Thursday, January 27, 2011

Demons in my helmet, go away Tenere

While most of North American is in the deep freeze and enjoying PMS: parked motorcycle dyndrome we are enjoying spring-like weather up to a very warm 10+c . No PMS for us. As usual I roll my bike out before sunrise


and enjoy the solitude of my commute without any distractions. With no radio or other electronic devices flashing electrons at me I can concentrate on twisting my throttle with syncronized clutch action and wind my way across the city without a care in the world. I find that often I am able to find a solution to things . . . but for some reason today I could only think of the Yamaha Super Tenere that I was so hesitant to dismount whilst at the recent motorcycle show.


Yamaha is not new to producing reliable Dual Sports. My friend owns a TDM800, the last model Yamaha imported into Canada and he rode it to Alaska a couple of years ago, a trip which I was invited to accompany but could not arrange the time off.


I did not find the bike large at all. Actually, it seemed very easy to swing my leg over as compared to my V-strom and it was actually not as tall. The Tenere (nicknamed S10, for short "super ten") was on the side stand and when I mounted and shifted my weight over to bring it to vertical I nearly tossed it over to the right. It was so easy to balance.


The seating position felt familiar to me, sort of V-strom like. Also from what I have read on various forums, like and a good review vs the GS1200 on it appears to be a good alternative to the BMW, and also has corrected all the problems which plague the V-strom, most notably wind buffeting

"so all the while, while I make my commute heading towards work, the red devil is saying to buy the Tenere, and the white devil on the other shoulder says NO. Yes, No, Yes , No and so it goes while I make my way to the Lougheed Highway heading towards Coquitlam. It is 4c so I turn on my heated grips and tuck in behind some other traffic so as to keep my speed down. Often I rush hurriedly without regard to the speedometer, but today I am more conscious and aware of my surroundings. Yesterday I was beside a police cruiser and he was giving me the eye."

I will continue with more photos but will not attempt to describe the cutting edge technology. Currently the foremost authority on the S10 is George F who coincidently has rendered his pre-order down payment and has read every publication known to man to familiarize himself with the machine he will receive next May, 2011. Currently he has a severe case of migraine PMS and is buried under 3 feet of snow and is pacing back and forth waiting for May to arrive


From what I have read, it has the finest ABS braking system of any bike on the planet and surpasses the system on the BMW GS1200 . The shaft drive has been redesigned with smaller helicoils to provide better reliability, so NO drive line failures

(4 piston calipers)

"As I cruise down the highway I imagine that my V-strom has transformed into an S10. I slalom through the traffic and twist the throttle and soon I am in the lead."

The following photos may be of interest to George F

There was an S10 minimalistic bike also on display with panels removed


The electronics on this bike are enabled for demonstration purposes. It has self diagnostics, unlike the BMW which must be plugged into a BMW computer at the dealer. The rep showed us how this worked and how to put it into diagnostic mode, as simple as pushing two buttons for so many seconds. From pushing a couple of mode and set buttons on the panel you can test out all the critical circuits and also change your fuel/air mixture.

The S10 is drive by wire. In diagnostic mode you can check the throttle position sensor, when you twist the throttle the readout on the panel shows how many degrees the butterflies are open, and you can also see them open and close physically. You can also check all the fan relays which he did and the radiator fan went on.


There is a plate under the seat which can be installed in two positions to raise or lower the seat. At the low setting I could flat foot and still have a bend in my knee. For rough terrain you may wish to raise the seat to allow your legs for better peg position

(S10: Super Tenere, right case cover removed)

The shock adjustment can be done without tools


The Super Ten uses a special high capacity battery, mounted on the right side of the gas tank


All of the electronics are here and the panel is easily removed using 4 quick turn bolts

"All this thinking about the S10 and I hardly notice that I have made my final turn into our company's driveway and soon I am parked safely outside my office window"


Sunrise will arrive in a few moments, but for now the darkness of night is still in the air. I have posted photos of my bike at work before but Troubadour wanted another one as alluded in his recent post

Here is another shot through my office window


this is where I usually park. There is a handicapped parking spot right outside my window so I want to keep the space clear but in all the time I have worked here, no handicapped vehicle has ever parked here. Sometimes during the summer I park right against the window, like Troubadour does

After work today I took the long way home through Richmond and stopped for this red sunset along Westminster Highway


Sorry if you have PMS, but no PMS for us here on the Wet Coast of British Columbia


  1. No PMS here either Bob, just a storm down from the tropics to dump 200+mm of rain on us overnight, then it will be gone.

