History of the Yamaha Tenere

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Yamaha has revealed the finished version of their new Super Tenere 1200. It's the bike they hope will rival the BMW GS and give them a strong footing in the adventure sport market. 

Here we take a look back at how the Tenere has evolved since it's original launch in 1983:   

1983 Yamaha XT600Z Tenere (34L)

1983 Yamaha XT600Z Tenere (34L)
Inspired by the Paris-Dakar racers which were campaigned to victory by Cyril Neveu and Yamaha Motor France in 1979 and ’80. Basically an XT550 with an overbored engine, big, rally-style 30litre tank and race colours it soon became a best seller, particularly in France.


1986 Yamaha XT600Z Tenere (IVJ)

1986 Yamaha XT600Z Tenere (1VJ)
Second generation Tenere single intended to be even closer to rally bikes. Although fuel capacity down to 21 litres, power up to 46bhp thanks to new carbs and air box. Also gets electric starter for first time.


1988 Yamaha XT600Z Tenere (3AJ)

1988 Yamaha XT600Z Tenere (3AJ)
Complete redesign with frame-mounted fairing incorporating twin headlights. Tank capacity back up to 23 litres, engine completely reworked and disc replaces drum rear brake.


1989 Yamaha XTZ750 Super Tenere

1989 Yamaha XTZ750 Super Tenere
All-new parallel-twin version of Tenere complete with twin front discs and massive 26-litre tank. Race 750 and then 850 versions went on to win Paris Dakar a total of six times. Model discontinued in 1996.


1991 Yamaha XTZ660 Tenere

1991 Yamaha XTZ660 Tenere
All-new five-valve, liquid-cooled version of single is good for 48bhp at heart of complete redesign. Slimmer, less rugged and more road bias than before, with smaller 20-litre tank and shorter stroke suspension.


1994 Yamaha XTZ660 Tenere

1994 Yamaha XTZ660 Tenere
Final version of last generation single cylinder Tenere had more streamlined bodywork with dual beam headlamp inspired by Super Tenere twin. Deleted 1998.


2006 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere

2006 Yamaha XT660Z Tenere
All-new single cylinder Tenere based on 2004 XT660X, complete with updated styling and spec but traditional Tenere large tank, touring screen, long travel suspension and race colours.


2010 Yamaha Super Tenere 1200

2010 Yamaha Super Tenere 2010
The all-new 2010 Super Tenere follows the same basic template as the old XTZ750 - parallel-twin engine, twin headlights and a steel frame. Only now it packs more tech than an R1, with 3-way traction control, linked ABS and a crossplane crank.


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