A story of two Ténérés | 700 Ténéré Check Experience

Mossy takes a take a look at two variations of Yamaha’s well-liked trailie twin.

Phrase: Chris Moss
Images: Gary Chapman

Unsurprisingly, we didn’t see too many bikes that day. As it’s possible you’ll inform from the images, we had been driving a little bit outdoors the perfect biking season, in late January to be exact. However though temperatures had been very low, and the bottom not at its grippiest, our little day’s journey each on- and off-road across the Wiltshire countryside introduced many a smile, and loads of total contentment

If I’m trustworthy, that is my favorite form of biking today. I really like mixing a little bit of street and path, and particularly benefit from the reality you’ll be able to journey nearly all-year spherical. I additionally had a vested curiosity in a few different points. The primary one being to find simply how effectively Yamaha’s normal model of its Ténéré 700 in contrast with its increased spec and extra expensive sibling, the Ténéré 700 World Raid. I’d been to the overseas press launches of each bikes, held in a lot hotter climes in a few totally different components of Spain, completely having fun with each events. After that, I acquired to cowl a good few miles on every within the UK, and although I can see the a number of deserves of every machine, it was going to be fascinating to see if every of us may decide a ‘winner’ from this back-to-back check.

Getting a second opinion

“It’s this flip, proper? Are you positive? I don’t need us getting misplaced. Once more…”

Becoming a member of me was Morton’s advert man Charlie Oakman. With solely restricted expertise off-road, his opinions had been going to be one other fascinating discovery. He’s solely beforehand ridden a lot lighter and extra centered enduro bikes. And although he’d very keenly accepted the invitation to attempt a little bit of native inexperienced laning, I used to be eager to understand how he’d fare on these comparatively greater and weightier bikes. The examine would have additional curiosity as a result of he was bringing alongside the usual T7, a motorcycle he’s been utilizing as a long-term check bike.

Reminiscences had been rekindled as quickly as I attempted to get on the World Raid at Yamaha’s HQ in Woking. Simply as I had a 12 months beforehand outdoors the lodge in Spain after I tried to mount it for the very first time on the press launch, I actually needed to psych myself up a bit due to the bike’s very lofty 890mm seat peak. It’s an necessary factor to remember in the event you’re a bit brief within the leg like me, and the difficulty would go some method to affect which of the 2 Ténérés I’d plump for if I used to be spending my very own cash. As soon as underway I remained conscious of needing to have a plan every time I appeared like I wanted to return to a halt. Kerbs have by no means appeared fairly as related and useful! Fortunately it bothered me much less and fewer as time and miles glided by, particularly as I’ve confronted and managed this mini dilemma on a number of very tall enduro and journey bikes I’ve ridden over time.

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What an ideal engine

Different extra beneficial recollections returned through the journey dwelling. I actually do just like the Yamaha’s parallel twin-cylinder engine. Because of its configuration and uneven firing order, delivered by its 270° crossplane crank design, drive is delivered in a direct however predictable, very controllable trend. It’d solely make a modest peak of simply 72bhp, but it surely’s a really usable motor that’s nice enjoyable, too. Immediate throttle response is all the time accessible everytime you twist the grip, however the response is rarely intimidating. It’s only a beautiful engine, and certainly one of my favourites.

I solely had round 70 miles to cowl, however with a full tank there’d be no must cease for round one other 200 because of the extremely helpful 23-litre twin tank association.

Just like the seat peak, the tank’s measurement and weight it provides when crammed is one other characteristic that may have an effect on decision-making in relation to selecting which Ténéré you fancy having essentially the most.

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The World Raid is an entire 15 kilos heavier than the bottom mannequin, however personally I really like the considerably longer gasoline vary it offers, to not point out the additional wind safety it affords your legs.

There’s no doubting its measurement gives the look it’s the a lot bigger and heavier model of the 2 bikes. Although it must be added the place of the dual tanks is such that the centre of gravity of the 2 T7s is similar.

