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Old 01-07-2013, 07:22 AM   #1
alongat OP
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Super Tenere from KTM 950 ADV? Thoughts? Opinions?

Hi everyone - I currently ride a KTM 950 Adventure - great bike, good power, good reliability, etc, etc but it's time for something new and I went to a local bike show this past weekend and I have to say, I was smitten by a white and red Yamaha Super Tenere Worldcrosser. Has anyone here transitioned from a large KTM to the ST? I am trying to figure out if this is the right bike for me based on the following:
1- I am 6'3" and 218 pounds - a tall bike is a non-issue
2- I live in the city and would use this bike for various commutes; within the city and outside of it
3- I don't have anymore single-track ambitions - gravel, dirt, fire roads are likely to be my future off-road trips
4- I am looking for something that has better wind / weather protection compared to my KTM - it's ok at best but given my height, it has never been that great on long highway jaunts, especially in the rain
5- I am looking for a bike that will require less expensive and less frequent servicing compared to the KTMs
6- I am looking for a bike that I can haul my wife on as well in better comfort than the KTM. Yes, I know the KTM is good for that but for some reason, I imagine that the ST's separate rider / pillion seats will be even better for her so she's not constantly sliding into me, etc. - Also, the KTM is always going to feel like a large dirt-bike - as it was intended to be
7- I like to farkle my bike, love to work on it myself
8- It needs to be as competent on the road as my friend's 2008 GSA (sorry for the cliche, the typical GSA benchmark comparison) - to be honest, I think that the GSA is a wonderful machine, it does everything so well but it's just boring to me and I find it underpowered (plus those separate turn signals drive me nuts)
9- Tubeless would be nice, 19 and 17 wheels would be nice (check mark in both boxes I suppose)
10 - Better power on-road than my friend's GSA

No , I do not want a GSA (yes, for no reason other than not to have a GSA, I am looking at alternatives)
No, I do not want a Guzzi Stelvio (one local dealer - he's a friend; nice guy but unreliable as a service shop - no thanks...)
No, I do not feel that replacing my KTM 950 with a current 990 Adventure is worth spending the money especially since we will have the next KTM 1190 Adventure here sometime next year (but I'm not in love with what I've seen of it to date)
No, not interested in anything Triumph makes (as far as Adventure bikes go)
Yes, I need to ride a Super Tenere - it's winter here and that makes it hard to do but this week is very, very mild so if I can find a dealer who has a demo laying around, I might be able to ride it

So...to summarize: I do not want a GSA, I don't believe that replacing my 950 Adventure with a new 990 Adventure is worth doing and am wondering how people like their Super Teneres, especially those who came from a KTM, etc. - Again, I am not expecting it to be nearly as good off-road in tight stuff, etc and I do expect it to be much better on-road - am I right?

Thanks in advance everyone.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:24 AM   #2
alongat OP
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And sorry for the long-winded request I just figured that providing some background would help steer me in the right direction...
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:38 AM   #3
twinrider
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The S10 ticks all the boxes except being faster than the GSA. It will feel faster than the GSA and 0-100kph it likely is, but the GSA will pull it in the higher RPMs if you are drag-racing. But a bit of tuning to eliminate the restrictions Yamaha programmed in along with a freer flowing exhaust should sort that.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:31 AM   #4
kirb
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I have a 990 and will be replacing my Stelvio....

Providing you can deal with the increased weight and less off road-ness of the S10, you should be fine. S10 is a fine bike that you would need to ride to see if it fits your knickers.

I replaced my FJR1300 with the Stelvio and would say that it would replace my KTM requirement as well. The S10 should do the same.

The KTM is so good off-road that it might be hard to let go. It is not so good on-road, so something like an S10 could make your day. The Stelvio NTX did for me.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:36 AM   #5
WARRIORPRINCEJJ
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I have never owned a KTM Adventure, but have ridden several. And, prior to purchasing my ST, my last "big bike" was a KTM SE. So, here is my take...


Quote:
Originally Posted by alongat View Post
1- I am 6'3" and 218 pounds - a tall bike is a non-issue

It would be a non-issue, anyway. I am 5'09", and have no problems with the ST (with the seat in the "low" position).

2- I live in the city and would use this bike for various commutes; within the city and outside of it

For the commuting I've done (short trips), the ST has been fine.

