Yamaha Tenere 700 test


Backpacker at heart

Twin-cylinder CP2 of 689 cm3, 74 hp and 68 Nm, 204 kg full made, 9,699 euros

Stopped at the end of 2016 due to Euro 4 standards, the Yamaha XT660Z Tenere left a void in the trail range of the Japanese manufacturer. Void in which competitors have positioned themselves, particularly in the mid-size “Adventure” trail market segment which has seen renewed interest in recent years with an increase of 35% in 2014 to 45% in 2018 against Adventure maxitrails which currently share the largest part of this segment. It was becoming urgent for Yamaha to react by giving a nice follow-up to the long history of the Tenere. A story that begins with the very first Tenere in 1983.

This was then based on the XT 600, but fitted with a large 30-liter tank and an additional oil cooler to support the traditional air cooling. A motorcycle synonymous with escape and adventure, which has inspired generations of backpackers against the backdrop of the image of African rallies such as Abidjan-Nice and of course Paris-Dakar and its legendary pilots: Cyril Neveu, Jean -Claude Olivier, Serge Bacou, Stephane Peterhansel, etc.

At the end of a rather long teasing, started with the presentation at the 2016 motorcycle shows of the T7 prototype with in-line twin engine CP2, followed in 2018 by the World Raid prototype tested around the world by renowned Yamaha riders such as Stephane Peterhansel, Adrien Van Beveren, Rodney Fagotter, Alessandro Botturi, David Fretigne and many others here is finally the vintage 2019 production model. Model that we were able to test in Spain around Tortosa, in the company of Yamaha rally-raiding pilots Xavier de Soultrait and Adrien Van Beveren, who honored us with their presence during this presentation.

Test of the Yamaha Tenere 700Test of the Yamaha Tenere 700


By discovering the new Tenere 700, we realize the work done by the brand and its research and development center YMRE (Yamaha Motor R&D Europe) based in Italy and specially dedicated to the development of products for the European market. This new Tenere designed by Europeans will however be manufactured at two production sites, the Yamaha plant in Saint-Quentin in France for Europe and a plant in Japan for other markets..

It is in Saint-Quentin that the new Tenere is producedIt is in Saint-Quentin that the new Tenere is produced

The original idea for this bike was to go back to the essence of trail running, with a simple and robust bike, designed to be just as efficient and capable on the road as it is off-road. And what could be better than starting from a small engine that has already proven its worth? In other words, the engine of the MT-07.

Yamaha wants here to return to the essence of trailYamaha wants here to return to the essence of trail

Starting from the CP2 engine base, already used by the brand on the MT-07, XSR 700 and Tracer 700 models, Yamaha engineers designed an all-new double-cradle tubular steel frame to accommodate this relatively tall engine. The result is rather convincing, with a Diamant frame weighing only 17.75 kg with a triangular rear loop that can accommodate a heavy load and whose lower tubes have the particularity of being removable. A sturdy frame, which makes it possible to integrate the CP2 unit while preserving a center of gravity as low as possible and a satisfactory ground clearance for the off-road (240 mm). This CP2 engine has nevertheless undergone some adaptations, with an adapted injection, a revised cooling system, a new airbox, a new exhaust silencer and a shortened final transmission ratio (46/15).

At the heart of the trail, we find the twin-cylinder CP2At the heart of the trail, we find the twin-cylinder CP2

On the hardware side, the designers of the Tenere 700 were pleased with a beautiful fully adjustable KYB inverted fork of 43 mm and a mono-shock absorber with separate cylinder with offset preload adjustment on the right side. Braking is handled by a 282mm twin disc with Brembo 2-piston calipers for the front and a 245mm disc with single-piston caliper at the rear, both assisted by disconnectable ABS for off-road use. The 21 and 18-inch wheels are of course fitted with spoke alloy rims, shod with Pirelli scorpion Rally STR tires with a mixed profile. The rear swingarm is obviously aluminum to help reduce weight.