Simply as I’d remembered it

By the point I arrived dwelling, the Yamaha had ticked all of the containers it had on the earlier events I’d ridden it. I’d loved the consolation it supplied, with the 15mm taller display screen preserving the worst of the wind off, and the seat supported me simply in addition to it had throughout two earlier three-hour, continuous runs I’d created from Manchester as much as the Lake District and again final 12 months. Additionally differing majorly from the usual bike and one other characteristic very a lot price praising is the World Raid’s suspension. Longer by 20mm, it’s one of many causes the seat peak is so tall and floor clearance larger. Its stiffer springing and various damping association offers spectacular journey high quality, dealing with the growing variety of potholes and different types of degradation our roads appear to undergo from remarkably effectively.  It will draw much more reward later.

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With my bike’s 5-inch TFT sprint’s ambient temperature offering proof of the very chilly begin to the day, I set off to satisfy Charlie and the beautiful Will who’d supplied to assist level us in the precise path and clear up any issues we’d have. We’d initially aimed to go and journey round Salisbury Plain however stayed away due to the prospect of an excessive amount of ice. I used to be actually eager for Charlie to take pleasure in this outing, as I needed him to change into a fan of off-roading and never find yourself having such a troublesome day, he’d by no means wish to repeat it.

Don’t know in the event you observed

Now the sharper-eyed MSL readers amongst you’ll have observed that Mr Oakman has modified his bike a little bit, including a sprinkling of extras, a few of which (just like the beefy sump guard) deliver it nearer to the spec of the World Raid. After some dialogue we felt these mods really performed into the fingers of this check, because the equipment are fairly typical of stuff Ténéré house owners would think about becoming – one other issue we’re going to think about on this check. In addition to, Charlie identified Yamaha had fitted a few of them, and likewise made it fairly clear they weren’t going to be eliminated!

A run on his bike immediately highlighted some key variations. For starters, I may get on it extra simply. Although it must be stated, though the seat of the usual Ténéré sits a big 15mm decrease, the slimmer nature of the World Raid’s saddle negates a few of that, and I nonetheless couldn’t get each ft flat on the ground. There’s a significantly slimmer really feel to the bottom mannequin although, in essentially the most half generated by the distinctly narrower gasoline tank. That reality alone offers you the thought the usual Ténéré’s loads lighter than the World Raid than the 16 kilos it really is. However any feeling of potential benefit which may deliver is offset by the inferior high quality of its suspension. Even earlier than we went off-road, the comparative crudity of the best way Charlie’s 700 rode the bumps was clear. It’s not particularly poor, however in comparison with the plushness of the World Raid, there’s a harshness and comparatively funds really feel to it. And I do know from driving it off-road, working over greater holes and drops can have the rear shock bottoming out. It merely doesn’t have the identical degree of management because the costlier arrange fitted to the WR.

Let’s head for the filth

With street photos accomplished, we headed for the paths. Given Charlie’s inexperience and that all-important intention to have day, I selected some fairly straightforward routes. Arduous-packed and with out too many difficult options like ruts, roots and gullies, each bikes dealt fairly simply with the terrain. I’ve spent a variety of time on a typical T7 in the summertime on this space and bar the occasional inadequacies of the suspension, the Yamaha often coped effectively. It’s a troublesome bike to paddle your method by way of trickier sections in the event you’re a shortie like me. However ridden with care, and simply as we’d executed on this event, all the time following a well-planned path to keep away from troublesome challenges, I’d all the time had fun. Thoughts you, I’ve additionally seen the Ténéré in a nasty gentle after I tried to do the Coast to Coast run from the North York moors to the Lake District loaded with far an excessive amount of baggage. Weighed down excessively, it proved unmanageable for me on a number of events, usually leading to me going to floor! Considerably lightened later, the Yam turned much more rideable and underlined simply how succesful it was.

Each Ténérés are true dual-purpose machines, capable of take you far and broad, on- and off-road. However to get one of the best from them, it’s necessary to make use of acceptable tyres and match the path to your capability. We had been just about doing simply that in Wiltshire and although additional care was wanted right here and there, notably over iced-over puddles, the day supplied sufficient of a problem to really feel rewarding, by no means getting powerful sufficient to spoil issues.

Feeling higher and higher

Charlie had admitted to being fairly nervous and apprehensive after we first left the street, however the manageability of the Yamahas had boosted his confidence and the extra time he spent within the saddle, the extra at dwelling he felt. We each agreed the best way the well-mannered engines made their energy actually helped with management, and even with none traction management system to behave as a security internet, every of the Ténérés remained agreeable sufficient to not really feel handicapped by the absence.

