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Old 02-07-2018, 04:01 PM   #1
EigerClimber
 
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Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

Hey guys,

I plan on moving to Colombia later this year to work as a contract English teacher. I hope to explore the country and improve my limited Spanish before going south to Patagonia. Once in Southern Chile I hope to settle in somewhere and continue teaching through the winter. Then continue the ride south.

I currently have a Yamaha Super Tenere all set-up for long range travel. Considering how long I plan to spend in South America I've been toying with the idea of taking a DRZ400 instead. I would do all the appropriate mods to make it travel ready etc.

My question is, does this make sense as it relates to parts and servicing? I'm assuming the DRZ would be easier to maintain on a long trip like that compared to the Super Tenere.

I would appreciate any opinions or perspectives, especially from those that have spent time in Chile and Argentina.

Thank You

Last edited by EigerClimber; 02-07-2018 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 02-07-2018, 04:08 PM   #2
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

I have never been down through Central or South America. That said...

I would consider the DR650 over the DRZ400. The air cooled engine will be easy/cheap to maintain. About the only real mod it would need is a larger gas tank. There's not really much to go wrong on the bike. Of course, if you have a good deal lined up on the 400, it is a good bike and would likely do just fine.

The other bike I might consider is the KLR 650, it is water cooled and has a bigger tank than the DR650.

Either way, MANY people have used both bikes for round the world travel to out of the way places. Parts and service are not too hard to come by in most countries in the major cities.
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Old 02-07-2018, 04:19 PM   #3
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

Great point about the DR vs. DRZ.

I had a 2015 KLR that was totally set-up and ready for any trip. I ended up buying the Super Tenere and sold the KLR as I wanted to buy a lightweight dirt bike in its place. Fast forward a year and the plan has changed.

The thought of building up another KLR after selling one that was perfectly fine is kind of depressing. I was thinking that building up a different bike would be more psychologically tolerable
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Old 02-07-2018, 05:01 PM   #4
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

LOL!

I hear you on that. Really though, a KLR or DR 650 won't need much. In fact, if you buy used, you can usually get either one already well set up for a very reasonable price. At best, you might have to do a few tweaks for your personal preferences. There have been some very nice bikes for sale here lately.
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The number one rule for this forum!
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Eph 4:29 (NIV)
Think before you post. Leave out the vulgarity, personal attacks and foul language!

Quote:
"However lofty the goals, if the means be depraved, the result must reflect that depravity." - Leonard E. Read

Lies are fragile. They require constant attentiveness to keep them alive. The exposure of a single truth can rip through an ocean of lies, evaporating it instantly. - Brandon Smith

If you want government to intervene domestically, you’re a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you’re a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you’re a moderate. If you don’t want government to intervene anywhere, you’re an extremist. — Joe Sobran

It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance. – Murray N. Rothbard

When one possessed of the Truth suffers from a heavy heart he is susceptible to a more dangerous affliction — the craving for power to eradicate error, to cause Truth to triumph by force. - Frank Chodorov

Where politicians flourish, long history has harshly taught us, people and their liberty wither. Where the state is god and the "public interest" worshipped, individual man will be found bleeding upon the altar. - Karl Hess

The accepted wisdom is that without the state, society would collapse into lawlessness and crime. In fact, lawlessness and crime define the very nature of the state and the society organized by it. - Bionic Mosquito

But the myth of the rule of law does more than render the people submissive to state authority; it also turns them into the state's accomplices in the exercise of its power. For people who would ordinarily consider it a great evil to deprive individuals of their rights or oppress politically powerless minority groups will respond with patriotic fervor when these same actions are described as upholding the rule of law. - John Hasnas
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Old 02-07-2018, 05:21 PM   #5
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

Colombia is a fantastic country to live in and explore. Beautiful people. I know, I lived there four years.

The Super-Ten screams "Rich Gringo" and draws unwanted attention to your person and your belongings. Best to blend in, go low key and you will be accepted quicker as you learn Spanish. You will already be looked up to as the "Teacher" and readily accepted if you do not flaunt wealth.

Anything bike over 650 in South America is overkill. The majority of your riding will be at 20-50 mph speeds. Plus you will want the simplicity of a carb engine and the ease to finding parts, tires. Any small town mechanic down there knows and understands the pre-FI non-electronic machines.

