Launch Report Yamaha Super Tenere

for the rain or even in traffic, but on a 110hp tourer? Making the feature even more redundant is the excellent traction control, so even in sports mode you're unlikely to spin the bike up...

The design

Although Yamaha didn't set out to build a lightweight machine for the class, the engineers did want to give the 1200 a low centre of gravity and make it durable. So they opted for a steel chassis rather than aluminium, claiming its flexibility is better suited to an Adventure bike than lighter but stiffer aluminium. The engine is a stressed member hung in the chassis and the sub frame is alloy, designed and built with the expectation luggage and a passenger will be carried.

One Holy Grail of bike design is to try to get the crankshaft close to the footpeg position, because this improves handling and lowers the centre of gravity. By using a dry sump design the crank is effectively moved down, while a side-mounted radiator allows the engine to move forward in the chassi s, which in turn allows for a longer swingarm, another feature which improves handling.

Being a touring bike, there's a decent 23-litre fuel capacity, shaft drive, adjustable seat height (and it's actually lower than the height of the XTZ660), touring fairing and luggage options.

In an unusual move, Yamaha is claiming a curb weight of 261kg, including 23 litres of fuel. Some manufacturers claim dry weights (no liquids) and some wet weight (all liquids except fuel) so it's difficult to compare apples with apples when it comes to weight right now. What you do need to know is this bike is in the same league as its competitors, all of them are buggers to pick up when they fall over.

Equipment and accessories

The bikes on the launch were all equipped with factory panniers which aren't huge, but are a decent size. You needed to exercise a little care with the key to make sure the lid was really closed: I saw a number of riders depart with the lid not closed properly. They are absolutely waterproof and look very tough.

The bike comes standard with side protectors which should prevent potentially major damage in the event of a minor spill. They are compact and sit just under the fairing and should take the impact of a topple-over spill, hopefully saving the engine and fairing from major dam age. There is an optional larger crash protection kit available.

The bashplate I would suggest is essential for Australian conditions, especially given the exposed position of the oil filter.

The instruments are comprehensive and easy to read. There's a trip computer which calculates fuel consumption and a lot more, there's multiple trip meters including the distance travelled since 'reserve' was hit and also a 12v power outlet - and it's a standard cigarette lighter type.

The wheels are laced tubeless, I would have liked to have seen more clearance between the tyre and front guard, brakes are powerful all round, the headlights strong and bright.

The suspension is conventional: USD front forks, single rear spring/ damper unit. What's interesting is both ends are fully adjustable and the rear spring has an hydraulic adjuster, so no tools required to adjust rear preload.

The Tech

Linke d brakes, ABS, traction control... are these things you want on an Adventure bike? If you are seriously hard-core maybe not, but for most riders most of1 the time, the new high tech features built into this bike make it easier and safer to ride.

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