Ready for ac­tion

Yamaha Ténéré 700 will dom­i­nate the dirt


This could be the most im­por­tant new bike of 2019. Of course, it isn’t as ad­vanced, pow­er­ful, sexy or so­phis­ti­cated as the lat­est crop of su­per-ad­ven­ture bikes, but it will be very ca­pa­ble and far more ac­ces­si­ble – bring­ing gen­uine ad­ven­ture abil­ity to the masses. The globe-trot­ting ad­ven­tures of Yamaha’s T7 con­cept bikes have given us two years of Ténéré 700 teas­ing and it’s in­ter­est­ing that the pro­duc­tion bike has ar­rived in a much more hard­core state than the first pro­to­type spied by MCN al­most two years ago. The im­pli­ca­tion is that while it might have started life as an MT-07 ‘soft­roader’, the mar­ket’s pre-oc­cu­pa­tion with au­then­tic ad­ven­ture abil­ity has de­manded more gen­uine po­ten­tial. Power is from the MT-07’s 689cc par­al­lel-twin wrapped in an all-new chas­sis rolling on proper off-road rims (21in front, 18in rear). The en­gine has had a makeover with ded­i­cated fuel maps mean­ing a broad spread of torque yet plenty of power for the road. There have also been gear­box tweaks to suit its new pur­pose. Yamaha say the com­bi­na­tion of good fuel econ­omy and a 16-litre tank ca­pac­ity will give a real-world 215-mile★ range be­tween fuel stops. The all-new frame is a tubu­lar steel dou­ble cra­dle which Yamaha say of­fers enough flex­i­bil­ity for good road man­ners as well as find­ing trac­tion in the rough. The one odd de­ci­sion is that the sub­frame is welded to the main chas­sis spars, mean­ing a light off-road smack could write off the frame.

Its strik­ing new face is dom­i­nated by four LED head­lamps nestling be­hind the tall screen, which also pro­tects the new LCD dash (show­ing speed, rpm, fuel level and range, trips and more). Above that is a use­ful bar for bolt­ing your nav­i­ga­tional needs to. There’s 43mm in­verted forks with full damp­ing ad­just­ment and 210mm of travel, while the rear gets a re­mote preload-ad­justable link-type monoshock giv­ing 200mm of travel for its alu­minium swingarm. Brak­ing is cour­tesy of Brembo, with twin 282mm discs up front and a 345mm one at the rear, equipped with switch­able ABS (which can be dis­abled for off-road). It’ll also come in black or white when it ar­rives in the sec­ond half of 2019. Price yet to be con­firmed.

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