Tag Archives: Ténéré 700

Yamaha Tenere 700 Review | Motorcycle Tests

Motorcycle Test by Trevor Hedge – Images by iKap

After one of the longest public gestation periods in motorcycling history, Yamaha’s eagerly awaited XT700 Tenere is now starting to hit the floors in showrooms. 

Yamaha Tenere XT
A great looking bike – Yamaha Tenere 700

It is interesting to compare the approaches of European manufacturers and Japanese brands when it comes to adventure bikes.  The likes of KTM, Triumph, Ducati and BMW throw every bit of technology and about the broadest feature list seen on any class of motorcycle at their adventure bikes. 

Despite having a wide variety of technology available in their wider line-up, Japanese brands take the opposite approach, deliberately keeping their adventure bikes relatively spartan when it comes to kit. Suzuki’s V-Strom has been marching on largely unchanged for a long time while, despite the optional DCT gearbox, Honda also took a fairly low-spec’ approach when they first introduced the CRF1000L Africa Twin. Both Suzuki and Honda are putting a bit more standard kit on their adventure offerings for the coming 2020 models, but still, nothing like the endless list of tech’ and big horsepower boasted by the European manufacturers is currently available from a Japanese brand.

Yamaha Tenere iKap XT D
Yamaha Ténéré 700

Now Yamaha have perhaps gone the most basic of all with the new XT700 Tenere. No traction control, no cruise control, no tyre pressure monitoring, no electronic suspension, no riding modes, no quick-shifter or slipper clutch, no heated grips…

Obviously Yamaha are reckoning that less can be more in the bush, and that their reputation for producing reliable and bullet-proof motorcycles at a very competitive price point will be what makes for sales success.

Yamaha Tenere XT
Yamaha Ténéré 700

Early indications are they may be right…

Yamaha had already sold over 350 of the bikes well before they arrived and any new customers putting a deposit down are now likely to have wait until February before they can ride off into the sunset on their new beast.

Yamaha Tenere XT Trev
Yamaha Ténéré 700

Most of the press got two days on the bike, but I enjoyed a full five days and almost 2000 predominantly off-road kilometres on the motorcycle. I was glad to have that extended opportunity to really gel with the bike which allowed me to gain a proper insight in to what a buyer can expect to experience if taking one home for good.

Yamaha Tenere XT
Yamaha Ténéré 700

While most of the off-road riding was not overly technical in nature, we did get a few little special tests thrown in to sample the machine in terrain that the more adventurous motorcyclist might negotiate from time to time during their travels. A lot of these later in the week were in situations where it was not feasible to have a photographer stationed due to time constraints etc. so as for the rutted out twin-track and rocky ascents you will just have to take my word for it. Plus, it was damn hot and I just wanted to ride the bike to get to the beer at the other end!

The bikes also fared very well and kept their cool despite ambient temperatures on most days rarely dipping below 35-degrees celsius. This water play in the cover shot at the top might look nice and refreshing but it was actually 39-degrees down there in that river and cooking!

Yamaha Tenere XT Trev
Yamaha Tenere 700 on the beach

A short play on the beach early on day one saw me not get too carried away as it was already warming up. My fitness levels are not as good as they once were, which had me playing the long game and conserving energy where possible, so I had plenty in the bag for when it was really needed. At the end of the week I actually had fewer aches and pains than what I had started it with! Which must be a great testament to the Tenere 700, while serving as a stark reminder how unhealthy riding a computer is!

The ergonomics on the Tenere 700 were, for me, pretty much spot on.  The bend of the leg felt completely neutral and comfortable for my 178 cm frame. There seems to be an almost endless amount of leg-room available while seated for seven-footers let along six-footers.

Yamaha Tenere XT Trev
Yamaha Tenere 700 – Ergonomics work well

Seated or standing the riding position worked well for me. Those that always ride up on the pegs simply rotated the bars away a little further to change the reach and with it the angle of the levers. The standard brake lever is adjustable for span while the non-hydraulic clutch lever is not. I rode a few different spec’ bikes kitted out with various options and while the standard levers work well enough, I would fork over the coin for the very trick optional levers ($188 for the brake and $151 for the clutch), in the Yamaha catalogue. I loved them. Just make sure you get some Barkbusters to protect them while you are at it.

Yamaha Tenere XT
Yamaha Ténéré 700 ships with plastic hand-guards as standard but these optional BarkBusters offer better protection

The seat is slim and extends a long way up the bike but does not go quite as far towards the head-stem as you would see on pukka dirt-squirters. Thus really hard-core riders coming from an off-road competition background might prefer something that extends a little further forward, but for the other 99 per cent of us the slight ‘sit-in’ nature of the Tenere 700’s pew is perfectly amenable in every scenario. 

Yamaha Tenere XT Trev
Yamaha Ténéré 700

The standard seat height is 870 mm but the narrow mid-section of the bike and relatively flat seat make it easy to throw a leg over. An optional lower seat reduces it a little further to 863 mm and for those who are really short of leg and want the machine as low as possible Yamaha offer a lowering link that positions the perch at 845 mm. This would really be an option of last resort as suspension performance is sure to be compromised slightly when changing the linkage.

