Author Topic: Comparing a Super Tenere to a 1190 KTM from an average "C" rider  (Read 5305 times)

Offline ballisticexchris

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Comparing a Super Tenere to a 1190 KTM from an average "C" rider
« on: December 13, 2013, 11:05:44 pm »
First up is the Yamaha Tenere. Not much to say other than it's the one I will buy when it comes down to putting cash on the line. Back in October, the dealer simply handed me the keys and let me have it for almost 2 hrs of street blazing.

The number one thing that is most important to me is slow speed drills. Clutch out at idle to small throttle openings this bike will almost go lock to lock without dabbing my foot. Very impressive considering the weight of the bike. Road worthiness. Hands down this is the very best bike I can imagine for long days in the saddle. Powerwise, more than enough. Nowhere near the KTM but more than I will ever need. I did not play with the different settings too much. There is something to be said about just jumping on a bike and having fun without screwing with stuff.

Funny thing is the shaft drive felt normal. None of the "pogo stick" crap found on the BMW. The fuel injection was unreal. Perfect at all throttle settings. Hate to say it but the Yamaha was almost boring to ride. That is until you glance down at the speedo and realize you are blasting over 100mph!! And the windscreen unlike the POS ones on the KTM's, worked pretty darn good with no adjustment!






So yesterday I had the unique experience of getting a huge amount of street saddle time on both of the KTM 1190 beasts. Got about 40 miles on the standard and 60 miles on the R. It was in gorgeous Temecula wine country.

1st off let me start off by saying I'm just a "C" rider at best and have almost zero experience with riding a true ADV bike. For the whole test I kept the traction control on and ABS engaged for safety.

There are 4 modes to choose from: Sport, Street, Rain and Offroad. I started off in Street mode. The seats were set in the low position. I'm 5' 9" 190lbs and have a 30" inseam. I was able to flat foot the Standard model and a bit up on my toes with the R.

First off was the standard model. Starting out on one of these beasts is a trip! You better be eating your Wheaties if you want to do slow maneuvers on these. The fuel injection is very "lurchy" with throttle off and clutch out. The smaller front wheel of the standard model did little to help. A lot of clutch slipping and foot dabbing for lock to lock turns for me.

Get it out on the road and HOLY COW!!! This is by far the fastest, best handling "road bike" I have ever swung a leg over. You can change to the different modes on the fly by simply scrolling through the menu and closing the throttle. I put it in Sport mode and it was like a true open class liter bike. It bumps the rev limiter in 3rd gear at just under 100mph. At 80mph in 4th gear the front end lifts off the ground if you whack the throttle. And this is with the traction control and safety features in the on position. IMO way too much power!! Sport mode is not for the throttle happy rider.

The rain mode was kind of strange in dry weather. Throttle response was very slow. I'm willing to bet it is a great feature in the rain. For 90% of my riding I just kept the bike in offroad mode. It was by far my favorite setting. I could actually ride faster and more controlled in this mode. Extremely smooth with no surprises.

This was the first bike I have ever ridden with antilock brakes (other than the Super Tenere). Wile I was able to safely slow down with one finger and light foot pressure at any speed, that was no fun! So I found some loose gravel on the pavement and grabbed a fist full of front brake. What a trip. No slide. Just a safe stop. When blazing along at 70+ mph and stomping just the rear brake, it's like a freight train no slowing. No brake sliding. You must use both front and rear you slow down. I'm on the fence with the antilock. I still think I could stop quicker with the rear disengaged from antilock.

Next it was the handling. No issues at all. In fact, through the twisties, I rarely had to use my brakes. Throttle, clutch, gear selection, and engine braking were spot on.

Differences between the standard and R model are minimal. Windscreens in all positions SUCK on both bikes. No wind protection at all. I'm sure the aftermarket has a fix for that. The R model required a bit more rider input in the turns and has no electronic suspension tuning. It's really cool that it has separate compression/rebound damping knobs right on top of the forks for quick adjustments.

The standard model has really really cool electronic adjustments for every possible riding condition you can think of. I think there are over 80 different settings!! You can even do the spring preload at the touch of the button! Unfortunately, the software for the suspension was not installed yet for the one I was riding.

