YAMAHA XT660Z TENERE (2008-on) Review

Published: 16 May 2008

"A great value, superbly capable adventure bke with real off road capability"

Yamaha XT660Z Tenere action

"A great value, superbly capable adventure bke with real off road capability"

  • At a glance
  • 660cc  -  46 bhp
  • 44 mpg  -  200 miles range
  • High seat height (895mm)
  • Suitable for A2 licence
  • £6,999

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

The Yamaha XT660Z Tenere is a great value, superbly capable adventure bke with real off road capability. Global treks aren’t really on the cards as the Yamaha XT660Z Tenere’s vibey single cylinder engine makes hard work of pulling its 185kg dry weight. Useful touches such as the durable crash panels and front towing hoop put it in a class of it’s own.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

Despite the relatively heavy weight and tall seat height the Yamaha XT660Z Tenere’s wide bars and good balance gives slow speed confidence. Like most motorcycles with off road abilities the forks dive harshly under braking and the rear squats under acceleration leading the bike wide out of turns. Off road the chassis will cope with all but the severest conditions.

Engine 3 out of 5

The Yamaha XT660Z Tenere’s engine is used in a number of other machines (including the Aprilia Pagaso, MT-03, Derbi Mulhacen as well as the XT660 X and R models) complaints of a jerky throttle, stalling and mid rev hunting have been fixed on the Tenere. The engine accelerates cleanly from a closed throttle and pulls well (for a single) up to 70mph. Intrusive Vibes begin at 5000rpm.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The Yamaha XT660Z Tenere’s engine is used across a wide range of machines and fuelling glitches aside, is a solid and dependable motor. Yamaha have obviously spent time on the detail of the Tenere and tried to make the bike as user repairable as the Euro 3 rules allow.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

The Yamaha XT660Z Tenere has an impressive blend of on and off road ability with some neat and well thought out design touches which makes it excellent value for money. If you steer clear of Yamaha’s expensive option list and source aftermarket parts it’s possible to have a genuine (if slower) alternative to BMW’s F650/800GS range for £1500 less. Find a Yamaha XT660Z Tenere for sale

Insurance group: 10 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Durable ‘rally raid’ panels are fixed to vulnerable areas on the Yamaha XT660Z Tenere’s fuel tank and engine and are designed to prevent excessive damage in a fall. Small fairing is surprisingly effective even without the optional taller screen. Genuine, but expensive, Yamaha accessories such as metal panniers are available.

Owners' Reviews

24 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA XT660Z TENERE (2008-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.8 out of 5
Engine 3.7 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.0 out of 5
Equipment 3.9 out of 5
4 out of 5

its a cracker

02 November 2013 by Anonymous

I got my Tenere just over a year ago and I have never regretted it its a cracker. I was contemplating packing the bikes in until on a visit to my local motorcycle shop where I was wheel kicking I was considering a BMW800GS nice bike good to go... Read more excellent infact but I then the shop owner persuaded me to take a Ten out for a spin I had nothing better to do so of I went. First couple of miles I thought what a bag of **** compared to the multi cylinder machine for one thing its a lot more evolving you cannot just put it into top gear and go. The first thing you notice is the vibration and it not exactly fast shall we say it gains speed and you had to be in the right gear or else she let you know that she was not a happy bunny. After 10 miles she started to grow on me and by the time I got back to the shop I had a smile from ear to ear and a deal was done Bye Bye tiger hello Tenere. I have been riding bike for some 35 years and I would say that in the last 5 years I only averaged about 300 to 400 miles a year. In the past year I have done nearly 6000 miles it would be a lot more given half a chance but other things get in the way. Running costs touring fully loaded up 70+mpg around town 55+mpg 100% reliable. On the other side of the coin is the cost new at £7000 that is a lot when put against other machines and I Don't think you will see many on the roads. do yourself a favour if you are looking for something a little different go for a decent spin on a big single and see what you think it may not light your candle but you may be surprised.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
3 out of 5

The reluctant Yamaha Tenere owner

28 November 2012 by denislj

I'm keeping a blog on my Ten: http://densten.wordpress.com. It's called 'The reluctant Yamaha Tenere owner'. Detailed analysis, problems and qualities can be found in it. Read more

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

XT Tenere 660

15 April 2011 by Gentlemanhooligan

This is a truly great bike. The screen could be a little higher but apart from that, brilliant. With a low price tag too. Motorway cruising at 80mph not a problem. But this bike is in it's element on the bumpy, imperfect, A roads of eastern Europe.... Read more If you want to explore the globe then this is your machine. Good sturdy ride with a great performing single cylinder motor.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
1 out of 5

It's gone

02 February 2011 by decheman

The bike has failed to start one too many times, I am now trading it in for a honda. Had the bike for 16 months and now it won't start if the weather is a bit damp, it has been thoroughly checked over by Yamaha dealer and no fixable problem found,... Read more battery checked, plug replaced, new sensor in but no change. Very disappointed by this bike, bought it as a basic value all year round commuter bike and it just can't hack it and at the new price of £6,999 they are not even a budget bike. My advice is steer clear, to many faults with a bike that now has the new Triumph as its competition.