A rally seat is another option and one that could be quite handy for adventurers. It replaces the standard dual-seats with a flatter and narrower single piece seat with more grip on the sides. Another unexpected advantage of the rally seat is that it makes removing the whole seat unit a simpler process. With a turn of the key the whole seat pops off, while with the standard set-up the rear pillion seat pops off with the key, but a supplied allen key is then required to remove the rider’s seat.

Yamaha Tenere Australian Launch
Yamaha’s Tenere 700 – The pub did have beer….

After long hours in the saddle the seat had started to gnaw at my bum a little on the first couple of days but then I adapted and toughened up a little, and was actually finding it more amenable as the week progressed.  Don’t expect it to be 1000 kilometres a day on the tar comfortable, but it is more comfortable than something like a standard DR650 seat, or much else that is this capable on the dirt.

And it is very capable.

Yamaha Tenere XT
Yamaha Ténéré 700 – Optional radiator protection seen here

KYB provide the fully-adjustable forks and shock. The 43mm inverted forks are adjustable for compression and rebound damping while the piggyback shock has a handy wheel to dial in your pre-load.

There is 240 mm of ground clearance and the forks offer 210 mm of travel while the shock works through 200 mm.  Dakar riders such as Rod Faggotter had an active role providing feedback to Yamaha’s chassis engineers late in the development cycle of the model and it shows.

Yamaha Tenere Trio Accessorised
Yamaha Ténéré 700 colour line-up

The suspension offers a good balance between all-round suppleness and hard-core capabilities.  Those that want to get big air over erosion banks and hit things hard might want to firm things up at both ends beyond what is achievable via the quite large range of adjustment via the clickers. But even at my current weight I reckon I would just roll with the standard set-up for the most part, unless I really wanted to start to push the envelope and was riding the bike predominantly off-road and regularly hitting things hard in anger. More travel would be nice for those that really like to ride consistently hard off-road, but the large reservoir on the shock helps to prevent fade and ensured consistent performance long after I had started to fade…

Yamaha Tenere XT Trev
Yamaha Ténéré 700

When the going gets rough a 21-inch front is always a massive asset and one that the Tenere puts to good use. The rims proved strong during the test but require tubes and are not tubeless ready.

The outright performance on the road during my time with the bike was always going to be compromised by the off-road specific Pirelli Scorpion Rally rubber, however, it did seem to work well enough when pushed to hint that on the road the Tenere 700 will cut a line well. I suspect it might prove a reasonable weapon on a tight and twisty back-road.

Yamaha Tenere XT Trev
Yamaha Ténéré 700

Will it feel underpowered on the road?

Depends on the road I guess… The engine is punchy and will almost get you to 200 km/h if you persist, but where it really shines is on the dirt.

Yamaha Tenere XT Trev
Yamaha Ténéré 700

It really does pull well from down low, so much so that on the penultimate day I was really starting to revel in the bike through a seemingly endless series loose gravel based switchbacks.  The surface had little grip but was consistent, a quick closure of the throttle was enough to have the back end of the Tenere breaking away under compression, before then transitioning into gentle throttle on the way out to continue the arc. Apex speeds were sometimes below 40 km/h but after initially playing in third gear, I then started to just slide from apex to apex in fourth. The dampened response off the bottom in the higher gear made it so playful and easy to control, which, along with a little weight shift on the pegs, had the bike just ever so slightly drifting from turn to turn. It was immensely satisfying and rewarding, fecken poetry is what it was.

Yamaha Tenere XT Trev
Yamaha Ténéré 700

The engine is the well regarded 689 cc parallel twin that has been powering the MT-07 and XSR700 for the past few years. It breathes a little differently in XT700 guise due to a different air-box and exhaust but is virtually unchanged as a power unit from its road siblings. Australian and New Zealand delivered bikes have an oiled air-filter for better protection from dust ingress while overseas the bikes ship with a standard paper based filter.

Yamaha Tenere XT Trev
Yamaha Ténéré 700

The numbers are 74 horsepower at 9000 rpm, and 68 Nm of torque at 6500 rpm. The engine is genuinely useful as low as 2500 rpm and there are no grumbles while lugging it around in the upper gears with the engine driving out of the basement. Of course there are no huge gobs of torque hitting the rear tyre in comparison to much larger and more powerful engines available, but I didn’t miss that massive grunt as much as I thought I would. 

Yamaha Tenere XT Trev Mono
Yamaha Ténéré 700 – Wheelie around the bend

More power would have just had me doing more wheelies from higher speeds, and turning that rear 150/70-18 rear Pirelli into gello. The lighter weight and lesser power of the XT700 is going to translate into dramatically reduced rear tyre wear when shod with off-road rubber in comparison to big-bore adventure bikes and the engine has a proven track record for bullet-proof reliability.

Yamaha Tenere XT
Yamaha Ténéré 700 – Stoppers work well with good power matched with good feel at the lever

The brakes are Brembo front and rear and Yamaha have not skimped on the fit-out. A pair of 282 mm disc rotors up front and a 245 mm rear proved well up to the task of hauling up a fully fuelled 204 kilograms of Yamaha complete with a larger than the average bear test pilot on board. The control at the levers felt progressive and I have no complaints. The ABS system is switchable but is well tuned enough for it to be left on in most scenarios. I bucked the trend of the other testers and deliberately left the ABS on for much of the off-road work, to see how it fared, and the system was largely unobtrusive and cycled quick enough for it not to be a massive drawback. Loose shale descents or mud aside, many riders will still be safer off-road with it on rather than deactivated. ABS has come such a long way, I really do urge you to try these latest systems before dismissing them out of hand.