Overall these are great bikes. But only for a special kind of rider. I'm not one of them. I cannot get my head wrapped around why anyone would need 150HP for everyday riding. Too much bike is an understatement. IMO, a lot of guys that get these will be "chest pounders" screaming LOOK AT ME, I have the fastest baddest bike around. OTOH, a very small percentage of guys that get these will actually ride them to their potential. Doing a trackday in sport mode, switching to knobbies for a day in the dirt, then bagging up for true cross country adventure.

Here are a few pics of the bikes:

They actually had my first bike ever on display!!



Electronic damping and spring preload of the standard model.





And me with a big smile. It was so much fun! Can you tell I liked the R model the best?





In conclusion I hope you will understand that I gave the more "detailed review" of the KTM. After riding the 2 different models they offer, me and my buddy concluded that they are way too much bike. The Yamaha just felt right. My dad and I were discussing both KTM/Yamaha today. It reminded him of a BSA he had. Brand new and shiny. Gorgeous bike! His buddy had some ugly looking Honda. My dads bike was long gone and in the junkyard and his buddy was still riding the Honda. The Japanese have it when it comes to bikes.

For looks and pure crazy horsepower, KTM wins hands down. For a bike that will give long days in the saddle, easy to maintain, easy to ride, I choose the Yamaha.

As far as offroad, I can't say which is better. For the riding I do the Yamaha should be more than adequate.
2005 KTM 300EXC
2007 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
2012 Beta 520RS

Online GrahamD

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Re: Comparing a Super Tenere to a 1190 KTM from an average "C" rider
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2013, 12:53:30 am »
Geez someone using their own talent as a benchmark   ???

Yes 100HP is enough, but it's the way it's delivered I liked. Yep boring you might say, but on a long run it's just sweet and easy. You wonder why everyone keeps stopping for a break.

Quote
I cannot get my head wrapped around why anyone would need 150HP for everyday riding. Too much bike is an understatement. IMO, a lot of guys that get these will be "chest pounders" screaming LOOK AT ME, I have the fastest baddest bike around. OTOH, a very small percentage of guys that get these will actually ride them to their potential

That's pretty much spot on for a percentage out there.

Really if you think about the business of MC sales, it's pretty much like everything else. Get 'em hooked quick, get them to swap often and make them think it's what they need. Flatter the ego etc. The KTM should be really impressive on a test ride with that one stand out feature to focus on for the sales guy and that would be a good distraction for the rest of the bike. You wouldn't notice the subtleties.

I suppose the question I would most like answered is .

If you filled it full of low octane petrol and rode it around sanely, does it feel any good.
This is something that I have never read in a review, but it's a fact of life out on the road for me.
What if it is loaded down with 40kg of "stuff" and ridden over washboards for 500km?
Is it getting a bit wobbly or loose? Are things falling off? Like maybe the sub frame? Rear suspension still in place?

Do you think you dealer could organize that?  ::025::

Thanks for the write up, some of the things remind me of my first ride on an S10, especially the bit about the speed not registering. It just didn't seem to be working and the next thing you know you are up at silly speeds.

But I expected someone with a handle like ballisticexchris to like the KTM  ;D
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 12:56:45 am by GrahamD »

Offline ballisticexchris

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Re: Comparing a Super Tenere to a 1190 KTM from an average "C" rider
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2013, 01:11:41 am »
Geez someone using their own talent as a benchmark   ???

Yes 100HP is enough, but it's the way it's delivered I liked. Yep boring you might say, but on a long run it's just sweet and easy. You wonder why everyone keeps stopping for a break.

That's pretty much spot on for a percentage out there.

Really if you think about the business of MC sales, it's pretty much like everything else. Get 'em hooked quick, get them to swap often and make them think it's what they need. Flatter the ego etc. The KTM should be really impressive on a test ride with that one stand out feature to focus on for the sales guy and that would be a good distraction for the rest of the bike. You wouldn't notice the subtleties.

I suppose the question I would most like answered is .

