Yamaha entered the burgeoning adventure touring market in a big way in 2012 with its 1,199cc parallel-twin powered Super Ténéré, featuring standard engine modes, traction control and linked ABS. For 2014, updates to the engine promise modest increases in horsepower and torque, but bigger improvements down low, more exciting character and smoother acceleration. Drive Mode settings have been revised to provide more pronounced differences between the Touring and Sport modes, and electronic cruise control is now standard. The windscreen has been enlarged and reshaped for less noise, and height can now be adjusted without tools. To improve comfort, the handlebar has been moved nearly a half-inch higher and closer to the rider, and a new triple clamp has removable risers. A new instrument panel is said to be easier to read and operate, and above it is a bar for mounting a GPS or other electronics.
New to the lineup is an ES version of the Super Ténéré, which has an electronically adjustable suspension system similar the FJR1300 ES, with four preload settings, three damping levels and seven finer damping settings for each level. As a bonus, heated grips are standard on the ES.
Both models are available in Team Yamaha Blue or Matte Gray/Matte Black. The 2014 Yamaha Super Ténéré is $15,090, and the ES model is $16,190.
If the Super T is too big or modern for your tastes, Yamaha is offering a small, nostalgic alternative for 2015. Available in Japan for a few years and recently introduced in Europe, the SR400 is based on the SR500 that debuted in the U.S. in 1978, but is powered by a shorter-stroke version of the air-cooled, SOHC, 2-valve single, dropping displacement to 399cc. It has electronic fuel injection but is kickstart-only, which was considered old school even back in the late ’70s. Yamaha says the compression release on the handlebar makes it so easy to kickstart that you can do it by hand. The engine and 5-speed transmission are bolted into a double-cradle frame, and wheelbase is just 55.5 inches. With a modest 26 horsepower and 384-pound wet weight, Yamaha says it gets upwards of 66 mpg (fuel capacity is 3.2 gallons, so range should exceed 200 miles). Retro details abound, from the chrome steel fenders, chain guard and seat rail, to the fork gaiters. Only color is Liquid Graphite, and MSRP is $5,990.