Yamaha Tenere XT Trev
Yamaha Ténéré 700

Yamaha offer a titanium Akrapovic slip-on muffler and while it looks tasty it doesn’t really give the bike any discernible increase in power.  I believe it is rated at the same decibel level as the standard pipe, but it does add a little more timbre to its bark that is quite enjoyable, particularly when short-shifting in the tight stuff. That said, I would probably keep that $1149 in my pocket and spend it on other things. Save you crying when you dent it too….

Yamaha Tenere XT
Yamaha Ténéré 700 – Adds a tiny bit more bark but no more bite

I do wish the XT700 had pannier mounts integrated into the rear sub-frame, so the optional hard panniers sat closer to the bike, but unfortunately racks are required to mount the hard luggage. Soft throw-overs will be the go.

Yamaha Tenere Acessories
Yamaha Ténéré 700

Yamaha have a full suite of protection ready to go in their accessories catalogue including radiator guard ($197), engine guard ($424), skid plate ($466) and headlight guard ($172.70) that would be wise investments. 

Yamaha Tenere Acessories
Yamaha Ténéré 700

The stark four-eye look first seen on the T7 concept all those years ago has thankfully not been lost in translation from prototype to production line.  It looks pukka desert rally raid. I am not yet in a position to comment as to its effectiveness as our riding was completed during the day.

Yamaha Tenere XT
Yamaha Ténéré 700

The rally style cockpit theme not only extends to the tall screen but an almost tablet style LCD is mounted on rubber blocks that help isolate it from vibration. One would imagine this would be primarily for longevity, but I did find that as the display was well forward of the windscreen that this made it somewhat more susceptible to dust covering the display. The screen is greyscale not colour, thus the dust quickly made it hard to read.

Yamaha Tenere XT
A power outlet is provided as can be seen in the bottom left of this shot – Yamaha Ténéré 700

My primary bugbear though regards to the tripmeter functions.  There is a fuel gauge that indicates the level remaining in the 16-litre tank, but by the time you get to the last bar you still have more than 100 kilometres of range remaining, then when the system deems itself as fuel critical and starts flashing, a trip counter then starts recording the further distance travelled. There is no indication of the range to empty. This is an annoying oversight in my opinion, and one I raised when questioning Yamaha’s project leader for the Tenere 700 in this interview (Link).

Yamaha Tenere XT
Yamaha Ténéré 700

Yamaha claim a touring range of over 350 kilometres and while I think that is entirely doable, it would be much safer banking on a range to empty of around 300 kilometres when planning your routes.

Yamaha Tenere XT Trev
Yamaha Ténéré 700

One rider broke a standard plastic hand-guard in a fall. Another had a side-stand spring go walk-about in rough terrain which required some trail smarts to secure the stand to prevent the side-stand switch cutting the ignition. While another rider suffered a rock impact with the side-stand switch. Thus this was the only real foible we discovered that might strand you on the trail and require some MacGyvering to get mobile again. We could have just got unlucky, like the time I witnessed three Fireblades on the launch of the 929 back in 2000 all end up with punctured radiators from stone damage. Still, it might pay to bypass the side-stand switch if you are heading out bush and take this possible point of failure out of the equation all together.  The switch bypass is something that was generally done back in the day as a matter of course for off-road bikes when side-stand switches first started appearing on every motorcycle 25 years ago.

Yamaha Tenere XT Trev
Yamaha Ténéré 700

That aberration aside the Tenere 700 is a great piece of kit and looks set to become Australia’s most popular adventure motorcycle.  Its competitive ride away price of $17,149, combined with the solid engineering integrity that Yamaha is famous for, will ensure that success.

Would Yamaha get my money in the present market?

I think they might. I reckon it would prove bullet-proof while being easy to maintain and cheap to service. I might miss the grunt of the bigger options out there while playing silly buggers, but that value equation keeps coming back to front of mind and might win me over when it came down to which brand was going to get my coin…

Yamaha Tenere XT Trev
Yamaha Ténéré 700

Do I reckon there might be an even more off-road specific Tenere 700 with much longer travel suspension and even more off-road chops? 

I think that depends on the success of this model.  Check out my interview with project leader Takushiro Shiraishi where I ask him exactly that.

Tenere Launch Takushiro Shiraishi iKap XT LD
Takushio Shiraishi – Yamaha Tenere 700 Project Lead Interview

Thanks to Greg Yager and his RideADV crew for looking after us and the bikes during the Tenere 700 launch. 

