ADVENTURE BIKE ACTION
Movie man Todd Huffman and his Super Tenere
Race Tech suspension.
Todd Huffman isn’t a grizzled adventure bike pro. He isn’t one of those guys who carefully logs thousands of miles of off-road excursions, and he hasn’t ridden the Dakar Rally 10 times.
He’s more real world than that. He purchased his 2012 Yamaha
Super Tenere when it first came out and has ridden it mostly on
the street since then. What sets Todd apart is the way he
approaches projects. He’s a detail fanatic who plans and organizes any project like it’s a moon mission, and now he’s preparing for a long Baja adventure with do-it-right-the-first-time mentality.
If his name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you watch
too much TV. Todd’s company is Pipeline Digital Media, which
is responsible for the “Motocross Files” and a long list of TV
commercials. His latest project is “The John Penton Story,”
which will chronicle the early years of off-road racing in the U.S.
and Europe. His Super Tenere project was approached with the
same kind of research and preparation that he would put into a
Of all the truly big adventure bikes, the Yamaha is somewhat of
a compromise between the luxury-liner BMW R1200 and the dirt-racer KTM 990. Its strengths are electronic sophistication and reli-ability. But like most adventure bikes, it’s just a starter kit.
PROTECTION: If you ride a big bike off-road, you’re going to
fall. That’s just an expensive fact of life. And beyond crashes,
there are other things in the off-road world that can hurt your bike,
such as bushes, sticks and stones. The crash bars that Todd liked
best are from Givi, a brand from Twisted Throttle. Touratech has
also made a business out of providing protection for various parts.
The following items are all out of the Touratech catalog.
• Stainless-steel headlight guard with a quick release system.
• LED daytime running lights.
• Sidestand switch guard.
• Headlight bezel, oxygen sensor guard, ABS sensor guard.
• Sidestand foot—increases the footprint of the kickstand.
LUGGAGE: The in-house Yamaha accessories are pretty
good. They aren’t exactly cheap, though. The side boxes are
$480 apiece and require a $200 mounting kit. The top case is
$380. The Yamaha tank bag, on the other hand, is priced well at
$189. In general, it’s best to go with dedicated tank bags,
because you often end up looking for generic ones beside the
road. When the passenger seat is not in use, Todd has a
Twisted Throttle Dry Spec D38 waterproof bag ($135).
PERFORMANCE: Swapping out the stock tires for more
aggressive dirt rubber helps considerably. But Conti or Kenda
full knobs don’t offer the kind of range that Todd wanted on the
street. He decided on Heidenau K60 Scout tires, which don’t
have the big knobs, but still have decent dirt performance.
Another big improvement can be had from suspension modifi-