Who needs a big adventure bike? Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid vs KTM 890 Adventure R

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Everyone dreams of exploring the globe… and if you want to do it on two-wheels, you need to be armed with a bike ready to take on any challenge.

At this point most will default to the BMW GS Adventure, but a GSA is nudging 270kg, which is a lot of bulk to take up a trail. If you are serious about heading off into the wilds – or just a weekend away – something a bit more manageable can make sense.

Billed by Yamaha as the ‘ultimate long-distance adventure bike’ the Ténéré World Raid aims to take on global exploration. With a big-capacity 23-litre tank and beefed-up suspension, the Raid is a proper big-mile explorer with a price that’s reasonably low thanks to a basic nature devoid of fussy electronics. KTM, on the other hand, have decided the modern explorer requires every bit of tech possible.

Cornering on the Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid and KTM 890 Adventure R

Updated this year to make it a bit more user-friendly for road riders, the 890 Adventure R remains a serious bit of kit thanks to a chassis developed by some of the world’s best off-road riders.

It also boasts modern refinements such as cruise control, angle-responsive electronics, connectivity and variable power modes. If you are prepared to pay for them that is, which is where KTM have been rather clever with their new (and dangerously tempting) Demo Mode.

Looking every inch a Dakar contender, the Adventure R comes with top-spec suspension, chunky tyres, brash paint, bags of attitude – and a firm seat. Is it too hardcore for all-day riding?

Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid riding with the KTM 890 Adventure R

When you switch to it from the instantly soft and compliant Yamaha you are certainly left a little worried, but the only way to truly find out is to spend all day riding. So that’s exactly what we did, taking on some hideous weather during more than seven hours in the saddle.

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