1990 Super Tenere vs 2021 Tenere 700 – Retro vs Modern

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Two bikes, thirty years in age gap in one of the UK’s most beautiful, iconic motorcycle riding spots. Welcome to Episode 4 of Retro vs Modern.


Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. Wether you remember distinctly or are living on the nostalgia of others, it’s such a good feeling. The Supere Tenere for me, is a bike I can’t help but love. The nostalgia is a little too powerful. I think that across the four episodes of Retro vs Modern is seems that nostalgia isn’t that accurate. Our fondness of previous memories skews our perceptions a little. Every time I ask someone what that remember a bike being, it’s wildly interesting. From the original Africa Twin being like a ‘production rallye bike’ to the Super Tenere being ‘way too heavy for off-road’, none of those tropes are quite true.

What a wonderful bike it has turned out to be.

On top of that, we’ve learnt a lot about modern bikes. Sometimes they’re great, sometimes they’ve lost their way but with the Yamaha T7, it’s seems like a lot of chips have fallen into place. More simply, the T7 is great. What a wonderful bike it has turned out to be. A truly modern, capable bike. The Super Tenere is without doubt a lovely bike, but this comparison has been the best possible showcase of how 30 years has developed bikes in adventure motorcycling. We live in a great time.

Regarding the demise of the Super Tenere, it will live again. The owner, Neil, was able to get hold of a second, healthy engine for a bargain price and is set to fit it for the coming spring riding season. It’s part of the difficulty of owning well worn bikes. Neil, thanks for letting us use your bike. If you’ve got any suggestions about the next episodes of Retro vs Modern, let me know in the comments!

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