Author Topic: Hoping to tour cross country on a Tenere  (Read 2848 times)

Offline WJBertrand

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Re: Hoping to tour cross country on a Tenere
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2017, 01:36:41 pm »
Harleys are considerably more reliable than BMWs according to a Consumer Reports owner survey:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/04/who-makes-the-most-reliable-motorcycle/index.htm?loginMethod=auto

Some folks like to dismiss CR when they disagree, but they base these reliability studies on actual owner data, so it's not their opinion.  My experience with various cars, for which they've been doing reliability owner surveys for a long time, has pretty much lined up with these reports, right down to the particular trouble spots.

Having said that, if one were looking for a reliable cross country mount, it would appear to be difficult to beat a Yamaha.
-Jeff-
Ventura, CA
2015 Yamaha Super Tenere ES
2005 Honda ST1300A

Offline RCinNC

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Re: Hoping to tour cross country on a Tenere
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2017, 01:42:37 pm »
Yeah, I should have clarified that.  Yes, older Knuckleheads, Panheads, Shovelheads, did leak oil, and that's certainly where the "leaking all the time" reputation was born.  Shovels were superseded by the Evos back in 1980 (I think), and then the 88's in the late 90's and I'd say the "leaking all the time" thing went by the wayside when the 88's came on line.  I didn't have any experience with the older engines, but my Twin Cam never leaked anything, and my buddy's Evo powered FXRS didn't either.  That's anecdotal evidence, to be sure, but people who know HD engines way better than I do would almost certainly say that leaking oil wasn't a characteristic of later model bikes.  HD still suffers from a rep that hasn't really been true for about 20 years, in much the same way that BMW will suffer from the "final drive failure" rep years after it was actually relevant.  The pre 2006 Twin Cams did suffer from cam chain tensioner issues; kind of like our venerable S-10's... :)

And apologies for diverting the thread.  We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 02:06:18 pm by RCinNC »
2014 Yamaha Super Tenere
2012 Suzuki DL650 (traded)
2004 HD Road King Custom (sold)
2000 Yamaha Road Star 1600 (traded)
1994 Yamaha Virago 1100 (traded)
1982 Honda V45 Sabre (traded)
1984 Kawasaki 440LTD (sold)

Offline IslandTractor

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Re: Hoping to tour cross country on a Tenere
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2017, 08:36:44 am »
I've never owned a BMW, but I have owned a Harley (a 2004 Road King), so I often feel compelled to chime in when I see something like this.  I put over 50,000 miles on my RK, crossed the US twice, and the only thing that ever went wrong on it was a burned out taillight bulb.  Reliability issues with Harleys most often crop up when guys start modifying their engines to produce horsepower that they really aren't designed for.  Harleys have their own issues like most brands, but the image of a Harley that leaks oil everywhere and breaks down daily is a myth.

I do like my S10 a lot more, though...it goes places my RK would never see.

I wasn't ragging on HD (or BMW) but passing on my experience.  The experience of owning a couple of BMWs and having a friend's nearly new stock Harley breakdown in the middle of a cross country tour (I had to continue alone after my buddy's time ran out) is part of what has pushed me to buy a Yamaha this time.  I know that Harley has done a lot of work on quality control and not every BMW has final drive failures or ABS malfunctions but neither of those brands can claim anything like the reliability record of the Japanese bikes.  Point is that at this point I value reliability far higher than cutting edge engineering or style.

I didn't give the whole story about the Harley which shows both the bad and good of HD.  We were driving from Boston to the West Coast and were near Sudbury, Canada when one morning the HD transmission just quit.  We put both bikes (my R60 too) into the back of a rented pickup and drove overnight to Milwaukee.  Arrived at about 3pm on a Friday and drove right to the HD factory.  The bike had about 1500 miles on it and was totally stock.  We just happened to bump into one of the HD higher ups while explaining our predicament to a secretary in customer service and he walked out to see the bike.  He just examined the chain, satisfied himself the bike was not abused, and called for factory mechanics to take the bike into the shop.  The next day (Saturday) they called to tell us that the transmission failed because during manufacture a wrong size nut had been installed.  It was easier/faster for them to simply replace the entire powertrain with a new one which they did and gave the bike back that afternoon.  Pretty remarkable service.  Sadly, this was early 1970s and the break in for a new engine then made it very difficult to travel cross country at any reasonable pace.   Time ran out and my buddy had to turn around in Colorado.  I continued to the West Coast solo.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 08:42:07 am by IslandTractor »

Offline ST-venture

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Re: Hoping to tour cross country on a Tenere
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2017, 05:24:21 pm »
Getting the seat right is critical and also somewhat of a challenge for me.  I am hoping to buy a used Tenere somewhere West of the Mississippi and drive it to Seattle to visit my sister before looping up to Banff and down through the big US national parks before heading east (by whatever seems the most interesting route).  Not a lot of time to fiddle with seat trials or even to be in one place.   I'm hoping to find a bike that has a pretty good aftermarket seat and will likely bring along an air or gel pad in lieu of a perfect custom fit.  Perhaps I'll have time to make an appointment with a seat specialist in Seattle before heading back East.   I suppose the alternative is to buy the bike here on the East Coast and get it sorted before heading out but the idea of driving across Kansas/Central Plains more than once doesn't appeal.

Add an AirHawk seat cushion and your done.
2016 BMW R 1200 RT, 2009 Honda Goldwing ABS

Offline IslandTractor

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Re: Hoping to tour cross country on a Tenere
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2017, 08:32:42 pm »
Add an AirHawk seat cushion and your done.

Which AirHawk fits the Tenere best??  There appear to be at least three types and the manufacturer's website offers only vague advice on selection.

Offline RCinNC

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Re: Hoping to tour cross country on a Tenere
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2017, 09:14:55 pm »
I've used the Airhawk R for quite a while now on my S10.  It fits really well.
2014 Yamaha Super Tenere
2012 Suzuki DL650 (traded)
2004 HD Road King Custom (sold)
2000 Yamaha Road Star 1600 (traded)
1994 Yamaha Virago 1100 (traded)
1982 Honda V45 Sabre (traded)
1984 Kawasaki 440LTD (sold)

Offline Checkswrecks

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Re: Hoping to tour cross country on a Tenere
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2017, 09:17:19 pm »
Which AirHawk fits the Tenere best??  There appear to be at least three types and the manufacturer's website offers only vague advice on selection.


The little one. We put JUST enough air in it to barely be perceptible, not enough that to feel like sitting on a balloon.
Damascus, MD
XTZ1200, KTM 690R

 

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