YAMAHA Ténéré 700

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Updated: February 18, 2020

Yamaha’s newest Ténéré has finally landed in Australia. What Tradies Want was lucky enough to blast around NSW on one.

Yamaha has been teasing the world with the development of the latest Ténéré 700 for a while now. We’ve ridden it at last, and we’re very impressed. It’s not the most powerful or spectacular powerplant in the adventure-riding world, but the smooth power and torque delivery make the engine superbly manageable. That means a lot less fatigue for a rider when things get challenging and a lot less wear and tear on the bike when it’s a long way between sheds and services. It also means a rider doesn’t need to be an A Grade motocrosser to make use of what the bike has to offer. Good riders won’t be held back by the Ténéré 700, but average riders will find the forgiving nature of the engine, clutch and very slick six-speed gearbox will allow them to ride at their best. TECH

Yamaha’s latest configuration of its Ténéré range is built around a proven 689cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin CP2 motor. The powerplant’s claimed to offer ‘strong and linear torque output that gives instant throttle response together with outstanding acceleration’. A range of model-specific fuel-injection settings set the motor up to do its best in a dualsport application, and it sits in an all-new, lightweight, double-cradle, tubular-steel frame.

Forks are 43mm upside-downers with 210mm of travel and both rebound and compression adjustment, and movement of the aluminium swingarm is controlled by a shock with an external preload adjuster. Wheels are a 21-inch front and an 18-inch rear fitted with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STRs – although for our test ride, being mainly off-road, Pirelli Scorpion knobbies were fitted.

The package results in 240mm of ground clearance and an 880mm seat height.

As a final thought on the mechanical aspects of the bike, we monitored fuel consumption and it came in at 20.5km per litre, irrespective of how hard we flogged it or what type of terrain we rode. That makes for around 320km from the 16-litre tank.

In Short

The single biggest trait of the new Ténéré to catch our attention was how frigging smooth the motor is.

Seriously. We’ve been riding plenty of twins lately, and this one is an absolute gem. It feels almost vibration-free, and both power and torque delivery make it beautifully easy to manage.

The spec sheet claims just over 70 horsepower from the standard motor, and we’re starting to think that’s about ideal in a bike this size. The Ténéré is built and offered as a genuine dualsporter, and the combination of the silky-smooth power delivery with a relatively slim, but very comfortable, cockpit mean it’s a pleasure on the road, but still gives the impression of being a bit of a wild child on the dirt.

It’s not wild at all, but it does a great impression of it, and that made for an absolute hoot of a session with no injuries or stress.

The motor is a gem.

Fit And Feel

One thing we learned pounding the Ténéré 700 through some gnarly rocks and sand was it’s an easy lift, even when it’s been dropped into an awkward position. At just

a smidge over 200kg fully fueled and ready to ride, it’s not a handful, even jammed into some tight going.

It’s not an enduro bike either though, and rock steps and big, hard-edged stones had it clattering and clanking it’s way through some tough terrain. Once again, the motor being so easy to use, and the clutch being fairly light and very progressive, made the whole process manageable and fuss-free.

We had a couple of different riders go for a larrup, and the comfort level was applauded by even those whose heights varied substantially. The seat/tank junction is a nice width and easy to grab with the knees but not fat like a park bench, and the screen kept the worst of the windblast at bay.

Details

The LCD display on the Ténéré 700 is a good one. It’s large and very easy to read, and of course, the bike not being overloaded with electronics means navigating through trip meters and so forth is a piece of cake.

That’s a big, positive facet of this bike in our view: no electronics. Not even traction control.

The ABS was surprisingly good. We were expecting a budget-priced, single-channel set-up that would be virtually useless on anything except wet bitumen, but the factory settings allow some very aggressive braking, especially on the front. We heard ourselves telling others, “Just leave it on. It works great.”

Turning off the ABS is a simple push of a dedicated button on the instrument panel. No menu selections. No need to consult the manual. Just have the bike stationary, push the button until the light goes on or off, and away you go.

When the ABS is off a large line of copy on the instrument panel declares ‘OFF-ROAD’.

 Job Done

The Ténéré 700 is going to be an excellent adventure-riding proposition for Australian riders.

It’s impor tant everyone remembers what the Ténéré brand is all about. It’s a dualspor ter. It doesn’t offer insane horsepower, electronics to make Tesla weep with envy or drag-strip-type acceleration. It’s an honest, go anywhere, do-anything bike with decades of adventure-riding pedigree, and that’s what the 700’s all about.

And thanks to some well-balanced engineering ideas it’s both comfortable and very rewarding to ride.

Anyone asked to give criteria for an adventure bike to suit Australian conditions would probably and up describing a bike just like this one.

YMA Accessories

Yamaha offers a good selection of Yamaha-branded accessories for the Ténéré 700. We used the Yamaha roll-top bag called the ‘Waterproof rack pack’ on this ride and it was a total pisscutter. It copped some serious abuse and hacked the pace, no problem. Here’s a list with prices:

  • Skid plate $466.50
  • Akrapovic muffler $1149
  • Headlight guard $172.70
  • Rally seat $596.30
  • Monoseat rack $308.10
  • Tank pad $39.94
  • Barkbusters $171.90
  • GYTR clutch lever $151
  • GYTR brake lever $188.27
  • ProTaper grips $19.95
  • Engine guard $424.40
  • Side case stay set (pannier racks) $560.60
  • Left case $721.80
  • Right case $689.10
  • Main (centre) stand $545.80
  • Pillion comfort $343.70
  • Skidplate $466.50
  • LED fog lights $820.04
  • Grip heater $321.48
  • Licence-plate holder $210
  • Handlebar risers $114.40
  • Chain guard $169.70
  • Waterproof rack pack $124.70

Summing Up

For $17,149 Australians can ride away on an unadorned, base model Ténéré 700. Overall we believe this is probably the best Ténéré Yamaha has ever offered. Its versatility is amazing, and it’s a great adventure bike as it stands on showroom floors. But it’ll be a really excellent platform for individuals to shape into the bike they’ve always wanted. It’s beautiful on the road and very capable in snotty going, so it’ll be a great alternative for anyone looking for a single bike which can work as a commuter during the week then hit the dirt on weekends. Service intervals are excellent as well: 10,000km between oil changes and 40,000km between valve adjustments.

Any wonder they’re selling like hot cakes.