Yamaha Tenere 700 Review: Back to Basics Adventure Motorcycle

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The middleweight adventure market has attracted a lot of attention lately. Motorcycle manufacturers are racing to occupy this highly profitable segment. And new Tenere 700 is Yamaha’s answer for bikers’ desires for an affordable middleweight adventure motorcycle.

This is a Yamaha Tenere 700 review featuring a brief overview of specs, competitors, accessories and pricing.

Yamaha Tenere 700

Source: Yamaha-motor.eu

Yamaha Tenere 700 Specs

As with any non-flagship motorcycle, a manufacturer just can not afford to put all the best available parts on it. Instead, each company tries to find the best combination of suspension, engine, brakes, wheels, and electronics to create a motorcycle that is somehow more than a sum of its parts. And all of this without breaking the bank.

The same is true for the 2020 Yamaha Tenere 700. It does not have the best suspension, electronics include only ABS and the dashboard is so utilitarian that it looks like it is from the previous century. Yet Yamaha managed to put all these components together in a way that creates a unique synergy resulting in a simple, reliable and light adventure bike. 

The engine is a 689cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, 4-valve, DOHC, 2-Cylinder parallel-twin outputting 74 horsepower at 9000rpm and 68 Nm of torque at 6500rpm. The suspension has 210 mm of travel at the front and 200mm in the rear. Also, Yamaha has equipped Tenere 700 with a 90/90-21 wheel in front and 150/70-18 in the rear, exactly the same wheel combination as Arica Twin CRF1000.  

With 240mm ground clearance and a wet weight of 204kg (with full 16 litres of fuel in the tank) Tenere 700, at least on paper, should be a very capable offroad bike. Learn more about Yamaha Tenere 700 specs.

Yamaha Tenere 700 Competitors

Main competitors include KTM 790 Adventure and BMW F850GS. Yamaha is the most affordable of the trio at an MSRP $9999, however, it is also the least equipped with electronic gizmos. Here are some features that are present on KTM 790 Adventure and F850GS that are absent on Yamaha:

  1. Cruise control (F850GS, KTM790A)
  2. Traction control (F850GS, KTM790)
  3. Electronically adjustable suspension (F850GS)
  4. Ride modes (F850GS, KTM790A)
  5. TFT dashboard (F850GS, KTM790A)
  6. Ride-by-wire throttle (F850GS, KTM790A)

Read detailed reviews about BMW F850GS and KTM 790 Adventure before making the final decision in favour of the Tenere 700. Chances are you will find a lot of useful features that might be well worth the price difference.

Yamaha Tenere 700 Accessories

Yamaha offers a lot of useful accessories that include: 

  • Aluminium Side Panniers with Pannier mounting rack: the combined capacity of 72L
  • Center Stand
  • Bigger Skid Plate: 33% thicker and covers a larger area than a standard skid plate
  • Engine Guard: engine and fairing protection
  • Heated grips
  • Radiator protector

Original Yamaha accessories are priced similarly to Givi or SW Motech accessories and are of similar quality.  Throwing all of the options onto your bike will increase its weight by another 20-30 kg as well as set you back another $2000. With each next dollar thrown into Tenere, it makes less and less sense. It would be nice to see some of the accessories including heated grips and crash bars and centre stand in the stock configuration for the current price. 

Yamaha Tenere 700 explorer pack

Image Source: Yamaha-motor.eu

Should You Buy YAMAHA Tenere 700?

Tenere 700 has a simple motorcycle appeal. It takes part in nowadays popular back-to-basics trend in the adventure motorcycle segment. Yet pricing is not basic. 

Because Yamaha decided to price it at $10k, you get less for your money with Tenere 700 than with BMW or KTM. Ride-by-wire throttle, cruise control and Traction control are useful electronics that make riding safer and more comfortable. 

These electronics are not cheap and nine times out of ten they are worth an additional 3 thousand US dollars. Especially taking into account that BMW and KTM have better suspension, more power and riding modes. Yamaha Tenere 700 is a great bike, however, back to basics should compensate through being more affordable, and with a $10k price tag Tenere 700 is overpriced.

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