The Tenere is fitted with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tiresThe Tenere is fitted with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires

On the other hand, the size of the fuel tank has been reduced due to the height of the engine, with a capacity of 16 liters compared to 24 on the previous XT660Z Tenere. The front panel, for its part, benefits from a medium-sized (non-adjustable) bubble and a powerful four-light LED lighting system. The fully digital dashboard projects the driver directly into the world of Rally-raid with its road-book unwinder look. In short, this new Tenere throws a lot with its look very close to that very alluring of the T7 prototype and its opulent but not too imposing size. The Yamaha engineers finally managed to achieve a full weight of 204 kg and 187 kg dry, which we believe is well suited for the intended use..

The four LED lights give the bike a real identityThe four LED lights give the motorcycle a real identity

In the saddle

Taking a seat in the Tenere 700, it is clear that with a seat height of 880 mm, small riders will not have much advantage. With my 1m78 I’m just holding the bike upright on tiptoes or sticking out a buttock to one side to put one foot flat on the ground. Fortunately, there is an optional lowering kit with low saddle and shorter links for those who want them. From the outset, the riding position is good, with a saddle with the correct seat at first glance, designed to facilitate the movements of the rider in a standing position, a wide handlebars with variable section located at a good distance and rests. feet well positioned and at the right height.

With its 880 mm, the saddle is quite high accessWith its 880 mm, the saddle is quite high access

Some will find the handlebars a bit high when seated and will opt directly for the optional Rally saddle which, in addition to being better padded, is a little higher (44 mm), which puts the handlebars at a more satisfactory height. The knees fit naturally on either side of the tank and the bubble seems capable of providing adequate protection. In a standing position, this handlebar height does not interfere with it, however, the Tenere is of course designed to move off-road with its rider in this position. The grip of the motorcycle between the knees in this posture is good and the size of the footrests suitable for wearing off-road boots. You can of course quickly remove the rubbers from the footrests for more grip at this level.

The handlebars of the Yamaha Tenere 700The handlebars of the Yamaha Tenere 700


Engine running, the Tenere 700 delivers a very discreet exhaust sound, a little less but still reasonable with the optional Akrapovic silencer. Levers and controls are easy to reach, with an adjustable front brake lever and easy-to-operate knobs. On the right hand, one of these buttons is designed to vary the display of the multifunction dashboard without having to use those arranged on the dial. The ABS deactivation button, on the other hand, is located at the bottom right of this dial and can only be used when stopped. It only takes a few seconds to validate this choice, but ABS is automatically reactivated if the ignition is switched off during a stop. A shot to take ….

Controls and levers fall naturally into the handsControls and levers fall naturally into the hands

The on-board instrumentation of course includes tachometer, tachometer and gear indicator engaged, as well as an odometer, two trips, a fuel gauge, a remaining range indicator, exterior temperature and cooling indicators, as well as than a clock. It is designed to remain readable in all weather conditions, whether sitting or standing. A small aluminum bar overhangs this rather compact dial to allow the user to attach their own accessories such as a GPS. A 12V socket is naturally arranged near the left side to power these accessories and a location is provided to accommodate a second optional 12V socket if necessary..

Instrumentation is readable at all timesInstrumentation is readable at all times

In the city

First engaged, the Tenere takes off smoothly on a trickle of gas. The wide handlebars provide good control over the front end and the bike sits naturally on the angle, without the over-keenness or reluctance of the 21-inch large wheel. Very quickly, we appreciate the homogeneity of the chassis and the good stability in line. The reports are linked together with precision and the CP2 unit displays great flexibility at low and medium speeds, even accepting to cruiser in sixth from 2000 rpm. The gearbox spread is perfectly compatible with this city use, especially as the shortened gear ratio provides a boost of punch when this engine is called upon in intermediate revs. The turning capacity is not exceptional for making an impromptu U-turn, but the Tenere still does well in the urban game thanks to its consistent mid-size..

Truly versatile, the Tenere is perfectly compatible with urban useTruly versatile, the Tenere is perfectly compatible with urban use


Capable of reaching a top speed of over 200 km / h, the Tenere 700 is perfectly at ease on expressways and highways. The stability at high speed is very good despite the mixed profile of the tires and there are no really annoying side reactions. The screen offers good protection in width and height, but taller ones will still have to retract slightly behind it to reduce helmet turbulence, especially those with a visor offering greater wind resistance. On the other hand, we perceive vibrations that are potentially numbing for the hand at the right grip, especially when driving at a steady speed..

