Yamaha Super Tenere - Long-Term Test Update #2

Rackin’ up easy miles.

Yamaha Super Tenere - side view

Long-Term Test Update: Yamaha Super Tenere

Our long-term Super Ténéré is so popular with CW editors that we've had to resort to putting requests to borrow it on a calendar. Must have something to do with the bike's versatility, as it seems to be the first machine staffers think of when they want to cover serious miles, explore dirt roads, take a two-up, week-long vacation or do all of these on the same trip.

With popularity comes a lot of mileage and, thus, tire wear and maintenance. After burning through the stock Bridgestone Battle Wings and also a set of Continental TKC 80 knobbies ($370; www.conti-online.com), we decided to try Avon's Distanzias ($428.44, www.avonmoto.com), which appear to be ideal for riders who want high-mileage durability and will spend most of their time on the asphalt. After 4000 miles, the Distanzias still have plenty of tread remaining both front and rear, and their performance on- and even off-road has been very good.

Mission Motorsports in Irvine, California, serviced our Ténéré, changing the oil and filter, synching the throttle bodies and lubricating all pivots and cables.

Installation of a trio of AltRider (www.altrider.com) accessories that were mentioned in our first update, including a skidplate ($358.97), crash bars ($386.85) and tail rack ($198.79), went smoothly, although the skidplate was a bit time-consuming to fit (lots of steps). The payoff is that the ultra-thick aluminum unit is incredibly sturdy and offers exceptional engine, oil cooler and exhaust protection.

Our most recent addition is a Fasst Company Flexx Handlebar ($349.99, www.fasstco.com), which utilizes built-in elastomers to absorb vibration and reduce the shock from sharp impacts off-road. Our quest to eliminate helmet buffeting led us to try National Cycle's taller-than-stock VStream Sport-height windshield ($159.95, www.nationalcycle.com). Airflow improved, but the screen didn't eliminate the buffeting experienced with billed, adventure-style helmets. Next, we plan to address poor fueling in the lower-rpm range with an aftermarket FI controller.

Dashboard close-up: Yamaha Super Tenere

Yamaha Super Tenere dashboard

SPECIFICATIONS
Total miles:|10,255
Next service:|12,000
Maintenance costs (including tires):|$1171.45
Repair costs:|$0
Average fuel mileage:|38 mpg
Price as tested (2012):|$14,500
Related content:|Yamaha Super Tenere - Update #1
|Yamaha Super Tenere - Update #3