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Yamaha Ténéré 700: First Aussie Ride!

This entry is part 3 of 21 in the series Adventure Rider Issue #38

Yamaha’s newest Ténéré has finally landed in Australia. Adventure Rider Magazine was lucky enough to enjoy a quick ride to answer some of the questions the entire adventure-riding community has been asking.

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, light-weight, 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.

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

Thanks, YMA!

Adventure Rider Magazine was fortunate to be able to grab a very quick ride on the new Ténéré, thanks to Yamaha Motor Australia. It’s important readers remember this isn’t a full test – that’ll be in issue #39. This was a very pleasant day out with the new bike and some great people, and what you’ll read here are impressions without the checks and balances we often apply.

Basically, we jumped on the new Ténéré 700, fanged around like mad things and ended up smiling all over our goofy faces.

The bike is awesome fun to ride.

Strong and linear torque output gives good throttle response and strong acceleration.

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. Husky’s 701 and KTM’s 690 are offering that kind of power output, and they’re sensational bikes.

But the Ténéré 700, of course, 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 the Ténéré 700 is 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 ‘good’n’.

“ It feels almost vibration-free, and both power and torque delivery make it beautifully easy to manage.”

Fit and feel

There wasn’t a lot of detail on suspension when we rode the bike, and we didn’t measure for ride height and static sag. Nor did we touch a clicker. Even so, we did manage to pound the bike through a few rocks and some unfriendly terrain. One thing we learned during that part of the day was the Ténéré 700 is an easy lift, even when it’s been dropped into an awkward position. At just a smidge over 200kg fully fuelled and ready to ride, its not a handful, even jammed into some tight going.

It’s not an enduro bike either though, and the rock steps and big, hard-edged stones had it clattering and clanking it’s way through some tough going. 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.

The proven 689cc parallel twin is almost vibration-free.
The LCD display features gear position, fuel level, two trip meters, estimated fuel range, average and instant fuel consumption, and more.


Instruments are a big deal these days, and 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 over-loaded 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.’ That’s a relief, because user-adjustment is simple: it’s on or it’s off. There’s no in between, and there’s no selecting front-only.

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’.

No need for multifunction switches. It’s all clean-cut and user-friendly.

Job done

There’s a stack of great accessories – luggage, apparel and performance parts – available from Yamaha, and although this was only a short introduction, we reckon the Ténéré 700 is going to be an excellent adventure-riding proposition for Australian riders.

It’s important everyone remembers what the Ténéré brand is all about. It’s a dualsporter. 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.

From what we’ve seen so far, the Ténéré 700’s all of that.

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 end up describing a bike just like this one.

More next issue.

A distinctive looking headlight assembly. Four LED headlights protected by a clear nacelle and with two LED position lights at the base.

Yamaha Ténéré 700

Recommended retail (including GST): $15,499

Engine type: Two-cylinder, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four-valves
Displacement: 689cc
Bore x stroke: 80.0mm x 68.6mm
Compression ratio: 11.5:1
Maximum power: 54.0kW (72hp) @ 9000rpm
Maximum torque: 68.0Nm @ 6500rpm
Lubrication system: Wet sump
Clutch type: Wet, multiple disc
Fuel management: Fuel injection
Ignition system: TCI
Starter system: Electric
Transmission system: Constant mesh, six-speed
Final transmission: Chain
Frame: Double cradle steel tube chassis
Front suspension system: Upside-down telescopic fork
Front travel: 210mm
Rear suspension system: Swingarm (link suspension)
Rear travel: 200mm
Front brake: Hydraulic dual discs, Two Ø282mm
Rear brake: Hydraulic single disc Ø245mm disc
Brake system: Switchable ABS
Front tyre: 90/90 R21 M/C 54V M+S – spoked wheel with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR
Rear tyre: 150/70 R18 M/C 70V M+S – spoked wheel with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR
Overall length: 2365mm
Overall width: 915mm
Overall height: 1455mm
Seat height: 880mm
Wheelbase: 1590mm
Minimum ground clearance: 240mm
Wet weight (including full oil and fuel tank): 204kg
Fuel capacity: 16 litres
Colours: Ceramic ice, Competition white, Tech black
Warranty: 24 months, unlimited kilometres, parts and service

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