Motorcycling offers many venues for the ideal riding experience based on personal preferences and requirements. The Yamaha Super Ténéré was named as Cycle World’s “Best Adventure Bike” in that category’s first year. It was perceived to be a comfortable 1200 cc twin long distance cruiser that also delivered a commanding seating position for tooling around urban real estate and was suitable for off-road treks.
For the 2014 model year, Yamaha sought to improve the Super Ténéré’s appeal for on-road travel without sacrificing any of its off-road capability, with two examples available: a standard model bike offered in Team Yamaha Blue or Matte Gray/Matte Black; along with the ES version (Electronic Suspension) that came in only Matte Gray/Matte Black. The standard model started at $15,090., while the ES began at $16,190. – a premium of $1,100. The KYB suspension system was not an active system, but rather was adjustable electronically with three basic damper settings – Hard, Standard and Soft, each of which came with seven levels of fine tuning that could be accomplished on the fly: along with four preload settings that could be dialed in with the bike parked. The basic damper settings include variations for Solo, Two-up and also take the amount of cargo in the Luggage setting and the terrain into account. The ES model also came with ABS brakes and heated grips.
Progressing to model year 2016, there are virtually no changes in the Super Ténéré – even the pricing structure remains the same. The ES model proves to be the superior bike over the standard bike for off-road riding, as the ability to firm up the suspension tends to eliminate corner wallow, while enabling the bike to soak up severe bumps without bottoming out.
Power is still delivered by an 1199cc DOHC; 8-valve, liquid-cooled, inline parallel twin cylinder engine with YCC-T fuel injection and transistor-controlled ignition. Motive force reaches the rear wheel through a constant mesh, wide ratio six-speed transmission with a multi-plate wet clutch. The final drive is shaft.
Suspension componentry consists of front Telescopic 43mm inverted forks; electronically adjustable compression and rebound damping with 7.5-inches of travel. In the rear is a Monoshock with electronically adjustable preload and rebound damping, also with 7.5-inches of travel. The bike rolls on a Bridgestone Battlewing B/W 501- 110/80R19 – 59V tire up front and a Bridgestone Battlewing B/W 502 150/70R17- 69V in the rear – both mounted on laced wire spoke wheels.
Bringing the Super Ténéré ES to a halt are Dual 310mm hydraulic discs up front, with a Unified Brake System and ABS and a 282mm single disc, Unified Brake System and ABS aft.
The bike’s wheelbase measures 60.6 inches and the overall length is 88.8 inches. Ground clearance is **-inches. The dry weight tips the scales at 584 pounds. The seat height is 33.3-inches, adjustable to 34.3-inches. The Super T carries 6.1 gallons of fuel and delivers an estimated average of 43 mpg.
My test Yamaha Super Ténéré ES wore the standard Matte Gray/Matte Black finish and came with a base sticker set at $16,190., while the final tally came to $17,622.79 after factoring in the following accessories: Skid Plate; Tall windshield; Engine Guards; Side Case mounting Kit and Side Cases; Top Case. Dealer prep and handling are not included as they are variable.
SUMMARY: The Yamaha Super Ténéré ES may not be the perfect bike for all riders, but it pretty much covers all the needs of the majority of riders who want a dual purpose adventure bike that is fully capable for both on and off-road riding scenarios.
Rider comfort and convenience are paramount. Super Ténéré ES includes: cruise control, adjustable seat and windshield height, tuneable front and rear suspension, both a side and center stand, a gear indicator, heated grips and a power outlet. Foot controls are mid-mounted for the rider, with a seat and folding pegs for a passenger.
Instrumentation includes: a digital speedo and bar graph tach. fuel range and fuel level bar graph, a digital clock and trip odometer. Turn signals are unfortunately non-canceling and the side bags are somewhat difficult to clear when dismounting, and they also create added windage in high wind situations.
The infinite adjustability of the ride quality and the Two-position “D-Mode” (Drive Mode) throttle response allows the rider to adjust mapping for conditions or preferences. The Traction control regulates ignition timing, fuel injection and throttle valve opening based on wheel spin, allowing for a smooth response that is not abrupt. Three modes are available to match rider preference, including off.
Super Ténéré ES provides both an Antilock Braking System and Unified Braking System. With UBS, applying the front brake lever also provides some rear-wheel braking; pressing the rear brake first overrides UBS for traditional separate front and rear braking action.
The handlebars are fitted with wraparound grip brush guards and are comfortably positioned, but could be higher for off-road riding when standing.
Throttle response is immediate across a broad torque range with no noticeable jacking from the shaft drive, and braking is positive and sure. The Super Ténéré ES comes with a 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty), is suited to a variety of riding situations, and is well balanced and easily managed, except when backing on an incline, the short rake make directional stability a bit of a chore.
Bottom line, if you’re looking for adventure, The Yamaha Super Ténéré ES may well be just the right bike for you.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 Yamaha Super Ténéré ES
|Price as Tested:||$17,622.79|
|Engine Type and Size:||1199cc DOHC; 8-valve, liquid-cooled inline 2-cylinder with YCC-T fuel injection and transistor-controlled ignition.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||Not listed|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||Not listed|
|Transmission:||Constant mesh Six-speed manual, multi-plate wet clutch.|
|Drive Train:||Final drive – Shaft|
Front – Telescopic 43mm inverted forks; electronically adjustable compression and rebound damping with 7.5-inches of travel.
Rear – Monoshock; electronically adjustable preload and rebound damping with 7.5-inches of travel.
|Brakes:||Dual 310mm hydraulic discs, Unified Brake System and ABS up front / 282mm single disc, Unified Brake System and ABS.|
|Tires:||Bridgestone Battlewing B/W 501- 110/80R19 – 59V front / Bridgestone Battlewing B/W 502 150/70R17- 69V rear mounted on laced wire spoke wheels.|
|Length Overall:||88.8 inches|
|Curb Weight:||584 lbs. (dry)|
|Fuel Capacity:||6.1 gallons.|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||43 mpg estimated average.|
|Seat Height:||33.3 inches or 34.3 inches|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not tested|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.