2012 Yamaha Super Tenere | Preview

2012 Motorcycle

A new model in Europe this year, the 2012 Yamaha Super Ténéré adventure motorcycle will be imported into the United States beginning in 2011.                   

Powered by a compact 1199cc parallel twin with a 270° crank intended to enhance torque and traction, as both pistons fire closely together, giving it the feel of a big-bore thumper with less vibration.

The Super Ténéré is Yamaha’s answer to such bikes as the BMW R 1200 GS, Triumph Tiger 1050, KTM Super Moto Touring SMT and Ducati Multistrada 1200. "The Super Ténéré is built for adventure," according to a Yamaha spokesman. "Engine mass is kept low for excellent handling. The narrow 2-cylinder inline engine is slim and compact for carving tight lines in twisty mountain roads."

The 2012 Yamaha Super Ténéré features twin downdraft 12-hole injectors with YCC-TTM (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle) for optimum throttle control and acceleration, according to Yamaha. These electronic allow the Yamaha to include what it calls the D-Mode (Drive Mode).

It’s system that allows the rider to select between two power-delivery maps for customizable throttle-response: T-mode for Touring and general riding, giving a softer response, and S-mode" for Sport riding when the rider wants the most performance possible.

YCC-T fly-by-wire technology is matched to an all-new traction control system, which regulates ignition timing and fuel injection volume based on rear wheel spin. Three modes are available to match rider preference, including off.

The Super Ténéré has both an Antilock Braking System (ABS) and Unified Braking System (UBS). With UBS, squeezing the front brake alone also provides some rear-wheel braking; pressing the rear brake first overrides UBS for traditional separate front and rear braking action.

This new system allows the rider to operate front and rear brakes together by simply pulling the front brake lever, which is especially helpful when riding while standing on the pegs.

The Super Ténéré delivers also offers two-position seat height, adjustable front and rear suspension, and a low-maintenance shaft drive, and more. The wheels are spoked, but they are shod with tubeless tires. There’s a multi-function carrier system on back is prepped for luggage and touring accessories.

The compact engine design uses a dry-sump oil supply inside the crankcase, and side-mounted radiator for surprising narrowness, while a two-axis primary balancer smoothes out engine vibration for all-day riding comfort. An 8-valve cylinder head optimizes the fuel charge for spirited performance, and the cylinder head cover is ultra-lightweight magnesium to help centralize mass.

Forged aluminum pistons and carburized connecting rods are designed for durability and performance. There’s a 6-speed transmission to cover the range from dirt roads to unencumbered interstates. The 6-gallon fuel tank allows for long excursions between motorcycling fueling stops.

The 2012 Super Ténéré’s new all-new steel frame is designed to reduce rider fatigue during long rides. It utilizes a steel main frame, which is claimed to offer the best balance of strength and flexibility. The engine is a stressed member of the frame and by locating the crankshaft low and close the footpegs, Yamaha says the motorcycle has "a remarkably light feel, even off road."

Adjustable pre-load suspension allows the rider to adjust the Super Ténéré for varying loads or a passenger. The forks are adjustable for compression and rebound damping, while the rear shock is rebound-damping adjustable only.

The Super Ténéré comes equipped with an adjustable seat height. A full inch of adjustment provides a low height for shorter riders or a roomier riding position for taller riders in the high position. While the rider is seated, rubber cushions in the footpegs provide a comfortable perch.

When the rider stands to tackle more technical motorcycle riding conditions, the rubber compresses, letting the rider’s boots contact the metal footpeg surface. Handlebar brush guards are standard equipment. Both side stand and center stand are provided for complete parking convenience.

The luggage system design has three possible set-ups: standard with no top case/side bags, top case installed, and side cases installed. Genuine Yamaha top case and side cases designed for adventure touring are available as accessories. These accessories were included during the design of the motorcycle so as to enhance the look of the motorcycle.

The 2012 Yamaha Super Ténéré will be available in May 2011, with dealers taking deposits on the $13,900 bike beginning in September 2010. The bike is available in your choice of Raven Black or Impact Blue.

Motorcycle Specs | 2012 Yamaha Super Ténéré XTZ12BB; XTZ12BL
Engine Type…1199cc, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke 2-cylinder DOHC
Bore x stroke…98.0 x 79.5mm
Compression ratio…11.0:1
Fuel delivery…Fuel Injection with YCC-T
Ignition…TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission…Constant mesh, 6-speed
Front suspension/front…Telescopic fork, 43mm tube, adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping, 7.5" travel
Rear suspension…Monoshock, adjustable preload and rebound damping, 7.5" of travel
Front brakes… Dual 310mm hydraulic disc, ABS/Unified Brake System
Rear brake…282mm single disc
Front tire…110/80R 19M/C
Rear tire…150/70R 17M/C
L x W x H…88.6" x 38.6" x 55.5"
Adjustable seat heights…33.26" or 34.25"
Fuel capacity 6.0 gallons
Wet weight…575 pounds
Colors…Raven; Blue

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One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007 and is currently Editor at Large at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of 365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).