Over the past three years, few motorcycles have been as heavily hyped as the Yamaha Tenere 700. Now, RyanF9 is here to tell us: Is the bike worthy of all the noise?
Originally revealed as the T7 concept bike, the middleweight ADV debuted in prototype form at the 2017 EICMA motorcycle show, then went on a much-publicized world tour. In the months since, we’ve heard two very different messages about this bike: Some people are looking at the machine as the next great affordable middleweight ADV, saying they can’t wait. Others are looking at the spec sheet, and the price tag, and the looooooooong delivery time (Europe got their models in 2019, North America had to wait until 2020), and they’re complaining.
Now that the bike is actually in North America, some journos are finally getting out and testing the thing. Here’s Ryan F9’s take on the Tenere 700, in one of his slick video essays for the FortNine YouTube channel. What does Ryan think of the bike? He says he’s ready to sell his BMW GS, and buy one.
RyanF9 starts by pointing out the bike’s production delays, and that the Honda Africa Twin has more ground clearance. The Tenere 700 weighs almost as much as a Triumph Tiger 900, and once you accessorize it, it’s almost as expensive as a KTM 790 Adventure.
“Is the T7 really so special?” he asks. Once the kickstand is up, he seems to think so. Ryan’s already a big fan of the 689cc parallel twin engine, the same 72-horsepower unit as used in the FZ-07 naked bike and other Yamahas. Ryan’s also madly in love with the Tenere 700’s riding geometry, with the countershaft sprocket mounted high to fight rear-end squat. The result? Ryan says the leveled-out ride with a planted front end reminds him of a Dakar race bike, not a bloated, larger ADV bike.
There are some drawbacks with the chassis design—excessive chain slap on the street, and Yamaha’s using weaker suspension springs in conjunction with the anti-squat design. That can mean a rough landing after you take the bike airborne, as Ryan shows.
Still, he’s a convert. Although he never really refutes the negative points at the start of the video, it seems like the ride was enough to convert RyanF9 to the Tenere 700 fan club. He says he’s more confident on this bike than another adventure machine, except for maybe the KTM 790 Adventure. Over the next few months, it will be most interesting to see if the bike-buying public agrees.