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Yamaha Unveils Ténéré 700: Lightweight, Dirt-Worthy Adventure Machine (with video)

After endless teasing, today at EICMA in Milan, Yamaha unveiled the production Ténéré 700, which employs a 689cc parallel-twin engine derived from the MT-07. The Ténéré 700 appears to be an adventure bike with genuine off-road capabilities.

A radical-looking headlight features four LEDs, while the spoked wheels are dirt-ready at 21″ in front and 18″ in the rear. The fuel tank is 4.2 gallons, offering a claimed 217 mile range.

Here is the full press release from Yamaha with several photos and a video:

Cypress, CA – November 5, 2018 – Yamaha Motor Europe (YME) today introduced the all-new Yamaha Ténéré 700 Adventure Touring motorcycle during an exclusive press conference in Milan, Italy, and Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. (YMUS) announced that this exciting all-new motorcycle would also be produced for the U.S. market. Production for the European model will take place in France, while production for the U.S. model will take place at Yamaha’s factory in Japan. Due to differing government regulatory standards and factory production line schedules, the all-new Ténéré 700 is scheduled to arrive at U.S. dealerships in the second half of 2020.

Yamaha U.S. also announced the return of the flagship Super Ténéré ES as the company’s 2019 Adventure Touring model. Arriving at dealerships beginning in November 2018, the 2019 Super Ténéré ES will be available in a Ceramic Ice color scheme for an MSRP of $16,199.

The Ténéré story: where it all began

The Ténéré can trace its roots back to the launch of the XT500 enduro-adventure bike in 1976. This versatile motorcycle became an instant success thanks to its single cylinder four-stroke engine with strong torque and a compact chassis. Its go-anywhere ability, rugged design, and outstanding reliability opened up a new world of adventure to many motorcycle riders. These same qualities made the XT500 the ideal choice for competitors in the very first Paris-Dakar Rally in 1977, demonstrated by Cyril Neveu’s victory on the bike.

The XT500 quickly established a reputation as the toughest desert rally bike, and it became the default model for adventure-seeking riders and rally racers alike. Today, the XT500 is considered one of the most significant and iconic motorcycles of the late 20th century, with active owners’ clubs throughout the world.

By the end of the 1970s, the XT500 had achieved legendary status among riders, and in 1983, Yamaha introduced the XT600Z that became the company’s first Adventure bike to carry the Ténéré name – a Tuareg word meaning ‘desert’ or ‘wilderness.’

The Ténéré line-up was constantly evolving and growing, and the end of the 1980s saw the introduction of the two-cylinder XTZ750 Super Ténéré, followed in the early 1990s by the single-cylinder XTZ660 Ténéré. During this period, Yamaha’s Ténéré motorcycles won many more Dakar Rally events, with Stéphane Peterhansel claiming six victories on his XTZ750-based Factory Yamaha race bike in the 1990s.

Ténéré 700 World Raid: Tested to the extreme

The first sign that Yamaha was developing a new Adventure Touring motorcycle came with the launch of the T7 concept in 2016. Displayed at motorcycle shows all over the world, it created immense interest and gave riders a taste of what was to come. In 2017 Yamaha introduced the Ténéré 700 World Raid prototype that was one step closer to the final production specification.

Since then, the Ténéré 700 World Raid prototype has undergone an intensive world tour in various key locations all over the globe. During this development phase, the bike was subjected to the most extreme testing in hostile terrain and severe climatic conditions.

Piloted by a team of professional riders including multi Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel and Official Yamalube Yamaha Rally Team riders Adrien van Beveren and Rodney Faggoter, the World Raid prototype was pushed to its limits across the globe, from Australia’s unforgiving outback to the brutal South American deserts.

While accounting for thousands of hours of testing on the development bikes, the Ténéré 700 World Raid program also showcased the design of the motorcycle to many hundreds of local riders who were invited to give Yamaha their valuable input and help shape the final production model.

All-new Ténéré 700: The lightweight, go-anywhere Adventure Touring motorcycle

With a spirit of adventure embedded within its DNA, every Yamaha Adventure Touring motorcycle is rugged, tough, and reliable. Each Ténéré model opens the possibilities of endless travel and enables riders to discover a feeling of untethered freedom. Thanks to Yamaha’s in-depth off road expertise, the all-new Ténéré 700 is a lightweight, no compromise Adventure Touring motorcycle with one of the highest specifications in its class, and one of the most exciting and significant new Adventure models to be launched in many years.

Equipped with the successful CP2 689cc parallel-twin engine and an entirely new chassis, the Ténéré 700 is designed to deliver class-leading handling and agility in the dirt – combined with high-speed long-distance performance on the road – making it an extremely capable and versatile motorcycle.