Yamaha Tenere 700 Specifications XT700

Engine Type 2-Cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valves
Displacement 689 cc
Bore x Stroke 80.0 mm x 86.6 mm
Compression Ratio 11.5 : 1
Maximum Power 74 hp @ 9000 rpm
Maximum Torque 68 Nm @ 6500 rpm
Lubrication System Wet sump
Clutch Type Wet, Multiple Disc
Fuel System Fuel Injection
Ignition System TCI
Starter System Electric
Transmission System Constant mesh 6-speed
Final Transmission Chain
Frame Double cradle steel tube
Front Suspension Telescopic forks, 210 mm travel
Rear Suspension Swingarm – link type suspension, 200 mm travel
Front Brake Hydraulic single disc, 282 mm
Rear Brake Hydraulic single disc, 245 mm
Brake System Switchable ABS
Front Tyre 90/90-21 54V M+S Spoke wheels / Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR
Rear Tyre 150/70-18 70V M+S Spoke wheels / Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR
Overall Length 2365 mm
Overall Width 915 mm
Overall Height 1455 mm
Seat Height 880 mm
Wheelbase 1590 mm
Min Ground Clearance 240 mm
Wet Weight  204 kg (Full tank and all fluids)
Fuel Tank Capacity 16 L
Colours Ceramic Ice, Competition White, Power Black
Warranty Two years, unlimited kilometres
Price $17,149 Ride Away

Yamaha Tenere XT Trev
Yamaha Ténéré 700

Yamaha Tenere XT Atmos
Yamaha Ténéré 700

Source: MCNews.com.au

Tenere 700 talk with Takushiro Shiraishi | Project Leader

Takushiro Shiraishi
Yamaha Tenere 700 Project Leader

Trev is currently on a five-day intensive test program with Yamaha’s eagerly awaited new Tenere 700.  He has over 1000 dusty kilometres under his belt so far on Yamaha’s new middle-weight adventure machine and was lucky enough to have the opportunity, thanks to Yamaha Australia, to chat with Takushiro Shiraishi, Project Leader in charge of overall development of what is a very important new model for Yamaha. Quite a responsibility…

Yamaha Tenere Australian Launch
Yamaha’s Tenere 700

45-year-old Shiraishi-san joined Yamaha after completing a Master’s in engineering at the University of Tokyo in 1999. Thus 2019 marks Shiraishi-san’s 20th year with the marque.

During those two decades Shiraishi-san has been involved with the development of the XT660, as well as the WR250R, and was also involved with the development of the popular MT-07, from which the Tenere 700 receives its powerplant.

Here’s a look at what went on behind the scenes with the development of the Tenere 700 and the decision making processes that evolved as the project took shape.

Takushio Shiraishi Interview

Trev: You were the project leader for the Tenere 700, to be blunt, why did Yamaha give you the job?

Shiraishi-san: I’m not sure, but most probably Yamaha appreciated me from the experience of the off-road bike development. Before Tenere I was involved with the development of the XT660, and also WR250R/X, and I was also involved with the MT-07. So I know well about the engine of the MT-07, and this is my background before starting the Tenere. That’s most probably why Yamaha appreciated my experience.

Takushio Shiraishi Yamaha Tenere Project Lead
Takushio Shiraishi (left) – Yamaha Tenere 700 Project Leader; with YMA’s Sean Goldhawk (right)

Trev: When the MT-07 was first released here four or five years ago, during the launch, at the very first stop I asked Sean Goldhawk ‘when is the adventure bike was coming..?’ As the engine seemed to lend itself to that application, was the engine originally designed with adventure envisaged in its future?

Shiraishi-san: Honestly speaking, no. At the beginning of MT-07 development we didn’t consider, but at the same time we already noticed that this engine is so good during our development on the MT-07, that we then also thought about off-road usage, so at that time we developed some idea to develop an off-road model using the MT-07 engine, because of the character and the torque.

Trev: It’s EURO5 spec’ in the Tenere 700?

Shiraishi-san: For the future of course.

Trev: Can you tell me anything about the technical challenges of meeting Euro5 without Ride-by-Wire? I would imagine that would be quite difficult?

Shiraishi-san: Honestly speaking no, because the MT-07 engine has very good combustion in the cylinder, so good combustion means good exhaust gas emissions. Of course we have some difficulty, but not so quite difficult.

Yamaha Tenere MBL STA
Yamaha Ténéré 700

Trev: With EURO5 I believe you have to have an O2 sensor before the cat converter, and one after.

Shiraishi-san: Something like this I think.

Trev: So this bike has one cat or two cats?

Shiraishi-san: Now this spec which you rode is EURO4 spec at this moment. So now the O2 sensor is one, and the catalyst is only one.

Yamaha Tenere MBL DET
The Yamaha Tenere 700 is currently Euro4 compliant

Trev: Do other countries have this EURO4 for now, or have some got the EURO5?

Shiraishi-san: At this moment our plan is only EURO4 spec at the moment, for the future of course we have a plan to introduce EURO5, but not now.

Trev: The suspension travel, I guess everything is always a compromise. As we’ve spoken about before, it’s generally only places like the Australian market where people are going to use all the suspension travel, hitting and jumping big erosion banks and the like off-road. Where most people in Europe would probably only ride them on-road, due to the severe restrictions placed on off-road pursuits in many countries. I suppose the 200-210 mm of suspension travel was the compromise between the two, to retain a relatively low seat height, but also give us a fair bit of ground clearance. How long did it take to arrive at that sort of base figure, that you then had to tune the suspension for.

Shiraishi-san: To decide the final specification with this suspension strokes and seat height, we spent a lot of time. Because the balance between the seat height and the shock absorption is very difficult to define, and finding the good balancing point and ability. And the accessibility for many riders, so we took a long time for this.