    Beautiful photos Bob, but I fear for your health as I see the way this is heading. As Sonja intimated, your lovely wife is almost certainly on to you and it may not end well. What are you prepared to concede? Remember, quid pro quo means that your bike will not cost $10000 or whatever, it will be twice that by the time that Yvonne has finished with you ;-)

    Your concerned friend.....

  2. An S10 for you would have to be super!
    Like having your cake as well as your supper.

    Among your friends you would be the MOST!
    As you cruise on the cool roads up and down the coast.

    But one thing to think about before puttin' that money down...
    Is that your poor, neglected ole Strom would have such a big frown!

    (sorry, I couldn't resist..LOL)

  3. Bob: I don’t know how to confess this, but I have been looking at other bikes again.

    Psychiatrist: And how do you feel about this?

    Bob: I know I should be faithful to my dear love, my V-Strom, but somehow I cannot resist these urges. I know is shocking to admit it, but I have been looking at a Tenere!

    Psychiatrist: Have you been thinking about the Tenere much?

    Bob: All the time, I just can’t help it.

    Psychiatrist: And how does this makes you feel?

    Bob: I get sort of, err, excited. Almost like looking at a gorgeous woman. I even took photos of the bike, well, naked.

    Psychiatrist: Really?

    Bob: Yes, is that bad?

    Psychiatrist: Not at all. Where can I get one?

    Bob: I’m not telling you. Not till I have ordered mine.

    Psychiatrist (pulling a mask off his face to reveal a man grinning from ear to ear): Too late! My name is George and I have already ordered mine!

    Bob (now in a panic: I’m getting out of here. How do I get to that Yamaha dealer? Do they do one in black so Mrs Skoot won’t find out?

  4. Bob's in love ;-)

    Again, awesome detail pictures of the S10. The old model had been my brother's favourite bike, and given all the improvements and the relative low seating position it is something worth considering.

    I am getting curious, too. Not for this year, but I think of upgrading eventually to a bigger bike with shaft drive, too.

    I love the last shot, the light was so beautiful yesterday evening.

    My renovation and move is almost done, only the clean-up of the old place to be executed, so I hope to get out on the bike at the weekend. Maybe I see you on the road?

  5. @Gary: And here I was thinking motorcyclists don't need a psychiatrist... good one. Made me LOL today (with colleagues looking weirdly at me).

  6. Dear Bobscoot:

    Go down to the basement, open the vault, take out the c ash from the pile you haven't counted yet, and go buy the Tenere. It's that simple.

    Yamaha has been building edgy bikes for years. You're not getting any younger and it is unlikely you're going to fnd one of these machines under your pillow.

    Just go plunk the cash down and buy the bike.

    And you should get this one, as you like the brand and have a reputable dealer close by. The BMW R1200GS is a dated design, having been the market innovator and leader for 25 years. That kind of reputation breeds indolence. Yamaha should take the crown... For the next six months or so.

    Buy the friggin' bike.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  7. @Gary - That was pretty good.

    I think that Bob has already ordered one but still trying to figure out a way to break the news to the V-Strom and himself...


  8. Nice pictures and detail Bob :-) I already new everything.
    I also agree with Jack, just go find the $500 and put the deposit so Yamaha can start building the bike. I feel sorry for the people ordering now, the waiting is horrible :-(
    I ordered the same day Yamaha made the announcement, I will be one of the first to get the bike. As Gary said, I'm grinning :-))
    I will have to keep an eye on the ship coming from Japan just so the west people don't intercept it ;-)

  9. Bob
    I think Jack is right - better to buy a machine from a reliable manufacturer with a piano making heritage than from one who made aero engines in WW2
    Kind regards
    Nikos * eats * mushy * peas * too

  10. Yamaha does make one of the best pianos around ;-) Reliable, no question :-)
    Air cooled engine, opposed cylinders, $600 oil changes, 6000 mile services, no thanks :-( BMW, so old fashioned.
    I would rather be riding a V-Strom :-)

  11. Nice post and photos on the Super Tenere. No surprise, George is already familiar with every sweet detail!

    So will yours be here in May also?
    We all know where this is heading?

