2012 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré

The new XT1200Z will look much better in person: it’s chunky, muscular and big. But it wasn’t made for looks. Try to get beyond basic dimensions and visual feats. Super Ténéré is very comfortable, practical and universal bike.

After test driving it European correspondent concluded that when the traction control is set to the TC1 position and the D-Mode indicator showing “T” – Touring, the twin-cylinder engine acts a bit lazily even if you give the bike handful of throttle. However, the linear flat response, which XT1000Z gives is best suited for winter driving than for the sunny, crisp spring.

However, choosing the  “S” for Sport and switching traction control to the more permissive TC2 setting and while the power delivery is still “L” (Linear) it will be more than enough to quickly sprint to 100km/h without even thinking about the shifting.

The technical parameters of this motorcycle look pretty promising, l-c parallel-twin engine with displacement of 1199cc produces 108 bhp @ 7250 rpm and claimed torque is 114Nm @ 6000 rpm. And these results are very solid for cruiser/touring bike. A YCCT fly-by-wire throttle cues two 46mm Mikuni throttle bodies, with varying degrees of electronic influence from the 2-position sophisticated Drive Mode system and 3-position traction control.

The Ténéré’s huge 98mm pistons work beside each other, turned on 26 degrees in liquid-cooled cylinders. Specially engineered crankshaft (270-degree) pushes power-strokes closer together, helping 2 98mm pistons put power down if the traction suddenly gets instable. Also engine’s balance shafts cancel most of the vibration cause by these monster pistons.

Suspension is another nice thing – 43mm Kayaba front fork with adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping is equally amazing on the smooth pavement or in the rocky desert. In other words it works everywhere! Rear suspension is right up there in terms of quality – single YHS shock with adjustable spring preload and rebound damping provides the rider with the smooth ride without sudden unpleasant experiences if riding over the potholes.

Brakes are worth to mention as well. At the front: dual ADVICS with four-piston calipers, 310mm discs, linked with ABS. And at the back: Nissin single-piston caliper, 282mm disc, linked with ABS. And these brakes are plenty powerful and almost fade-free. Response is good and they inspire nothing but confidence. Also Yamaha’s new ABS never engages unnecessarily on the road (electronically programmed).

In conclusion this bike seems to be sneaky-fast, comfortable and surprisingly capable riding on and off-road. Yamaha’s XT1200Z is transcontinental power-tourer with the right stuff to give. Now their competition has something to worry about. Especially because the price for the new XT1200Z Super Ténéré will be only $13,499 for US.