Saturday, November 26, 2011

A few mods on the Tenere

A big apology to all my readers is in order for I have been away from the blogs for a while.  I lost my job a while ago and my head has been preoccupied with other more important things.  I had just bought the Tenere and started the modifications when my company decided to outsource my job to a big consulting company.  I kind of knew it was coming but it was still unexpected and also at the wrong time.
Oh well, things happen for a reason and I'm sure I will recover and new things will show up for the better.
I haven't been riding as much as I wanted, been mostly doing short local rides around New Jersey.  I do have a few ride reports to complete but my head has not been in the right place for me to blog.

I started looking for an adventure bike when I had the idea to go to Prudhoe Bay after reading many ride reports on the ADV site and I have always had the picture in my mind of how I wanted the Tenere to look like, black was going to be the theme.  With that in mind I started looking for protection and luggage for the bike.  I wanted the equipment to be rugged and to be able to take any punishment I might put the bike through since I intend on keeping the Tenere for a long time.  For protection I decided to go with Altrider parts.
First thing I installed was the skid plate powder coated in black.  It's a very well made part and very strong.  It will protect the headers and the oil filter from rocks and other flying debris.

The bike needed some side protection in case of a fall.  The Altrider crash bars are built from one inch stainless steel tubing, hopefully they will never rust.  The Tenere has the radiator and fan mounted under the left side panel and the crash bar will protect it from a side fall.  They are designed to distribute the weight across six mounting points, three on each side and are powder coated in black.

Since this bike will be going off road and there will be times when I will need to stop in soft sand, I had to do something about the kick stand.  Even though the Tenere kick stand has a pretty large foot print, it can never be big enough in soft sand, bigger is always better.  Altrider makes the perfect side stand foot to keep it from sinking or falling on soft surfaces.

Yamaha decided to put a plastic/fiber luggage rack on the bike and on the first edition some customers outside of the US reported broken racks.  For the US, Yamaha redesigned the rack but it is still made of plastic/fiber.  Since I will be adding big aluminum panniers to the bike, a stronger rack was a necessity.  Once again Altrider came to the rescue with a very well built and strong aluminum rack with lots of places to hook bungee cords.  The rack has a small area underneath that allows for the storage of a little toolbox or compressor.

I had ordered the luggage from Twisted Throttle but the manufacturer had encountered a problem with one of the parts on the mounting rack and that delayed the delivery of the part.  With the rest of the luggage stashed away in the garage waiting to be installed and with the protection on the bike it was time to hit the local roads and do some adventuring.

I rode a few dirt roads to get used to the bike and to play around with the traction control and the ABS.  I am loving this bike a little more after each ride but lets not kid anyone, it's not a light bike and commands respect on the dirt.  For more aggressive dirt riding I will have to install a set of knobby tires.

Until I install the luggage I have to limit myself to short distances and that implies staying in New Jersey.  I do have a few nice roads close to my house and I have been taking advantage of my free time to ride them.

Soon the luggage will be installed and I can start planning some longer trips but unfortunately winter is fast approaching.  Losing my job at this time was definitely at the wrong time.


  1. Hi, George. Bummer, you lost your job. It sucks, I know, I have been there and it were the longest nine months of my life. But things happen for a reason, and turn around, hopefully for the better.

    I like the upgrades that you have made to your Tenere. Although sturdy looking I guess it is a good call to add the skid plate and the engine guards.

    I hope you can keep riding, man. I had an epiphany back when I was unemployed and it was the re-discovery of motorcycle riding ;-)
    Who knows what will be in store for you.. good luck!

  2. George:

    we missed you too. Things never seem to happen when convenient. I hope that new, better opportunities open up for you. Many times changes are for the better, and I hope that is the case with you

    Your bike is looking good

    Riding the Wet Coast

  3. To bad on the job and as Bob said, you were missed. I still got your Twitter updates so I knew you were still around. I was looking forward to see what your Ténéré farkles were going to be. Especially after your long wait to get it. It's looking pretty good.


  4. Welcome back geroge, bitch about the job mate, hope all is working our for you. The bike is looking good. Tell me do you use ABS off road? I turn it off it helps in "sliding " the back wheel and having some fun. Mate you are goona have o much fun....I know I am!

  5. Hang in their Bud , you will soon be riding the adventures you had plans for. bike is looking good .

  6. Good to see you back! I've been thinking of you. Losing a job is never fun. As the others have said, I wish you luck in recovering and hope you can have some fun before returning back to the world of responsibility. ;)

    I love the mods on the Tenere. Tough!