Mixed tires do not interfere with high speed stabilityMixed tires do not interfere with high speed stability

On the road

Really fun to drive, the Tenere 700 is literally designed to cut the road. On his handlebars, the rider enjoys a natural riding position and very suitable basic protection with hand guards and a good size screen. Too bad it doesn’t have a slightly better padded original saddle. Angle-taking is effortless thanks to the wide handlebars, which offer good leverage for quickly switching from angle to angle in quick sequences. In the dry, the original Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR’s grip is surprisingly good on angle given their mixed profile. After a short period of introspection, our small group naturally adopts a more sustained pace, climbing along small roads towards the Catalan reliefs where the photo / video team awaits us. A real pleasure. The Tenere spins with ease on this playing field, ignoring the imperfections of the often degraded coating. The fork dive under braking is of course greater than with any other type of bike given the 210mm front travel of this trail. However, the hydraulics of this KYB fork perfectly manage this constraint and ultimately do little to interfere with heading. The same goes for the rear shock absorber on connecting rods (200 mm of travel), which absorbs shocks well and does not end up stopping at the slightest annoyance. A light pressure on the brake pedal is enough to seat the motorcycle to slow down the whole and to negotiate a turn that is approached too quickly..

Pirelli tires are also very comfortable on small roads.Pirelli compounds are also very comfortable on small roads.

Very progressive and easy to dose with the accelerator, the twin-cylinder CP2 demonstrates great efficiency in this context. Always available, it responds instantly to the pilot’s requests on the accelerator and delivers ample power to satisfy a slightly sporty ride if desired, although this is not the vocation of the Tenere, anyway? In the end, you don’t need a sophisticated traction control system or advanced electronics to cut the road and have fun. The progressiveness of the CP2 under acceleration and the fine dosage of the accelerator are such that one cannot imagine the rear wheel skidding under acceleration. Except maybe in the wet. Well not even, because we were able to enjoy a nice downpour during this test, which reassured us on this point and also on the good handling of the Pirelli scorpion Rally STR on wet roads..

The twin cylinder always responds when called uponThe twin cylinder always responds when called upon

All Terrain

Developed with pronounced off-road pretensions, the Yamaha Tenere 700 obviously cuts a fine figure in this context. A little push on the button to disconnect the ABS before setting off on a track and it’s fun guaranteed with a healthy and balanced bike, perfectly at ease on this type of terrain. Even left with their original settings, the suspensions do a remarkable job of effectively absorbing shocks from stones, crevices and other small obstacles along the course. The shock works in perfect harmony with the front, but reacts sharper to shocks. This is partly our fault, because we should have asked our opener to lower the tire pressure in this off-road context in order to better absorb the stresses and improve traction when we open the throttle wide. or that we move in more slippery areas. At the risk of course of puncturing a tire more easily, which at the level of a group would quickly become problematic.

ABS disconnects with a simple buttonABS disconnects with a simple button

As a result, the Tenere seemed a bit more bouncy and supple to us than it should have been with tire pressures and suspension settings more suited to the chosen playing field. This obviously did not prevent the testers present from having a great time on these rolling tracks, embellished with a few slower and more technical passages..

Reducing the tire pressure and adjusting the suspensions results in better off-road behaviorReducing the tire pressure and adjusting the suspensions results in better off-road behavior

Always healthy and considerate, the Tenere 700 is particularly playful and efficient if you know how to run it well. Bust forward, the pilot takes full advantage of his ability to withstand major constraints without immediately going into fault. Launched on the slopes of 5 or 6 depending on the visibility, it traces its course with great precision, accepting without being asked beautiful drifts from the rear on a curve and small jumps controlled at the slightest bump. The Tenere 700 takes off cleanly and takes advantage of its well-balanced front / rear distribution (48% front; 52% rear) so as not to nose down on landing. The 27-degree caster angle offers a good balance between stability and liveliness, both off-road and on the road. Although too inflated, the tires provide sufficient grip to play with the throttle a little without going wrong..

