YAMAHA XT660Z TENERE (2008 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£100|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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
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.
|Engine type||Liquid cooled 4V single cylinder, SOHC, five gears|
|Frame type||Tubular steel, semi-double cradle frame|
|Fuel capacity||22 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||44 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£100|
|Used price||£4,000 - £7,000|
10 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||46 bhp|
|Max torque||43 ft-lb|
|Top speed||120 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||200 miles|
Model history & versions
2008: Yamaha XT660Z Tenere launched.
Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA XT660Z TENERE (2008 - on)
27 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£100|
Annual servicing cost: £100
Best feature - road presence Worst feature - being a Yamaha
Seat too sculpted and tilted forward to make it all day comfortable for me. For £100 I had the seat flattened (and raised) and recovered with gripper material. I also changed the pegs to wider Pivotpegz. I removed the pollution pegs as it's just not spacious enough for two big units. If your other half is 8 stone fine. If she's hefty forget it. Brakes average. Fitted braided and now much better feel and a more solid lever. This is a heavy bike and if anything I feel that it's just adequate and not, as some have suggested, overbraked... Anarchy power delivery caused by excessively quick cush drive wear solved by a simple mod or replacement with polyurethane items.
Powerful for a single. Torque is good and up to about 40 it'll keep up with most things. The engine is fairly cheesy from the factory and benefits from air box and exhaust tinkering. I have open pipes (very loud) and some air box mods. Throttle response has improved and overall ride ability without impacting on fuel consumption. It needs further work because the EFI clearly can't adjust itself and it runs rich (flames from the exhaust are a give away). But it is entertaining in the dark! Cruise at 70. I have breached the ton but it's uncomfortable and really unnecessary. I have kept it at 90 for long periods to make progress but again uncomfortable and I think overstresses the engine. I like the instant go that singles give me and its this quality that I have bought into. Oh yes and the soundtrack!
Yamaha build quality is better than it was but still isn't anywhere near Honda/KTM. If you get one of these it can be ignored but you reap what you sow. I tend to wash the bike a lot and use lots of maintenance spray on exposed metal which seems to keep rot at bay. The engine still has a tendency to hot stall at low revs in traffic. I am sure this is a fuelling issue and the fuel injection is at fault. Yamaha had this back under warranty and their solution was to raise the tickler. It has helped but hasn't cured. 5 years later it still does it but I ride around the problem and have become used to quickly restarting on the move. Has never failed to start from cold and the original battery still going strong. Do yourself a favour and go to the owners websites and do some of the mods.
Once it got out of warranty I serviced it myself. It's easy to work on and I find it reliable enough not to have messed with anything too technical yet. Could probably do with some suspension work in the near future but tend to ride around deficiencies until they become life threatening! Fuel consumption good. Get on average 240 to a tank and that doesn't change noticeably with different riding conditions.
Equipment levels are poor from the factory. No heated grips, power sockets or gizmos of any nature. However they are easy to fit and make a huge difference to the general riding pleasure and length you can stay in the saddle.
Buying experience: Bought this at Woodford Motorcycles (ex Mrs' uncle has part ownership) and traded in a slightly tired CBF500 (another great bike). Got a reasonable deal but they're there to make money.
It is a good looking capable 660 single -Do not expect anything more (As I did). I have sports bikes, a tiger955i and some others. I toured for 4 weeks, Portugal , Spain, Andorra, France. Fully loaded with tent, top box & Panniers. This bike was so manoeuvrable, cruise at 60mph (Don't expect to "Cruise/Tour" much higher, it's very hard work). I've ridden miles over the years and this latest trip on the Tenere 660 was the best. Slow, plodding around, actually SEEING the surroundings. A truly great, fairly light bike(Certainly against a Tiger955i) economical & reliable. I would recommend but not for any speed riding-obvious I suppose.
I rode on a 4 week tour with only mild saddle irritations, mainly numb bum!. Brkaes and suspension, no real need to comment, they exist and perform!
