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ADV Bikes2015 Yamaha Super Tenere ES Adventure Build

2015 Yamaha Super Tenere ES Adventure Build

An adventure-prepped XT1200Z that is well-equipped to circle the globe.

Published on 12.15.2015

The Yamaha Super Tenere is named after a rugged region of the Sahara desert, and rightfully so. The bike is known to be one of the most durable models in the liter-class adventure touring segment. Super Tenere’s are not only dependable, they are also versatile enough to handle a wide-range of terrain while providing high levels of comfort for the rider.

A reliable adventure motorcycle is exactly what you need if you are serious about exploring every corner of the earth, and that’s what makes the Yamaha Super Tenere ES a great adventure touring platform. The ES model also comes with all the modern conveniences like electronically adjustable suspension, cruise control, heated grips, adjustable windscreen, traction control and ABS. Even so, the bike can benefit from a few upgrades to help ruggedize it for serious adventures.

If you are planning adventure rides that include off-road travel in remote areas, you need robust aftermarket accessories and protection for vital components to help you avoid getting stranded in the middle of nowhere. You never know what type of abuses the trail can offer up, so it’s important to cover yourself for any known vulnerabilities to reduce your chances of mechanical failures.

Front view of the Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere ES
The Super Tenere is a big adventure bike that is capable of venturing off-road but it can benefit from some additional protection for vital components.


We were recently invited to try out a custom adventure build by the World of Adventure (WOA) organization. The WOA is a “marketplace” where new adventure riders can quickly learn about everything they need to equip themselves and their bikes for adventure. This latest WOA build is a 2015 Yamaha Super Tenere ES fully-outfitted with select aftermarket products from top manufacturers committed to the adventure riding lifestyle.

The Super Tenere gets the full complement of protectors and guards to make it tough as nails. The upgrades are designed to enhance the already rugged build of the Yamaha while also giving it plenty of capacity to carry camping gear, clothing, tools, spares and emergency equipment over long distances. This fully-farkled Super Tenere also gets ultra-bright off-road lighting to ensure safe travels on those long days when you’re still stuck on the trail after nightfall.

2015 Yamaha Super Tenere ES XT1200Z
The WOA Super Tenere has been “adventure proofed” to ensure it can handle the abuses of extended off-road travel.

The upgraded Tenere is equipped to keep going no matter what the adventure throws at you. Not only do the modifications improve the trail-worthiness of the machine, but they also improve the look of the Super T. And with these high-quality components added to the machine, we’d expect it will continue to look stunning even after years of hard miles. Below is an up close look at the aftermarket components that make up this adventure build:

Jesse Luggage 10″ Odyssey II  Panniers

Yamaha Super Tenere Jesse Luggage 10 inch Odyssey II Panniers

Jesse Luggage Odyssey II hard panniers are made of durable 2mm-thick 5052 aluminum and are mounted to a robust steel rack system. The unique design of the panniers makes them incredibly strong and compact, while still offering substantial amount of cargo space (95 Liters) for gear on an extended trip.

AltRider Luggage Rack System

Yamaha Super Tenere AltRider Luggage Rack System

The AltRider luggage rack system replaces the passenger seat with a second luggage rack, providing added storage space to strap on additional gear and equipment (e.g. RotopaX fuel containers, top box) for an extended trip. The racks are constructed of high-strength 4.8mm anodized aluminum with multiple cut-outs that provide a wide range of options for strapping down equipment.

AltRider Crash Bars

Yamaha Super Tenere AltRider Crash Bars

AltRider’s Crash Bars are built with TIG welded one-inch stainless steel tubing, making them highly resistant to rust or tarnishing. Not only do they protect the fairing in the case of a crash, but also the Tenere’s exposed radiator. A unique connecting bar design helps prevent costly damage as well, by redirecting the energy of an impact toward the opposite-side crash bar instead of the frame or engine mounts.