If you filled it full of low octane petrol and rode it around sanely, does it feel any good.
This is something that I have never read in a review, but it's a fact of life out on the road for me.
What if it is loaded down with 40kg of "stuff" and ridden over washboards for 500km?
Is it getting a bit wobbly or loose? Are things falling off? Like maybe the sub frame? Rear suspension still in place?

Do you think you dealer could organize that?  ::025::

Thanks for the write up, some of the things remind me of my first ride on an S10, especially the bit about the speed not registering. It just didn't seem to be working and the next thing you know you are up at silly speeds.

But I expected someone with a handle like ballisticexchris to like the KTM  ;D

 :)) Yea I like my good old 300EXC and the Beta of course! I was thinking the same thing about how those KTM's would handle all bagged up. And if you notice I actually enjoyed them best in lower horsepower offroad mode. It's a funny thing when you ride an exciting bike. But after you drive home in the cage and start thinking about what would really be the best bike for my NEEDS,  the Yamaha keeps coming to mind. Not to mention I have a great relationship with a local dealer who I have bought lots of bikes from over the last 15 years. I'm sold on the Super Tenere! Now just save over the next year for one.........

2005 KTM 300EXC
2007 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
2012 Beta 520RS

Offline squarebore

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Re: Comparing a Super Tenere to a 1190 KTM from an average "C" rider
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2013, 02:09:42 am »
Great report and good to hear one from a C rider. I'm probably a D or E so maybe should do one too.
Cheers from Oz

Offline tomatocity

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Re: Comparing a Super Tenere to a 1190 KTM from an average "C" rider
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2013, 02:21:07 am »
Top photos look like the Best Western in Bishop CA.
Tim
Yamaha Super Tenere XTZ12B(C) Impact Blue, #027, 7/30/2011
2005 KLR685

Offline ballisticexchris

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Re: Comparing a Super Tenere to a 1190 KTM from an average "C" rider
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2013, 02:34:16 am »
Top photos look like the Best Western in Bishop CA.

Yep! The wife and I were staying there for the annual Bishop dual sport ride. Can't wait for next year!!
2005 KTM 300EXC
2007 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
2012 Beta 520RS

Offline Rasher

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Re: Comparing a Super Tenere to a 1190 KTM from an average "C" rider
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2013, 03:02:08 am »
If the KTM was likely to last me ten years and 75k with minimal chances of needing anything other than routine maintenance I would have bought one.

If I changed bikes every two years I would have bought one

I would still be worried 150BHP is just gonna make me ride too fast, it is why I sold my ZZR1400 (ZX14R) a few years back, although the type of roads I would ride on a KTM would reduce the chances of getting seriously busted anything that fast is likely to lead me into temptation and deliver me to the feds.

Like many others here I would probably lean towards a "smaller" 800cc type machine, especially now I do less two-up, the 660 is just a bit too slow and lumpy for me, an physically large (comfy / roomy) 800cc version (twin or triple) that has the comfort / mile munching ability of the 1200, but carries a bit less weight would suit me well - would still want a shaft drive though, 90BHP triple about 40kg lighter would do me - something weight / power wise half way between the 660 and 1200.

Offline tomatocity

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Re: Comparing a Super Tenere to a 1190 KTM from an average "C" rider
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2013, 03:16:32 am »
Yep! The wife and I were staying there for the annual Bishop dual sport ride. Can't wait for next year!!

I'm a BW kinda guy but stayed at the Creekside Inn once and it was VERY good. It has been sold out the last two times I tried to get a room.
Tim
Yamaha Super Tenere XTZ12B(C) Impact Blue, #027, 7/30/2011
2005 KLR685

Online trikepilot

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Re: Comparing a Super Tenere to a 1190 KTM from an average "C" rider
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2013, 09:05:48 am »
Local dealer offered a test ride yesterday on the 1200 GSW but I think I'll wait till the two crated KTM 1190 Adventures are setup and go check them both out back to back with the SuperTen. Both of these bikes are well beyond my budget but I would love to get some firsthand taste of what all the fuss is about on these two bikes.
12 SuperTen Raven Black - aka "Fancy"
08 WR250R

Offline snakebitten

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Re: Comparing a Super Tenere to a 1190 KTM from an average "C" rider
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2013, 09:30:03 am »
The Tenere reminds me a bit of my wife.

