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Thread: Anyone ridden the Yam Super Tenere, Suzuki v Strom and the Honda Africa Twin?

  1. #1
    Craftsman
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    Anyone ridden the Yam Super Tenere, Suzuki v Strom and the Honda Africa Twin?

    Hello TZ bikers, I quite fancy a Yam XT1200 Super Tenere for a daily work commute but don't want to dismiss the Suzuki or Honda; I am hoping to tap into the forum knowledge base for a bit of insider knowledge.

    I am looking at buying used from model year 2015 until present. Has anyone ridden them all and can offer any insight into which would make the ideal commuter bike? I am thinking of best build quality, MPG, servicing costs as well as nimbleness in traffic, rider comfort and weather protection.

    I will be using it to get to Bristol via the narrow lanes around the village, M4 and the roads around Filton. I want to give the BMW a miss, mainly on cost grounds, and I am not really a fan of those sticky out cylinder heads.

    Thanks in advance.

    Sean

  2. #2
    What about the KTM?

  3. #3
    Master
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    I took a Super Tenere for a test ride when they first came out (well before 2015)

    It seemed well screwed together and the engine was lovely and torquey. Despite the height, it felt very stable cornering (though I'm not a fast rider). I would have been tempted were it not for the turbulence it generated around my head. No doubt this could have been fixed by a higher (or lower) screen but IIRC the screen then had no adjustment and I wasn't prepared to mess about fitting a different screen to e new bike in the hope it would sort the problem. I was probably unlucky that my height was wrong for what in other respects was a nice and capable bike.

    ATB

    Jon

  4. #4
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Or Triumph Tiger?

    Iíve not ridden any of them so canít comment on how they ride though.

    Thereís also the Kawasaki DL1000 which is a rebadged V-Strom.

  5. #5
    I own both the BMW GS and a DCT Africa Twin. Iíve ridden all the above options.

    My 2p:

    The Tenere is a fantastic bike, if a little heavy compared to some of the other options, but you donít feel it on the road. It really is a very nice bike, and shaft drive which was a definite for me on a tourer. The updated Suzuki was a big surprise, as I didnít expect to like it so much, but it felt really nice and capable.

    In my order of preference, and Iíll caveat that I am a fan of those sticking out engines as we have 11 of various models/years of them in the family; so no surprise Iíd pick the GS first, next up depending on use would be a tie between the Crosstourer and the Super10 - Crosstourer if mainly road, and Super10 if the odd firetrail - but put the right tyres on them and Iím sure theyíd both be great, then the Africa Twin, and the Suzuki.

    I like the Africa Twin, but I use it as a commuter with its dct box, it feels lighter in slow use than the GS, but the seat isnít as comfortable as those I rank before it, itís chain drive, a larger front wheel, and not as stable at speed - I still like it though.

    I donít think there is a bad choice amongst them now, although for some reason I really didnt like the triumph (apart from the engine which I thought felt great on the demonstrator), just a better choice for your specific needs. Personally, Iíd like more power, good neutral handling, better wind protection, and greater tank range. Your requirements may be different, but nothing has been as good an all rounder for me as the GS, coming from a history of sports bikes I was very sceptical.

    Iíll be buying the newer 1250GS at some stage, provided the ride/feel is no worse that the 1200. I may however pick up a Super10 (instead of a second GS) for use in Australia, as they are much cheaper than the BMW there and thereís not enough in it in day to day use, especially with 110kph speed limits!
    It's just a matter of time...

  6. #6
    Craftsman
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    Thanks for the replies gents, I didn't include the KTM for a couple of reasons; not sure on the reliability and, I should have mentioned it, I want to go with a shaft drive if possible. I really don't fancy messing with chain tensions and oil deposits. The same applies to the Triumph.

    Just as a it of background, I have owned and ridden Yamaha bikes in the past and found them bullet proof. My KTM enduro was not quite as confidence inducing on the reliability front.

  7. #7
    for commuting i'd just go with a yamaha tracer - cracking engine and pretty cheap , i wouldnt bother with the big super tourers that ppl use to chew continents up as theres a chance you will ride right past your work and onto a ferry :)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pugster View Post
    for commuting i'd just go with a yamaha tracer - cracking engine and pretty cheap , i wouldnt bother with the big super tourers that ppl use to chew continents up as theres a chance you will ride right past your work and onto a ferry :)

    I like the sound of getting on the ferry! I will take a look at the tracer, thanks for the suggestion.