The World Raid has the benefit of having the ability to change off its rear ABS association, which is beneficial as intentionally locking the rear wheel will help steer the bike into corners off-road. However simply because it has each time I’ve ridden it, the system proved too irritating to trouble deciding on because the related switchgear is hard to make use of and may solely be engaged after you come to a halt. Simply as annoying, each time you both flip off the ignition or simply cease the engine utilizing the kill change (which may be fairly an everyday factor in the event you’re driving inexperienced lanes and assembly fellow customers), the ABS reverts to being operational on each wheels once more. In the event you do handle to isolate it on both simply the rear wheel, or each, there’s a helpful button to press on the sprint to immediately make it efficient once more while you return to the street. Nevertheless it actually may do with some enchancment. The usual Ténéré can solely run with its ABS both on or off on each wheels.

That might be dear

One other criticism, relevant to each bikes, is the design of their rear subframe. It’s welded on to the principle body, as is the exhaust hanger hooked up to that. I’ve seen a number of circumstances of the tip can folded in fairly significantly when the bike has fallen on its right-hand aspect. If the injury is simply too nice and both the hanger or the subframe can’t be repaired, then the bike may have a brand new body. And given falls are half and parcel of off-roading, it’s a problem that should be addressed. 

Fortunately for Charlie and I, we didn’t undergo such an consequence, staying onboard each bikes all day. I’d wish to assume the mixture of our abilities and the capabilities of the Ténérés was the explanation for the continued success. In actuality, whereas a few of that helped us have an ideal day’s adventuring, I’m additionally pleased to confess a little bit of luck performed its half, too!

No matter, day was positively had, proving with the precise form of preparation and planning, biking enjoyable can nonetheless be had through the a lot colder months.   


700 Ténéré (700 Ténéré World Raid)

PRICE: £10,110 (£11,810)
ENGINE: 689cc, liquid-cooled, 8v, DOHC, 270° parallel twin
MAXIMUM POWER: 72bhp (54Kw) @ 9000rpm
MAXIMUM TORQUE: 68Nm (50lb-ft) @ 6500rpm
TRANSMISSION: Six-speed, chain last drive
FRAME: Metal tubed double cradle
SUSPENSION: 43mm inverted forks, absolutely adjustable, 210mm journey (230mm journey) (F), rising-rate monoshock, absolutely adjustable, 200mm journey (210mm journey) (R)
BRAKES: Single 282mm discs, twin-piston ABS caliper (F), 245mm disc, single-piston ABS caliper (R)
TYRES: 90/90-21 (F), 150/70-18 (R)
SEAT HEIGHT: 875mm (890mm)
WET WEIGHT: 204kg (220kg)
FUEL CAPACITY: 16 litres (23 litres)
GROUND CLEARANCE: 240mm (255mm)
Guarantee: 2 years
Contact: www.yamaha-motor.co.uk

Rally Raid Merchandise

Not everybody will favour going for the World Raid, particularly anybody who’s already acquired a typical Ténéré 700. Because it’s developed a big following, a number of corporations promote aftermarket tools to enhance the usual T7. Northamptonshire agency Rally Raid Merchandise is one such firm promoting a variety of performance-enhancing tools like premium high quality suspension, reducing kits, baggage racks, bar risers, hand guards, taller screens and headlight protectors.

Contact: rallyraidproducts.co.uk 01933 666333

Yamaha Off Street Expertise

If you wish to attempt both Ténéré in essentially the most superb surroundings, the Wales-based Yamaha Off Street Expertise coaching centre runs Ténéré Expertise programs with a alternative of both the essential Ténéré 700, or World Raid mannequin.

Excursions on provide embody both one- or two-day excursions. All driving tools and tuition is supplied. The driving contains spectacular scenic street routes and off-road terrain to fit your capability on each public rights of method and personal routes. Costs vary from £285 to £500. Bike, gasoline, insurance coverage, lunch and refreshments are all included. Three- and four-day excursions are additionally on provide.

You’ll want to have a full bike licence and be over 5’6” tall.

Contact: yamaha-offroad-experience.co.uk


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