Named after a dune-filled region of the Sahara, Yamaha’s Super Ténéré rumbled onto the adventure-touring scene for 2012 (Rider, February 2011). Its liquid-cooled, 1,199cc parallel twin uses a 270-degree crank and an uneven firing interval to give it the torquey feel of a big single. Power is sent to the rear wheel through a hydraulically actuated wet clutch and a 6-speed transmission, with shaft final drive. The chassis consists of a tubular-steel main frame, aluminum subframe and a cast aluminum swingarm.
To improve engine response, for 2014 the Super T gets reworked cylinder heads and pistons, revised D-Mode throttle response settings (Sport and Touring) and new header pipes. A new rubber clutch damper reduces vibration and noise, and cruise control is now standard. To improve wind protection and reduce turbulence, the windscreen is now wider and taller, and there’s a new windscreen under-panel and a front deflector below the headlights. The seating position is more upright thanks to the handlebar being 0.4-inch closer to the rider. A stronger handlebar is aluminum rather than steel and the bar risers are now rubber-mounted. LED turn signals and an aluminum sidestand are also new.
New for 2014 is the ES model tested here, which adds heated grips and electronically adjustable KYB suspension similar to that on the FJR1300ES sport tourer (February 2014). Menu buttons are used to adjust rear preload (four settings) and front/rear damping (Soft, Standard or Hard, plus seven levels of finer adjustment for each setting). A new all-digital instrument panel includes a second screen for the menu system (trip computer, heated grips, suspension setting). Base price for the ES model is $16,190, which, in addition to electronic suspension and heated grips, includes engine modes, cruise control, ABS, traction control, hand guards and a power socket. Saddlebags and mounting kit, engine guards and a skid plate raised the as-tested price to $18,043.
This article was part of a motorcycle comparison titled Tough Trio, which was published in the August 2014 issue of Rider magazine, along with test articles on each of three three motorcycles. You can read the main comparison article HERE. And you can find all the individual reviews here:
* 2014 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure
* 2014 KTM 1190 Adventure
* 2014 Yamaha Super Ténéré ES