It seems pretty bullet proof, a little vibartion at times, it's a single!!
Rusty Spokes let mine down along with poor engine paint/coatings. Seriously bad oil back pressure into air box, now corrected with upgraded breather box cost about £20.00 (Why this problem was not rectified by yam years ago I don't know!-they knew about in on 2009 models)
I paid £4,100 for 62 plate, in May 2015 with 9k miles, nearly immaculate-Great value.
I added USB & 12v sockets with relay to control. Other than that the dash is clear and serves well.
Version: Non ABS
The good : - pretty (?) - very reliable motor - good brakes - aluminium swingarm - good side crash protection - effective windshield - big plastic fuel tank (23lt) The bad : - too tall - too heavy - bad sunspension - poor lights - rust problems - plastic engine guard - no centre stand !! - rider's legs takes too much heat from the exaust pipe to the left side - there are more I can't recall right now..
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 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.
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.
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. If you want to explore the globe then this is your machine. Good sturdy ride with a great performing single cylinder motor.
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, 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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!
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 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.
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 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 !
I came to the Tenere from a Hayabusa. Bit of a step I know. At the same time I also owned an Aprilia Caponord, but with the g/f passing her DAS there was no need to have two large bikes, so they were both sold. First impressions of the Tenere were it's strong aesthetic. It was the first bike I had seen in a while that I actually took a shine to. I don't own a car so bikes are the only mode of transport for me, the Ten was going to have to fill that role well. So, now at over 11,000 miles and just over a year old, what do I think of it? Well the dull commute is dispensed with no problem. The bike spends most of the time above 5,000rpm and feels just fine. Roundabouts and overtakes are dealt with swiftly and easily. Some say that the bike is overbraked, with it's twin discs up front. I disagree. With a view to carrying a pillion, luggage and a full tank of fuel, it's nice to have that extra stopping power. On the going side the bike can feel a little pushed when fully laden, but then it's going to isn't it? You just find yourself planning your actions more and riding smoother. Those 11,000 miles haven't been uneventful; a front end slide exiting a left hander at ca.50mph saw me testing the engine bars and tank plastics. I'm pleased to say that the bike survived fine, and I was able to pick it up and ride it the 25 miles home before straightening the handlebars and replacing the £28 plastic tank protector. The cush drive rubbers and crankcase breather were replaced under warranty, and, for a budget bike there's been few other issues. I wasn't happy with the stock seat so had that refoamed and reshaped, and found the rear shock lacking after almost 10,000miles so a replacement was built by Nitron. A worthwhile improvement. I've done a few long jaunts on it, including a 400 mile run in a day to the Isle of Arran, and found the economy to have averaged 53mpg over the period of my ownership. Sitting for hours on motorways isn't the ideal place for the bike, but it manages fine. It truly feels at home on the smaller A and B roads, and let's be honest, they're far nicer places to make your trip on. When opportunity has presented itself I've taken the bike along forest roads and trails and there's been no scary moments. Likewise during all the snow we've had, I was one of the few vehicles in the works car park. Overall I would recommend the bike quite highly. In fact a friend has just bought one and is becoming equally enamoured.
I got my xt660z in june this year, and i sold it yesterday, thank GOD. If you have a 2008 Tenere then please look at your engine bars and ali bash plate, as they will have snapped on the left hand side, just where they bolt on. I emailed yamaha about this, and they tryed to fob me off. The fact is, the materal they made from is not strong enough. The clocks steamed up, Folks making lots of noise, Engine very rattley, Build quality is, in a word, CRAP. Ive had a wr400 in the past and that was a quailty bike. The Tenere is not a good strong off road bike, and it is not built to last. Ya it looks ok, and its not a bad ride, but im glad mine has gone. Never again well i buy a yamaha, unless they sort there acts out. Ive now got a Triumph ST, and my god what a bike, need i say any more. Hope this answers your questions, If you have a bit of a brain you will not get this bike.
