KLR vs Yamaha Teneré

This post is for the guys that are motorcycle-minded.

Enjoying a bit of sand in Zimbabwe (Photograph Francois Wepener, touched up by Emil Bosch 🙂

A while ago I had to chance to buy a Yamaha Teneré second hand. Ténéré is Tuareg language for a desert. The Ténéré is a desert area in Niger and Chad in the southern Sahara.

It is a totally different bike than the trusty old KLR. During June I had the chance to do a fair amount of sand riding with the KLR in Botswana. End of July I did the first long trip with the Teneré to Zimbabwe. Also there I had the chance of riding off-road, even if only a short distance in comparison to Botswana with the KLR.

What do I like about the Teneré, what do I dislike?


1. It is a modern bike with fuel injection.

2. It can easily maintain higher speeds than the KLR.

3. Fuel consumption may be a bit better than on the KLR. With its tank of 23 liter I believe one could get 500 km on one tank if riding wisely. (Also the KLR has a 23 liter tank)

4. Strong suspension and good ground clearance. Better than the KLR.

5. One has so much power on the open road. With a flick of the wrist one can easily overtake. After riding the KLR it felt as if I were riding downhill on the Yamaha. Everything is just so easy.

6. The brakes!


1. It is not as easy to work on the bike as on the KLR.

2. The oil cap and dipstick is hidden at the most stupid place possible . With a big hand like mine one battles to unscrew it to check the oil level.

3. There is so much electronics onboard. The manual says: If this or that light keeps on flickering contact your nearest Yamaha dealer. But if one is somewhere in the Sahara?

4. Twice I was sprayed with oil while riding. The oil was blown out at the oil gauge. Was it caused by a too thin o-ring? I don’t know. The mystery as why it had happened, is still not solved. I got from a friend a thicker o-ring. Now we will see what happens.

5. I miss a temperature gauge like on the KLR. I want to know in advance if the bike is getting hot …

6. The bike runs on unleaded fuel. Could be a problem in Africa.


With what bike would I love to tour South Africa? Without doubt the Teneré.

With what bike would I tour Africa a next time? The KLR.

I will keep you updated on how the Yamaha performs. The bike still has to win my trust. In the mean time I continue dreaming about a third crossing of Africa on the KLR, or perhaps the Baltic states and Russia. Let’s see what happens. In the mean time the KLR is going strong towards 80 000 km!

About Lodie

Africa, Africa, Africa!
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3 Responses to KLR vs Yamaha Teneré

  1. Francois says:

    Congrats with the “new” Yammi

  2. BradleyT says:

    Thanks for the feedback. You are not the first person to show concerns about certain aspects of the Tenere. I ride the V-Strom (which I LOVE), but don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with all those electronics! The KLR is the bike for self-help circumstances where the Dealer is hundreds/thousands of km’s away. Lekker ry.

  3. ToKi says:

    Hi Lodie,
    your problem with the dipstick is well known.
    Your Yamaha dealer will replace this stick. The thread has been changed at the new stick. The new is more conical.
    Enjoy the Ten.

    Here is a Tenere Drivers Map.
    Feel free to add yourself.

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