Yamaha XT 1200 Z Super Ténéré
Saturday 9 September, 2017
The story of our motorbikes from the last ten years continues with a second bike - Yamaha XT 1200 Z Super Ténéré. Where has the bike got its name?
Dakar Rally is an off-road endurance event held in South-America but it's not the original location of the rally. The route for the first 30 years of the rally was from Paris to Dakar. Everybody knows that a desert can be a rough place to survive, right? Well, Sahara was the most difficult part of the route for the bikers. The first winner of the motorcycling category was Cyril Neveu driving a Yamaha 500 XT in 1979. In Tuaregese the Sahara was called Ténéré which is one of the most forbidding regions of the Sahara, with an extremely hot and dry climate and virtually no plant life. Now you understand why to a biker a Ténéré is a Yamaha Dakar bike!
Ténéré's electronics system isn't very complex so it doesn't have an overwhelming amount of options. Traction control system, also called the TC system, keeps the bike stable on its intended driving path. The system is devised into three modes: TC one, TC two and TC off. TC one is the default mode, TC two the sport mode and TC off shuts down the Taction Control system. The last mode can be only used when the bike is still. When we had the Yamaha XT 1200 we were using the sport mode most of the times because it allows the rear wheel to spin more freely than the default mode.
Combined braking system is linking front and rear brakes on a motorcycle. Some motorcycles have two separate braking systems where handlebar lever operates the front brake and the foot pedal operates the rear. This combined braking system called integral ABS, in which the front brake lever operates both the front and rear brakes, while the brake pedal operates only the rear brake. You should be able to lock the wheels and to moderate the brakes when off-roading specially in the area of traction, between full grip and slide. ABS brake system senses when the wheels are locking themselves and trying to release the tires for a moment hoping that they will regain full grip. Moderating the brakes mean that you are to be able to lock the wheels yourself and feeling the traction of the changes to the way the bike accelerates on various road surfaces. Turning off the ABS is little complicated. If you are real an expert in off road riding you maybe want to do it, but ABS control system was more guarantee of safety travelling and therefore suitable for us.
Drive Mode, shorthly D-Mode, is an electronically controlled engine performance system. It has two mode selections: mode T is giving softer touring and mode S is more aggressive sport mode to get more acceleration. It actually made an impact on fuel consumption more than anything else. Can you believe that sport mode can be sparing fuel? Yes it does and don't ask why, but that was the notice we have made.
The original windshield wasn't that efficient so we decided to change it to Givi's two-piece Airflow windshield. It was built in a different way: an adjustable screen on top of another screen serving a large moveable lip. The windshield cutted wind noice, reduced helmet buffeting and enhances overall protection. The lower shield is made from plexiglas acrylic and the adjustable upper shield of polycarbonate.
When you are choosing a windshield there are couple things you should consider. First of all the size. It is good to take note that shield is accumulating dirt, bugs, fog and rain which will render a windshield opaque. If the shield is unclean during the darkness it reflects oncoming car lights. So shield musn't be positioned too high. How you will find the proper height to the windshield? Sit on the bike with the shield in place and look ahead. The shield should be below your eye level and you can comfortably see the road. Quick detachment is a good thing. Cruising around town may cause lack of airflow and you will become too hot in warm weather. Many windshields are available in changeable heights.
Having an adventure motorcycle for off road driving you maybe want to use protective coverings and invest in a set of crash bars for your motorbike to maximise protection against damage in a fall, slide or crash. The crash bar is the first point of contact during a fall and is made of tubular steel. We had Yamaha original crash bars, but there are many other alternatives and companies, like Rumbux, SW Motech, Touratech, Altrider, Hepco&Becker, Givi, R&G. Everything depends of your need of protection, weight, quality, installation, look and price.
Another protective covering is a skid plate. It should affix under a motorbike preventing damage when contact is made with the ground. It is good to compare different skid plate manufacturers. You should look at the openings in the skid plate design, and what are the chances of getting to remove it for oil change.
Our Super Ténéré had also auxiliary fog lights and heated grips. Have you ever thought how the blood is circulating inside of your hands? Most of the blood in your fingers passes through the veins on the back of the hand. When you put extra liners inside the top of gloves it will heat fingers even better than any grip heaters. Super Ténéré had good handlebars with the wind coverage, so the electric heated grips were working in a proper way.
The Ténéré - perfect adventure bike with Dakar Rally feeling.
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