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Yamaha Tenere 700 - first ride
It is finally here! 

Yamaha made a long wait for this model. And unfortunately it is available for now  pre-sale only. The first motorcycles according to Yamaha Polska will be available for collection around September 2019.  

In Zawiercie, on the weekend between 1 and 2 June, the Polish edition of the official TENERE event took place  TOUR. I was able to sign up for this event.

Below are my first impressions after the test drive.  


We had 40 minutes for the test drive.  Rides took place in groups of 6 people + guide. The route is around Zawiercie, about 60% of asphalt side roads + 40% light off (gravel road, road in the forest, some stones, some pits, nothing difficult). 

I am of the opinion that after 40 minutes it is very difficult to form an opinion  about a motorcycle,  but the first impression is good!



Driving experience  - great. It is a simple but very well designed motorcycle. The sitting position is comfortable despite my height - 190 cm. The bike feels lighter than it really is. I got used to it right away, there was no need to drive up. It gets even better after going off the asphalt. The difference to the big tourist enduro like the R1200GS Adventure that I drive on a daily basis is huge. I had a similar impression when comparing the Tenere 700 to the XT660 Tenere, which felt heavier.  


The suspension allows for stable driving on asphalt and fairly quick cornering (here is a huge difference compared to the XT660). At the same time, the hinge can handle even large unevenness and dampens very well, while remaining relatively stiff, which translates into precise driving. At the front we have an inverted fork with 43mm tubes and 210mm travel, at the rear there is a swingarm with a central damper and 200mm travel. And the front and back are adjustable.


The engine is a two-cylinder design known from MT-07. On paper it is 74 HP @ 9000 rpm and 68 Nm @ 6500 rpm . It does not make a special impression, but it is actually really good.  The power is enough to move smoothly in the field and enough to do that  speed up quite well for a motorcycle  and maintain speeds of 120-140 km / h without much effort. The average fuel consumption that I was able to notice during these 40 minutes was 4.7 liters / 100 km . The engine has a nice bottom, sounds good (although much better on the accessory exhaust), and high up gives a pretty good kick. In such a motorcycle it is really enough power and moment.  


The gearbox works with incredible precision. The gears shift super light and quiet. The ergonomics of the gear lever and footrest are perfect - no problems with shifting even with your off-road shoes.


As I mentioned at the beginning, it is a simple bike but extremely well made . Simplicity is also present in the equipment , which is limited only to ABS (which, by the way, can be turned off with one button available on the display). There is no traction control, no driving modes, no electronically controlled suspension. Even the clutch and throttle are traditionally operated by cable. I like the simplicity, you don't have to think too much about the settings, you get in and go. Especially since it works well. It also augurs the failure-free operation of Yamaha.  


Appearance. 4 rally-style LED headlights and a simple rally-style liquid crystal cockpit. In addition, a very neat figure. A bomb for me.




Who is this motorcycle for and for what purposes? It is an ideal machine for all, small and large trips on unpaved roads.

It will be perfect for TET routes, in Asia and South America. It will also be good during weekend trips on nearby off-road roads. Of course, we are not talking about extremely difficult terrain, because this is what very light enduro bikes are designed for. Yamaha weighs 205 kg with fuel and liquids, although this information is not confirmed by Yamaha (at least on the official website).

Tenere  it won't work either  in a ride with a passenger , despite this possibility, the couch is too small for it and generally this motorcycle was not made for this. For someone who is looking for a universal machine for traveling off the trail, also for two people, a better choice will be, for example, a Honda Africa Twin, BMW F750GS or KTM 790 Adventure (without R), or even a large tourist enduro type GS or KTM 1290.  


Would I buy?  Definitely yes. Because:

  • it is well priced

  • I have the feeling that it will never let me down, because it is a simple, refined design with a proven, reliable engine

  • fun and confident to drive

  • the off-road characteristics are sufficient to cover all unpaved roads without any problems (so far I did it on a much heavier R1200GS Advneture and it also did it, but the ease and fun of driving Yamaha will be much, much greater)

  • looks good

  • Tenere 700 is cool  


Does Yamaha require any additional equipment? As for me, it is primarily an increase in the steering wheel, with my height (190 cm) while standing, it was definitely too low. In addition, I would look for a slightly taller and softer couch, the standard one is quite hard, more enduro-style, with a long ride on the seat it will definitely hurt your ass. I could use an accessory silencer (I've heard what it sounds like and it's much more interesting than on the series) and maybe a bit wider footrests. In addition, the factory version does not have pannier racks or soft luggage (just like in any motorcycle). You can also think about replacing the suspensions, switching to one brake disc at the front and probably a few other improvements, but for touring driving, even on difficult terrain, it seems unnecessary to me. Tenere does very well without such modifications.  

All in all, it's a really good bike. If it is as reliable as its big sister (XT660) and everything points to it, it will be a hit in the class of lighter touring enduros.




Engine - R2 / 689cc / 74hp @ 9000rpm and 68Nm @ 6500rpm (engine designation CP2), liquid cooled, 4 valves per cylinder, DOHC, compression ratio 11.5: 1


Clutch - wet, multi-disc, cable-operated clutch


Frame - steel truss


Lights - 4 LED spotlights


Front suspension - 43mm up-side down fork / 210mm travel (fully adjustable)

Rear Suspension - Single Damper Swingarm / 200mm Stroke (Adjustable)


Wheels - 21 inch front - tires 90/90 R21 / 18 inch rear spoke rims, tires 150/70 R18


Fuel tank capacity - 16 liters (theoretical range about 350 km)


Saddle height 880 mm


Minimum ground clearance - 240 mm


Weight (wet - with liquids and fuel) - 205 kg * - Yamaha does not make any official information  




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