The sun draws a shadow under the foot, following the irregular contours of a playful as well as tricky surface. The boot settles down, sinks slightly at an angle into the thick golden semolina. A little further, she rips with a flick on the few stones that have been lost by the millions.
The time has come for the return of a mid-size raid machine to Yamaha. Since the market was inundated with enormous trails, more or less able to go off the roads for paths and rocks, we could hardly find any machines of the measured size and really ready for raids of all kinds. But manufacturers have felt this current and new candidates are announcing their promises. F 850 GS or Africa Twin in their own measure, 790 Adventure on the same goal, and Iwata’s machine – a mid-size Ténéré with big legs and just as much ambition.
The XTZ 660 had been left to take care of this terrain for almost 10 years. Then the T7 concept took care of making us wait. Until this all-terrain trail (pleonasm …. no longer today) with a physique very close to the prototype. With a tall and slender build, an elongated face like a sequoia, a look with 4 globules and a gazelle profile, the Ténéré 700 immediately announces the color. Crossing, exploring, discovering, tempting, daring, this is what she lets transpire in her figure as in her technique.
It has long been known that the MT-07’s twin crossplane would be used to power this adventurer. However, no easy way in trying to change the roadster into an off-road machine. Only the 689 cm3 CP2 engine is recovered, still with 74 horsepower but adapted injection parameters as well as a specific final transmission. Everything else is personal to the average Ténéré. For her, Yamaha has developed a whole new frame made of steel tubes. Something more suited to the moods of the landscapes encountered was needed. Precisely, the pilots will be able to benefit from a good ground clearance, with close protection thanks to an aluminum shoe. The 240 mm between the ground and its belly is 50 more than on an XTZ 1200, 100 compared to most roadsters; but we are not yet at the level of pure rally or enduro machines, all well above 300 mm.
She doesn’t want to compete either. It opens shopping doors, nuance; wishes to cross the fords; rally Dakar, not win it. To achieve its generous ground clearance, its inverted 43 mm fork slides 210 mm. Fully adjustable, it holds a wheel already ready for expeditions, with a 21-inch spoke rim surrounded by a narrow 90mm nipple tire. The shock absorber benefits from a slightly lesser travel of 200 mm. It only offers preload adjustment, but with a remote dial, more practical than the usual notched ring. At the end of the aluminum swingarm, an 18-inch wheel accommodates a 150mm wide tire. Braking is provided by two 282 mm discs at the front with 2 piston calipers; the rear disc measures 245 mm, topped by a single-piston caliper.
Crossing capabilities come at a cost. With a substantial saddle height of 880 mm. Nothing surprising for a machine of this vocation; you will still have to think about it when stepping over it. This effort aside, the ergonomics are not in half measures either, with a saddle, a casing and a refined tank in order to hold the machine well, whether you pilot sitting or standing..
A thin tank ….. Often means small. With 16 liters, that of the 700 Ténéré is not, is not well potbellied either, nor does it conform to the canons of large machines eager for international tourism. We find up to 30 liters on R 1250 GS Adventure and Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro. Not worried about Ténéré. It also announces more than 350 autonomy terminals.
This machine is also a hell of a snub to trails-GT clad in electronics, where the number of functions is as important as the weight or the price. On the Yam, no driving modes, smartphone or satellite connection, control of everything that moves, anti-thing or semi-active suspensions. Dreams on board, Pulco in the bottle, and a motorcycle that is satisfied with a disconnectable ABS, an injection and an LCD counter in logbook format. Not very glamorous, just readable, simple, efficient, with the necessary information at a glance. No need to distract the pilot, you just have to inform him – with the speed, the engine speed, the gear ratio engaged, the fuel level and the estimated range or even the average and instantaneous consumption.
And protect it properly, as long as it is needed. For that, a pair of hand guards will avoid certain surprises of nature (branches, stones or flying snakes, suicidal insects). The screen rises high and straight to protect the bust and head, aided by two side deflectors. The support bar also allows to install a GPS or a roadbook.
It seems that the Yamaha 700 Ténéré does not yet want to return from the paths of the world, because its arrival will only be in the second half of 2019. Obviously ready to face many terrains, it is thinking of taking back the spirit of the machines without fear and without borders from the heyday of rally-raids.
The first copies could be ordered according to the method that Yamaha reserves for its very specific models. On March 27, 2019 at 2 p.m. an online ordering system was launched for the Ténéré 700, much like the process for the R1-M and the Niken. The first deliveries in July 2019 were reserved for online customers on a first come, first served basis, at the special price of € 9,299. This rate was reserved exclusively for online orders and remained in effect until the system closed on July 31, 2019. Then, the adventurer settled on its standard price of € 9,699.
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XT 660 Z Ténéré 2016
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The technical aspect
Yamaha 700 Ténéré 2019
- Tank: 16 liters
- Width: 915 mm
- Height: 1,455 mm
- Wheelbase: 1,590 mm
- Dry weight: 187 kg
- Operating weight: 204 kg
- Train before
- secondary by chain
- Rear axle
(80 x 68.6 mm)
at 9000 rpm
at 6500 rpm