Jul 26, 2012

The Road to the Super Ténéré

As I was reviewing the final copy for my MMM Ténéré review, I realized I have a history stored on my computer of that motorcycle's evolution from the TDM to the Ténéré:
My own 1992 TDM 850, pre-side stand installation. 

The not-for-USA 1996 TDM 900

The not-for-USA 1996 Dakar-winning XZE750 (later 850)
The not-for-USA 1998 TDM 900

The not-for-USA 2000 TDM 900

The not-for-USA 2001 TDM 900

The not-for-USA 2003 TDM 900
The not-for-USA 2006 ABS Tourer TDM 900

Finally, the for-USA 2012 Super Ténéré 1200
A lot of years and great Yamaha adventure touring motorcycles between the last imported TDM 850 (1993) and the arrival of the Ténéré. If that doesn't make you feel neglected, you've had a disappointing life.


Joe said...

That many Harley riders are selling their Electraglides and buying GS's for a new image is good for the rest of us. "Adventure Bikes" are making their way into the mainstream and in a few years there will be many in the used market.

Kudos to Yamaha for bringing the Tenere to the US. Looking at there usual USA lineup, Yamaha is a company that seems to FIRMLY believe there are only three motorcycle markets in the US: cruisers, crotch rockets, and MX bikes ... and their right. That they bring in other types of bikes like the Tenere, FZ8, FJR I think is a big deal for them as they seem to be very conservative about such bikes, similar to Honda who has felt the sting of bringing in big dualies and languishing standards before.

It will be interesting to see if Honda's NC700X does well or has the potential to catch on as an affordable standard with adventuresome pretense like the Vstrom did. The 700x was the one bike that interested me back at the MC show in Feb.

T.W. Day said...

daGeezer said...
"That many Harley riders are selling their Electraglides and buying GS's for a new image . . " Seriously? I haven't heard much about that, but it would be a wonderful change in the winds. Yamaha was probably first to getting beat up for imagining Americans are not all conservative. Yamaha got burned, along with Honda and Kawasaki on small touring bikes and multi-purpose bikes (like the SRXS600 and SRX250) all through the 80's and brought in the first Japanese adventure touring bike with the 850 TDM in the early 90s. Sooner or later, you have to learn that we are a nation of timid followers and give people what they want, not what they should want or what they need.

The NC700X is a gamble. I wish them good luck finding a market. Honda is so late to the party that they might have missed the window that the V-Strom created. At least the Super Ten isn't a "me too" bike.

Paul said...

There have been a lot of cool bikes sold in Europe and Canada that we never got to see. In the "adventure" range alone Honda produced the Varadero (kinda like the V-Strom) and the Transalp/Africa twin series.
I think Yamaha and Honda have both been burned too many times bringing in something that they thought we were ready for, but proved otherwise. So all we get are cruisers and sport bikes.
I believe Yamaha is following the same path with the Tenere as they did with the FJR13; presell enough to warrant the effort, then bring them in.

T.W. Day said...

Absolutely. I did a rant about that a while back: http://home.comcast.net/~twday60/geezer/geezer_blog26.htm. I freakin' love the Vaderos in all sizes. I think Suzuki made a huge leap of faith with the SV and V-Strom and won big. In the long run, though, they got their asses handed to them too. 1/3 of Suzuki's dealers disappeared between 2008 & 2010. We're just not the market we used to be. Because of our weird go-it-alone approach to emissions, we're an expensive export. If we just adopted Euro 4-7 standards, we'd be part of the world and everyone would know what goal post to aim at. If the US market wasn't so old, odd, irrational, and fragmented, they might take more chances on tossing us a bone or two. We are and they aren't.