The majority of locals ride the 125-175cc Chinese bikes because the import duty is tied to how many cc the bike has. Even a 650 is an expensive bike for them.

How are you planning on getting your bike down there?

If you are staying longer than the 90 day transit permit, how do you plan on keeping your bike in Colombia for the whole term?

You must have local Colombian insurance, if not and have an accident, your bike will be confiscated.

You have an opportunity of a lifetime. Go and enjoy the people and the experience.
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Old 02-07-2018, 06:54 PM   #6
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

Thanks for the info TallRider I plan to ride from Austin to Panama City, store the bike until next Fall, then arrange shipping to Colombia. As for the 90 day requirement, I was going to take a long weekend to Ecuador and renew the permit on the way back in.
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Old 02-07-2018, 07:02 PM   #7
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

DRZ all the way! Been there , done that. It's all you need.

When you get to Ecuador give me a PM. I'll tell you where to go and stay. You can also stay with my father for a few days.
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:05 PM   #8
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

DR650 reason over DRZ is air cooled , and a breeze to service . The only big advantage DRZ has is better suspension for severe off road , but DR650 is capable . The valves , and carb are much easier than the DRZ . DR also has the factory option built in to lower it 1" if needed . Get the big tank though .

Last edited by Bryan L; 02-07-2018 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:34 PM   #9
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

Who is the chap who lives in Austin that made his EPIC around the world ADV trip on a DR650? He joined TWTEX a few months ago. I think drinking Liquid Wrench with my iced-tea is impacting my memory.

His detailed ride report on the ADV forum was outstanding. Once you get his screen name, I would talk to him about his DR650 setup. The bike went through heavy duty from Africa to India and was the perfect steed.

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Old 02-07-2018, 11:29 PM   #10
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

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Originally Posted by FCBH View Post
Who is the chap who lives in Austin that made his EPIC around the world ADV trip on a DR650? He joined TWTEX a few months ago. I think drinking Liquid Wrench with my iced-tea is impacting my memory.

His detailed ride report on the ADV forum was outstanding. Once you get his screen name, I would talk to him about his DR650 setup. The bike went through heavy duty from Africa to India and was the perfect steed.

RB

This guy?

http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=115606
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Old 02-08-2018, 03:53 PM   #11
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

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Originally Posted by Vinny View Post
DRZ all the way! Been there , done that. It's all you need.

When you get to Ecuador give me a PM. I'll tell you where to go and stay. You can also stay with my father for a few days.
Thanks Vinny!
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Old 02-08-2018, 04:05 PM   #12
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

Bought a 2015 DRZ400S off my dad's neighbor last night. While I appreciate all the advice regarding the DR650, I was able to get the DRZ almost new with 1800 miles for $4000.00. The PO bought it to commute, got caught in a couple rain storms and wasn't comfortable dealing with city traffic. It has mostly sat in the garage the last year or so. It's completely stock. I prefer this as I would rather do all the mods and know exactly what has been done to the bike.

I am researching the Loctite, stator and lubrication mods now. Since, I'm one of those worthless state employees the legislature doesn't want to give raises to, I will wait to the first of the month to start ordering parts and accessories!

Going to have the suspension work done professionally (any recommendations are appreciated. Also going to install a larger gas tank, better lights front and rear, panniers racks for soft bags, radiator braces, larger foot pegs, skid plate, better seat, rear rack, maybe oversize handlebars and risers as well as whatever protection accessories make sense.
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Old 02-08-2018, 04:09 PM   #13
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

Not a fan of the gray tank and shrouds but the fenders and side panels are white. Going to install a clear tank and change the front light to a white Lynx fairing.