  9. #9
    Tracer is quite nice, but chain, and needs to be budgeted for suspension, and maybe a comfort seat imo, but lighter for traffic use. Nice smooth engine though, unlike the early glitchy on off throttle of the MT09's which I believe have now been sorted on the current model.
    It's just a matter of time...

  10. #10
    Master W124's Avatar
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    I had the original KLV-1000 (The Kawasaki version of V-Strom from 2005), which was agricultural but great fun.

    The V-Twin engine is a de-tuned version of the SV1000 (and grandson of the brutal TL1000R unit) and pulls like a train.

    Frame and brakes were adequate, but the paint and trim finish weres poor - you will pick up a winter hack for around a grand.


    The latest V-Strom has not caught the imagination, and has been eclipsed by the recent wave of Japanese trail bikes.


    My wife rides a 2017 Triumph Tiger 800 XRT and loves it - she has acute arthritis, and has moved from a Street Triple R to the Tiger XRT to reduce arm/shoulder load and improve hip angle.

    It is agile, very economical on fuel, and the OEM luggage is excellent - re-branded Givi Expedition boxes.
    I am always happy to jump on this for a few hours, it's great fun.

    She's 5'11" and I am 6'1" - you might struggle with the standard seat height if you are 5'9" or less - but that is true with most trail bikes.

    The older Tigers are great value, but have fewer features - definitely worth a test ride
    Last edited by W124; 28th December 2018 at 14:37.

  11. #11
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    I absolutely love my Tracer, nimble, tall, stable and very fuel efficient. Boat loads of low down torque and it works fabulously for the commute. I have a late 2016 model and the suspension is really good for touring, but I have plans to get it setup this year (about £200) as it is a bit vibey on the less even roads at commute speeds.

    On the non commute days it is a total blast, the smaller front wheel doesnít knock its stability at all, and makes the twisties round Bristol and bath a hoot!

    Yamaha Heated grips, Ermax touring screen with MRA flip, Acrapovic titanium exhaust, Givi luggage setup, all brand new for 9k.


  12. #12
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    Oh yeah, and centre stand with super easy chain adjustment, so Iíve not had a problem with missing the shaft drive.

    For previous experience, V strom I rode prior to this. FAR too heavy. Africa twin was good, but I didnít like the power delivery to be honest, and the seat was not comfy for me. Everyone I know who tours on one has an over seat for it.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I popped into a bike shop in Bristol and I have to admit I was very taken with the KTM Adventure R much against my wishes! I have booked a test ride to see how it feels and will try out a Super tenere and decide from there. They might be overkill for what I need and the the 7-800cc bikes will come into play. I still think the Yam will be the one for me in whatever guise it may come in. Had another look at the V- Strom and ruled it out, Africa Twin is still in the mix but will decide after I have tried the KTM and S10 whether to bother with a test ride. My next problem is trying to find all my old kit!

    Sent from my SM-N960F using TZ-UK mobile app

  14. #14
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    Just been out on the V-Strom and a Super Ten. First up was the Suzuki. The Strom feels light and responsive with a nice spread of power, I really liked it. Since I haven't ridden a bike this size before I was a bit intimidated by the size. Once rolling and a few miles down the road I was confident enough to turn the Traction Control off and enjoy the ride.

    The Ten felt "solid" with a good power spread but it felt a bit agricultural. The engine sounds a bit rough compared to the V-Strom but it gets up to speed quickly, no complaints there. It just feels a bit dead when riding it. KTM on Saturday and then time to choose between them.

  15. #15
    Master
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    Sounds like a nice decision you are in, have you looked at pre owned Planet Oceans to compliment the colour of your new bike👍🏍
    Steve

  16. #16
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    I am avoiding looking at any watch purchases for the rest of the year!

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by electorn View Post
    I am avoiding looking at any watch purchases for the rest of the year!
    Me too! Possibly no more watch purchases this year, possibly lol
    It's just a matter of time...