A perfect fit.
For me.
Becomes even more so as time passes.

So true that I'm not looking.

Not unheard of with a wife.
But really unexpected for a motorcycle. I'm still amazed to be so content.
XT1200Z  Biggest Dirt Bike in The World

Offline Big Blu

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Re: Comparing a Super Tenere to a 1190 KTM from an average "C" rider
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2013, 10:24:19 am »
A sobering dose of reality...... Nicely said Mr. Ballosticexchris!

So refreshing to see such an objective review without all the bravado usually found in the  Internet space.

Paul
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 10:26:44 am by Big Blu »
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." -  Mark Twain

Offline ballisticexchris

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Re: Comparing a Super Tenere to a 1190 KTM from an average "C" rider
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2013, 05:02:14 pm »
A sobering dose of reality...... Nicely said Mr. Ballosticexchris!

So refreshing to see such an objective review without all the bravado usually found in the  Internet space.

Paul


No sweat! I'm kind of new here but I'm not much for posting nonsense when it comes to motorcycle discussions. It's so easy to get caught up in the "latest greatest" craze. My wife, father and I were discussing my rides yesterday in detail. I'm not putting down the KTM by any means. It's an awesome machine. Lots of guys are putting down deposits on them as we speak. The Yamaha OTOH, while maybe not as pretty or fast, is WAY more practical and has more than enough power and handling for my needs. Heck I have sellers remorse after getting rid of my Ninja 650R to fund my KTM 300 refurbish project.

While only a "C" rider I do know what I want when it comes to a touring bike. Check out this thread here of my Western states tour I did a few years back (and +70lbs ago as well LOL). And to think I was actually thinking of getting a KLR650 at that time......

http://advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=10513109&postcount=1
2005 KTM 300EXC
2007 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
2012 Beta 520RS

Offline avc8130

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Re: Comparing a Super Tenere to a 1190 KTM from an average "C" rider
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2013, 07:43:48 pm »
I test rode the KTM about a month ago.  I rode a 2013 Euro spec std.  I put 36 miles on it including 5 miles of gravel, 4 miles of interstate, and the rest split between around town and back roads.

Yup.  AMAZING machine.  We are all extremely jaded Tenere owners so it is very tough for us to think objectively.

If we take reliability out of the equation since it truly is a big "?" for the KTM, there is no doubt in my mind that the KTM isn't a better motorcycle than the Tenere.  You simply can't make up for that much weight savings, along with better brakes/suspension/power/etc. 

HOWEVER, I will keep my S10 for at least another season and watch closely how the 1190 reliability goes.  There is certainly major value in a bike that I can pull out of the garage and run to the corner store, or the corner store in Colorado at the top of a mountain all the same.  So far the fat pig of the S10 has filled that role for me very well. 

The KTM is a LUST to me.  Like an annoying super model hot chick.  The S10 makes a good wife.  Plenty pretty, fun to ride, does the dishes and keeps the house like clockwork.

ac
ECU Flash: Hearsay.

Offline RonH

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Re: Comparing a Super Tenere to a 1190 KTM from an average "C" rider
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2013, 08:15:49 pm »
Great review pretty much says what I would expect. I have a buddy woth a deposit on the KTM, before that he had a multistrada, I think he put close to 2000 miles on that bike which was a lot for him, time for the next newest fastest offering for a couple thousand miles. Yamaha, Honda ect no good for these guys that don't ride, but when they do need the fastest. I don't care about fast, I'll race any of them 10,000 miles around the country and wager the Yamaha would win thanks to the great bike it is.

Offline coastie

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Re: Comparing a Super Tenere to a 1190 KTM from an average "C" rider
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2013, 08:32:26 pm »
Good review! The Tenere will do all that you ask of it. I'm sure I would love the KTM if I rode it, but I love the comfort I get from Yamaha reliability.  I just want to throw my gear on and ride. If the Tenere does break down, there will most likely be a yamaha dealer just down the road. Although they have probably never seen a Tenere  ::025::
Yamaha Super Tenere-All you have to do is ride it!

 

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