Thinking about selling the Super Tenere to finance the mods and part of the trip. I plan to ride to Panama but am still hoping a shipping opportunity will arise. I've emailed several shipping companies that operate from the Port of Houston but no one has responded!
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Old 02-08-2018, 04:58 PM   #14
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

Dirt Bagz for soft panniers.
Look up on Race Tech for springs, you can replace them your self, re-valving is not that hard if you plan to do it also.
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Old 02-08-2018, 05:11 PM   #15
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

Make sure you do the 'Free Power Mod' to your charging system - or you are at least familiar with the concept. And don't skip oil changes. Do it at 1000 miles, or you risk frying a stator. I had a 2000 DRZ I put 31000 miles on, and the charging system is really the only thing that ever gave me problems.

https://thumpertalk.com/forums/topic...-common-maint/

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Old 02-08-2018, 06:53 PM   #16
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

Just curious, but how does changing the oil, or not, affect the stator?
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The number one rule for this forum!
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Eph 4:29 (NIV)
Think before you post. Leave out the vulgarity, personal attacks and foul language!

Quote:
"However lofty the goals, if the means be depraved, the result must reflect that depravity." - Leonard E. Read

Lies are fragile. They require constant attentiveness to keep them alive. The exposure of a single truth can rip through an ocean of lies, evaporating it instantly. - Brandon Smith

If you want government to intervene domestically, you’re a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you’re a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you’re a moderate. If you don’t want government to intervene anywhere, you’re an extremist. — Joe Sobran

It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance. – Murray N. Rothbard

When one possessed of the Truth suffers from a heavy heart he is susceptible to a more dangerous affliction — the craving for power to eradicate error, to cause Truth to triumph by force. - Frank Chodorov

Where politicians flourish, long history has harshly taught us, people and their liberty wither. Where the state is god and the "public interest" worshipped, individual man will be found bleeding upon the altar. - Karl Hess

The accepted wisdom is that without the state, society would collapse into lawlessness and crime. In fact, lawlessness and crime define the very nature of the state and the society organized by it. - Bionic Mosquito

But the myth of the rule of law does more than render the people submissive to state authority; it also turns them into the state's accomplices in the exercise of its power. For people who would ordinarily consider it a great evil to deprive individuals of their rights or oppress politically powerless minority groups will respond with patriotic fervor when these same actions are described as upholding the rule of law. - John Hasnas
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Old 02-08-2018, 07:35 PM   #17
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

Stator is oil cooled.
General consensus is the number one cause for stator failure is infrequent oil changes, and using cheap, crappy oil.

https://thumpertalk.com/forums/topic...or-failure-or/
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Old 02-08-2018, 08:38 PM   #18
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

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Originally Posted by SpiritAtBay View Post
+1

Gina, thanks for saving my bacon. His user name is Jammin. He came by our Billy's lunch group several months ago. He even has a TED talk about his trip I believe.

His ride report and pictures are stunning.

Cheers,

RB
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:09 PM   #19
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourmeister View Post
I have never been down through Central or South America. That said...

I would consider the DR650 over the DRZ400. The air cooled engine will be easy/cheap to maintain. About the only real mod it would need is a larger gas tank. There's not really much to go wrong on the bike. Of course, if you have a good deal lined up on the 400, it is a good bike and would likely do just fine.

The other bike I might consider is the KLR 650, it is water cooled and has a bigger tank than the DR650.

Either way, MANY people have used both bikes for round the world travel to out of the way places. Parts and service are not too hard to come by in most countries in the major cities.
I saw the title and thought the same thing my own self. Seems like if i were moving to a place as mentioned durability and availability of spare parts would be my biggest concern, and not to take anything away from the ST or the DRX, neither of them have the endurance record and longevity of product run like DR650.
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:21 AM   #20
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Re: Super Tenere vs. DRZ400 for South America

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourmeister View Post
Just curious, but how does changing the oil, or not, affect the stator?
We have gone back in forth on this a lot..
I wrote a tech article in 2009 about this issue, but recently pulled it from public view, as Im no long as sure as I was on the right track.
That the stator gets hot and cooks oil is a fact.
That higher quality oil and more frequent oil changes can assist in the stator not being coked with burned oil is an unproved theory at this point.
It is true a lot of stator failures come in the shop, also have terrible maintenance, nasty dirty oil, and what was put in was doggy quality stuff.
ending with this

That is one of the mild ones Ive worked on...I have seen them completely coated (and failed) And never seen one coaked significantly that was not failed.

I do have a working test that seems to be showing good results on helping the stator live (DRZ stators are a known weak point and common cause of charging system failure) But not ready to publish results as the two bikes outfitted are just now coming to a in use time where stator failure is common.
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