• Here’s Why The Yamaha Tenere 700 Is The Adventure Bike You Really Need

Back-to-basics Yamaha trumps rivals with its simplicity and ability

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Just as adventure bikes are getting ever more sophisticated and complicated, Yamaha brings us the Tenere 700, an adventure bike that values ability over complication and is all the better for it. Even though it might be electronically simple, it is a brilliant middleweight adventure bike that takes the fight to all the other contenders in this crowded category of motorcycles.

Yamaha Took Forever To Bring it to Production

Here's Why The Yamaha Tenere 700 Is The Adventure Bike You Really Need
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Despite the adventure market being huge for manufacturers, Yamaha teased the Tenere 700 (or T7) for a few years before it actually made it to production. It was launched in Europe in 2020 and in the U.S. in 2021. Yamaha doesn’t actually call it an adventure bike in every market, preferring the term ‘rally-bred dual sport’ in Europe. However, in America, Yamaha calls it an Adventure Touring bike.

The Wait Was Worth It

Here's Why The Yamaha Tenere 700 Is The Adventure Bike You Really Need
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If we had to wait a long time, then the wait was definitely worth it. The Tenere 700 may be simple to the point of starkness, but Yamaha obviously put a lot of thought into the design and configuration of the T7. All the elements gel perfectly - the chassis, engine, and suspension work in harmony to make complicated (and expensive) electronics superfluous.

The Engine Comes From The MT-07

Here's Why The Yamaha Tenere 700 Is The Adventure Bike You Really Need
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The engine in the Tenere 700 is the 689cc parallel twin CP2 as first seen in the MT-07 street bike and also the MT-07 Tracer and R7 sports bike. In the Tenere 700, it has been re-tuned to give a broader torque curve via revised engine mapping and a new airbox and exhaust muffler. Peak horsepower sits at a claimed 72bhp and 44.1 foot-pounds of torque is generated. The engine is smooth, free-revving, and delivers its power in an engaging manner.

It’s Brilliant On-Road

Here's Why The Yamaha Tenere 700 Is The Adventure Bike You Really Need
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Despite being an off-road focussed design, the Tenere 700 has excellent road manners. The tall suspension is on the soft side but, with full adjustment front and rear, it can be set up to perfection for road use. The Brembo brakes have a necessarily soft initial bite for better control off-road, but still, have enough power to inspire confidence. Seat comfort, which is often slightly compromised on such bikes, if perfectly good for a couple of hours in the saddle at a time.

But Off-road Is Where It Shines

Here's Why The Yamaha Tenere 700 Is The Adventure Bike You Really Need
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The engine’s smooth, low-down torque coupled with perfect gearing in the excellent gearbox make the Tenere 700 incredibly good off-road. The soft suspension has all the travel and compliance you could ever need and helps the bike deal with any terrain you could ever want to throw at it. The softness of the suspension, coupled with the torquey engine, gives the bike incredible traction out of muddy or sandy conditions and, overall, the bike is so easy to ride, it belies the idea that, without electronics, it is for expert riders only.

Ah, the Electronics…

Here's Why The Yamaha Tenere 700 Is The Adventure Bike You Really Need
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... Or, rather, the lack of electronics. There are no alternative engine maps, no six-axis inertial measurement unit, no traction control, no quick-shifter, no semi-electronic suspension, no colour TFT dash, no cruise control, no heated grips: all you get is ABS and the bike is all the better for it. Modern electronics have become necessary on large 1000cc+ adventure bikes as the weight is such that no rider could ever control it without disaster lurking around every corner. But, the Tenere 700 is light at 466 pounds so can do without excessive electronic assistance. Even more importantly, the lack of complexity makes it cheaper to buy than most of its opposition: $9,999. Don’t forget, also, that less complexity means less to go wrong and leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

It’s One of the Best Looking Adventure Bikes

Here's Why The Yamaha Tenere 700 Is The Adventure Bike You Really Need
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Yes, this is subjective, but the Tenere 700 looks like it means business: there are no vulnerable plastic parts and the whole design is simple and effective. It has a slightly retro look to it with the wheel-hugging front fender and the gas tank blending in to the small fairing.

It Sips at Gas

Here's Why The Yamaha Tenere 700 Is The Adventure Bike You Really Need
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The gas tank of the Tenere 700 holds 4.2 gallons, good for around 200 miles of mixed riding. If that’s not enough, then Yamaha recently announced the Tenere 700 World Raid model which, amongst other changes, adds a 6.07-gallon gas tank for even more impressive range - a claimed 300 miles.

Talking About the Tenere 700 World Raid Edition…

Here's Why The Yamaha Tenere 700 Is The Adventure Bike You Really Need
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Yamaha responded to criticisms of the base Tenere 700 by launching the World Raid version. This not only has the above mentioned larger fuel tank, but also taller and revised suspension front and rear. The damping has been revised to give much more control. The engine remains the same but has to pull more weight and overcome a larger frontal area from the revised fairing and screen, but it remains brilliantly flexible, pulling well from low revs, making the T7 easy to manage off-road. There are still no fancy electronics but at least now there is a full-colour TFT dash.

There Are a Lot of Rivals

Here's Why The Yamaha Tenere 700 Is The Adventure Bike You Really Need
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In creating a middleweight adventure bike, Yamaha is playing in a fast-growing sector of motorcycling. In no particular order, there is the Aprilia Tuareg 660, Triumph Tiger 900, Suzuki V-Strom DL650, Ducati DesertX, KTM 890 Adventure, Husqvarna Norden 901 and, soon, the MV Agusta 9.5. Oh, and let’s not forget the Moto Guzzi V85TT and the Honda CB500X.

That’s a lot of very good competition, but the Yamaha Tenere 700 is a match for all of them, not to mention being cheaper to buy than most of them (only the Suzuki and Honda come in cheaper than the Yamaha).

FAQs

Is the Ténéré 700 worth the money?

Yes, definitely. It might lack the electronic sophistication of other adventure bikes on the market, but it is still a very good adventure bike. costing less than most of its rivals.

How is the Ténéré 700 on the highway?

It’s OK. With just 72 horsepower, it’s not the most powerful adventure bike and you’d be better riding on non-highway roads but if you have no choice, then it will cope with it well.

What is the range of a Yamaha Ténéré 700?

With the 4.2-gallon tank, you should see around 200 miles and 300 miles with the 6.07-gallon tank of the World Raid model, 300 miles should be available.

Is the Ténéré 700 seat comfortable?

Despite appearances, yes, the seat on the Tenere 700 is comfortable. it is also narrow at the front to help with bike control when riding off-road.

Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
Motorcycling Contributor
Born and raised in England, he has lived in South Africa with his family since 2002. Harry has owned examples of Triumph, Norton, BSA, MV Agusta, Honda, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Kawasaki and Moto Morini motorcycles. He regrets selling all of them.  Read full bio
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