Blown away by its purposeful looks I test rode and bought a Tenere in June 2009. I have since covered 3000 miles and undertaken a trip in Northern France. The bike is solid great value for money and ideally suited to enjoyable adventure touring where making ground at warp speed is not your highest priority.The engine is tourqey ,slightly vibey at high revs but that said a joy to experience. I really like the tenere for the get out there and get on with it feel. This bike is brilliant .
Had one for a year now, done 4500 miles including a 2000 tour of Ireland in the summer. It is almost certainly the best value money bike I've owned. Its performance is excellent if you stick to A and B roads and OK on motorways (but I can't see the point in riding a bike on a motorway anyway!) Getting 55mpg/250miles to a tank and its been 100% reliable, using no oil at all. It has a great riding position (for me anyway at 6 foot), comfortable and suprisingly few vibes if you cruise below 5000rpm. I'm still trying to get the suspension setup right when loaded (Yamaha side cases, tent on a Touratech rack and tank bag). It handles nicely with full fuel load, but gets decidedly wobbly as the tank dries up - needs more weight over front wheel. Standard Metzeler tyres are great in the dry, Ok in the wet, poor off road and horrible on white lines and raised surfaces. Will be try Michelins very shortly. The mirrors need to be further out (I can only see my shoulders), although Touratech mount extensions have cured this. A bit disappointed in some of the build quality: Rattly fairing (sorted with lots of bits of old inner tube), rusty brake discs fasteners, exhaust headers looking very shabby and the speedo fogs up in cold weather. Basically its a great practical bike, looks the part, is excellent value and pretty good fun to ride. There are one or two build issues, but I've sorted most of them easily, but let's not forget it is cheap for what it is. I like it a lot and I can see myself keeping it for some time and I'd thoroughly recommend the Tenere.
Took mine from Bilbao to Calais two up just after the first service. No ball of fire, but lugged the load well enough. As many people have said, why do 100mph when 60mph is fast enough on the right bike.
Picked up black tenere on tuesday, 3 days later I have already done 600 miles, covered 460 of those yesterday, could have gone on longer. Comfortable, relaxing to ride and very economical (although only travelling at running in speeds) over 250 miles to one tank!!!. Can't really give it scores yet as not had it long enough so will just score average for now, will be interested to see how long tyres last, previous bike 1200 daytona less than 4000 so hoping to improve on that. Will score at a later date when I have done some proper mileage. So far I love it.
I looked at XT660Z Tenere at launch. Victimised by a 5ft 8in vertical stature, three distinct thoughts sprang randomly to mind, namely: Rope Ladder; Gary Glitter boots; and Growbags. Having admired Bruce Dunn's racing campaigns, I would dearly like to learn his esteemed impression of trying to scale a seat height demanding a 35inch inside leg. My comments should not in any way be regarded as Yam bashing as I've owned and greatly enjoyed various RD, DT Yams… brilliant machines, and the original XT500 was a peach. But the current Tenere is surely targetted at customers of Outsize Clothes Stores, please allow me to explain. The Tenere, at 183kg Dry, is already gross compared to my Husqvarna 610SM, and furthermore, upon adding 23 litres of fuel to the Tenere's tank… that;s truly lardy. Were I to place 11.5 bags of sugar on either side of my Husky's fuel tank it would doubtless morph into a Routemaster… "easy to carve through city traffic" Hmmm, not on my commute I suspect, just watch out for the Bus mirrors then. Come on Bruce, let us know your angle on the test.
I own an XT660r and I love it, the only small problems are: poor front brakes and pipes that go under the engine, which reduces ground clearance. Both of which have been dealt with in the Tenere; not to mention the injection, which has never bothered me? That’s what the clutch is for, unless you want to ride a scooter. These bikes are so good all-rounder’s I would recommend either, but the Tenere is the best. Only one negative both are good one-up tourers only. I would not recommend two up touring unless you want a divorce.