3- I don't have anymore single-track ambitions - gravel, dirt, fire roads are likely to be my future off-road trips

I've done a little bit of riding in the Texas Hill Country (maintained/unmaintained gravel). And, I can tell you that the ST is the gravel King, in my humble opinion. It feels more stable at speed (not Dakar speed, but 40-50 MPH) than my KLR, and way more than my SE ever did.

4- I am looking for something that has better wind / weather protection compared to my KTM - it's ok at best but given my height, it has never been that great on long highway jaunts, especially in the rain

It's been awhile since I've ridden one of my buddies' 9X0s. But, I would hazard a guess that, at your height, you're gonna' suffer some wind and rain on the ST. Obviously, it's not a Goldwing or ElectraGlide. For the most part, the wind and rain protection is good. For my torso length, I get some buffeting right about the beak of my helmet, but wouldn't even notice it if I wore just a plain, streetbike helmet. I also get the wet pantlegs and shoes, and have water hit me right about the top of my visor.

5- I am looking for a bike that will require less expensive and less frequent servicing compared to the KTMs

There is no comparison, here. The ST is a "gas-it-and-go" option (typical Japanese). I don't do anything to mine, beyond checking the tire pressure and filling it with fuel.

6- I am looking for a bike that I can haul my wife on as well in better comfort than the KTM. Yes, I know the KTM is good for that but for some reason, I imagine that the ST's separate rider / pillion seats will be even better for her so she's not constantly sliding into me, etc. - Also, the KTM is always going to feel like a large dirt-bike - as it was intended to be

I would bet that the ST has most of the "adventure" bikes beat, in this area. I will tell you that, the few times I've had a passenger, the poor low-speed/partial throttle fueling (that some notice, and some don't) was much more noticeable to me. However, because I have already decided to perform the ECU reflash, anyway, it is really a non-issue.

7- I like to farkle my bike, love to work on it myself

There is so much stuff out there, for these things, in terms of farkles. And, from perusing my brand new shop manual, everything seems pretty straight-forward. However, as I've already stated, I have the mechanical aptitude of a potato, and should never...ever...be allowed around wrenches (for anything other than oil changes). So, maybe one of the guys, who has posted pics of their ST field-stripped, can help you more in this area.

8- It needs to be as competent on the road as my friend's 2008 GSA (sorry for the cliche, the typical GSA benchmark comparison) - to be honest, I think that the GSA is a wonderful machine, it does everything so well but it's just boring to me and I find it underpowered (plus those separate turn signals drive me nuts)

This is where you're gonna' have a problem. Coming from a KTM, you will immediately notice that there is nothing "exciting" about the ST. I jumped on one of Ned's comments, shortly after his comparison duties for Cycle World, when he called the ST something along the lines of "vanilla". And, I am sorry to say that, after owning one for a few months, Ned was absolutely correct. Once again, I am hoping that the reflash will change that a little. We'll see...

In terms of the GS, I find the ST to be less mechanical and visceral. You "hear" and "feel" the GS. The ST is like the adventure equivalent of a mattress. It is very smooth (with the exception of the low-end fuleing). You could probably cut diamonds while riding this thing.

9- Tubeless would be nice, 19 and 17 wheels would be nice (check mark in both boxes I suppose)

The ST has you covered.

10 - Better power on-road than my friend's GSA\

As far as everything I've seen, the GS-A is more powerful in every way.

This is MY take on the ST. As you know, everyone's opinion will differ.

In the long run, I think you'll be very happy with the ST, unless you are looking for something "exciting". Then, I would look elsewhere.

Happy hunting...


.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alongat View Post
Hi everyone -
.
.
.
Thanks in advance everyone.
Go buy the S10. I've owned or ridden every bike you're comparing against, and since you have Guzziphobia , the S10 is a good choice. Just pay heed to what WPJJ said re. nothing "exciting" about it out of the crate. Do the various mods to wake up the motor (Yamaha has engine neutering down to a fine science....their engineering dept makes some fantastic motors, but then some spineless jellyfish comes along and lops the nuts off 'em to satisfy the lawyers ), and you should be all set.