Takushio Shiraishi Yamaha Tenere Project Lead
Takushio Shiraishi – Yamaha Tenere 700 Project Lead Interview

Trev: This bike is somewhat purposefully basic in regards to electronics, no ride-by-wire, no cruise, no traction control, no rider modes, I presume the ABS is not lean angle sensitive.

Shiraishi-san: No.

Trev: So the ABS is either on or off, why not have a middle setting where the ABS is only off on the rear? A medium setting which we see quite often from other brands.

Shiraishi-san: For example, for this ABS setting, or the variation of the switching off, yes we also discussed a lot about this, of course we understood that some requirements could be in the market, about rear cancelation with only front having ABS active. But our main target was off-road riders so especially I discuss a lot with testing riders, who are very expert off-road riders, and they told me real off-road riders prefer very simple structure, and also that to stop efficiently with good skid the ABS is annoying. That’s why we decided because our target customer, main target, is expert off-road rider, that’s why we decided to cancel both front and rear, to give the customer a lot of freedom of control. That’s why also we carefully created the specifications of the brakes to have much more controllability by the rider.

Yamaha Tenere MBL DET
Dual disc brakes are featured with ABS able to be switched off, but no off-road specific mode

Trev: I think you’ve done quite a good job there, a good twin-disc front end, it has a progressive feel. The ABS is not too bad off-road, as in for most of this riding so far this week you didn’t really need to turn ABS off when on rough terrain off-road. One little scenario here and there you might prefer it off, but overall the ABS still cycles fast enough to still be useful to most riders. Not everyone will need to turn the ABS off to go off-roading, and most certainly riders of lesser experience levels would still be wise to leave the system on.

Shiraishi-san: Yes, thanks to our ABS engineer, I cannot say we have the best system and tuning of the system in the market, but we could achieve enough sufficient braking power even with the ABS on, off-road. And I would like to say this, the engineer responsible died one year ago due to a racing accident, but I would like to say thank you to him.

Trev: He did a good job. Condolences on the loss of your team member.

Trev: The instrumentation, it seems to be mounted on some sort of shock absorption system?

Shiraishi-san: Yes.

Trev: Obviously that’s to ensure it lasts for longevity. It works quite well, the screen got very very dusty where we’ve been riding, because the drought conditions are truly horrendous, which made the screen a little hard to see at times. With adventure bike riding you need to keep an eye on your fuel, especially in Australia, as it’s a big place with lots of very remote locations. The fuel gauge seems to go down to one bar when you still have up to 150 km of range to go, then when the tank gets down a little bit further a trip meter starts to count up. Some of the Yamaha Australia guys say they still have a 100-120km range when the fuel trip starts. I would much prefer that when the counter starts it counts down, and lets me know how much range I have remaining. I think a range to empty indicator would have been very useful. Is there a reason why we don’t have one?

Yamaha Tenere MBL DET
Yamaha Tenere 700 dash

Shiraishi-san: Technically we can do it, also we discussed about it, and we just followed the normal way of Yamaha dash indicators. But at the same time we understand that this kind of feature could be very useful and helpful for riders. We can consider for the future, improvement as for this kind of feature.

Trev: Would something like that be implementable as a software update for first generation models? Could that possibly be something a Yamaha dealer could retrofit to someone who buys one of these bikes early on in the piece?

Shiraishi-san: It’s an interesting idea, normally we have not done like this, but maybe it can be considered. It’s an interesting idea.

Trev: And most of the testing and development was done in Europe is that correct?

Shiraishi-san: Yes.

Trev: And it was done between France and Italy, is that correct?

Shiraishi-san: Not exactly, most only in Italy, but we also used the test course in North of Italy where there is one test course owned by Porsche called Nardò Test Course, and here we had many kinds of off-road course, so we tested there for example one test course, called African World. From the outside it’s nice to see, but if you see the riding it’s really amazing, with a massive off-road test course with all conditions, was very useful for us.

Yamaha Tenere MBL ACT
Yamaha Ténéré 700

Trev: You were based in Europe throughout the development process?

Shiraishi-san: Yes.

Trev: How big was your team of engineers from Japan that were based with you in Europe? It must present some challenges doing the development in Europe when the main manufacturing arm is located, along with most Yamaha engineers being located back in Japan. How were those challenges overcome?

Shiraishi-san: Of course we needed a lot of communication between Italy and Japan, and sometimes for example the email information exchanged created a lot of confusion and misunderstandings, so finally we decided to have periodical Skype meetings and also periodically visited each other to have direct communication, especially on the ABS and engine development, which were mainly developed in Japan. So we visited each other very frequently, and that’s why we say by meeting directly we could establish something, good communication.

Trev: So job done now for Tenere 700 for you. What next?

Shiraishi-san: Personally I’m not sure, I’d like to have a wider view for the developments of Yamaha, especially for the off-road categories, and as for the new development, maybe based on this bike, we are waiting for the customers and the market feedback to be confident to start anew.

Takushio Shiraishi Yamaha Tenere Project Lead
Takushio Shiraishi – Yamaha Tenere 700 Project Lead

Trev: To make a longer travel, more serious Tenere 700, maybe?

Shiraishi-san: Maybe.

Trev: If you’re still going to be involved, intrinsically with Yamaha’s off-road development and range of models, I would imagine you would be visiting us a little more often. Australia is a very small market generally, but a big market for WR and bikes likes the Tenere. Australia is the world’s best customer for the WR450 and WR250F, I think?

