puts on their bikes. After all, you pay for what you get, and with BMW, you generally get a lot.
But if Yamaha is producing a less capable and less farkled-up bike, and still charging you more for it…well, then I afraid that’s just not on, as our British cousins like to say.