Yamaha Ténéré 700, the queen of the desert

Yamaha Ténéré 700 is the latest in a series of motorcycles made by the Japanese company that take their name from the Saharan region where the Paris-Dakar originally traveled. Presented at EICMA 2016 with the abbreviation of T7 (a concept), it replaced the previous Yamaha XT660Z Ténéré officially from 2018.

Equipped with a classic 689 cc in-line twin engine, it is a liquid-cooled four-stroke with eight-valve twin camshaft distribution and features a cross-shaped crankshaft used on the naked MT-07 and Tracer 700 models. The gearbox is six-speed. and the final chain drive.

Born from the desire for adventure
The success of the Paris-Dakar was the main push towards the production of enduro motorcycles for the public, passionate about big ralli-raids. Unlike how off-road is practiced today, the bikes born in the 80s had large tanks, weights, greater heights and lengths and above all, evocative names. They mainly recalled Africa, a real hunting ground for adventurers on two wheels and all the most important brands, they had their flagship of the desert in their catalog.

The first series produced from 1983 to 1985

The very first model dates back to the period 1983-1985 and was a real epochal change for Iwata, with the transition from the XT 550 or the more classic XT 500 with chrome tank and all the trappings of the off-road bike of the previous decade, to a real desert ship with sporty colors and an unstoppable appearance. A new concept also for the Japanese who had not yet accepted the fashion of these bikes that exploded in Europe.

Needless to repeat how strong the call of the colors inspired by the sponsors of the official Yamahas, engaged in the sporting field, was, but the real beauty was in having an enduro with infinite possibilities. It was the time when we began to imagine the long crossings in front of the window of the dealership from which Ténéré came out that seemed ready to leave for the desert.

The evolution of the species
Such an apt piece could not remain an icon of the best times and Yamaha have well thought of proposing it in the new version, which concentrates all the characteristics of a totally modern bike, keeping faith with the traits that made the first ones famous. The latest version is in fact a combination of style and versatility.

Designed for off-road use, the double cradle steel frame has the lower part bolted to facilitate replacement, and a limited wheelbase that makes it agile. The suspensions are Kayaba, with an aluminum swingarm equipped with remote control and an adjustable fork with 43 mm stanchions and a travel of 210 mm. The braking system features a double 282 mm front disc and switchable ABS make it a very racing vehicle.

Three editions and a lot of sporting quality
The instrumentation is vertically developed as on the racing enduros, it mounts the standard handguards like the old Ténéré, the pedal controls are articulated and adjustable like the mudguard. Thanks to these precautions, it is a level bike both on dirt and on the road, where it surprises for its precise and effective behavior.

Even in this generation of Ténéré, the colors are the reinterpretation of the historic liveries. The price of the new 700 2022 starts at 10,399 euros, but by spending 1,600 more you can also have the 700 Rally Edition. Finally, there is the 700 World Raid which starts at 12,599 euros. All very popular, the basic version is enough to have all the grit you need off-road, even if these models are now entering the touring categories, making everyone agree a little.

What has changed?
Compared to the Ténéré of the 1980s, almost everything has changed in technical terms and both those of that time and the modern ones are legitimate daughters of their era. Looking at them carefully, both still hide many points in common. They are not vehicles designed for hard enduro today, but they weren’t even in the past, and cross-country and compact models were preferred for mule tracks. Ideal for traveling and long journeys, they have always been appreciated on the street and for going on vacation.

We can agree that the real Yamaha Ténéré has never and hasn’t changed yet. What has changed is the world in which it has continued to update itself based on the historical period and the innovative solutions that have never been lacking at the house of the three tuning forks, always willing to offer us the best of its motorcycle repertoire and its sixty-seven years of history. .


Source: Virgilio Motori by motori.virgilio.it.

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