The Yamaha XTZ Super Tenere is known for having a vulnerable sump. I remember watching a review of all the big adventure bikes on YouTube and the Tenere was out of the running right away because the wimpy stock skid plate allowed the sump to be damaged during some high speed riding on a very rough road.
If you’re like most owners of this great, all-around beast, your off-road excursions are fairly limited. In contrast, I spend a fair bit of time riding these conditions. Having ridden the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route and several other rough/goat road excursions, I need good sump protection. The exhaust on the right lower side of the engine and the crossover near the rear of the motor can be easily crushed by a high spot in the road, dented by a stray rock or stick, and they are very expensive to replace! By appearance, the ACD Racing Parts Skid Plate should offer far more protection than the stock unit, giving off-road oriented riders more piece of mind.
How It Works
ACD Racing Parts claims its skid plate to provide a higher level of protection to the engine and exhaust from stones, shock, and crashes during “intensive use”. They also claim prevention of damage to the frame, water pump and ignition system while not blocking airflow. To me, this sounds like the right recipe for shoring up the big ten’s tender underbelly.
My initial impressions of this skid plate after taking it out of the box and protective cardboard packing (said it out loud to another wise empty room) was, “This thing is huuuuge and beefy!”
The supplied instructions with the skid plate were lacking. I knew of a YouTube video on this, but I wanted to give it a go without watching and the supplied parts breakdown drawing looked pretty basic. I can be stubborn this way. I timed myself and it took right at 45 minutes because I had to reinstall it after removing spacers that weren’t needed because the gap at the top/front was occupied by previously mounted crash bars. Without the crash bars, you will need these spacers.
Since the rear mounting points are on the center stand pivots, a small pry bar was necessary to push them into alignment, allowing for the installation of the two bushing sleeves that accept the new mounting bolts. This was the most challenging part of the installation. Now that I have installed the skid place once, I expect subsequent installations (such as oil changes) to be at least half the drama. No hardware torque values are supplied.
My field testing was done in the hills around Mt. Adams, located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in my home state of Washington. The first thing that I noticed was the reduced noise coming up to me from the ACD Racing Parts Skid Plate in comparison to the previous unit that I had been running. It does a better job of isolating internal motor noise and other sounds because of its design. There is no direct mount to the motor, there is a thin sheet of foam that keeps the skid plate from touching the bottom, and the mounting brackets are fore and aft.
Although I didn’t case the bike or roll over any big rocks, the typically encountered stuff was no problem. I did have the opportunity to roll over and break a number of arm sized limbs that popped loudly against the skid plate. It’s nice to have that much metal between what the bike is traveling over and engine vitals. I’ve heard of complaints about having your right boot contact the skid plate when using the rear brake pedal, but I didn’t experience this wearing an averaged sized riding boot.
There is plenty of water when riding in the PacNW and this skid plate does a good job of draining upon exiting large mud puddles. As the saying goes, “self bailing”.
Lastly, I’m somewhat concerned about how close the head pipes are to the plate up front. Although I didn’t hear any vibration or harmonics, it looks like the pipe touches the skid plate when it goes hot. I’ll need more time to see if this is any sort of an issue.
Solid & secure mounting (no rattles).
Lots of engine coverage, all the way back under the center stand.
Added weight. Lots of coverage means lots of metal.
Sharp edges on the exposed sides of the skid plate (could slice your knuckles doing maintenance).
Must be removed for a complete oil change (filter and oil). Oil drains only can be done with plate in place.
The ACD Racing Parts Skid Plate for the Super Tenere offers a very sound design and while not inexpensive, it does offer a lot in terms of build quality and overall protection. If you are serious about taking your Super Tenere off-road, I can recommend this rugged bit of kit to protect it underneath.
I will say, the aesthetics of the product are sort of love/hate. This centers around the can shaped protrusion that covers the oil filter. To me, it looks like a bit of a design after thought. It’s kind of like that chive stuck on someones tooth; you just can’t stop staring at it! But, this skid plate does its primary job quite well, so you be the judge in the looks department.