Ténéré 700 model overview

  • Rally-bred T7-inspired Adventure Touring design with pure Ténéré DNA
  • Light, compact, nimble
  • Outstanding off-road performance
  • Go-anywhere long-distance potential with an approximate average 217-mile fuel range
  • Powerful, smooth and economic high-torque engine
  • Switchable ABS option for off-road riding
  • Effective windscreen and hand guards for excellent weather protection
  • Modern long-travel suspension

689cc four-stroke CP2 engine with Adventure Touring settings

Yamaha has revolutionized the motorcycle world with the development of the crossplane concept engines that power a range of the company’s best-selling models, and the new Ténéré 700 is equipped with the highly respected 689cc parallel-twin engine.

The key characteristic of this compact CP2 engine is its strong and linear torque output that gives instant throttle response together with outstanding acceleration – attributes that make it a capable and versatile performer on and off the road. Producing maximum torque at 6,500 rpm, this engine provides the ideal balance of performance and controllability, and its excellent fuel economy contributes to the Ténéré 700’s ability to cover long distances between fuel stops.

To cater to the unique requirements of Adventure Touring riders, the final transmission ratio is optimized for both road and off-road operating conditions. Together with a range of model-specific fuel injection settings, these features contribute to the bike’s outstanding versatility and remarkable performance in different riding environments.

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  1. Harold Klassen says:

    I didn’t think they’d make us wait another 2 years, oh well time to move on. Maybe kawi will surprise with a new klr but I don’t want to get my hopes up.

  2. WSHart says:

    I think Yamaha should change it’s plans and release this as a 2025 model… in 2024.
    Then stupid people will then think its an early release. 😉

    Dirt bikes change every year or so but it takes how long for this thing to come to pass?

    Well, given the wheels and small tank and gestation period, I’ll pass too.

  3. Anonymous says:


  4. PatrickD says:

    I really like the looks and details, and the engine is well proven. Great throttle response and frugal too.
    And it’s coming to my country early 2019!! ha ha!

  5. todd says:

    I’d take this over a Transalp but then, oh wait, I can’t!

  6. Mick says:

    It sure is taking them a long time to finally develop bigger, uglier, and much heavier T7. I call it a miserable failure. Can the thing and go back to the T7.

  7. Auphliam says:

    I don’t understand how it takes these marques 4-5 years to develop what is essentially a big dirt bike, when they drop new street bikes nearly every year like nobody’s business. They’ve been teasing (well, first denying, then teasing) this thing for 2 years already, and it won’t be out for another 2? What gives?

    • ApriliaRST says:

      > it takes these marques 4-5 years to develop what is essentially a big dirt bike, when they drop new street bikes nearly every year

      This. New cruisers and bobbers every couple of months, ADVs though once a decade. Complete bs.

    • Dave says:

      I don’t think it takes that long. It is more likely that they didn’t think the market size was big enough to make it worthwhile. Even the FZ07 had to be somewhat of an “experiement” in the US market, since the decent Kawasaki ER6n had recently failed here. The US market is coming back slowly, but dealerships are still on somewhat shaky ground.

    • Pacer says:

      I think they were going to phone it in, then KTM showed their concept. I can hear the engineers at Yamaha talking to the top brass, “but we are growers not showers”!

  8. Wendy says:

    As everybody said, 2020 late in the year? By then KTM will have sucked up the whole market

  9. Ross says:

    Is Kawasaki sleeping? Here’s their opportunity for a new KLR. They got a ton of those parallel twins laying around…

  10. todd says:

    So if I start saving up $700 a month for the next two years I’ll be able to afford this bike!

    Oh wait, $16,199 is for the big over-sized model. Hopefully the 700 will be about half that. So $350 a month for the next two years…

  11. WSHart says:

    A 4.2 gallon tank. Really?

    Looks like tubes in them thar wheels. Really?

    Not out until, what…mid 2020? Reeeeeeeeally?

    I can’t think of any valid reason to wait around for this turd.

    Really. Stupid. Yamaha.

  12. Rc says:

    I realize beauty is in the eye…but that sh!t is ugly.

  13. wossamatta u says:

    after a dt 175e, an xt 550j, and two xt 600ea, I still haven’t spent 16 grand.

  14. ApriliaRST says:

    Ténéré 700 is scheduled to arrive at U.S. dealerships in the second half of 2020…


  15. Ralph says:

    Looks like it could be a really good bike with reasonable off-road ability, which is something the bigger, so-called, adventure bikes don’t have. The only disappointment so far is the low front fender which can be a big problem in sticky mud. But I guess that is necessary to allow air-flow to the centrally mounted radiator. Why not have two smaller radiators with a gap between them like on a dirt bike? Notice that the Moto Guzzi V85TT has a high fender, which they can do because it has no radiator.