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by electorn View Post
    Since I haven't ridden a bike this size before I was a bit intimidated by the size. Once rolling and a few miles down the road I was confident enough to turn the Traction Control off and enjoy the ride.
    I wouldn't bother turning off the traction control - if it works properly you won't notice it until you really need it...and even then you probably wouldn't realise it had kicked in.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Stanford View Post
    I wouldn't bother turning off the traction control - if it works properly you won't notice it until you really need it...and even then you probably wouldn't realise it had kicked in.
    I always turn mine off on a faster ride on the GS, as if not power is cut every time the front wheel skips over rough roads or on fast acceleration etc. - it’s very noticeable, in fact I’ve never ridden a bike where I haven’t noticed traction control kicking in - for a more gentle ride, or touring, or taking a relatively inexperienced passenger I leave it on. I’m also fairly sure even when switched off it’s still on just turned right down on my bike.
    It's just a matter of time...

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Omegamanic View Post
    I always turn mine off on a faster ride on the GS, as if not power is cut every time the front wheel skips over rough roads or on fast acceleration etc. - itís very noticeable, in fact Iíve never ridden a bike where I havenít noticed traction control kicking in - for a more gentle ride, or touring, or taking a relatively inexperienced passenger I leave it on. Iím also fairly sure even when switched off itís still on just turned right down on my bike.
    I haven't experienced BMW GS traction control but from what you describe it does sound a bit too intrusive.

  21. #21
    Craftsman
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    Had an old 750 Africa Twin, great after jetting and replacement can. Then VStrom 1000 - ok but felt characterless to me.

    Last bike (of this type) was Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring. Absolutely addictive. Sit up riding position, good distance from seat to pegs, and something like 150bhp which is the highest power for adventure style bike. Adjustable traction control and electronically adjustable suspension work great. I found this bike addictive, completely. Loved it. Highly recommend a test ride. 2014 - 2015 models should be around £10k now. And personally I had zero problems with the electronics (and lots of benefits). Only problem was a sticking exhaust valve due to lazy sods in the service dept not greasing it.


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  22. #22
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobetobes View Post
    I absolutely love my Tracer, nimble, tall, stable and very fuel efficient. Boat loads of low down torque and it works fabulously for the commute. I have a late 2016 model and the suspension is really good for touring, but I have plans to get it setup this year (about £200) as it is a bit vibey on the less even roads at commute speeds.
    Yes - the Tracer is a great bike, and one that had I gone for it - would have probably got aftermarket Fork inserts and shock for it, to make it perfect.

  23. #23
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    I never considered the Ducati, I stereotyped the brand as sports bike only. I am not sure I would be dedicated enough to look after it though!

    I have just watched a few reviews on the 1250 GS Adventure, I may have to go and try one - stick out cylinders and all.


    Quote Originally Posted by fraggle42 View Post
    Had an old 750 Africa Twin, great after jetting and replacement can. Then VStrom 1000 - ok but felt characterless to me.

    Last bike (of this type) was Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring. Absolutely addictive. Sit up riding position, good distance from seat to pegs, and something like 150bhp which is the highest power for adventure style bike. Adjustable traction control and electronically adjustable suspension work great. I found this bike addictive, completely. Loved it. Highly recommend a test ride. 2014 - 2015 models should be around £10k now. And personally I had zero problems with the electronics (and lots of benefits). Only problem was a sticking exhaust valve due to lazy sods in the service dept not greasing it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  24. #24
    Journeyman
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    I have the Africa Twin with DCT box . I owned a 2012 Super ten and loved it.

    Of your initial post choices, I would opt for the Ten.
    I fitted a Givi airflow adjustable screen and added Givi side wind deflectors.
    I am six foot and never had any problems with buffeting with the above fitted.

    The Ten is well built, shaft drive, the ABS and combined braking worked well. It is not as nimble as the Africa Twin and heavier on fuel.

    I would go for the later Ten. I think about 2015 or 2016 .
    Not much difference.A different dash with a gear indicator fitted more importantly a better fuel map

  25. #25
    Master
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    My mate who was dyed in the wool bmw man sold his GS and bought super tender. Heís loving it and heís a very good biker whoís had a few bikes in his time.

    Iím gonna stick with my S1000XR

    Jim

    - - - Updated - - -

    My mate who was dyed in the wool bmw man sold his GS and bought super tenere. Heís loving it and heís a very good biker whoís had a few bikes in his time.

    Iím gonna stick with my S1000XR

    Jim

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerryT View Post
    I have the Africa Twin with DCT box . I owned a 2012 Super ten and loved it.

    Of your initial post choices, I would opt for the Ten.
    I fitted a Givi airflow adjustable screen and added Givi side wind deflectors.
    I am six foot and never had any problems with buffeting with the above fitted.

