WORLD EX­CLU­SIVE Perky twin to power af­ford­able new ad­ven­ture bike

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Andy Downes

Ex­clu­sive spy shots re­veal that Yamaha are plan­ning an ad­ven­ture ver­sion of their hugely pop­u­lar MT-07. The zesty par­al­lel twin en­gine that has al­ready been used to power a retro XSR700 now looks set to be at the heart of a do-it-all Ténéré re­place­ment. It’s ex­pected to be ul­tra-com­pet­i­tive on price too.

This is the world’s first glimpse of an all-new Yamaha MT-07 ad­ven­ture bike, spied test­ing on the road in Europe last week, at least a year ahead of any an­tic­i­pated of­fi­cial re­veal.

Ru­mours of a new MT-07 Ténéré have been sim­mer­ing for a few months but this bike, ex­pected to be shown late in 2017 as a new model for 2018, has never been seen be­fore and is com­pletely dif­fer­ent from the MT-07 Tracer spot­ted test­ing last year. That model (see right) will be re­vealed in fin­ished form at the end of 2016 and go on sale in early 2017.

The spy shots were grabbed near a Yamaha test fa­cil­ity in Italy and show the firm are tak­ing their new mid­dleweight ad­ven­ture bike’s off-road ca­pa­bil­i­ties se­ri­ously as the bike looks to be sport­ing a 21in front and 18in rear wheel for de­cent per­for­mance over tough ter­rain.

In or­der to keep costs man­age­able it’s un­likely Yamaha have messed much with the en­gine other than the nec­es­sary changes it will have to make for Euro4 reg­u­la­tions, which come into force for all new bikes sold af­ter Jan­uary 1, 2017. That means the 689cc CP2 mo­tor from the cur­rent MT-07 will still de­liver around 75bhp and 50ftlb torque in a use­able and friendly man­ner; per­fect for an ad­ven­ture bike that may ac­tu­ally be taken on to ter­rain more de­mand­ing than a gravel drive.

Yamaha have been ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive in terms of pric­ing with the MT range and we don’t ex­pect this Ténéré to be any dif­fer­ent. The base model MT-07 is £5349, and we ex­pect this Ténéré ver­sion to ar­rive at less than £7000 to chal­lenge the likes of the BMW F700GS and Tri­umph Tiger 800 range.

It would ap­pear the en­gine is the only ma­jor carry-over part from the MT-07 vis­i­ble. The long-travel front fork is new, the plas­tics, screen and bars are freshly de­signed, as is the sub­frame which looks to be a mix of cast alu­minium sec­tions and steel tub­ing. The swingarm is dif­fer­ent too, while it’s in­ter­est­ing to note that Yamaha are run­ning Brembo brake calipers front and rear. This is se­ri­ous de­par­ture, and a first in the cur­rent range, with the firm usu­ally opt­ing for Nissin or un­branded OE items. This could also hint at the use of Bosch brak­ing con­trol, most com­monly linked to Brembo hard­ware – de­spite this test mule seem­ingly be­ing de­void of even rudi­men­tary ABS. It will have to in­clude ABS to con­form with Euro4.

One of the big­gest is­sues man­u­fac­tur­ers are dis­cov­er­ing with Euro4 is get­ting en­gine and ex­haust noise un­der con­trol but look­ing at the whop­ping size of the sin­gle, side-mounted si­lencer (which may well change be­fore full-pro­duc­tion) it’s clear Yamaha has plenty of ex­haust vol­ume to utilise for both the sup­pres­sion of noise and hous­ing the cat­a­lyst.

This new MT-07 vari­ant is the lat­est in an ever-grow­ing list of bikes that have been part of Yamaha’s re­cent resur­gence around the world, with more new mod­els be­ing added all the time. The R1-based MT-10 will ar­rive in deal­ers im­mi­nently, and while Yamaha have said there will be no MT-10 Tracer, we un­der­stand that the 999cc cross­plane crank four-cylin­der en­gine may well spawn fur­ther mod­els.

This MT-07 will slot in un­der­neath the cur­rent XT1200Z in the range, a bike which is also due for an up­date any time soon as it’s been al­most un­changed since 2010, and isn’t Euro4 com­pli­ant. The sin­gle-cylin­der XT660Z and all other XT660 mod­els have now been dumped by most Euro mar­kets, and are no longer im­ported here.

While the XT660 has been pop­u­lar with hard­core off-road ad­ven­ture rid­ers, the larger 1199cc par­al­lel-twin has never re­ally been much of a suc­cess. Com­pared to the mas­sive-sell­ing BMW R1200GS and other ri­vals in the class, the XT1200 is un­der­pow­ered, heavy, a lit­tle char­ac­ter­less and – de­spite the au­then­tic his­tory of the name from rally raid suc­cess in the 1980s and 90s.

Ex­pect to see the new mid­dleweight in fin­ished form in 2017, and on sale soon af­ter.

‘Ex­pect this Ténéré ver­sion to ar­rive at less than £7000 to take on the F800GS’

The old TŽNŽRŽ had cred­i­bil­ity but never set the UK mar­ket on fire

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