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Why a thumping Yamaha single should have a place in your garage...

Published: 17 December 2017

Bikes for sale

When any motorcycle gets discontinued as a new model is released, it’s always interesting to see what happens to the residuals. Sometimes the things weren’t that much cop in the first place, so nobody notices and the world moves on. But sometimes you can be surprised.

Yamaha are looking likely to replace the 660 Ténéré series (which left Yamaha’s UK range
at the end of 2015) with the twin-cylinder T7 concept. I’m sure the new machine will be faster, lighter, torquier, better-handling, comfier and any other Ténéré you can think of, but the little Ténéré has always been a single and – as far as I’m concerned at least – it ought to stay that way.  

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It’s a cult bike and there are three main models to look out for. The first is the original air-cooled 600 – achingly cool, beloved of desert racers and Frenchmen (often one and the same thing).  

The second is the five-valve water-cooled version and the final edition is the present four-valve model. You wouldn’t believe how many people I know, experienced riders all, who own or have owned a modern Ténéré. I’ve got one!

Old air-cooled Tens are now selling for £2000 and upwards – £2500 for a minter. The five-valve models are £1200-£1500, but they’re a bit plasticky for some.  

The present Ten may be a bit big and heavy, but it’s a deadly serious tool and will do almost anything. Prices for a decent used one start at around £2700 and I think they’ll dip when the new twin goes on sale. 

Give it time though; it’s the swansong of the Yamaha thumper, and I’m sure that people will be hunting them out. Worth a punt.

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