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YAMAHA TENERE 700 (2019-on) Review

Published: 21 May 2019

Updated: 16 January 2020

The long-awaited Ténéré 700 lives up to expectations

Kicking up dust on the Yamaha Tenere 700

The long-awaited Ténéré 700 lives up to expectations

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

We’ve waited a long time for the arrival of the all new Yamaha Tenere 700, but in it’s first two day test in Spain it lived up to expectations, and continued to do so when we took it around the MCN250 test route in October 2019.

Instead of following in the foot steps of the majority of manufacturers in the adventure bike class where engine size weight and electronics have continued to increase, the Tenere comes at things from a different angle with a dry weight of 187kg (205kg wet), 74bhp and no electronic aids apart from ABS which can be switched off for off-road use.

Powered by the MT-07 engine it has 74bhp and is a fun and engaging ride with an impressive spread of power that works well both on and off-road.

It may be a relatively simple bike, but it has clearly been well thought through, giving a package that is truly useable. It’s impressive engine, chassis and suspension negate the need for complicated electronics and rider aids. It is also very competitively priced, be it on a PCP or bought outright.

Buy tickets to the 2020 Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show here

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

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.

Engine 5 out of 5

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.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

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.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

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.

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

Equipment 3 out of 5

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.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2019
Year discontinued -
New price £8,699
Used price £9,000 to £9,000
Warranty term 2
Running costs
Insurance group 10 of 17
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost -
Max power 72 bhp
Max torque 50 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range -
Engine size 689cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, four-stroke, 4V, parallel twin
Frame type Steel backbone, double cradle
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Seat height 880mm
Bike weight 205kg
Front suspension KYB 43mm upside down, 210mm travel
Rear suspension Sachs rear monoshock, 200mm travel
Front brake 282mm twin-disc
Rear brake Single 245mm disc
Front tyre size 90/90 x 21
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 18

History & Versions

Model history

Although the T7 is a new model for 2019, it can trace its DNA all the way back to the 1976 Yamaha XT500 enduro bike. Yamaha’s thumpers became world renowned for their off-road performance and durability.
The first Yamaha to carry the Ténéré badge was the 1983 XT600Z, followed by the XT750 Super Ténéré and the XTZ660 Ténéré.
The latest bike uses the MT-07 parallel-twin engine as the centre piece of a simple off-roader to try and capture the spirit of these previous models.

Other versions

Only version, launched in 2019.

Owners' Reviews

No owners have yet reviewed the YAMAHA TENERE 700 (2019-on).

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Photo Gallery

  • Kicking up dust on the Yamaha Tenere 700
  • Yamaha Tenere 700 front end
  • Suspension adjustment on the Yamaha Tenere 700
  • A side-on view of the Yamaha Tenere 700
  • The Yamaha Tenere 700
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