So you can imagine my delight when I managed to ride my dream machine. I will admit, usually riding one’s ultimate bike can be a let-down because there’s nothing to desire, afterwards. But the XT1200 has just ignited the desire even more. Maybe it’s the classic Japanese adventure-styling or reliability that resonates with me. Well, whatever it is, I just didn’t want to get off the bike!
The shaft-driven, two-cylinder inline engine produces some serious lowdown grunt with 81kW of power that’s delivered as you need it and the quick revving 1 199cc powertrain. From a design front, the bike’s littered with Yamaha’s Dakar-bred history from the lightweight design to the sharp handling.
This bike is packed with safety technology, including the likes of an Intelligent Unified Brake system and ABS YCC-T with three-stage traction control plus Yamaha D-mode. The active safety features on board are always willing to step in should the bike get a little bit unruly. That said, you can set the traction control to different levels, which will enable you to ride with less interference from the machine.
Despite its relatively high posture, the bike is easy to manoeuvre and rather agile as you pitch it through the twitsies. The seating position is comfortable on long journeys and the fact that the seat is high adjustable ensures you can find the best riding position.
On the open road or in town, the XT1200 seems comfortable in all the surroundings. Its fiery motor and smooth gearbox means you can work your way through the gears quickly and, thanks to the quick acceleration, it’s great in traffic. The bike even returns a respectable fuel consumption of around 6.2 litres/100km and that’s riding rather briskly.
It’s a hard bike to fault but in a highly competitive market where the GS is king, the XT’s lack of cruise control and rather oddly placed side stand is its only apparent weakness. But then again I’m clutching at straws and for the entire week, all the Super Ténéré did was make my heart beat a little faster every time I saw it.
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