The Yamaha Super Ténéré has been one of the best selling adventure touring bikes in the EU for several years. “Foul”, cried U.S. riders, because we didn’t get the option of owning one on these shores – until now. Yamaha’s heard us, loud and clear, and is offering the Super Ténéré to U.S. buyers in 2011. There’s a catch, though: Yamaha isn’t gambling with their own profits, and won’t import any with the hope of moving them thorough dealers. If you want one, you pony up the deposit in advance, and pay the rest when the bike is delivered in May of 2011. No test rides allowed, and you can’t even throw a leg over the saddle to get a feel for how big the bike is, unless Yamaha rolls it out on the 2011 motorcycle show circuit.
The bike sports a 33” or 34” seat height, so those challenged of inseam need not apply unless you like occasionally picking up fallen motorcycles at stop signs. At 575 pounds, it’s a fairly hefty adventure touring bike, and unlike BMW’s R1200 GS, with its boxer motor, the bulk of the weight isn’t mounted down low. It’s got the big BMW squarely in its sights as far as capabilities and range, but comes at a much lower price of admission. The BMW R1200 GS starts at $14,990 for a stripped model, which you’d have a hard time finding. Most on dealer lots begin at $16,935 and come equipped with ABS, heated grips and BMW’s electronic suspension. The Yamaha stickers at $13,900, and that includes ABS brakes. That $3,000 savings pays for a whole lot of gasoline and tires, so I know which bike I’d be looking at if I were in the market for a big adventure tourer.