Shiraishi-san: Yes, that’s why I’d like to visit again, Australia and maybe New Zealand to understand more the customers and the market, also today I visited some dealers and also farms.

Trev: I did hear you’d been checking out some Ag bikes.

Shiraishi-san: I feel that the Ag is really legendary bike, survive with no maintenance for a long time and be very practical.

Trev: Farmers are generally very bad at maintenance *laughs*.

Shiraishi-san: But it’s very nice while here to see the real users on the AGs, really impressive for me, how they use theirs individually; imagination on its own is not good for understanding the reality for us, so the experience was very enlightening.

Trev: Thanks very much for joining us on the launch, perhaps next time we’ll get you out on the motorcycle with us.

Shiraishi-san: Thank you.

Yamaha Tenere MBL STA
Yamaha Tenere 700

The wait for the eagerly anticipated Yamaha Tenere 700 is almost over, and with more than 350 already spoken for the bike might debut near the top of the adventure-touring sales charts for 2019 despite being only on sale for a single month of the calendar year. 

Source: MCNews.com.au

All-New Yamaha Ténéré 700 Tours Australia & NZ

Yamaha’s Tenere 700 Lands in Oz

Pre-production models to do the rounds ahead of official launch

Yamaha Motor Australia have announced three of the new Tenere 700 motorcycles have arrived in Australia and will embark on a travelling roadshow in July before the model goes on sale towards the end of 2019.

The all-new twin cylinder adventure bike will appear in venues across Australia and New Zealand so that riders can get up close and personal with the new lightweight ADV model.

For the full details on this new model see:
Yamaha Ténéré 700 lands in December at $15,499 +ORC (link)

Yamaha Tenere MBL STA
Yamaha Tenere 700

The three units will be presented in three different guises – one accessorised with an Australian off-road theme, one in full touring mode with hard luggage and low seat option; while the third unit will be standard. All three colour options will be represented.

Yamaha Tenere MBL STA
Yamaha Tenere 700

The travelling road show will be headlined by Yamaha legend, keen Tenere rider and four times Mister Motocross, Stephen Gall. Special guests include Yamaha’s Australian Dakar Rally – and prototype Tenere – rider Rodney Faggotter. Tenere Tragic organiser Andrew Clubb and Ride ADV head honcho Greg Yager will also be on hand to discuss all things Tenere.

Sean Goldhawk – Yamaha Motor Australia Marketing Manager

“This will be a great opportunity for customers to get up close and personal with the new Tenere 700 and learn more about it. Each event will feature a full media type presentation with contributions and insights from our special guests. Customer will also be able to register their interest in the new model and the related accessories as well as some exciting new adventure rides that we are planning for new Ténéré 700 owners.”

Yamaha's Sean Goldhawk presented new Yamaha product at Moto Expo
Yamaha’s Sean Goldhawk

To register your interest to attend visit the YMA website and get your name down quick! See: https://yma.bike/tenere700tour. Yamaha Motor Australia will contact you to confirm your registration.

Note that due to the pre-production status of these units, they are not able to be test ridden. See below for the list of dates.

  • Queensland
    • Mackay – Monday 8th July
      • Mackay Marina, Mulherin Drive Mackay Harbour QLD 4740
    • Brisbane – Wednesday 10 July
      • Novotel Brisbane Airport, 6-8 The Circuit Brisbane Airport QLD 4008
  • NSW
    • Newcastle – Friday 12 July
      • Noahs on the Beach, 29 Zaara Street Newcastle NSW 2300
    • Sydney – Monday 15 July
      • Atura Blacktown, 32 Cricketers Arms Road Prospect NSW 2148
  • Victoria
    • Melbourne – Wednesday 17 July
      • Parkroyal Melbourne Airport, Arrival Drive Melb Airport Tullamarine VIC 3045
  • Tasmania
    • Hobart – Saturday 20 July
      • Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart, 1 Davey Street Hobart TAS 7001
  • South Australia
    • Adelaide – Tuesday 23 July
      • Stamford Grand Adelaide, 2 Jetty Road Glenelg SA 5045
  • Western Australia
    • Perth – Saturday 27 July
      • Esplanade Hotel Perth, Corner Marine Terrace & Essex St Fremantle WA 6160
  • New Zealand
    • Auckland – Friday 16 August
    • Wellington – Sunday 18 August
    • Christchurch – Wednesday 21 August

Source: MCNews.com.au

Yamaha announces Ténéré 700 pricing

Yamaha has announced very competitive pricing for its much-anticipated Ténéré 700 adventure motorcycle arriving in Australia in December.

And we were right in our pricing tip earlier today that it would cost about $16,500 ride-away.

The price is actually $15,500 plus on-road costs which should bring it up to our tipped ride-away price.

Our pricing tip was based on the recently announced UK price of £8699 which is 27% less than the UK price of the KTM 790 Adventure at £11,999.

In Australia, the KTM 790 Adventure and Adventure R will arrive in June 2019 at $21,195 ride away and an extra $1500 for the R model at $22,695.

KTM 790 Adventure tip
KTM 790 Adventure and R

Pricing tip spot-on!

Similarly, Yamaha pricing is about 22% less than the KTM. The previous model XTZ660 Ténéré cost $13,999.

