Yamaha launches R1200 GS slayer
XT1200Z Super Ténéré
Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke DOHC, inline 2-cylinder
80.9kW @ 7 250 r/min
114.1 Nm @ 6 000 r/min
Constant mesh, 6-speed
After much anticipation Yamaha has just released the first photos and specs of the company’s BMW R1200 GS rivalling 2010 XT1200Z Ténéré. Yamaha first showed the XT1200Z as a concept at the 2009 Toyko Motor Show when they unveiled a skeletal metal frame wrapped up in Bedouin-like cloth. Now, at last, the wraps have properly come off.
Powered by a 1,1199cm3 parallel twin (boasting 80.9kW and torque of 114.1Nm which is much on par with the BMW R1200 GS), the XT1200Z shares a lot of its technological innovation with Yamaha’s R1 supersport bike – most notably its crossplane crankshaft.
Whereas two cylinder engines with a flat plane crankshaft fires at consistently equal intervals, the crossplane crankshaft fires two cylinders at the normal intervals, and the next two straight after one another. Put differently, if a traditional four cylinder’s rhythm were played on a drum its beat would be “one, two, three, four” with combustion occurring on each number. The XT1200Z engine’s beat would be “one, two, three, one, two, one, one, two” with combustion taking place on each of the “one” beats.
By firing two cylinders in such short succession it essentially creates one long blast. What this means for you as a rider is that there is virtually no sluggishness in the delivery of torque and there is a very direct and linear connection between the throttle and the rear wheel (via an all-new shaft drive).
To help get the maximum power from the inline twin engine to the road (or washed out trail if that is more your bag), the XT1200Z has been treated to a three-mode traction control system which can easily be turned off when it’s time for some rear wheel steering on a loose surface.
The traction control module measures front and rear wheel speed, uses this data to determine when the rear wheel loses traction, and then modulates the ignition timing, the fuel injection and the ride-by-wire system to optimise rear grip.
ABS comes standard as part of the Ténéré’s electronic Unified Brake System which is “one of the most advanced braking systems Yamaha has ever built”. Unfortunately the ABS system cannot be switched off (unlike the traction control) as is possible on BMW’s GS bikes.
Still, the Super Ténéré is very much a go-anywhere adventure machine with spoked wheels, generous ground clearance and tough engine protection. The entire design is tuned to keep the bike’s mass low and central for perfect balance and light, agile handling at speed, and the riding position has been optimised for sitting or standing.
There is no doubt that the Super Ténéré is squarely aimed at the popular dual-purpose market that BMW has been successfully hogging for the last decade. This Yamaha has a much stronger off-road focus than competitors like the Triumph Tiger and Suzuki V-Strom and its built on a very firm Ténéré heritage which Yamaha established in the ’80s and ’90s.
Would you trade your 1200 GS in for a new XT1200Z?
Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré Specifications
Type: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, inline 2-cylinder, 4-valve, fuel injected, twin spark engine
Bore x stroke: 98 x 79.5 mm
Compression ratio: 11.0:1
Firing intervals: 270- and 450-degree points
Max. Power: 80.9kW @7,250rpm
Max. Torque: 114.1 Nm @6,000 rpm
Lubrication system: Dry sump
Fuel supply system: Fuel Injection
Clutch type: Wet, multiple-disc diaphragm spring
Ignition system: Twin spark
Starter system: Electric
Transmission system: Constant mesh, 6-speed
Final transmission: Shaft
Throttle system: Yamaha Chip-Controlled Throttle (YCC-T)
Yamaha D-MODE: 2 modes, Sport (S) and Touring (T)
Traction control: 3 modes, TCS1, TCS2 and OFF
Exhaust System: 2-into-1
Frame: Steel tube backbone
Front suspension: Upside-down telescopic fork, 43 mm inner tube, adjustable preload, compression and rebound damping
Front wheel travel: 190 mm
Rear suspension: Monoshock, adjustable preload and rebound damping
Rear wheel travel: 190 mm
Front brake: Hydraulic Twin 310 mm wave discs, ABS/Unified Brake System
Rear brake: Hydraulic Single 282 mm wave disc
Front tyre: 110/80/19
Rear tyre: 150/70/17
Overall length: 2,250 mm
Overall width: 980 mm
Overall height: 1,410 mm
Seat height: Adjustable 845-870 mm
Wheelbase: 1,540 mm
Min. ground clearance: 205 mm
Wet weight: 261 kg (includes full oil and fuel tank):
Fuel capacity: 23 litres
Oil capacity: 4.2 litres