    No problems with the Tenere? Have a friend here that put his deposit down and never got his bike. Another friend had his recalled. Something with the engine.

  7. @Sonja @Bob @Richard
    Thanks guys. I'm sure things will be better in the future, one door closes, a new one opens, that's the way I see it. Protection is always good, plastic parts cost too much money to replace.

  8. @Roger
    Thanks. On the Tenere you can't switch off the ABS. It has a 2 position unified ABS, pressing the rear brake first overrides the Unififed Braking System for traditional separate front and rear braking action. I can't have too much fun until I install knobby tires ;-)

  9. @Mario
    Thanks, yea, I hope so, the plans are still being formulated :-)

    Thanks. Yea, responsibility is what has been holding me from doing more rides, bills don't stop.
    He put the deposit and never got the bike? why? the dealer screwed up, there are a few new for sale, tell him to look on the ADV site.
    There's been no problems at all but some bikes do have a recall, mine has it, something to do with an improperly installed seal on the fuel pump, no biggie. I love it.

  10. Hi George, I probably should have clarified that he chose not to get the bike when he learned of the recalls. :) I don't think he learned that it was only a seal. I'm glad you and the bike are having some fun. Best of luck on the grown up side of life.

  11. George, the bike is looking good! Engine guards are a good investment, mine have paid for themselves a few times. Good luck in whatever door you go through next!

  12. @Lori
    He should have checked ADV site, there's lots of good info there. Any new bike will have recalls, the new Triumph 800 XC already has 2 recalls. I'm glad that Yamaha is usually very pro-active with these issues.

    Thanks. I'm working on a future career change that might give me lots of free time in the summer, perfect for riding.

  13. Not to sound like an echo, but I wanted to join the group in expressing my sympathy and warm hopes for the future.

    The bike is looking really good!

  14. @Dan
    Thank you and thank you again :-)

  15. Hi George, good to hear from you :)
    Sorry to hear about the job situation. Been there, and it's never fun. Here's hoping something new and better comes along!

    Looks like some wonderful rides near your home. Great photos from the road. It's always fun making travel plans and outfitting the bike.

  16. @Kari
    Thank you, it sucks that it's at this time of the year when my daughter is celebrating her 15th, then it's my wife then it's me in early January.
    I'm still planning on Alaska for 2012.

  17. Dear George:

    I was very sorry to learn of your job situation. So many companies are looking to cut costs among the talent that gave them their reputations for service and their ability to solve problems. It is never the short-sight CEO's or the mediocre management stooges — who take such pians to cover their own asses — to feel the ax. But better days are coming, or so I'm told.

    Your bike looks teriffic! The modifications you made are positively gorgeous and iron-clad. The new acessories really add to the already strong character of this machine. All of it will come in handy in Alaska.

    Merry Christmas...
    Twisted Roads

  18. @Jack
    Thank you. I'm sure something better will come up, it always does.
    The luggage has been installed, I will post pics soon. I still have to do lots of mods, power plugs, GPS, radar detector but it's tough spending money when you have no income coming in :-(

  19. @George,
    The temperature on the North Slope in July can really vary from near freezing to into the 70's. Plus when you go through the Brooks Range, you are over 4000 ft. Fairbanks in July is pretty warm with highs regularly in the 80's.

    Yes, there are no roads to Barrow. Some winters, they put in an ice road from Prudhoe but it's pretty expensive. Alaska Airlines flies 2-3 737 flights per day to Barrow so it's pretty easy to get there. Shipping stuff is pretty expensive though. If you have any more questions, feel free to email me. I have my email and phone numbers in the "About Me" section. I may see you on the road since I'm planning on riding down to the west coast leaving around the beginning of July.


  20. @Richard
    Thanks and hopefully we will cross paths again :-)
    Looks like I will have to be prepared for both extremes as you never know what you will run into up through the Brooks Range.

  21. Nice to see you are able to get back to riding and writing in the midst of personal crisis. My late husband once told me to remember, whatever doesn't kill you will only make you stronger. You are stronger now. Love your favorite 5 this month - beautiful family and nice bike too:o)

  22. @VStar Lady
    Thank you for the kind words. I agree with your late husband (I'm sorry about your loss) I will come out stronger in the end. One door closes, a better one will open. Hey, it's a Yamaha, we both made good choices :-)