• 2008 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, 4-valve, single cylinder, SOHC
  • Transmission:
  • Displacement:
    660 L

Rebirth of the famous Yamaha Tenere

The name Tenere has been synonymous with Yamaha’s rugged Adventure Sport dual-purpose models since the original machine was first launched in the early 1980’s. Developed from Yamaha’s highly successful Dakar race-winning factory bikes, the original Tenere models built up a huge following of loyal owners during the 1980s and 90s.

With an unrivalled reputation for durability, strong on and off road performance, high levels of long-distance comfort, and the ability to handle hostile off road terrain, the machine was one of Yamaha’s best-selling models throughout Europe.

Such was its ‘go-anywhere, do-anything’ reputation, that it became the machine of choice for numerous round-the-world travellers, and to this day the original Tenere and its successors have probably clocked up more ‘orbits’ of the earth than any other single-cylinder motorcycle. And at the same time as being the number one choice with adventure-seekers, the original Tenere also became a favourite with riders looking for a tough, reliable and stylish all-rounder that could perform well in almost any environment.

The all-new XT660Z Tenere

2008 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere
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The rugged and reliable go-anywhere big-single

For 2008 Yamaha introduce the all-new XT660Z Tenere that is designed offer a new generation of adventure-seeking riders the opportunity to explore a new world of possibilities. True to the original ‘go-anywhere’ design philosophy.

Engine Tenere 660

2008 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere
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Yamaha: the leading big-single specialists

Yamaha has more experience in the design of rugged and reliable large-capacity 4-stroke single-cylinder engines than any other leading manufacturer. The famous Dakar Rally was inspired by the original XT500 model way back in the 1970s, and since then Yamaha has been at the very forefront of big-single design.

High-torque 660cc liquid-cooled engine

Powering the new XT660Z Tenere is a 660cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke single cylinder SOHC engine which has been tuned to deliver strong low to mid-range power. This gutsy powerplant makes the Tenere 660 a strong performer in a wide range of riding situations, from urban commuting through to highway touring and off road exploring.

4-valve head and fuel injection

Equipped with a highly efficient 4-valve cylinder head with a 10:1 compression ratio, and featuring bore x stroke dimensions of 100mm x 84mm, the new fuel-injected Tenere engine delivers excellent throttle response for lively off-the-line and roll-on acceleration.

5-speed transmission

The smooth-shifting 5-speed transmission is equipped with carefully chosen gear ratios that are designed to optimise the bike’s strong low to mid-range torque output, and the 2.9 litre transmission oil capacity ensures efficient engine operation even under severe conditions.

XT660Z Tenere Technical Highlights

  • 660cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke, single cylinder 4-valve SOHC
  • Fuel injection
  • 10.0:1 compression ratio
  • Bore x stroke 100.0mm x 84.0mm
  • Dry sump
  • 5-speed transmission
  • Tuned for strong low to mid-range torque
  • Electric start
  • Mono chamber up-muffler
  • EU3 compliant


Chassis Tenere 660

2008 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere
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Rugged dual-purpose frame

The XT660Z Tenere is equipped with an all-new chassis whose rugged, go-anywhere character perfectly complements the big-single engine. The extremely strong yet new light semi-double cradle frame is compact and slim, and has been designed to offer an optimum balance of strength and rigidity for good handling qualities on and off road.

Long travel suspension; aluminium swinging arm

In order to deliver high levels of rider and passenger comfort, and to be able to take handle a variety of off road terrain, the new Tenere is equipped with long-travel forks which give 210mm of front wheel movement.

Complementing this rugged front suspension is a lightweight aluminium swinging arm, which reduces unsprung weight for enhanced rear suspension performance, and offers 200mm of rear wheel movement that’s designed to soak up the bumps.

This generous amount of suspension travel at the front and rear not only makes the Tenere one of the most comfortable machines to ride in any situation – it also ensures good handling performance over poorly maintained paved roads and across pure off-road terrain.

Long-range fuel tank

Underlining the machine’s serious long-distance potential is a large-capacity 22-litre fuel tank which blends seamlessly with the beautifully sculpted front cowl. Despite its generous capacity, the width and height of the fuel tank is kept to a minimum by extending the fuel tank beneath the rider’s seat, which has the added advantage of helping to centralise mass for neutral handling characteristics.

Wind-beating front cowl

With its upright riding position and long dual seat, the Tenere is an extremely comfortable machine, whatever the journey, whether it’s from home to work or across a continent. To help reduce rider fatigue on long journeys this rugged new all-rounder is equipped with a stylish front cowl and tall screen which deflect wind away from the upper body.

For a distinctive new look, a new dual-bulb headlamp assembly with a vertically stacked low and high beam is used. As well as projecting a powerful beam, this new ‘over and under’ assembly keep the cowl’s frontal width to a minimum for improved aerodynamics.

Dual 298mm front discs

2008 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere
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For efficient stopping power the new Tenere is equipped with dual 298mm discs gripped by 2- pot calipers. This high-specification system ensures strong and controllable braking performance, as well as offering plenty of feel .

