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Video: Nick Sanders MBE starts his epic Dakar adventure

Published: 01 August 2019

Updated: 01 August 2019

The video above shows Nick Sanders MBE begin the first leg of his ride from Paris to Dakar on the new Yamaha Ténéré 700. Keep an eye on MCN for the next installment.

Nick Sanders MBE collects first Yamaha Ténéré 700 from factory

Nick Sanders MBE collects his new Yamaha Ténéré 700

Nick Sanders MBE has collected one of the first Yamaha Ténéré 700s off the production line and has set his sights on North Africa. Sanders will spend the next few weeks riding the new machine number down through Europe and into Africa, with a plan to finish in Senegal, the traditional end point of the Paris – Dakar rally. The trip will be global traveller Sanders’ first proper chance to see what the new machine is capable of.

"It’s a bit of an experiment really," Sanders told MCN. "The bike is great but it’s never been anywhere before."

His route will see him follow the Trans Euro Trail, a huge network of intercountry dirt tracks, that will take the adventurer down through France, over the Pyreenees into Spain before heading on to Morocco. From there he will follow the route of the 1998 Dakar rally, which was Yamaha’s last victory at the race following star rider Stefan Peterhansel’s retirement.

"It’s like a bit of a holiday for me this! Once I’m in Morocco, I’ll head all over the Atlas mountains, then into the desert and down towards Mauritania then pop in to Senegal and Lac Rose. The whole trip is four or five weeks."

The trip is a test bed to see how the bike would manage on a much larger adventure.

"I’ve been with Yamaha for 16 years and we’ve done a lot together. I’ve done over half a million miles on Yamahas, including around the world four times. So if anyone should test it – I’m the person to do it.

"This is the first time we’ve got a lightweight bike that is a genuine on and off-road machine and therefore we are able to take tracks I wouldn’t take before with impunity. There’s more confidence that you can go to places and not worry about picking it up if I have a tumble. It really doubles up the options for where I can ride."

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