Prices of other mid-sized adventure models include:

  • BMW F 850 GS from $17,990 (+ORC);
  • Ducati Multistrada 950 from $18,790 (+ORC);
  • Kawasaki Versys 650 from $10,499 (+ORC);
  • Kawasaki Versys 1000 from $15,999 (+ORC);
  • Suzuki V-Strom 650 from $10,290 (ride-away);
  • Suzuki V-Strom 1000 from $15,490 (ride-away);
  • Triumph Tiger 800 from $18,550.

Yamaha Motor Australia says the dual sport 689cc parallel twin will arrive in December in a choice of Ceramic Ice, Competition White and Power Black.

Don’t feel too bad about the late delivery of the Ténéré in Australia as it will not arrive in the US until the second half of 2020.

Yamaha Ténéré 700 2019 tip
Yamaha Ténéré 700

Yamaha Ténéré 700 tech specs 


Twin cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valves



Bore x stroke

80mm x 68.6mm

Compression ratio


Maximum power

54.0kW @ 9000rpm

Maximum torque

68Nm @ 6500rpm

Lubrication system

Wet sump

Clutch type

Wet, multiple disc

Fuel management

Fuel injection

Ignition system


Starter system


Transmission system

Constant Mesh, 6-speed

Final transmission



Double cradle steel tube chassis

Front suspension system

Upside down telescopic fork

Front travel


Rear suspension system

Swingarm (link suspension)

Rear travel


Front brake

Hydraulic dual disc, Ø 282mm

Rear brake

Hydraulic single disc, Ø 245mm

Brake system

Switchable ABS

Front tyre

90/90 R21 M/C 54V M+S – Spoke wheels with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR

Rear tyre

150/70 R18 M/C 70V M+S – Spoke wheels with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR

Overall length


Overall width


Overall height


Seat height


Wheel base




Fuel tank capacity

16 litres


Two years, unlimited kms


Ceramic Ice, Competition White, Power Black


December 2019



Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorbikes you most want to ride in 2019

The Indian FTR 1200 is the motorcycle that most excited our readers in 2018 and tops our poll of the 2019 models you and we would most like to ride this year.

Throughout the year we have unveiled the many new models that are expected to be released in 2019.

There is a host of new models from just about every manufacturer.

But the model that continually rated the highest in our readership figures was the Indian FTR 1200.

It arrives here this year in several models starting at under $20,000.

Some of the reader interest in the bike was negative after the production model revealed a less aggressive pipe than the prototype.

Indian Motorcycle Scout FTR1200 - learner bike coming? Travis Pastrana FTR750 Evel Knievel stunts recreated on Indian FTR1200 usb
Scout FTR 1200 Custom prototype

Even before its release, Indian Motorcycle has announced a host of accessories to customise the bike for touring, flat tracking and rallying. 

Indian FTR 1200 adds accessories 2019
FTR 1200 with all the Tracker bling

Electric shock

Electric Harley-Davidson LiveWire leads parade smart desert charging 2019
LiveWire unveiled in Milwaukee

The next bike to arouse reader interest was a bit of a shock … the Harley-Davidson electric LiveWire.

While the bike will be unveiled next year and we hope to ride it again in September in the USA, it will not be available in Australia until 2020.

If our ride on the initial model in 2014 is any gauge, riders will be in for a real treat on a motorcycle with instant torque and fast acceleration.

Royal twins and more

Royal Enfield 650 twins factory axe gap 2019
Royal Enfield 650 twins

At the other end of the scale is the Royal Enfield 650cc twins. 

The Interceptor INT naked and Continental GT cafe racer arrive in February starting at $8440.

A motorcycle that has sparked interest for the past couple of years is the long-awaited Yamaha Tenere 700. 

Yamaha Ténéré 700 2019
Yamaha Ténéré 700

It arrives late this year in Australia after being unveiled as the T7 Prototype a couple of years ago.

There is also a lot of interest for the Moto Guzzi V85 TT which arrives mid-year. 

It looks like having good off-road ability, but it’s just beautiful to get dirty!

Moto Guzzi V85 TT arrives mid-2019 season 2019
V85 TT

One bike which sparked a lot of interest — both positive and negative — is the return of the venerable Suzuki Katana brand.

Some love the new shape, while diehard fans of the old model say it is an abomination.

2019 Suzuki Katana deposits
Suzuki Katana

There is certainly a lot of interest already and Suzuki Australia says they are already taking $1000 deposits for the bike even though it doesn’t arrive until the third quarter this year and price is not yet known. 

Triumph always rates high among our readers, but the model that piqued most interest was the 1200 Scrambler.

We have known it is coming ever since they unveiled the new liquid-cooled models in 2015. 

Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE Google and GoPro 2019
Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE

Tell us which 2019 model are you most looking forward to riding?

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Yamaha Tenere 700 | ‘Almost’ full specs and details

Yamaha Tenere MBL STA
Yamaha Tenere 700

The wait for Yamaha’s Tenere 700 to go on sale, or even for its final specifications to be released, has been an excruciating one for adventure enthusiasts, particularly those with a tuning fork bent. 

Yamaha Tenere MBL STA
Yamaha Tenere 700

At EICMA overnight Yamaha have released images of a production ready Tenere 700, and also detailed most of the technical specifications. However, the one spec’ that most people are hanging for, wet weight, is still missing from the documentation. 

