The ABS systems on the BMW and Ducati definitely aren't off-road worthy; their cycling is very coarse, causing the bike to noticeably free-wheel in between braking cycles and making for elevated heart rates if you're approaching a downhill corner a little too quickly. However, we found the Super Ténéré's ABS to actually work at an acceptable level off-road; while perhaps not stopping quite as good as standard brakes in many circumstances, the ABS's power is excellent, and the ultra-quick cycling rate is very transparent, even as you come to a stop (whereas the others start pogo-ing as the coarse cycling causes the front suspension to compress/lift with each braking cycle). We tried a few panic stops on the dirt roads we traversed during the Sedona launch, and the Super Ténéré actually scrubbed off speed with surprising swiftness - much quicker than we were expecting, especially considering the non-knobby Bridgestone tires and the gravel-strewn hard-pack dirt we were riding on.
Our thoughts overall about the Yamaha's non-switchable ABS are that with a bike of this size and heft, the situations where you'd want to lock up the rear wheel (slowly descending a very steep downhill section, for instance) may perhaps be a little outside the Super Ténéré's repertoire anyway for most buyers of this bike. Backing it into a corner on the brakes and squaring it off may sound spectacular in theory, but might not be the quickest way unless you're an expert rider with plenty of experience on bikes like these. Regardless, those who are that intent on doing any serious off-roading will figure out a way to easily bypass the ABS, as well as modify the other aspects of the Yamaha that need attention (less weight, more power).
Of Serious Intent
Twin hard bags with a total...
Twin hard bags with a total 61-liter capacity are just part of the huge array of parts available through Yamaha's Accessory Division. Several package deals include a free GoPro Hero digital video camera.
The Super Ténéré is more of a serious adventure-tour machine than, say, the Ducati Multistrada by dint of the Yamaha's 19-inch front wheel, spoked rims, and large-capacity fuel tank that enable it to better handle long off-road excursions. With the boatload of accessories available for the Super Ténéré from Yamaha's accessories division, you can easily tailor the bike to your tastes, whether for more on- or off-road intentions. And with a starting MSRP of $13,900, the Yamaha gives you a lot more spare change to work with compared to its competition.
As with the new-generation VMAX, the Super Ténéré will be on a made-to-order basis only as part of the Yamaha Priority Delivery Program. Customers must put down a $500 deposit at their Yamaha dealer by March 31, 2011 (special financing with a 5.99 percent APR for up to 72 months available for qualified buyers), and orders will be filled according to the time received starting in May 2011.
2012 Yamaha Super Ténéré
Liquid-cooled, DOHC parallel-twin
Bore x stroke:
98.0 x 79.5mm
Mikuni EFI w/YCC-T, 46mm throttle bodies, single injector/cyl.
Front tire: 110/80R-19 59V Bridgestone Battle Wing BW501
Rear tire: 150/70R-17 69V Bridgestone Battle Wing BW502
Rake/trail: 28 degrees/5.0 in. (126mm)
Wheelbase: 60.6 in. (1540mm)
Claimed wet weight: 575 lb. (261 kg)
Seat height: 33.3 in./34.3 in. (845mm/870mm) adjustable
Fuel capacity: 6.1 gal. (23L)