As much as I like em, BMW’s omnivorous twins are too big and, more to the point, too expensive. Trouble is, there aren’t simpler alternatives available in American showrooms. If my two-car garage in the Antelope Valley became a cozy shed somewhere in the UK, it would be a different story. I’d trudge down to the local Yamaha shop and cozy up to an XT 660Z Ténéré. I know it’s not quite the serious Sahara Desert contender Yamaha’s styling department portrays it to be. The liquid-cooled 48-horse single-cam lump has been around for a while, pushing proletarian means of transport like Yamaha’s Euro-spec MT-03, Aprilia’s Pegaso and the mercifully forgettable Derbi Mulhacean. But you know what? I like it anyway. The silhouette strikes an effective balance between form and function, and that 5.7-gallon fuel tank is perfect for crossing long stretches of California desert or traffic-choked freeway. It could stand to loose a little weight and gain a few horsepower. It’s no KTM 690, but that’s not all bad.