-SM
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:22 PM   #7
twinrider
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I've also ridden many fast bikes but thought that even bog stock, the S10 in S-mode is a ton of fun with loads of torque. Mine will easily pull wheelies in first off the power and lifts in second if I wack the throttle going over a bump in the road.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:48 PM   #8
pluric
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alongat View Post
So...to summarize: I do not want a GSA, I don't believe that replacing my 950 Adventure with a new 990 Adventure is worth doing and am wondering how people like their Super Teneres, especially those who came from a KTM, etc. - Again, I am not expecting it to be nearly as good off-road in tight stuff, etc and I do expect it to be much better on-road - am I right?

Thanks in advance everyone.
Sorry didn't come from a KTM, just a long history of bike ownership. The Tenere has
exceeded any expectations I originally had and still surprises me where it will go.

Very comfortable on slab. So far sand is it's kryptonite. Check any Tenere thread.
Bunch a happy guys that keep asking "Has anyone heard of one breaking yet"
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:16 PM   #9
WARRIORPRINCEJJ
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alongat,


After looking at a couple of the posts, I felt like I should add a little.

For one, I hope that (if you've seen it) my initial post didn't give you the wrong impression. They can have my ST when they pry it from my cold, dead hands. I absolutely love it, and don't want anyone thinking different.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sock Monkey View Post
Go buy the S10. I've owned or ridden every bike you're comparing against, and since you have Guzziphobia , the S10 is a good choice. Just pay heed to what WPJJ said re. nothing "exciting" about it out of the crate. Do the various mods to wake up the motor (Yamaha has engine neutering down to a fine science....their engineering dept makes some fantastic motors, but then some spineless jellyfish comes along and lops the nuts off 'em to satisfy the lawyers ), and you should be all set.

-SM

For me, what SM posted is very profound.

Ya' see, I've had the pleasure of riding and owning a buttload of bikes in my life. And, when the ST is in its "sweet spot", it pulls like a Cummins diesel. Plus, there are two KLR or DR pistons lurking in there. So, there is no way that anyone could convince me that there is not more stripper lurking under that librarian's clothing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pluric View Post
Sorry didn't come from a KTM, just a long history of bike ownership. The Tenere has
exceeded any expectations I originally had and still surprises me where it will go.

Very comfortable on slab. So far sand is it's kryptonite. Check any Tenere thread.
Bunch a happy guys that keep asking "Has anyone heard of one breaking yet"

This is another HUGE thing for me. When I had my KTM, it seemed like everyday, as I was gettin' set to leave for work, I would find another little niggly issue (leaks, electrical stuff, etc.) So far (:knockonwood), the ST has had nothing...nada...zilch. As I stated, the ST is a "gas-it-and-go" machine.

In fact, when I was looking to buy one, I couldn't find a "My shit is broke; How do I fix it?" thread. I simply found several folks like pluric, who kept repeating that the ST was "that good", and had exceeded their expections. Now, you can add me to that group.



I have to agree with SM; Just go buy one. I'm sure you won't be disappointed...


.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:39 PM   #10
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Hey!

I owned an 06 KTM Adventure S for 2 years. Great bike in the dirt/gravel. Like an XR on steroids. Traded that for an 08 GS1200 which I really liked for 4 years. Have now had my S10 for a year and 21,000kms. Am amazed how good it is overall. Somebody here mentioned a GSA. A total banana boat compared to my S10. Now the new Watercooled Beamer could be a different story with 125hp. The KTM is 100lbs lighter and way better in the dirt. We all know that but the S10 is just better everywhere else and not bad in the dirt too. The brakes, traction control and suspension are better than the Beamer. The S10 is the king of grunt, especially after the free clutch switch mod. Pulls from 2000rpm. Try that on a VStrom. Comfort is 2nd to none on the road alone or 2 up. Its great blasting down gravel roads at 100mph. Just grin alot and all is well. Oh forgot to mention a biggie, RELIABILITY. Again 2nd to none. Was always worried on the Beamer. When's the shaft drive going to go?
Try it, you'll like it!
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:47 PM   #11
mousitsas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alongat View Post
Hi everyone - I currently ride a KTM 950 Adventure - great bike, good power, good reliability, etc, etc but it's time for something new and I went to a local bike show this past weekend and I have to say, I was smitten by a white and red Yamaha Super Tenere Worldcrosser. Has anyone here transitioned from a large KTM to the ST? I am trying to figure out if this is the right bike for me based on the following:
1- I am 6'3" and 218 pounds - a tall bike is a non-issue
2- I live in the city and would use this bike for various commutes; within the city and outside of it
3- I don't have anymore single-track ambitions - gravel, dirt, fire roads are likely to be my future off-road trips
4- I am looking for something that has better wind / weather protection compared to my KTM - it's ok at best but given my height, it has never been that great on long highway jaunts, especially in the rain
5- I am looking for a bike that will require less expensive and less frequent servicing compared to the KTMs
6- I am looking for a bike that I can haul my wife on as well in better comfort than the KTM. Yes, I know the KTM is good for that but for some reason, I imagine that the ST's separate rider / pillion seats will be even better for her so she's not constantly sliding into me, etc. - Also, the KTM is always going to feel like a large dirt-bike - as it was intended to be
7- I like to farkle my bike, love to work on it myself
8- It needs to be as competent on the road as my friend's 2008 GSA (sorry for the cliche, the typical GSA benchmark comparison) - to be honest, I think that the GSA is a wonderful machine, it does everything so well but it's just boring to me and I find it underpowered (plus those separate turn signals drive me nuts)
9- Tubeless would be nice, 19 and 17 wheels would be nice (check mark in both boxes I suppose)
10 - Better power on-road than my friend's GSA

