We have waited a long time for this bike, Yamaha teased us with the T7 concept back in 2016 already. Tenere is a name that is steeped in heritage starting in 1983 with the XT600Z. This, however, wasn’t Yamaha’s first adventure bike, that title belongs to the 1976 XT500 as well as the title of first Paris-Dakar winner!. Following on from these would be the legendary XTZ600 and XTZ750 both legendary bikes in their own right. Lastly, in 2010 the XT1200 Super Tenere was introduced, although a very good bike when tested in isolation it didn’t quite match the competition.
So where does the new 700 fit in the picture?, well its aimed squarely at the KTM 690 Adventure R in terms of price and performance and perhaps the 790 Adventure in terms of size and weight. Despite this, I don’t think Yamaha built this bike because of those bikes but more to fill a gap in their own line-up.
So what have they created?
Well, let’s start with the engine, using the 698cc CP2 parallel-twin found in the MT07 which is known as a supremely user-friendly powerplant. The engine was tuned specifically for the Tenere to produce torque low down(6500rpm) and aid fuel consumption. In terms of the chassis, they went the route of large motocross bike as apposed to slimmed-down 1200xtz. Featuring an 880mm high flat seat allows the rider to move freely around the bike for optimum agility. The focus for the designers was to develop a bike that is superb off-road but that can also handle the long-distance hauls.
Suspension wise the 700 is using 43mm adjustable upside-down forks with a nice 210mm of travel. The rear is suspended using a remote preload adjustable shock with 200mm of travel.
The compact rally style screen, cockpit and competition type tapered handlebars give the impression of rally-raid readiness. The slim 16l fuel tank coupled with the low fuel consumption gives the 700 a possible range of over 350km. Braking is taken care of by dual 282mm discs up-front and single 245mm disc outback, there is also a switchable ABS system as standard. There is a bespoke options list for the Tenere 700 allowing for a unique custom set up’s and I’m sure the aftermarket will have plenty of stuff soon as well.