The Tenere 700 is playful and efficientThe Tenere 700 is playful and efficient

On the engine side, the flexibility of the clutch and the linearity of the CP2 twin make the Tenere 700 easy to control. With it, there is no risk of an unexpected power surge during the go-around. The metering is precise and the delivery of power very linear, without being devoid of punch if the accelerator is used more frankly. Past 5000/6000 rpm, the Yamaha twin-cylinder responds with good vigor and propels the Tenere 700 at high speed on the Catalan tracks. Very efficient, it even has an appreciable engine brake which often makes it possible to avoid braking when arriving in a more difficult area to cross. In the end, this CP2 unit is a far cry from a good old old-fashioned gromono, but it certainly has power and strengths that make it a very relevant choice to propel this new Tenere 700.

Also in off-road the CP2 remains easy to controlAlso in off-road the CP2 remains easy to control


On the road and on the tracks, the braking of the Tenere 700 seemed very satisfactory to us, with good power from the Brembo double front disc of 298 mm with two-piston calipers and a significant boost from the rear disc with single-piston caliper. The fork dive is obviously more important on this trail with large travel than on a roadster with shorter travel, but this remains largely reasonable given the quality of the fork, adjustable in preload, rebound and compression. Perfectly transparent and low-intervention on the road, ABS only really kicks in when necessary. Pressing the dedicated button on the dashboard allows it to be quickly deactivated before entering a track or paths. Even if we forget to do so, its operation remains consistent and in line with the grip of the tire assembly used. Avoid, however, on steep stony descents !

On the road or on the track, Brembo calipers do the jobOn the road or on the track, Brembo calipers do the job

Comfort / duo

Sufficiently comfortable at first glance, the Tenere saddle can end up being firm in use on long journeys, hence the benefit of choosing a Rally saddle if you plan to travel the long haul. The space dedicated to the passenger is sufficient, with the footrests not too high and the possibility of maintaining oneself thanks to the "handles" placed on either side of the rear buckle. On the other hand, the seat is just as firm in use as that of the pilot with the original saddle.

The saddle can be a bit firm on long journeysThe saddle can be a bit firm on long journeys


The Tenere 700 is packed with practicalities, starting with large hand guards and a height-adjustable front fender paired with fork tube guards. It has of course an aluminum engine guard, forged aluminum footrest plates as well as aluminum footrests with removable rubbers. Elements obviously foldable in the event of a fall, like the brake pedal and the gear selector. Lashing lugs are provided on both sides of the saddle to carry a bag, as well as "handles" for gripping the motorcycle if necessary. The fuel tank cap, on the other hand, is not hinged, but locks. We also regret that the chain guide and chain protection are not integrated as standard. On the other hand, a side stand switch is present and well positioned to be protected from shocks. The manufacturer also promises long maintenance intervals, for example with a valve clearance check at 40,000 km.

The front mudguard is adjustable in heightThe front mudguard is adjustable in height


With a range of 350 km announced by the manufacturer, the average consumption of the Tenere should be around 4.57 l / 100 km. However, at the end of our first day of testing, or nearly 350 km with a pump run, the on-board computer indicated an average consumption of 5.8 l / 100 km. It is true that we did not skimp on the way and that the long, rolling off-road sections lead to higher fuel consumption. So let’s say to compromise that the effective average consumption is certainly closer to 5.2 l / 100 km, or an effective range of around 307 km in moderate mixed use. Note that the Tenere 700’s injection system is designed to accept petrol richer in ethanol (up to 10%), a real plus in some countries.

The 16-liter tank provides 300 km of autonomyThe 16-liter tank provides 300 km of autonomy

Video test


After some 500 km of testing on and off-road, we have to admit that this new Yamaha Tenere 700 fits easily in the tradition of its famous predecessors. With it, it is obvious that one can set off with confidence for a substantial road trip on the road and tracks all over the world. On the other hand, its final selling price increases quite a bit compared to that of the previous XT660Z Tenere (€ 7999), but the endowment is still significantly better in terms of suspensions and fittings, as well as in terms of power and modern engine. . Sold € 9,699 without pre-booking (€ 9,299 if it is pre-ordered on the Internet before midnight July 31, for delivery from July 15), the Tenere 700 will normally arrive in dealerships at the beginning of September. It will obviously be available in A2 version limited to 35 kW for young permits.

