The Tenere 700 could be the most important new adventure bike of 2019. Of course, it isn’t as advanced, powerful, sexy or sophisticated as the latest crop of superbikes-on-stilts, but it will be very capable and far more accessible – bringing genuine lightweight adventure ability to the masses in terms of rideability and affordability.
The globe-trotting adventures of the T7 concept bikes have given us two years of Ténéré 700 teasing – and it’s interesting that the production bike has arrived in a much more committed state than the first prototype spied by MCN almost two years ago. The implication is that while it might have started life an MT-07 ‘soft-roader’, the market’s preoccupation with authentic adventure ability has demanded more. And that’s good news.
The power in the package comes from the MT-07’s CP2 689cc parallel-twin, wrapped in an all-new chassis, and rolling on proper off-road rim sizes (21in front, 18in rear). The engine should be a solid partner off-road, with dedicated fuel maps for its new dual-purpose life meaning a broad spread of torque, and plenty of power for road or the loose stuff. There’s also been gearbox tweaks to suit its new purpose. Yamaha say the combination of good fuel economy and a 16-litre tank capacity will give a real-world 215-mile+ range between fuel stops.
The all-new frame is a tubular steel double cradle, designed just for the Ténéré, which Yamaha say offers enough flexibility for good road manners, as well as finding traction in the rough stuff. The one odd decision is that the subframe is welded to the main chassis spars, meaning a relatively light off-road smack could write the frame off.
The striking new face is dominated by the quad-led headlamps nestling behind the tall screen, which also protects the new all-LCD dash tower (showing speed, rpm, fuel level and range, trips and more), above which sits a very useful bar for bolting all your navigational needs to.
There’s a 43mm inverted fork up front, offering full damping adjustment and 210mm of travel, while the rear gets a remote preload-adjustable link-type monoshock giving 200mm of travel for its aluminium swingarm. Braking is courtesy of Brembo, with 282mm discs up front, and a 245mm one at the rear, equipped with switchable ABS (which can be disabled for off-road).
It’ll come in Power Black, Competition White and Ceramic Ice when it arrives in dealers in the second half of 2019. Price yet to be confirmed.
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