No , I do not want a GSA (yes, for no reason other than not to have a GSA, I am looking at alternatives)
No, I do not want a Guzzi Stelvio (one local dealer - he's a friend; nice guy but unreliable as a service shop - no thanks...)
No, I do not feel that replacing my KTM 950 with a current 990 Adventure is worth spending the money especially since we will have the next KTM 1190 Adventure here sometime next year (but I'm not in love with what I've seen of it to date)
No, not interested in anything Triumph makes (as far as Adventure bikes go)
Yes, I need to ride a Super Tenere - it's winter here and that makes it hard to do but this week is very, very mild so if I can find a dealer who has a demo laying around, I might be able to ride it

So...to summarize: I do not want a GSA, I don't believe that replacing my 950 Adventure with a new 990 Adventure is worth doing and am wondering how people like their Super Teneres, especially those who came from a KTM, etc. - Again, I am not expecting it to be nearly as good off-road in tight stuff, etc and I do expect it to be much better on-road - am I right?

Thanks in advance everyone.

Since you have already decided, why bother?

My random thoughts:
The triumph has the best motor of all the roadie on-offs by a margin and suspension is also good. Not fantastic, but nothing a few $ (respringing + revalving) cannot sort to individual taste.
The ST looks fantastic with 18/21 wheels, but a bit squashed with the stock ones. Handling, power and suspension is OK, but I don't get all the hype. It is good but there is nothing exciting in it (coming from the orange world), unless you value practicality as being something exciting. Same applies to the GS.
I'm riding a 950SE (with a fairing) and although I am not a class A rider, I can ride circles around all the above in anything relatively 'tight' be it road or off road, while staying in comfort for long jaunts at 100mph. That's what minus 70kgs, much lower unsprung mass and excellent suspension does for you.

So, as far as I am concerned, if for any reason I wanted to exclude the orange bikes from my choices, I would definitely look at triumphs, and would swing between the 800, the 1050 and the 1200 depending on intended use.

Good luck!
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:20 PM   #12
alongat OP
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Thank you everyone for all the well thought-out feedback. I like what I'm hearing so far but the one thing that does concern me a bit is comments about the ST being a bit boring. The KTM generally puts a smile on my face. Sounds like I just need to ride one of these before committing. Excitement aside, everything else sounds bang-one reflect for what I'm looking to achieve.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:32 PM   #13
twinrider
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I guess you missed my post about second gear wheelies bog stock. The S10 is anything but boring.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:56 PM   #14
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No doubt the KTM SE is a crazy exciting bike to ride. As far as I'm concerned, thats the knurliest dirt bike ever offered to the public.

The KTM SM is just as fun on the street side of things. (Still have one. Can't let it go)

So Orange IS fun!

But no way in hell could either bike be even slightly considered as an alternative to what the S10 is used for in my world!

I would have to trailer the SE to Big Bend and THEN have a blast. And probably leave my sweet wife completely out of the picture.

Instead, with the S10, we load it up with camping gear, leave the truck home, enjoy the ride TO Big Bend, then do what you do after you get there. All in comfort. (And reliability)

But again, there ain't no Beast I could have more fun on in Big Bend than the SE. 100 HP with big fat knobbies. Oh yea!
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