Yamaha's new XT1200Z Super Ténéré has as much in common with the world-beating YZF-R1 superbike as it does with any Paris-Dakar-bred predecessor. A traction-enhancing crossplane crankshaft, YCC-T ride-by-wire throttle and variable drive modes (Sport or Tour) are lifted from the R1, and the Super Ténéré ups the technology ante with three-mode traction control and ABS. This super-enduro is set to take on Ducati's high-tech Multistrada 1200 and the new DOHC BMW R1200GS-though the Yamaha will only be available in Europe for now.
An 1199cc, 110-bhp, liquid-cooled parallel-twin powers the XT1200Z. Locating the radiator on the left side and the battery and electrical components on the right allows the compact motor to be mounted as low and far forward as possible, centralizing mass. The cast-aluminum swingarm is extra-long for better traction, and shaft drive decreases maintenance. Spoked, tubeless wheels in 19-inch front/17-inch rear sizes suggest some semblance of off-road aptitude, though the 575-pound (claimed) wet weight will discourage hard-core dirt diversions. Traction control can be disabled for off-road use but the ABS cannot-another limiting factor.
The Super Ténéré will be offered in 2010 exclusively as a special edition with an "adventure package" including aluminum side cases, headlight protector and skid plate. Price will be the European equivalent of $20,500, though Yamaha USA has no immediate plans to bring the new model stateside. But that's okay: The FJR1300 sport-tourer wasn't meant to come here either-until enough interested buyers spoke up.