  12. Great post Bob. Looks like you are giving this a lot of thought.

    I remember when we saw you in December at the show you were talking about how expensive insurance was in B.C. (stands for 'bring cash')

    I ask because I just checked with our State Farm agent yesterday on a quote for insuring a Street would be $32 a month if I wanted full medical coverage up to $25,00 (PIP) but without that it would only be $20 a month.

    We always go for the PIP (Personal Injury Protection) though.

    Can't wait to see if you decide to put a new bike in the garage......

  13. Nice bike and nice photos. It sounds like one of these might be in your future. I don't think BMW's are old fashioned as George says but I wouldn't get one unless you can do the work yourself... and enjoy doing it. I've never heard of a $600 oil change. Who would go for that?

  14. @Mike: Have you heard of the $2000 oil filter on old BMWs? If you use the wrong "O" ring or shim when installing the oil filter the engine is toast in short order.


  15. ooohhhh...the longing is so tangible. I love the cut away shots on the bike.

    I'm depressed that you have access to see, feel, touch. I went to our motorcycle show last has converted to trikes. Not an exciting bike to be had.

    Keep us posted!


  16. Bob: Looks like the jury is in and you're just going to have to place that order. And we'll all be waiting for the pictures of that special day when the new baby arrives.

    And I'm seriously hoping there'll be one at the show today so I can see what all teh fuss is about.

  17. Bob, can't blame you for that Tenere being so tempting....sounds like they took some "lessons learned the hard way" from BMW's 1200GS.

    I've gone over to the more "simplistic" side of motorcycling though and the Tenere is just a bit too "computerized" for me. I'll stay with airheads for now.

    My Ural FD's parts are inbound, and I've got a line on a Airhead/Velorex Rig in TX that might be worth a road trip.

    NO PMS here either but there's been lately a reluctance to ride...I may blog about that if I can figure out what's going there....

    Good review


    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

    Redleg's Rides

  18. Guys, I was being a little "sarcastic", BMW does have nice bikes, I really like the F800GS or any of the K series, I've just never been a fan of air cooled and opposed cylinders :-)
    But service is way more expensive than any other bike around NJ, my brother has a GS1200A and a 6K miles service is over $600.

  19. Bob, Go down to the Harley shop. Get a brochure for an Electra-Glide with all the trimmings. Have the salesman write the price on his card and staple it to the brochure. Take the brochure home, leave it on the coffee table. When the Mrs. finds it and her eyebrows shoot through the roof, tell her you've changed your mind and it's only a little Yamaha you want and at a fraction of the price of the Harley. She will be relieved and then be grateful that you bought the Tenere.

  20. The joy of owning and riding the right bike cannot be replicated. I feel lucky that my dream bike cost 8 grand out the door and almost nothing to ride day in day out. With 48,000 miles (78,000kms) on the clock I'd jump and ride to BC tomorrow if it was the right time of year and I had the time.
    I'd suggest ordering the Tenere before the Middle East turns on us en masse and we end up riding donkeys to our fields for want of oil.

  21. Group Reply:

    Whenever I go to a show & shine, whether it be cars or motorcycles, or perhaps to a dealership, or a gathering I always imagine that if I had a choice of any bike/car that was there, then which one would it be.

    And so it was when I went to the motorcycle show, I wondered if someone would give me my choice of any bike there, which would it be ? I was interested to see the Triumph Tiger and I have heard lots about the new Yamaha Tenere . I sat on the Tiger and not being a dual sport person it just didn't feel right even though I just loved the Triple engine. I really liked the Street Triple parked beside the Tiger and nearly purchased one before the V-strom, but it didn't look good with hard luggage and I really wanted lockable luggage for my cameras and computer.

    Then I saw the S10 (Super ten). When I sat on it, it felt just perfect. It felt lighter than my V-strom and the seat height was lower. I thought it was a smaller bike as it did not have a large heavy fairing. Anyway I think it would be a good candidate for an upgrade after I get more use from my Strom. For the difference in price I could pick up a used/pre-owned Street Triple as a spare. I have been keeping my eye out for one but there are none for sale up here.

  22. Bob,
    Don't buy a Striple unless you want to turn into an irresponsible hooligan.

    Oh, you are already. Ok, carry on then....