As expected, Yamaha has introduced its new Tenere 700 Rally Edition adventure bike, with a long list of upgrades over the stock model—but no major boost in performance.

Yamaha’s digging wayyyyy back in its history with this one, giving the Tenere 700 Rally Edition a block-style paint job, just like the machines Jean-Claude Olivier and Serge Bacou used in the 1983 and 1984 Dakar rallies. Looks good an all, but chrome don’t get ya home, figuratively speaking, so what’s Yamaha done to improve performance? It is a Rally Edition bike, so surely this is faster than a stock machine?

Errrrr, probably not. Yamaha makes no mention of engine upgrades—unsurprising, because that would make things more expensive and require more work with the emissions regulators. The Rally Edition has an Ackrapovic muffler, but that’s unlikely to add a whole lot of horsepower, although it likely cuts weight and sounds more powerful. Upgraded suspension would have been great, but again, this would have made the bike more expensive to produce, and Yamaha wants to keep its manufacturing cost down.

Although the running gear and powerplant aren’t changed, Yamaha did add some useful accessories. There’s an aluminum skid plate and radiator guard, both very wise additions for a bike that’s intended to ride offroad. Yamaha also bolted on a fancy laser-cut chain guard, some rubber knee pads on the gas tank, some offroad-style handgrips, a taller seat and some LED signals and headlight.

These upgrades might not make the bike any faster, but they’re mostly very useful stuff, particularly the skid plate and radiator guard.

So far, the Tenere 700 Rally Edition has been announced in Europe, with no arrival date or MSRP for the US and Canada. It’ll show up in North America, no doubt, but expect to wait a little longer, as we are getting Japanese-production bikes, not Euro-built bikes.

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