Yamaha whip up a storm with all-new Ténéré 700
New trailie looks set to stun
‘Think of it like a smoother, more refined version of the XT660 single. It’s very capable and easy to ride’
Yamaha say you can trace the new Ténéré’s roots back to the XT500 of 1976, but it really all started with the 1983 XT600Z Ténéré which was inspired by their Paris-dakar victories in 1979 and 80. And almost 40 years later, the allure of a competition-aping Dakar bike has lost none of its fizz. The new Ténéré 700 might only have humble MT-07 lineage to draw on, but this could be one of 2019’s more important new bikes.
The power in the package comes from that peachy MT-07 CP2 689cc parallel-twin, which should translate to off-road use very nicely. And it’s all wrapped up in a new chassis that rolls on a 21in front rim and 18in rear, meaning the world is your lobster when it comes to serious off-road rubber options. The engine will deliver a flexible broad spread of torque and plenty of power for the road (and the loose stuff). There have also been gearbox tweaks to suit its new purpose and Yamaha say the 16-litre tank capacity will still give you a 215mile range between fill-ups.
The bold face is dominated by the quad-led headlamps and tall screen, which also protects the new all-lcd dash tower. It’s a shame that it has all the class of a 1990s Nintendo, but all the right info is there. There’s also a useful bar above the LCD tower for bolting all your nav needs somewhere visible.
Suspension componentry might not come from Sweden, but it looks up to the job, with a 43mm inverted fork boasting damping adjustment and 210mm of travel, while the rear gets a remote preload-adjustable monoshock with 200mm of travel. It’s not going to win a pub bragging spat, but it should get you over the worst most terrains have to offer. Braking is Brembo, with twin 282mm discs up front, and a 245mm rear, with a little extra control help from switchable ABS.
The all-new tubular steel double cradle frame was designed just for the Ténéré, and Yamaha say it’s a happy compromise between tarmac manners and off-road flexibility and grip, but we question their wisdom in welding the subframe in place. One fall could lead to a tailbending write off, while a bolt-on unit could simply be switched.
It’ll be available in Power Black, Competition White and Ceramic Ice when it arrives later this year.
NICK SANDERS MCN CONTRIBUTOR 689cc parallel-twin 73bhp and 50ftlb TBCKG (kerb) £TBC FAST FACTS
It’s been a long time coming, but Yamaha’s new Tén looks great
LCD tower looks a tad cheap and plasticy, but has all the right info