The KYB 43mm upside down forks give 210mm of travel and have compression and rebound damping. At the rear there is a Sachs shock with 200mm travel.
The initial impression from the front is that they are soft, but once into the stroke they are well supported giving good feedback on road. Off road it as that initial softness that inspires confidence and gives good grip.
Brakes are Brembo and they offer good power while retaining excellent feel. The initial squeeze is soft braking power, a trait that shows the off-road focus of the bike where fine control is needed for loose, dusty, low grip trails.
But the power is there and even when riding hard on road it was only necessary to use one finger on the brake. The rear is the same giving good levels of control even when wearing bulky motocross boots.
In fact, it's worth noting that on the MCN250 in October 2019, we awarded the Tenere 700 the win when compared with the two other Yamahas on test - the MT-07 and Tracer 700 - as a road bike, completely disregarding its off-road talent.
The 689cc parallel twin motor comes from the acclaimed Yamaha MT-07 which was introduced back in 2014. It may only have 74bhp but it delivers everything is has in a fun, easy and engaging way.
There is no vibration through the handel bars and the range of power and torque is impressive allowing you to let the revs drop to as low as 2500rpm and still pull completely cleany and smoothly.
There is more than enough power to make brisk progress on any public highway especially if you rely on the torque (50 ft-lb) and character of the motor and learn to use higher gears than you would initially expect.
The way the power is delivered in conjunction to the chassis and suspension means the bike generates an impressive amount of mechanical grip and in turn gives the rider good feedback as to what the rear wheel is doing.
From an engine point of view it’s proven and reliable technology as it shares the same motor as the MT-07. It has high quality suspension and Brembo brakes and as a package has been a long time coming so expect benchmark Japanese build quality and reliability.
Priced at £8399 if ordered before the end of July 2019 or £8699 there after it is extremely competitively priced in the adventure bike class. While there are reasons why it is cheaper in terms of spec and equipment levels, it still offers excellent value for money.
In October 2019 MCN took the Tenere around the infamous MCN250 test route alongside fellow Yamahas, the MT-07 and the Tracer 700. The Tenere had the best fuel economy, returning 54.5mpg, and once the 16-litre tank was factored in, also accounting for the highest range of the three, at 191 miles.
At time of publication, you could get a Tenere 700 for £99 a month on a PCP deal over 36 months.
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Given that it is priced at £8699, which is over £3k cheaper than a KTM 790 Adventure R compromises have been made to achieve this price point. While the hardware is high quality, there are no electronic aids on the Tenere – so no different maps, traction control, quick shifter or auto blipper. The dash is basic, one colour and hard to read in dust or direct sunlight.
The switches on the Tenere are fairly similar to Yamaha has been using since the '90s, but it all works well.