Yamaha Tenere MBL STA
Yamaha Tenere 700 with big brother Tenere 1200

We do know that the engine will be a 689cc version of Yamaha’s now well established and popular parallel twin CP2 engine as seen in the MT-07 and XSR700.

Yamaha Tenere MBL DET
Yamaha Tenere 700

An 11.5:1 compression ratio suggests that the engine is tuned for a broad spread of torque rather than an all-out hunt for maximum performance, as you would expect with this style of machine. Yamaha have stated that maximum torque is produced at 6500rpm, which is where the MT-07 also makes its peak twist of 68 Nm.

Yamaha Tenere MBL DET
Yamaha Tenere 700

The MT-07 also runs 11.5:1 compression, thus while Yamaha are yet to state the power output of the Tenere 700 it is logical to deduce that it will be almost identical to the 74 horsepower at 9000 rpm power peak of the MT-07.

Yamaha Tenere 700 Video

That’s not a bad thing, why mess with what works, and we know the MT-07 engine works well.

Yamaha Tenere MBL DET
Yamaha Tenere 700

The frame is all-new for Tenere 700. A lightweight double-cradle tubular steel frame forms the backbone of the new machine which rolls on a 1590 mm wheelbase and offers a generous 240 mm of ground clearance.

Yamaha Tenere MBL DET
Yamaha Tenere 700

Of course lots of ground clearance generally also means a relatively tall perch, and the Tenere 700 has aimed to strike a balance with a seat height of 880 mm. 

Yamaha Tenere MBL ACT
Yamaha Tenere 700

Fully-adjustable 43 mm upside down forks control a spoked 21-inch front rim and offer 210 mm of suspension travel. 

Yamaha Tenere MBL STA
Yamaha Tenere 700

The shock absorber appears to have a large reservoir, to help resist fade and maintain consistent damping control, and operates through a 200 mm stroke to the linkage. Preload is adjusted by convenient hand-wheel.

Yamaha Tenere MBL DET
Yamaha Tenere 700

Tyres are 90/90-21 and 150/70-18 Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR.

Yamaha Tenere MBL DET
Yamaha Tenere 700

A pair of 282 mm front discs and a 245 mm rear include a switchable ABS system. Calipers are Brembo.

Yamaha Tenere MBL ACT
Yamaha Tenere 700

We know that the MT-7 engine is relatively frugal which means that the 16-litre fuel tank of the Tenere 700 should be good for ranges of between 230 and 300 kilometres, depending on the terrain and your right wrist. Yamaha are claiming a range of 350 km+ from the 16-litre fuel cell. 

Yamaha Tenere MBL DET
Yamaha Tenere 700

The tank appears to be slim between the knees and the seat designed to cater for animated riding.

Yamaha Tenere MBL DET
Yamaha Tenere 700

A rally style cockpit, complete with comprehensive LCD screen, promises ergonomics suitable for both sitting and standing riding positions.

Yamaha Tenere MBL DETYamaha have also made provisions for the fitment of aftermarket navigation devices or smart-phones. 

Yamaha Tenere MBL DET
Yamaha Tenere 700

The stark brace of four LED lights first seen on the prototype seem to be making it across to the production machiine.

Yamaha Tenere MBL DET
Yamaha Tenere 700

The lights are protected by a clear nacelle which then seems to blend in the with a tall, but narrow, windscreen. 

Yamaha Tenere MBL ACT
Yamaha Tenere 700

The Tenere 700 is expected to arrive in Australian and NZ showrooms late in 2019. The price is yet to be set. 

Yamaha Tenere MBL STA
Yamaha Tenere 700


Yamaha Tenere 700 Specifications

  • Engine – 689cc, 2-cylinder, 4-stroke, 270-degree parallel twin
  • Bore x Stroke – 80 x 68.6 mm
  • Compression Ratio – 11.5:1
  • Lubrication – Wet sump
  • Clutch – Wet, multi-plate
  • Induction – EFI, 4-valves per cylinder, DOHC
  • Gearbox – Six speed
  • Drive – Chain
  • Frame – Double cradle, steel tube chassis
  • Forks – 43mm, adjustable, inverted – 210 mm travel
  • Shock – Single shock, adjustable, 200 mm travel
  • Brakes – Twin 282 mm (F), 245 mm (R) (Switchable ABS)
  • Tyres – 90/90-21 (F), 150/70-18 (R)
  • L x W x H – 2365 x 915 x 1455 mm
  • Seat Height – 880 mm
  • Wheelbase – 1590 mm
  • Minimum Ground Clearance – 240 mm
  • Wet Weight – TBA
  • Fuel Tank – 16 Litres
  • RRP – TBA
  • Available – Late 2019
  • Colours – Ceramic Ice, Competition White and Power Black

Yamaha Tenere MBL STA
Yamaha Tenere 700

Yamaha Tenere MBL STA
Yamaha Tenere 700

Yamaha Tenere MBL ACT
Yamaha Tenere 700

Yamaha Tenere MBL ACT
Yamaha Tenere 700

Yamaha Tenere MBL ACT
Yamaha Tenere 700

Yamaha Tenere MBL ACT
Yamaha Tenere 700

Yamaha Tenere MBL ACT
Yamaha Tenere 700