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Yamaha Super Tenere review from new purchase to sale after 3 years and 24,000 miles

Background – I’ve been riding for 35 years and do a 4,000 mile trip each year. On this bike I’ve been to Portugal, the Amalfi Coast and the Alps. After 3 years of use I’ve decided to go back to Vstrom’s as I’ve had 3 before and it’s a brilliant light tourer. Here are my thoughts on the XT1200


Excellent Headlights•

Excellent seat – I did Lake Garda, Italy to London in one day [950 miles] with no problems

Good vibration free mirrors•

Unobtrusive trouble free shaft drive

Reasonable tank range at 220+


Heritage – the much vaunted Paris-Dakar heritage gives you a bike with spoked wheels and a sticker with a sand dune on it. If you take this to the real desert [I’ve lived in the UAE] and drop the bike, you’re going to die if help doesn’t come because you can’t pick up a 267kg bike on soft sand or mud. So dirt tracks are are as far as it goes and what all the promotional videos show

Weight – many reviews say how light the bike feels when it’s moving. Frankly once any heavyweight bike is moving it’s easy to keep it up. It’s low speed manoeuvring, particularly with a pillion, that may have you gingerly moving around fearing a drop. This is my main reason for getting rid of it

Yamaha XT 1200 Z

Luggage – once you have established this is not an off-road bike you might then look at whether it makes a good tourer. Luggage is high up for me. The luggage is plastic with aluminium sidings. Neither top box nor panniers can hold a helmet. The panniers are rectangular and if your pillion has short legs they will find it uncomfortable getting their legs to sit over the panniers.

The locks periodically shake loose in the housings and have to be retightened and the method of attaching the luggage will amaze you with the multiple operations required compared to, say, Givi’s Monokey system. The soft inner luggage will quickly shed the zip pulls as they break off inside the boxes. Finally, the ignition key used to open the boxes protrudes 2 inches and could easily be accidentally snapped off in the lock. I had a spare made to avoid this

Residuals – I paid £14.5k for this bike and got £5.6 part exchange for a Vstrom. The value plummets faster than the GS it’s meant to be up against

Radiator – the radiator fan blows hot air over your left leg and travelling through Spain in 43C brought home that you don’t want to go to the desert on this thing.

Insurance – I park it on the road in London. Because so few people bought this bike insurers were loath to insure me as they didn’t know how to price it. The day I bought it, the Yamaha recommended insurance agent refused to insure it as it wasn’t on their books and I finally found one company that would insure me for £700.

Over 3 years I’ve got that down to £500 but it’s something to watch out for. BTW I have 9 years no claims.

Cachet – While I’ve had this bike my pal has had a GS1200 and Multistrada 1200. Nobody looks at the SuperTenere against those bikes. This partly explains the terrible residuals.

Yamaha XT 1200 Z
Yamaha XT 1200 Z
Yamaha XT 1200 Z
Yamaha XT 1200 Z
Yamaha XT 1200 Z
Yamaha XT 1200 Z

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