Motorcycle: Yamaha Ténéré 700

Photo By: Yamaha

When choosing an adventure motorcycle, balancing comfort and agility becomes a compromise. Where smaller bikes excel in tough terrain, they lack the power and comfort for long distances. Large adventure bikes are given to struggling when the going gets rough, but they cover long distances with ease and comfort. Because of this, the middleweight adventure segment has grown in popularity in recent years.

Middleweight bikes hit the sweet spot between two ends of the spectrum and present some clear advantages over their small and large counterparts. Nimble enough to tackle tough trails, with the strength and power required for long-haul travel, middleweight adventure motorcycles are a clear choice for go-everywhere adventuring.

Yamaha calls the T7 a “lightweight, no-compromise adventure motorcycle,” and the bike truly strikes a balance between extremes with ease and style given. With its dual-sport roots and naming that harkens back to the Dakar Rally, the Ténéré 700 casts off the pitfalls at either end of the adventure spectrum, giving way to a most capable machine. 

The strength of the Yamaha Ténéré 700 lies in its simplicity, and it is defined as much by what it brings to the table as what it leaves behind. The T7 forgoes unnecessary electronics and strips weight in favor of delivering a powerful motor, rider-focused design, and durability galore in this Ultimate Overland Motorcycle.

Adventure Focused Ergonomics

The Ténéré is geared towards the sort of adventure riding that demands a mix of off-road capability and on-road comfort. With a narrow body, slim fuel tank, and flat seat, the Ténéré is designed for maximum rider agility yet does not skimp on essential ergonomics for long-distance touring. 

Built on a lightweight, high-strength tubular steel frame, the Ténéré provides a tuned rigidity for nimble, responsive handling and the durability needed to tackle the harshest terrain with confidence. The chassis features a short 62.6-inch wheelbase and boasts 9.5 inches of ground clearance to tackle whatever the trail throws at you.

The ability to shift body weight is crucial in off-road riding, and it reduces fatigue while slabbing it en route to the dirt. The Ténéré 700’s flat seat and slim body allow maximum rider agility, both for gripping the tank while standing and changing position while seated.

The Ténéré 700’s long-travel suspension features 43mm inverted forks that delivers 8.3 inches of travel. The inverted layout is resistant to flex and maintains precise steering and suspension action. The linkage-type rear shock is similarly outfitted for adventure, with 7.9 inches of travel and a remote preload adjuster to fine-tune for changing loads or riding conditions.

The Ténéré 700 is serious about its off-road intentions with a spoked 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel. Strong and lightweight, the wheels allow for a range of tire choices to suit your riding style, whether more aggressive enduro or versatile dual-sport.

The Engine for All Adventures

Powering the Ténéré 700 is a fuel-injected, 689cc liquid-cooled, inline twin-cylinder engine. Derived from Yamaha’s award-winning MT-07, this compact motor features ideal power delivery for adventure riding, balancing tractability, control, and power in every riding condition.

The Ténéré‘s engine produces exciting power without compromising reliability. The compact, fuel-efficient inline twin gives the Ténéré 700 exceptional handling, with a counterbalanced design for smooth power delivery, ideal for long overland days in the saddle. The six-speed transmission is designed to bring out the best of the low to mid-speed torque with excellent response, making it ideal for off-road riding.

The Ténéré’s two-cylinder engine features Yamaha’s “Crossplane Crankshaft Concept” 270-degree crank. The motor provides linear torque and is powerful, light, and compact. When paired with the electronic fuel injection, calibrated to deliver a balance between rapid response and smooth delivery, the Ténéré boasts excellent fuel economy, robust acceleration, and an extremely versatile powerplant suited to varied adventure riding.

Adventure Further

Simplicity is paramount in the Ténéré, allowing for pure riding without cumbersome technology standing between you and the dirt. ABS comes standard to prevent wheel lock-ups in reduced-traction conditions on the road. And the Ténéré’s off-road mode simply disables the ABS system for full manual control. Braking is handled by a pair of wave-style 282mm front discs and a 245mm wave-style rotor in the rear for powerful deceleration even while traveling on a fully-loaded machine. 

Thanks to the fuel-efficient engine and the T7’s 4.2-gallon fuel tank, the motorcycle has a range of up to 215 miles between fill ups, so you can venture further from the gas station. The lightweight instrument panel displays the essential information without having to take your eyes off the road. The simple, multi-function LCD display features gear position, fuel level, two trip meters, and key indicators about fuel consumption and range. The cockpit is also designed to accommodate additional navigation devices, such as a GPS, to keep you pointed in the right direction.

Our Plans

Right off the bat, the simplicity of the Ténéré lends itself to overland riding in every way. The paired-down technology allows for easy maintenance and manageable roadside repairs. The powerful engine is as efficient as it is strong for mixed riding conditions, and the ergonomics allow for ease on the tarmac and trail. That said, the T7 wouldn’t be an Ultimate Overland Motorcycle without a few modifications.

With our build, we are going to create an incredibly capable, mid-sized overlanding motorcycle that doesn’t go overboard with accessories. We’re keeping everything we love about the Ténéré and supplementing its strengths without being extraneous.

The word “Ténéré” in the Tuareg languages of North Africa means “desert” or “solitude.” With the Yamaha Ténéré 700 as a platform, the Ultimate Overland Motorcycle truly begs to be brought to the far reaches of the backcountry, and it promises to have your back on the long hauls and in the harshest environments.

You can learn more about the 2022 Yamaha Ténéré 700 at here.

What to know:

Key features:

  • Engine: 689cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke; 8 valves 
  • Power: 72.1 horsepower at 9,000 rpm
  • Torque: 68.00 N⋅m (50.15 lbf⋅ft) at 5,500 rpm
  • Fuel Delivery: Fuel Injection 
  • Transmission: 6-speed; wet multiplate clutch 
  • Final Drive: Chain 
  • Front Suspension: 43mm inverted fork, fully-adjustable; 8.3-in travel 
  • Rear Suspension: Single shock, adjustable preload with remote adjuster and rebound damping; 7.9-in travel 
  • Front Tires and Brakes: 90/90R21 with 282mm hydraulic disc and selectable ABS 
  • Rear Tires Brakes: 150/70R18 with 245mm hydraulic disc and selectable ABS 
  • Seat Height 34.4 in 
  • Wheelbase 62.8 in 
  • Maximum Ground Clearance 9.4 in 
  • Fuel Capacity: 4.2 gal 
  • Wet Weight: 452 lbs
  • Lighting: Quad LED headlights, vertically-stacked two-plus-two design 

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