Welcome to my blog, these are the ramblings and musings of an (upper) middle aged biker and if you enjoy braais, (barbeques) beers and motorbikes then hopefully you will enjoy what Janet and I do; we do lots of braais, we drink lots of beer and we tour South Africa on our motorbike, which at the moment is a BMW R1200RT. Join us, read about what we do and please leave us your comments.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Yamaha 1200 Super Tenere

On Thursday I finished work early and went through to Vredenburg to take the demo Yamaha 1200 Super Tenere out for a ride and I must confess to being very excited about riding this great looking beast.
Craig and Monica Welch are the owners of West Coast Yamaha (022 7191398), they have a good stock of new and used bikes as well as clothing and accessories and a fully equipped work shop, nice friendly people and keen bikers themselves they are always involved with the local biking community.
Craig was busy in the workshop so I took a picture of his pretty wife before going for my ride.
This bike is a beast! My first impression was that it was quite bulky but as soon as I sat on it I could feel that the centre of balance was very low and in fact it is quite slim when you get your knees up against the tank.After Craig showed me through the controls and switches I started the engine and immediately fell in love with the deep rorty exhaust note, lovely stuff! I rode cautiously out of the town to get used to the handling because this bike just drops into corners with incredible agility.
Once out of the town I opened it up a bit, I was still in "Touring mode" and saw 200kmh quite easily before tapping off. I noticed that the footpegs are quite far back so that my feet were more under my butt than under my knees, this gave a nice upright position close to the tank and the wide and high handlebars made the bike feel eminently controlable.
After taking a couple of photos I got back onto the road, the dash is easily readable with a very large digital speedo reading (no excuse for getting speeding fines with this one!) and a rev counter. The indicator lights are nice and big as well so it's not so easy to make mistakes there.
There are a lot of small digital readouts on the dash which could be a bit distracting; such as the riding mode indicator, the traction control setting and the fuel consumption but I think that if this was your own bike you would soon get used to them.
There is no gear position indicator which is a pity. I next tried out the other riding mode; "Sport" which is controlled by pushing a small toggle switch with your thumb on the right handlebar, you close the throttle, toggle the switch and open up. What a rush! There is a distinct difference in the bike's performance and I was over 200kmh in very quick time. I didn't go any faster because the wind was gusting pretty hard and the only drawback with this bike is the pretty sparse wind protection from the small screen.There are two traction control settings for different road conditions as well as the "Off" position for dirt road riding, this gives you the ability to do power slides and rooster tails with ease because this bike has plenty of grunt. To change the traction control settings or to switch it off you are required to stop and select neutral.
The gear change is a nice smooth click, shifting easily up and down with no "clunk" sound or jerking. This is a nice looking bike, it has an aggressive "face" and although I didn't ride very far I thoroughly enjoyed it, this bike can definitely bring out the hooligan in you!
All in all a very nice motorcycle, build quality is top class and there are pannier boxes and a topcase available aftermarket, the bike brought out the adventurer in me and made me want to head off through Africa - I certainly wouldn't mind one in my garage.
Give Craig or Monica a call and let them set you up.


Geoff James said...

Excellent review Andrew. If fellow blogger Bobscoot sees this post, he'll be frothing at the mouth as I think the pull is pretty strong. Sounds like there's a delay in putting them on the market in the USA and Canada though.

Thinking of trading in the Beemer???

George F said...

Nice review and you covered everything to the dot. I'm glad you had fun with it. This is an adventure bike so you can't compare the wind protection to yours but you know that and you explained it, they do sell a bigger screen though. It does seem to be a bike perfect for some hooliganism. I wish I could do some adventuring in Africa too but I will be doing it in the US. You can always get a second bike ;-)
Can't wait for May to see my bike.

the rider said...

Thanks Geoff, I have always been interested in the Tenere and wanted to ride it but no, I am not trading in the BMW - I may upgrade later if finances allow though.

George I'm glad you enjoyed the review and I'm sure you can't wait to get your bike, you're going to love it!

BeemerGirl said...

Drool! Thank you sssoooo much for the post. Half sarcastic and half real. You did a great job of breaking down feel, handling and all. I would be thinking of adding to the stable if I had better finances. I know of three people that have already plunked their money down on the deposit in the US. Your post just made me want it more... Argh.


Nikos said...


Thanks for posting this - despite Bobskoot eulogising frantically about this super T, I am growing towards it too for replacement of my R1150GS next year. I was also impressed by my visit to Wigan Yamaha and that the sales man was pursuing me around the showroom with a calculator quoting excellent finance deals!

One question tho', what was the leg room like on the road? I'm quite tall and I like a lot of footpeg distance between me and the seat. It seemed OK in the showroom (as did the 660 Tenere).

Best wishes


the rider said...

Thank you Lori, I'm glad you enjoyed it - nice bike indeed and it's been here for a while, it would have to be a second bike for me though no ways would I change my RT for it.

Nikos thanks for stopping by, I think you will find it a big improvement on the 1150 and the legroom is very good, I'm 6'2" and was very comfortable. With the pegs being positioned a bit back I initially had trouble finding the brake pedal, but they are obviously placed like that to make standing up easier.
All in all a very pleasant ride.