The Yamaha XT 1200 ZE Super Ténéré isn't complicated, and that's never expected to change. It's this property that makes it so popular with anyone who simply wants to travel - wherever they go without having to worry about the moped. What else can she do?
The Yamaha XT 1200 ZE Super Ténéré has always been special. Again this year, although it is rather the unspecial thing that counts here. In fact, the last revision dates back to 2015, an interval that few manufacturers allow to pass without major modifications. But why, what should be better?
The big (and at 261 kilos also heavy) Yamaha is a cross-border commuter. It is a travel enduro, similar to the Honda Africa Twin. But if you take a closer look, there is not only a pretty big shot of Adventure Bike in it. Nevertheless, the legendary long-distance travel capability in all deserts and lonely sections of our earth should not have suffered. Where Google Maps is at the end of its Latin, the Yamaha is just getting warm.
Then let's take a look: from 13,499 euros you can become the owner of a Ténéré 1200. The ZE version we drive with electric chassis, heating handles and a main stand comes to 15,899 euros. Still money left? Then the "Raid Edition" could be the right thing to do. Here you can find suitcases, a high disc, fog lights and the engine protection for 17,999 euros.
There is a detail that symbolizes the whole motorcycle. This is the seat height, which suits normal-grown drivers even in the higher setting. If you like it deeper, you only need a short handle under the seat and it fits (seat height 845-870 mm). Why, one wonders, does not every manufacturer make this so simple, simple and instantly understandable?
The longer you think, the easier it is to construct things. In this sense, the Japanese have been pondering the Ténéré for a very, very long time. Almost everything about it is simple without being cheap. Even the electric chassis does not confuse with illogical operation. Although there are 84 different settings in total, the operation without instructions is easy to understand.
Then let's see if driving with her is that easy.
That is it, at least in terms of one thing: the high weight of the Ténéré is forgotten shortly after starting. The limited sportiness of the 1200s is not due to the high weight, rather it is due to the engine. Already from 1500 revolutions, the long-stroke two-cylinder pushes the vehicle forward, from 2500 it goes to the point with a buoyant approach. Alone, the énoun doesn't last long, the Twin doesn't get its 110 hp out of speeds. Not to be misunderstood, the Yamaha is neither slow nor lame, but with a sports term derived from high speeds, it can't do anything.
This also applies to the chassis: no matter what setting you choose, the Yamaha will always pull its course in a stable manner, even up to the top speed. Of course, this is also due to the tubeless tyres, which do their thing well on asphalt, in the terrain there is no state to do with them. The driving comfort is good through the bench and on this, even on long distances. This also applies to the Socius. If you want to scratch corners, you should definitely choose the "Sport" suspension setting. Otherwise, the backhand tramples and the fork dips heavily when braking.
The gimbal drive is not rumbling at all. On the contrary, the low-maintenance power transmission shows how far this construction has come: no tree-raising when driving off, no trampling, no load change reactions – that's how it has to be. Our test bike was equipped with a larger windshield from the Yamaha accessories range. A sensible investment, because the driving wind is thus reliably derived from the driver.
The 1200 offers a high level of long-distance comfort, which results from a moderate knee angle, the sofa-like seat cushion for riders like Sozius and perfectly placed footrests like handlebars. This comfort is supported by the low-vibration running of the twins.
So the spectacular thing about the Ténéré is that it is so unspectacular. But it is not quite cheap: at just under 16,000 euros, it is almost as expensive as a – admittedly naked – BMW GS.
The test bike was provided to us by Tecius and Reimers in Hamburg.