Back at the start of 2016 Yamaha teased the first pictures of a bike the called the “T7 concept”. The pictures represented a purebred slender dual sport motorcycle with a slender Dakar racer finish and touches of carbon fibre.
Of course the internet went crazy in part to the success of the original Dakar racing Tenere’s of old and a gap in the production of a proper off road travel motorcycle in Yamahas line up. Yamaha produced the XT660Z Tenere up to 2016 but those bikes are often described as underpowered and a little over weight to be true hard core dual sports.
At the same time Honda had just released it’s long anticipated return to the dual sport market with the Africa Twin CRF1000L. Much hype was made after the presentation of the CRF1000 prototype at EICMA in 2014 but the production Africa Twin didn’t live up to the hype but then also kind of did. Essentially the bike was far too heavy and underpowered to be a real dual sport contender. However in reality it appears that Honda only designed the bike to look that way but it’s real market was as a sturdy long distance road tourer and to be fair they have garnered much respect in this role. The extra weight is not felt on the road and the strong and robust structure can carry a pillion and lots of luggage comfortably for thousands of miles.
The same fears arose for the T7 as was found by the off roading fraternity for the Africa Twin. The T7 concept was sleek and modern with proper mx inspired wheels and tons of lightweight carbon fibre. Would these features appear in the road going bike? Or would this all be replaced with cheap plastic and excessive weight? There also came the problem that Yamaha appeared to not be able to secure a release date and the T7 appeared to be delayed and delayed. Magazines began joking that the bike would never be released and Yamaha could not do much to dissuade them. Finally the bike was released in July 2019 in Europe and customers could finally get their hands on them. The question is did the Tenere 700 keep the purity of the T7 concept or become a bloated road tourer?
Initially the 72 horsepower produced from the 689cc parallel twin engine does not sound mind blowing in comparison to other mid weight adventure bikes available from other manufacturers. However the road going weight of 204kg is lighter than any other mid sized adventure bike and Yamaha have ensured a rear focused weight balance of 48/52 to ensure that for off road riding the front end will lift easily to clear obstacles and ensure a balanced jumping platform. Undoubtedly this has not been much considered in the competing BMW F850GS for sure.
With many magazines praising the new Tenere 700 for it’s agile off road handling and corner gripping road feel It appears that although Yamaha have lost the fancy carbon and anodized aluminium of the T7 concept the lightweight and offroad based power has remained in the production version.
Both armed with great camera skills they have both tested both the Tenere 700 and our Ultimateaddons smartphone setups for dual sport adventures. They both choose to use our 8-16mm mirror attachment and mount it the Teneres windscreen cross bar which gives an excellent view of the phone screen in landscape mode without interfering with the clocks.
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