AltRider Skid Plate

Yamaha Super Tenere AltRider Skid Plate

When you ride a big bike like the Super Tenere on rocky terrain, a heavy-duty skid plate helps ensure you don’t get stranded with a cracked sump or mangled exhaust. Constructed of 3.175 mm anodized aluminum, the AltRider Skid Plate reaches high on the left hand side to protect the stator, and provides extensive coverage of the headers on the right. Precision built stainless steel hardware ensures a perfect fit and oil changes can be completed with the skid plate in place.

AltRider Universal Header Guard

Yamaha Super Tenere AltRider Universal Header Guard

The AltRider Header Guards help avoid those power robbing dents and dings in the exhaust headers caused by rocks and debris that get kicked up while riding off-road. Made of 1.5mm thick stainless steel, the header guards utilize a six-flange design to wrap-around and protect each individual header pipe.

AltRider Drive Shaft U-Joint Guard

Yamaha Super Tenere AltRider Drive Shaft U-Joint Guard

The stock drive shaft u-joint guard has a tendency to catch on a rider’s pants leg during technical off-road riding, creating a potentially dangerous situation when a rider needs to dab a foot for balance. The heavy-duty AltRider U-Joint Guard removes this hazard while also providing additional protection from debris for the vulnerable drive shaft boot.

AltRider Side Stand Switch Guard

Yamaha Super Tenere AltRider Side Stand Switch Guard

Another vulnerability on the Yamaha Super Tenere is the side stand safety switch that cuts the engine when the transmission is put into gear with the side stand down. Trail debris kicked up off-road can damage or disable the switch, leaving you scratching your head trying to figure out why the bike keeps stalling. This 2mm anodized aluminum guard from AltRider helps eliminate this weak point.

AltRider Rear Brake Master Cylinder Guard

Yamaha Super Tenere AltRider Rear Brake Master Cylinder Guard

The AltRider Rear Brake Master Cylinder Guard is larger than the stock guard and offers better protection for the reservoir hose and brake line. It’s a great addition, because the stock guard allows contact between the rider’s boot and the brake line, making it a high wear point over time.

Clearwater Erica LED Auxiliary Lights

Yamaha Super Tenere Clearwater LED Auxiliary Lights

With over 12,000 lumens of light from two Clearwater LED auxiliary lights, nighttime visibility is never a problem. Despite the tremendous light output, the actual draw on the charging system is minimal at just 60 watts per light. Light housings are CNC machined hard anodized aluminum and solidly mounted to ensure they are able to endure the abuses of a long-term expedition.

Aftermarket Parts List

Aftermarket Product Price USD
 Jesse Luggage 10″ Odyssey II  Panniers $1,280
 AltRider Luggage Rack System $357.97
 AltRider Crash Bars $406.97
 AltRider Skid Plate $376.97
 AltRider Universal Header Guard $74.97
 AltRider Drive Shaft U-Joint Guard $67.97
 AltRider Side Stand Switch Guard $37.97
 AltRider Rear Brake Master Cylinder Guard $67.97
 Clearwater Erica LED Auxiliary Lights $899.00


Photos by Stephen Gregory

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

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Harold Olaf Cecil
Harold Olaf Cecil
December 16, 2015 6:44 am

Nice collection of bolt ons, but this is the best Super Tenere build in the world, Spaniard Juame Von Arend’s Trail Dreamer:

December 16, 2015 12:57 pm

thanks Harold! Yes, it is a nice bike:

David Edelen
David Edelen
December 16, 2015 7:11 am

I just got a 2015 Sup Tenere. Love it.

January 6, 2016 10:59 am

This reads like advertising gobbets strung together.

Mario W.
Mario W.
January 6, 2016 3:33 pm

Nice upgrades. I have the Altrider rack and it is awesome!

Lloyd Garden
Lloyd Garden
January 14, 2016 6:34 am

I have a 2014 model and it’s my favorite bike! Way under rated by the Magazines. I suggest going with the Rumbux crash bars/skid plate.


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