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Old 12-26-2012, 03:26 AM   #11
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Aug 2008
Oddometer: 391
Originally Posted by tuffgong View Post
So,someone give me the lowdown on the Tenere. I am close to buying a Transalp,but the Tenere is a definite alternative. I primarily want a road bike for back road rambling,some mountain road touring/camping,some two up of same,with some fairly agressive twisty action .Not afraid to leave the pavement,but not crossing the Sahara or leaving the ground,to be sure. Will they run loaded/two up at 70-80 or is that asking too much. Most big trailies handle quite nicely and I love to wear out the side of my tires. Am I looking at the wrong bike?? Are there commmon issues to look for(TRANSALP is output shafts and CDI's,apparently)What is considered high mileage? Low miles can be just as scary as high,but everything has a practical for any reply and all are appreciated. Some great looking bikes in this thread....I am in France ,BTW,so it is European models I am considering....
Which Tenere first?? Im fairly confident I can answer most of your concerns unless you are talking about a 600 Tenere vs a 700 Transalp.
Personally whatever model Tenere, I am now believing Yamaha make off road orientated bikes that do roads pretty well, and Honda do Transalps as a road bike that "manages" off road.
Ive had 4 Transalps now 3x600s and 1x650. Off road I find them low on ground clearance if you stray onto anything that has stones larger than tennis balls. The engine is however very Honda quality, and pulls in low gears well even with road gearing, the twin is super smooth and makes travelling a long distance a breeze, it also sounds great !
Dont scare yourself with stories of output shafts and CDIs the likely hood of it happening is rare if the bike been looked after. Main thing is dont run tight chains, run slacker than you think is normal !! CDIs are something that if they go its out of your control really, but I guess it probably wont the 20/30 you may read on forums sometimes outweigh the thousands who never had a tap go wrong !!!!!!
I found the 600 to feel lighter than the 650 and better off road.
I also had a XTZ660 Tenere a 96 model, I personally loved it from the off but hated its bodywork when it came to doing any maintanence, it was a pain to get on and off, let down by poor fixings, also it was a worry if it got smashed up as its as rare as hens teeth to get more. The earlier 3YF is a better bet as its a whole load easier to work on if fairings and tank need to come off. I know this as my best mate who I ride with has one and loves it.
Teneres win on the Transalp because they are cheap to look after.. valves are easy ,plug is easy, carb is easier to pull off and get sorted and it has an infectious single cylinder. Parts are readily available. riding it off road was fab as it had awesome ground clearance and was well balanced for a large bike
I am now on a new age and its another step up.... I have not taken it seriously off road yet but Im guessing it will take it in its stride just fabulously as its a well sorted bike that looks stunning to me. on the road it cruises quicker than my Transalp 600 and ol Ten660 and is better on fuel. The TA aveaged 55 ish mpg the Ol 660 XTZ did 45ish mpg. The new Ten is 60 ish mpg
To put how they cruise on a motorway/freeway into perspective...... if you had to cruise a long distance on the Motorway,not always the ideal way to travel but sometimes its good to munch some miles quickly to get where you going to have fun !!!! the TA will be slightly ahead as it can sit at 75 mph pretty well without the engine sounded to high pitched, it is worth noting that 80mph is very achievable also but fuel consumption really goes down and I find the engine really sounds thrashy, although others who also have Transalps say it will do it all day without bother year in year out.. Transalps definately have an enviable reliability tag !!!!!!
I found the old Ten 660 to be 5 mph slower and prefer to be more sympathetic as it is a single cylinder... but is travelling a large distance constant throttle fun at 70 or 75 any fun definately noT!!! Weirdly however, the newer tenere sits at 75/80 just fine, sounds like it isnt getting thrashed and overall is fairly unbelievable that it is a single, and even with a 10% speedo inaccuracy it is still doing over 70 with ease !!
I also forgot to add the 96 Ten was the most comfortable out of my 3, as the TA had a slight step which annoyed my arse where I like to sit and the new Ten has a plain weird seat that sometimes feels great, and can then start to annoy for a few miles and then all of a sudden feel ok again... weird. But a seat can be solved cheaply so really isnt massive consideration.
Just to add my XT660R was also much the same, but out of the above 3 was the most comfortable

Honda Transalp 650.. back on the old favorite
XT 600 E... thumping fun but not for motorways
Suzuki DR350... mellow fun but now gone
XR 400 gone
Transalp 600 gone

wide screwed with this post 12-28-2012 at 02:04 AM Reason: Forgot some stuff
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