Bodywork and engine protectors

With its class-leading go-anywhere abilities, the XT660Z Tenere is ready to encounter rugged terrain, and in order to handle the most severe conditions the new model is equipped with a range of lightweight protectors.

The front cowl features durable protectors on either side of the bodywork which help prevent accidental damage, while the engine is also equipped with lightweight guards on either side of the cylinder. And to help prevent damage when riding off road, the engine cases are also fitted with compact guards. Each of these protectors can be easily replaced if they are damaged, allowing the owner to keep their machine in first class condition.

Wide range of quality accessories

Yamaha have also developed a comprehensive range of accessories for the new Tenere, allowing riders to enhance the specification of their bike to suit their own requirements.

Riders wishing to enhance the luggage carrying capacity of their bike have the option to fit genuine Yamaha side cases or a top case, as well as a tank bag.

Hand guards, engine guards and a skid plate are available for owners looking for extra protection on their riding adventures – while the wind deflectors help keep hands warm and also act as brush guards when riding off road.

An optional main stand is available to facilitate tasks such as wheel removal when repairing punctures on long trips, and a tank pad is available to help prevent the minor scratching to the paintwork that can sometimes be caused by zips and buckles.

And finally, riders wishing to give their new Tenere an even gutsier exhaust note may wish to fit the slip-on Akrapovič muffler offered by Yamaha.

XT660Z Tenere Technical Highlights

  • Designed to handle long-distance adventure touring
  • Lightweight diamond shaped frame
  • Aluminium swinging arm
  • 245mm ground clearance
  • Oil-in-frame design
  • 210mm travel front forks
  • 200mm travel rear suspension
  • Large-capacity 22-litre fuel tank
  • Dual 298mm diameter front discs
  • 245mm rear disc
  • Lightweight front cowl for good wind protection
  • Integral cowl, frame and engine protectors
  • Vertical dual-bulb headlamp
  • Dryweight 183kg
  • Smart luggage system
  • Rear carrier
  • 130/80-17 rear tyre, 90/90-21 front tyre
  • LED tail lamp
  • Wide range of accessories:
  • Side cases
  • Top case
  • Tank bag
  • Wind deflector
  • Tank pad
  • Akrapovič slip-on muffler
  • Hand guards
  • Side case stay
  • Main stand
  • Tubular engine guard
  • Skid plate

The new XT660Z Tenere

2008 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere
- image 231621

The rugged, stylish and practical all-rounder

The overwhelming success of the original Yamaha Tenere can be attributed to its winning blend of style, practicality and affordability, and these same fundamentals can be found in on the new model. Yamaha has always believed in offering the widest choice of unique and exciting motorcycles to our customers, and the new XT660Z Tenere complements and expands our current range.

Available colours

  • Competition White
  • Desert Khaki
  • Midnight Black



2008 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere
- image 231618



Type: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, 4-valve, single cylinder, SOHC
Displacement: 660 cc
Bore & stroke: 100.0 x 84.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Max. power: NA
Max. torque: NA
Lubrication: Dry sump
Carburettor / Fuel supply: Fuel injection
Clutch type: Wet, multiple-disc coil spring
Ignition: TCI
Starter system: Electric
Transmission: Constant mesh, 5 speed
Final transmission: Chain
Primary reduction ratio: 75/36 (2.083)
Secundary reduction ratio: 45/15 (3.000)
Gear ratio:   

  • Gear ratio 1 30/12 (2.500)
  • Gear ratio 2  26/16 (1.625)
  • Gear ratio 3 23/20 (1.150)
  • Gear ratio 4 20/22 (0.909)
  • Gear ratio 5 20/26 (0.769)



2008 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere
- image 231614

Frame: Steel tube diamond shaped
Front suspension: Telescopic forks
Front wheel travel: 210 mm
Rear suspension: Swingarm (monocross)
Rear wheel travel: 200 mm
Caster angle: 28°
Trial: 113 mm
Front brake: Double disc, Ø 298 mm
Rear brake: Single disc, Ø 245 mm
Front tyre: 90/90-21 M/C
Rear tyre: 130/80-17 M/C


Overall length: 2,246 mm
Overall width: 865 mm
Overall height: 1,477 mm
Seat height: 895 mm
Wheelbase: 1,505 mm
Min. ground clearance: 245 mm
Dry weight: 183 kg
Fuel tank capacity: 22 Litres
Oil capacity: 2.9 Litres

Anthony Kodack
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Show Comments


  (1) posted on 05.14.2008

Yamaha, I need this bike. You got to bring it to the US.

  (6021) posted on 03.24.2008

It’s a shame this is not available in the North Americia. This segement of the market is growing fast This would be an instant classic. I would already have order one.

  (6021) posted on 03.16.2008

I’ve been looking at smaller cruisers and DP’s for a while now and this is by far the bike that interests me the most.


I’m now seriously looking at the Kawasaki Versys.

  (6021) posted on 03.7.2008

this verry good bike

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