    The Ten is well built, shaft drive, the ABS and combined braking worked well. It is not as nimble as the Africa Twin and heavier on fuel.

    I would go for the later Ten. I think about 2015 or 2016 .
    Not much difference.A different dash with a gear indicator fitted more importantly a better fuel map
    I tried one back to back with the Strom and for me, the Suzuki was better, the S10 felt a bit of a barge.

    I took a KTM 1290 super Adventure out yesterday, this bike has all the toys and goes like the clappers. If you are a sports bike rider I would take one out for a spin; stick it in sport mode and I think you could be converted - a comfy seat, great view of the road and license busting performance.

    I think its too much for me so trying the 1090 next weekend. I might give the Africa Twin a go now that chain drive has now come back into consideration.

    I did order a KTM 300 Six Days which will be ready to collect shortly. I'm looking forward to doing a few Hare and Hounds events again after a few years break.

  27. #27
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    Out of the lot the KTM 1290 is the only one to get me to part with my GSA. But your right itís a bit of funny to ride. Iím looking to try the 790 adventure when it comes out, my mate got one to replace his duke gt and loves it.


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  28. #28
    I loved my 08 v-strom.. Great bike, nice position for town, but could really turn it on for the twisties. Finish not great, but I think they're fairly cheap for a reason.

  29. #29
    Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    I ride an R1200 GSA into London daily for the commute and can't fault it. Wouldn't have a bike with a chain again.

  30. #30
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    I am coming around to chain drive. As long as they are cleaned and lubed regularly they should last fairly well. I was lazy with my last bike but it never had a centre stand and I just couldn't get it done properly on my own. Having said this, shaft derive would be my preferred option.

  31. #31
    A scottoiler or equivalent makes chains a lot easier to live with if youíre using your bike regularly!

  32. #32
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    From the depths

    Just to finish off the thread; I ended up with the KTM 1090 Adventure R. It does everything I wanted in a bike and suits my requirements, apart from shaft drive!

    I ride it daily as a commuter on a 50ish mile round trip and it goes off road whenever I get a chance.

    1st time down a muddy track was a scary experience but now I am used to the weight and size it isn't as daunting any more.

    I added a skid plate, heated grips and centre stand to it; I don't think it needs anything else. I fitted a Wings end can but, although it sounds great, its too loud for where I want to ride so the standard can will go back on soon.

    The TKC80s have been swapped for road bias Trail Attacks and I am in the process of getting a spare set of wheels for the Off-road tyres to mount on. The TKC80s were getting eaten alive with all the motorway work.

    I have dropped it twice now, both during off-road rides and picking it up is now old hat!

    I bought a Hero 7 to record some exploits - if you fancy a look at some woods riding I have done so far I have a *** video that the Quik app made for me ***(turn the sound off, the music the app added can be a bit annoying).

  33. #33
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    I changed from shaft drive BMW to chain drive, and find it to be almost as maintenance-free.

    I got the electronic Scottoiler and found that the chain/sprockets hardly wore after that. Also keeps the chain cleaner than the spray-lubes. Spray-lubes have come a long way, but I donít believe they look after a chain as well as an oiler.

    You could argue that it is cheaper to use spray-lubes and change the sprockets/chain every 2yrs, but I believe in maintaining in best condition.

    At least with chain-drive, on a foreign holiday - you should always get the bike going (after short delay) but a failed shaft-drive means a recovery to UK I think.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by electorn View Post
    Just to finish off the thread; I ended up with the KTM 1090 Adventure R. It does everything I wanted in a bike and suits my requirements, apart from shaft drive!

    I ride it daily as a commuter on a 50ish mile round trip and it goes off road whenever I get a chance.

    1st time down a muddy track was a scary experience but now I am used to the weight and size it isn't as daunting any more.

    I added a skid plate, heated grips and centre stand to it; I don't think it needs anything else. I fitted a Wings end can but, although it sounds great, its too loud for where I want to ride so the standard can will go back on soon.

    The TKC80s have been swapped for road bias Trail Attacks and I am in the process of getting a spare set of wheels for the Off-road tyres to mount on. The TKC80s were getting eaten alive with all the motorway work.

    I have dropped it twice now, both during off-road rides and picking it up is now old hat!

    I bought a Hero 7 to record some exploits - if you fancy a look at some woods riding I have done so far I have a *** video that the Quik app made for me ***(turn the sound off, the music the app added can be a bit annoying).
    Good advice about the KTM ;)

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