Yamaha has been inundated with requests to bring the XTZ1200 Super Ténéré adventure-tourer to the U.S. Named after a challenging Sahara Desert stage of the Paris-Dakar Rally, it will arrive next spring as a 2012 model. Powered by a 1199cc parallel twin with a 270-degree crank that fires both cylinders close together, it mimics a big thumper but with dual-axis primary balancers to tame the shakes. Tech geeks will love the ride-by-wire throttle, dual power settings, 3-position traction control, ABS and linked brakes. The shaft drive features a compact spiral bevel gear said to reduce unsprung weight. A rugged tubular steel frame uses the engine as a stressed member and mates to an aluminum subframe and swingarm. Suspension is fully adjustable, hand guards and adjustable windscreen/seat are standard and a full line of adventure-touring kit will be available. At an MSRP of $13,900, the Super Ténéré will be sold only through a pre-delivery deposit program: through March 2011, put $500 down to get on the list; bikes will be delivered starting in May.
Available in December for $8,490, the naked FZ8 is powered by a sleeved-down, previous-generation R1 engine. Bore was reduced from 77 to 68mm while stroke was unchanged at 53.6mm, for 799cc. The liquid-cooled inline-four engine features all-new pistons, cylinder body, crank, head, cams, valves and throttle bodies and has been tuned for low-to-midrange torque. Its 51-percent front-weight bias, 470-pound wet weight (claimed) and cast aluminum frame, swingarm and wheels are geared toward nimble handling while its upright ergonomics toward comfort.
The final spot on Yamaha’s new-for-2011 podium is from the Star Motorcycles cruiser division. The all-new Stryker is a factory-custom chopper powered by a 1304cc liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, 60-degree V-twin. The steel double-cradle frame has a 6-degree steering yoke to stretch the fork’s rake to 40 degrees. It gets 5-spoke cast aluminum wheels (21-inch front, 18-inch rear) and a fat 210mm rear tire. Belt drive allows easy wheel changes and steel fenders are begging to be chopped. The Stryker should begin arriving in dealerships in September; MSRP is $10,990 for Raven or $11,240 for Reddish Copper or Impact Blue.