This bike is ace,its the 29th bike ive owned in 27 years, ive had a VFR,a BMW,a TRIUMPH,a Varadero and many bikes of different styles and all sizes,at last the bike ive searched for all these years,wish i was rich enough to go globe touring,im saving to do scotland and a couple of cheap european tours,never had a bike that made me want to ride as much as this,get one and enjoy.
i fancy a change from the pocket rocket and muscle bikes,i bought it blind just by going on the look of it.when i saw it in v&j superbikes.i didnt even test ride.so on my day of pick up 1/9/08 boy was i shocked, for a 660 it was a pleasure to ride smooth,quick and nimble for what seemed a big bike and it handles well to.i got just over 200 miles on one tank of fuel which i thought was good.in and around traffic it was a pleasure and the bikes gives a comfortable ride,did 100 miles straight off and no back or wrist ache like i get when i ride my blade.brillant
i'm an engineer and work on many technical engines so i'm so experienced on engines this engine has an Compression Ratio 10/1 its 11,3/1 in suzuki dl650 vstrom it means this engine has a life of more than 100.000 miles and 11,3 means it has 40,000 miles so yamaha has a really bullet proof engine only problem it must be lighter its 183 kg +22lt fuel=its over 200 kg and its far to be a off road machine its an perfect enduro with very good off road abilities and need to have a kick start too strench:bullet proof engine, very quality tranmission system, fuel consumption, very good buit quality weakness:it too high for short users,heavy for off road( but its lighter than its competitors) i dont know who decide this stars to this amazing bike
A cracking dual-purpose bike, maybe not as quick as a twin on road, but a damn sight better off it. Plus it's half as much to buy as GS, and probably more reliable too.
I agree with other owners review. Sorry MCN I don't know which bike you tested but I don't see any resemblance. Your unwavering support for the BMW seems unfounded to me. BMW quality and reliability? Would you be worried about oil consumption with a Honda/Yamaha or bolts seizing, frame cracking, piston wearing issues? Anyway I bought my bike just like the other reader having seen the release last september in MCN and following the enthusiastic recommendation of a Dakar rider (who also ordered his without seeing it). I can tell you this bike does not disapoint. The engine pulls smoothly to over a ton effortlessly, its very comfortable, great riding position for observation and handles better than I do. Whats more my last blast to Wales which included off road exploration (sorry daffyd) worked out at 88mpg! I enjoyed the bike so much I didn't get off it once in 7 hours and over 250 miles. A day with no fuel or food stops is a first for me... Hungry breath in a helmet... nice. To conclude; the bike is awesome, if you want a flashy badge and dvd box set of a trip you didn't do get a BM. I would have paid more for the Yam than the beemer, if this bike wont tour I don't know what will. (and i test road the 650 and 1200 beemers)
I bought one of these as soon as I saw it for the first time in a magazine. I haven't even passed my test, it's next week. I don't have a lot of experience with bikes. But I know one thing. This bike is fantastic. I am a little frustrated by the 7th July review of the new Tenere in MCN. The Tenere was pitted against, amongst others, the BMW F800 GS which is 25% more than the Tenere. Surely the F650GS would be a more sensible comparison? The review slates the Tenere as unsuitable for global adventure. I have read a bevy of books authored by veteran global travellers and the Tenere is everything they recommend and more. The review is biased towards road use and not adventure motorcycling for which the Tenere is clearly designed. The fact that the Tenere cannot 'ton it' along vibration free seems to be a big problem for the reviewer. Who wants to travel at motorway speeds across deserts or on long unsurfaced roads. Fuel economy is surely a greater benefit in areas where fuel stations are few and far between? What about tank capacity? Let's leave it at that though. The bike is fantastic, well engineered bo no nonsence global tourer and I think it is £&*"in ace!