Should Yamaha Build a New Super-Tenere?

Should Yamaha build a new Super-Tenere? 1

OPINION | Will Yamaha be back at the big-adventure table?

The Super Ten is getting older. Even three years ago when trying it, it felt out of fashion: too heavy, not enough poke from the engine, it’s clear that it can’t keep up with its fierce rivals in the segment: BMW R1200GS, KTM Adventure or Triumph Tiger Explorer. 

Yamaha Super-Tenere was first launched in 1989 and had twin front discs, a massive 26-liter fuel tank, and the Race 750/850 versions went on to win Paris Dakar a total of six times. The model was discontinued in 1996. 

Then, it was time for a new Super Ten – based on the same principle – parallel-twin engine and long-way travel capabilities. This time, the engine displacement got larger – 1,200 cc – and the XTZ 1200 was built to fight the R1200GS. But it didn’t have enough time to impress: BMW was already developing the water-cooled R1200GS – probably the most successful GS so far, and KTM was working on a 1200 cc V-Twin ready to set a new benchmark in term of engine power. So the Super Tenere was somehow late for the party.  

However, it’s been eight years since it was unveiled and the Super Tenere is basically the same bike. Yamaha just revealed the “Raid” edition, but it comes with the same 112 hp and 265 kg and some extra-stickers on it. Still, Yamaha is working on the Tenere project  – based on the MT-07 engine – and we should probably see the final result this autumn. But no words on the Super Tenere. 

So, what's the thing? Does Yamaha still want to fight in the big-adventure market? If they do, they should spend a lot of money on R&D, considering the fact they don’t have an engine to fit the big travel motorcycles market – the MT-09 inline-three just doesn’t match there. They should consider building a completely new parallel-twin engine, with more than 130 horsepower to equip a motorcycle packing a lot of electronics and less than 240 kg, to be competitive. It’s not impossible, but it would be very costly and there are other options.

Let’s take Honda’s strategy, for example. Africa Twin is somewhere between the segments – it combines the performance of a middleweight – same power as the F850GS and the Tiger 800 – with the comfort of the big bikes – large fairings, good weather protection. It was a smart move, so the Africa Twin is the second best-selling motorcycle in the segment after the R1200GS.

The Triumph is on the touring side, KTM is on the aggressive side, Ducati Multistrada Enduro looks cool – everyone has it's selling proposal and unique character. Where should Yamaha  fit in? 

So, what will Yamaha do? Will they develop a completely new motorcycle to fight the upcoming R1250GS and KTM 1290 Adventure? Will they update the XTZ 1200 Super Tenere to comply with the  Euro 5 regulations? Will they discontinue the project?

By looking at Yamaha’s latest development strategy, focused on the small-displacement and middleweight segments plus the 1,000 cc R1 and MT-10, we’re not sure. There’s nothing to explore anymore in the 700 cc – 1000 cc area, maybe a Tracer 1000, but that doesn’t mean Yamaha is hurrying to launch a new Super Tenere. The Nikken three-wheel project confirms it. 

9 thoughts on “Should Yamaha Build a New Super-Tenere?

  1. Yes they should. An adventure bike based on MT-10 competing with s1000xr and Multistrada. And a more aggressive one for off-road against 1290sar and gsa.

  2. They surely should; just more hp (i would say around 140) and better front lights (led) would help a lot.

  3. There are a lot of riders that want something other than than a GS ant the 1200 tenere is one that fills the gap and does it do that well the first bike that can go over 1000 km in a day and the rider feels like he just did a short ride for the day we need this bike

  4. Renewing Super Tenere should have been completed at least 4 years ago before new 1250 GS launched which I think is the only rival. Triumph is as heavy as Super Ten and Japan’s technology and sturdyness are way better than Triumphs. On the other hand Q ring is another lane; African Twin and KTM 1290 is in the Q ring side. Shaft drive is another world for less maintenance costs and good for middle aged bikers who are wealthier and not much tolerant to q Rings cleaning and oiling burden compared to small size Adventure bikers. Super Tenere should be less heavier around 230 kg and more powerfull like 130 hp and quick shift adapted, better IPad tipe indicators, and rich accessories may be less oil consumption..

  5. Definitely Should. Like everyone else here says, Lighter. Between 230 and 250 kilos. Between 130 and 155 horsepower. Simple buttons for the electronics. Take cues from the 1050 Vstrom. Its not a bad bike as it stands. But yamaha needs to step their game up. Don’t just give up. Oh and keep the price below $20,000 US if at all possible.

  6. I want to have somthing but not GS unfortunutley nothing on narket.Ducati ,KTM notvreliable, Triumph made in Taivan ??, Suzuki and honda low HP nothing large for travel .
    Yamaha get lazy and new they are behind BMW.
    I have Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX 30 lit tank large and conforrable over 10 years but 105 hp no electronic like today and cant find anything exept this bmw .So I stay with Stelvio and wait

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