Archive for the ‘Ténéré’ Tag

XS650: Ténéré   Leave a comment

What do this

1 .. SR500 prototype .. 1973 .. Shiro Nakamura

SR500 prototype .. 1973 .. Shiro Nakamura


And this


2 .. 2011 Super Ténéré 1200

2011 Super Ténéré 1200


Have in common?

Ask Bob Trigg. He can tell you.

“We constructed a bike with the twin engine as an example for Japan, and presented the target concept for such a model. That was the birth of the Super Ténéré. We requested a big capacity 750/900cc twin with big torque feeling, and with a modern engine: the 45 degree engine layout, as the Genesis engine of the FZ750 had.”

“Our target was to launch a Paris-Dakar OW factory racer, then the Super Ténéré, and then a new Street bike with the same engine. That became the TDM 850, an alternative touring bike developed to be the best bike in the Alps.”


3 .. prototype, a Ténéré 600 with an XS650 twin engine mounted in it

prototype, a Ténéré 600 with an XS650 twin engine mounted in it


The humble XT500. Took out the inaugural Paris Dakar 1979. The French went mad. Vive le Bleu

4 .. '79 Paris-Dakar .. 1st 2nd

’79 Paris-Dakar .. 1st 2nd


1979. 1st. 2nd. 8th. 12th.

1980. 1st. 2nd, 3rd. 4th. 8th. 9th. 11th. 12th.

1981. 2nd. 3rd….took out 11 of the first 31.

1982  saw the XT550. 4th. 5th. 10th…..11 from the first 33.

1983 XT600. 4th. 5th. 7th. 8th. 15th. 23rd. 24th.

1984 XT600. 6th. 7th. 9th. 11th. 14-17th….13 from 33.


05 .. 81 XT500 Paris-Dakar

81 XT500 Paris-Dakar


Bob Trigg says:

“Also in offroad we were trying to get away from the 2-stroke image. A lot of efforts went into developing the XT/TT 600 line-up, we were also entering the Dakar rallye and that was very popular. Sonauto, the French importer, asked for a production version of the race bike so we also introduced the Ténéré.”

“Later it became clear that a single cylinder could not win the Paris Dakar anymore, and we considered other engine developments. Even a 4-cylinder was an option, but it was a problem to get enough grip and traction for offroad use. So we made a big-bang engine, firing like a twin. But in the end nobody liked it, a 4-cylinder was supposed to be smooth and to have the typical 4-cylinder sound, that was the in-thing of those times.”

Imagine that.

Posted January 21, 2011 by xscafe in Frame - Design, XS Pics

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