Yamaha has announced one of its most interesting models for 2010: the XT1200Z Super Ténéré, the long-awaited rival to BMW’s class-leading R1200GS machine, reports Alastair Walker. The new bike will be available for sale online this week – but you’ll have to wait until May to actually get the bike delivered.
The new Tenere 1200 is a go-anywhere adventure machine, with spoked wheels, generous ground clearance and decent engine protection. The entire design is aimed at keeping the bike’s mass low and central for good balance and agile handling at speed. Hopefully Yamaha have done a good job, as the new XT1200Z is a hefty 261Kgs wet – that makes it one of the heaviest machines in its class, and heavier than the BMW – which has the same power output. Another rival, the Ducati Multistrada 1200 weighs 189Kgs ( dry ) and makes 150bhp, compared to the Yamaha’s 110bhp. The Tenere isn’t going to feel fast, especially two-up.
So why is it so heavy? True, the new Yamaha has a hi-tech brake system with ABS, shaft drive, plus hard luggage, and the usual weighty catalyser in the exhaust, but it seems a mystery why the bike should weigh so much more than the BMW, which is another 1200cc twin, with similar equipment. The Yamaha also has a six-gallon fuel tank as standard by the way, which is good for long distance riders. Once full, this will probably make the 575lbs Super Tenere a bit too heavy for off-road use, except by expert riders.
Yamaha say that the new Tenere will have luggage, headlight protector and ABS brakes as standard this year, but they will be optional extras next year. That’s a cute way of saying a cheaper version will be made available in 2011, which will sell at much less than the huge £13,499 asking price for Spring 2010.
For that price you still don’t get heated grips, a low seat option, inner bags for the panniers, a top case, or a high screen. Like most manufacturers this year, Yamaha are giving little away and gambling that the adventure touring customer can afford to splash out about 15K on a new machine. They could be right, Honda’s VFR1200 and Ducati’s Multistrada both seem to have sold well initially. One other factor that may well help sales is that the new Super Tenere looks stunning, the styling is exceptional.
If you fancy dedicated Tenere 1200 clothing, you can buy that at; www.yamaha-motor.co.uk/accessories too.