|01-24-2002, 10:04 AM||#1|
Joined: Jul 2001
Location: Tucson, Arizona
The 750 Super Tenere
Just some thoughts/experiences about the Super Tenere (Yamaha XTZ750). Quite popular in Europe and winning the Paris-Dakar in the the early 90's, this bike was made from 1989-1994 and never distributed in North America. Mine is a gray-market 1989 model which I've owned for about three months.
The Ten is about 100 pounds lighter than my 1996 R1100GS. I bought it primarily for day rides with some of my dual-sport buddies, where the GS has been a handful compared to the KLR-class bikes they ride. It would be a competant adventure tourer, but even with five valves/cylinder developing 75 hp, it cannot match the GS for long-distance fun factor. It compares more favorably with the F650GS, where it is at least as competant (except in braking) at doing the things for which that bike is designed and is considerably less costly.
Other than a new massive 530 chain, it was essentially stock when I got it. The frame is of Deltabox contruction using a monoshock on dual-sided swingarm. Modifications since purchase include a Laser Pro-Duro muffler, Acerbis hand guards, Metzler Karoo tires, braided stainless front brake lines, PIAA extreme white auxilliary light (in the right-side fairing two-inch faux ram air intake), replacement of the old duplo bulbs in the twin headlamps with bright H4's, vinyl protectors for the headlamps, and fairing protection bars. On order is a stage 2 jet kit for the dual downdraft 38mm Mikuni carbs, and K&N air filters.
What's it like owning an older gray-market bike? Many of the parts are interchangable with the TDM850, a bike that was marketed here; those parts are available from dealers. The Ten sold well in Germany partly because it was a true dual-sport that dealt well with autobahn speeds. There is a specialist there, Kedo, that is experienced dealing with American owners and has very low prices. (E.G., Hepco-Becker aluminum hard cases are about (US$280/pair plus shipping).
Compared to the vastly popular KLR, it and the Tenere (TEN- ray) are large-displacement water-cooled dual-sports with big fuel tanks, while the Ten has about 30 additional HP and 50 extra pounds. On moderate dirt roads the bikes are reasonably well matched. TheTen's extra power helps though. Of course more aftermarket options exist for the KLR. The unusual Ten is quite apealling to the eye and gets more than it's share of attention.
The point is that even in the U.S. there are many good options for those seeking a Beasty Adventure Bike other than the half-dozen models that are marketed so well here.
96 R1100GS, 89 Super Tenere
Not insane, perilously close to normal.
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