When Yamaha launched its competitor in die large dual-purpose segment in 2010, it was quite a thing. At that stage the market belonged to BMW’s 1200 GS (as it still does) and its only competitor was KTM’s 990. It was generally accepted that the KTM was more suited to serious off-roading, but the BMW was the bike to have if comfort (and fuel consumption) meant anything to you.
Yamaha launched its 1200 duallie at a price that made it clear that it meant business. Fully kitted with luggage it cost less than a naked 1200 GS. Two things about the Yamaha stood out: its incredible suspension and its ABS brakes that couldn’t switch off. It delivered more or less the same power as the BMW.
In 2014 Yamaha launched the XT1200ZE update that had 82,4kW (an increase of 1,5kW), some cosmetic changes and electronic control for the suspension. The changes weren’t huge and might have been a little disappointing, especially as far as power output is concerned, as the BMW now had 92kW and KTM’s 1190 a rude 112kW. The ABS still couldn’t switch off, but demonstrations during the launch function showed that it stopped really quickly on a loose surface.