Overall Rating 1 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 1 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Still like it, don't trust it

26 January 2011 by decheman

Have had the Tenere for 16 months now and covered 20,000 miles. I use it almost every day, even through snow this winter. When up and running I find as a work bike it is very very good as its running costs are low, rear tyre lasts about 7,000 miles... Read more and the front around 12,000 and I still get over 200 miles to a tank. I really like the fact that services are at every 6000, why other manufacturers aren't doing this I don't know. I am 6'2" and find the bike very comfortable, I often travel 180 miles + in one hit and I am not sore or uncomfortable. Engine still runs fine and while it is a bit more viby (is that a word?) than other bikes I have not noticed it as a problem. However the bike has had a lot of work done on it (fortunately all under warrenty) I have got through three cush drives, Wiring loom needed to be replaced, RAC have been called out 3 times as bike won't start, each time it has been checked over by Yamaha dealer and they can't find fault, but I am starting to lose confidence in it. Now the speedo has packed up. Yamaha panniers are pretty flimsy (especially considering the cost of them) and the metal pins that hold the lids on have all come out and I have replaced with screws. Over all I really want to like this bike, but as I bought it new and have kept it regularly serviced by Yamaha dealer, the fact that I now can't trust it to start and the electrics seem a bit iffy I am thinking of changing it for a Honda.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
5 out of 5

The REAL Ultimate Adventure Tourer?

25 August 2010 by drztourer

Spencer Conway has just returned from a 60,000km circumnavigation of Africa, visiting 32 coutries, taking a little over 286 days. He is the first man ever to do this solo. Months of preparation went into this trip and chosing the right bike was... Read more paramount to the success of the journey. The bike would have to be the ultimate in reliabilty and versatility, be rugged enough to cope with the worst terain on this earth loaded with luggage, yet comfortable enough to spend all day in the saddle. Which bike did he chose? A BMW GS? A KTM Adventure? A Ducati Mutistrada? NOPE! He chose a Yamaha XT660Z Tenere. Case closed.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Value For Money

31 July 2010 by Rogerthat

What a great bike. Having just toured France on my R12S, I went to Keys Yamaha Worthing to get a new rear tyre for my XT660X, the every day hack. Keys made me an offer I couldn't refuse and interest free finance on the balance against a new black... Read more Tenere. The bike has just had first service, and I am loving it. At 6'2" tall, the height is great for me, engine is punchy and fun at speeds that wont shred your license, and the handling on Tourance tyres is excellent provided you plan for corners in advance. Good wind protection at motorway speeds, machine is v happy sitting at 70 all day, but is equally punchy and fun on the backroads. Well over 220 miles per tank, and frankly when I go to the garage now I jump on the Tenere before the R12S - it's juts easy and fun to ride. Twin discs are better than the XT660X single disk, but I may change the brake lines to Hel/Goodridge a little further down the road Will be touring Europe on this next year, going to get some Yamaha luggage for it and may even take the missus on the back. I have had many Yamahas and loved them all. Fizzie, FZR1000, YZF750, 2 x TDM850 and Fazer 1000. Of all the Fazer thou is probably the best all rounder, but the Tenere runs it pretty close and for single delivers astounding and relatively refined performance.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Err, let's get real people...

03 May 2010 by Anonymous

I have just bought an 11-month-old Tenere with 1600 miles on it, in mint condition for £3900! So if there were a 6-star rating for value I would have given it. I was worried about 2 things before I bought it...Its lack of chuckability compared to my... Read more old bike (DRZ400) and its lack of power (because of some reviews I'd read). I had NOTHING to worry about. It's suprisingly nimble and it's not underpowered in the slightest. I have a quick message for all the owners / testers who think it's slow and vibey...IT'S A 660cc SINGLE WITH 6000 MILE SERVICE INTERVALS ON A 183Kg BIKE!!! The bike doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is: An exceptional value, go anywhere, ultra competent, amazing looking, medium-speed adventure tourer. If you want to go everywhere at licence-losing speeds or tour the world 2 up with luggage then spend a whole £2000! more and buy a BMW F800GS and leave the poor Tenere alone. There, the Tenere's honour is restored! Phew!

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

perfect bike for touring @ practical speed

19 April 2010 by orangepekoe

If you're not speed-junky, if you want to ride at any road condition, and if you care about value for money (including running cost), this amazing bike will be the one of the best solution. Very confy engine (for a single), relaxed riding... Read more position(seat height is bit too high though..), good fuel consumption, reliable maneuverbility(off-road or dirt track rinding style is recommended I feel). Cheap running cost(Tyre, Oil, gas,,etc), good wind protection(not as much as R1200GS though,,). There is almost no stimulative performance at this bike, but full of enjoyment and relaxed long-time ride you will get. If you want stimulation or excitement, it would be better to get KTM, but if you want sustainable enjoyment, tenere would be the one of the best.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
1 out of 5

Dull

25 March 2010 by wozzer

Title says it all. I use it for a 40 mile commute. I've had it 6 months, put 5k on it, and I'm sick of the buffeting, the lack of power, the uncomfortable seat, the ultra pessimistic fuel gauge, the poor MPG, the tiresome engine, and above all it's... Read more dullness (if that's a word). Fine for desert racers (who don't want to win) but utterly pointless for the road. Sorry, speak as you find I was always told !

Overall Rating 1 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 1 out of 5
Engine 1 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
Read all 24 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2008
Year discontinued -
New price £6,999
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 10 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 46 bhp
Max torque 43 ft-lb
Top speed 120 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 44 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Specification
Engine size 660cc
Engine type Liquid cooled 4V single cylinder, SOHC, five gears
Frame type Tubular steel, semi-double cradle frame
Fuel capacity 22 litres
Seat height 895mm
Bike weight 183kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload only
Front brake 298mm double disc twin piston calipers
Rear brake 245mm disc, single piston calipers
Front tyre size 90/90-21
Rear tyre size 130/80-17

History & Versions

Model history

2008: Yamaha XT660Z Tenere launched.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere action
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere static
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere detail
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere static
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere action
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere detail
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere detail
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere detail
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere static
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere static
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere action
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere detail
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere detail
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere action
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere static
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere detail
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere static
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere action
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere detail
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere detail
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere detail
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere static
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere static
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere action
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere detail
  • Yamaha XT660Z Tenere detail
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