Yamaha will show its eagerly anticipated Ténéré 700 in the UK for the first time at this month’s Motorcycle Live extravaganza, just over a week after it was officially launched in Milan.
The company has been trailing the mid-range adventure bike for several years, firstly with the T7 Concept bike of 2016 and latterly with the Ténéré 700 World Raid prototype that broke cover earlier this year. The production version, which will be known simply as the Ténéré 700 will go on sale late next year and gives Yamaha a competitor in the highly competitive mid-capacity adventure bike sector, alongside the likes of the BMW F850GS, Triumph Tiger 800 and the equally new KTM Adventure 790.
At the heart of the new Yamaha is a retuned version of the 689cc ‘CP2’ parallel-twin engine, developed from the one used in the popular MT-07 roadster. The crossplane motor has been given a new ‘adventure’ tune, designed to give better low-down torque characteristics and power delivery. The Ténéré 700 produces maximum torque at 6,500rpm and has been tuned to return strong fuel economy which, Yamaha claims, will give almost 220 miles range from the 16 litre fuel tank.
Aside from the tweaked engine, the Ténéré 700 is an all-new machine with a brand new steel cradle frame, long-travel suspension front and rear, spoked wheels (21” at the front) with dual purpose tyres and rally inspired bodywork, complete with screen and handguards. Further confirming the Ténéré 700’s off-road aspirations, the new model has cool Dakar style instruments and an ABS system which can be deactivated on the fly when riding in the dirt. Yamaha says that prototypes have been put through a punishing test programme by its development riders and ambassadors, including top Dakar riders and round-the-world legend Nick Sanders, to prove its durability.
Yamaha has a strong heritage in the off-road rally scene, winning the first two Dakar rallies with the venerable XT500 and being the dominant force during the 1990s with French legend Stéphane Peterhansel riding monsterous twin cylinder factory machines. The new Ténéré 700 pays tribute to these successes with traditional liveries that includes a classic Yamaha red and white combo, the classic blue of their motocross and enduro machines, and a more contemporary matt black and grey combination.
There are still a few details of the Ténéré 700 to be confirmed, not least the power, cost and actual availability date. Yamaha says that it will go on sale in the ‘second half of 2019’ and we’re expecting it to be competitively priced against its bigger capacity competition.
As well as introducing the Ténéré 700, Yamaha also announced some new colours for its carry over XT1200Z and XT1200ZE Super Ténérés. The R1250GS competitors will come in a new white colour, dubbed Ceramic Ice, while the fully loaded ‘Raid Edition’ will also continue. The Raid Edition features massive 74-litre panniers, a taller screen and fog lamps.