The Yamaha Tenere 700 presents itself as a true versatile trailThe Yamaha Tenere 700 presents itself as a true versatile trail

Strong points

  • Proven versatility
  • Engine approval and flexibility
  • Satisfactory power
  • Suspension quality
  • Look and proportions

Weak points

  • Some vibrations at the handle
  • ABS return at each stop
  • Saddle comfort on long journeys

The technical sheet of the Yamaha Tenere 700

Test conditions

  • Itinerary: 500 km of roads and rolling tracks in Spain from Tortosa, with crossings of towns and villages, as well as portions of small mountain roads.
  • Motorcycle mileage: 1146 km on the odometer at the start
  • Problem encountered: RAS

The video test of the Yamaha Tenere 700

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16 thoughts on “Yamaha Tenere 700 test

  1. It makes me think – by its cubic capacity and its close power – at the fire the CBF1000, less protection.

    Maybe if the "T" version like "touring" is one day produced and imported, that could make a good little GT, for a price much lower than road trails..

  2. @waboo: at least that proves that I read the essays well…

    Nothing serious in all that, it was mostly in the form of a wink …

  3. It might work if motorcycle schools take it because even the updated SV is out of breath. It is more expensive and heavier than the MT07 and CB500 but it is more rewarding and seems kneaded in quality. Starting out on the bike with a 1000 seems trendy. To see, but for Suzuki it was time to come up with something.

  4. Beginners want motorcycles of 500 and up. The smallest engines do not stay in the catalog for long, I have the impression

  5. A nice mistake from Suzuki in my opinion !

    Apart from males lacking insurance who will buy this in A2? Take out a GSXR 999cm2 in A2;)

    The insurer will look at the engine capacity and put a nice slice of bread on the bill !

    A beginner should not start with a displacement less than 800cm2 ?

    It’s sad for Suzuki who apart from the VStorm is no longer in the game …

  6. Still not grasped this myth "big displacement = more perf". If this was the case, MotoGP would be custom.

  7. I will only talk about the look: I can’t take any more of these "headlights" which do not make think of a foreskin cut with a rose pruner

  8. Bad point for the Factory motorcycle dealership in Bordeaux.

    I’m going to see the gsx-s with my checkbook on Saturday morning.

    Cool, there’s a tent outside with the bike underneath. I turn around a good 10 minutes, the time to see that ultimately it is not very well finished this wheel. Okay, we’ll see inside !

    3 different versions of the motorcycle at the entrance. I am still turning around, I am looking for a seller. It’s chatting in the coffee machine or strumming on the computers. It’s really bad fuck this triple tree like.

    I go to the accessories department for a brake lever for my old gex. I ask the seller for the gsx-s. He’s not the one who manages … He doesn’t even ask one of his colleagues to see me.

    30 minutes to zone, I leave.

    I do 50 meters, I go back to Triumph. Great welcome. Absolutely superb new street triple RS. 15 minutes of discussions, I sign the reservation check. delivery in 4 weeks.

    I never set foot again at Suz ‘in Bordeaux and that’s fine!

  9. Oh yes, by the way, the brake lever that the guy sold me at Suz ‘is 3 centimeters too long … Well, I’m going to order the correct one on the net!

  10. Plastics are ugly

    False chrome is ugly too

    But hey, this parody of Mylène F. does not detract from the beauty and aesthetics of this Suz ‘

  11. Aaah, that suzuki! She would have deserved to reach the 80s.

    In its faults, do not forget the shock absorbers. With a little better designed handsets and a bit longer, this bike would have become formidable.

    I hesitated between this and a 1000 CBX. Finally, I chose the 4 stroke.

    But a 750 GT in suzuki blue color, it throws badly!

  12. What fake chrome ?

    I have a GT 500 from the same era, there is only real chrome. Well not the quality of HD chrome, but not fake.

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