  16. Jeremy in TX says:

    21/18 wheelset. Check!

    Decent fuel range. Check!

    Big suspension travel. Check!

    Good stuff. Except for that low fender.

    I can’t imagine a curb weight much less than 440 lbs for this bike, so this will likely fill a void between the more extreme KTM 690 and the land occupied by the bigger 790 and BMW F850’s. Probably a good spot to occupy.

    • Curly says:

      Full up wet weight spec is 452lbs (205kg)

      • Provologna says:

        Isn’t 452 lb wet pretty close to the new Moto Guzzi 850 Adventure bike, with shaft drive, tubeless tires, and a high front fender, and better looks? If yes, the 850 looks better and better.

        • Pacer says:

          But if you are going to ride out into the desert this will leave the Guzzi. This and the 790 Adventure are going to bring in a new era to Adventure bikes. Using paved roads to connect your Adventure. I am really contemplating a bike like this. I have a 3 bike rule, this could make that cut.

        • Auphliam says:

          From everything I’ve read, the new V85 TT is around 500lbs wet.

  17. CrazyJoe says:

    It looks like a Ducati Multistrada 1260 S bit off its beak.

  18. ben says:

    maybe the press release contains a misprint. could they have meant 2019? why would they bother to show a bike that wont be available for two years? it is ancient history before it even comes out

    • Bob K says:

      It’s like showing your hand in a poker game.

      And we’ve only been asking for this bike since the 660Z was introduced, and before. They took too long IMO and they didn’t really deliver anyway. While much more offroad capable than the Guzzi V85, I wouldn’t take this coast to coast fully loaded. I’m out.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      2 years from now in the US. This is a European show, so i may be released there a year earlier. Europe is a much bigger middleweight market as well. And one in the grip of Rally chic.

  19. RonH says:

    I have to echo the stupidity of such a late US availability. 2nd half of 2020? Really? Competitors will love that.

  20. blitz 11 says:

    Uh-oh. This and the Guzzi V85TT appear to have welded-on subframes. OOPs. This is not a good thing for an ADV bike. It will be interesting to see if the bolt-on subframe makes it to the production bike. I guess model year 2020 is really only ~12 months away, so I can ride the super tenere for another year before deciding to make the switch.

    • Provologna says:

      But “mid-2020” announced release is 1 year 7 months away.

      • blitz11 says:

        Point well taken. My daughter’s Duke 790 was originally not supposed to arrive until August 2019, and then we saw that they are beginning to arrive in November of 2018. Maybe i was just being optimistic, or this confirms i am not that bright.

  21. Duni F says:

    I saw 205kg wet on the French website. So 452 lbs. I think this has been overhyped to death and I wouldn’t wait another 2 years for it here in good old ‘merica. Shame. Next year looks like a new bike year for me and I was hoping this would be the one. That Scrambler 1200 XE looks better and better everyday.

  22. Davey boy says:


    Seriously ridiculous!

  23. Paul says:

    So what do they mean by lightweight? I want a number, I’ve been hearing speculation for years now. YEARS! Is it production ready or not? Why not sell it now before the next recession?

  24. Michael says:

    I gambled and went ahead with a 2018 KTM 690 Enduro R, glad I did… I had the FZ-07 and loved the powerplant, it’ll be fantastic in this bike, two years can’t come fast enough.

  25. dale says:

    Does anyone know the seat height of this bike? I hope it’s not 35″ or beyond, or Yamaha will leave out a bunch of short-inseam interested riders.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      34.6 inches. So below 35″ if you are a glass-half-full kind of guy. Or rounds up to 35 inches if you are a glass-half-empty kind of guy.

  26. Tommy See says:

    Disappointing for sure. Yamaha ha ha ! The dangling carrot continues to grow. KTM increasing production.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Lots of 790 Adventure’rs will be sold by June 2020..

  28. L Rowland says:

    What a disappointment…Ugly ..low fender to clog up in the first farmers field…chain drive and not available….a y f k me!

  29. Bill says:

    In March of 1970 the first Ducati v twin was drawn on paper and in June of 1971 the first Ducati v twin rolled off the production line. There is no valid reason for Yamaha to tease about a new design for two years.

  30. kyle says:

    I hope it will come in a non purple color.

    Amazing bike though. Great sharp boxy lines. Beautiful headlight, same style Honda had on their CRF250L Rally with the lights behind screen. Good look.

  31. John says:

    Man these guys are moving at a glacial pace on this one. Come on Honda, shoehorn the CB500x motor into the CRF250L Rally chassis, add a bigger fuel tank and beat these guys to the punch. I love my Africa Twin, but a 500 at a 100lbs. lighter would be perfect…

    • Provologna says:

      “…a 500 at a 100lbs. lighter would be perfect…”

      Why are the OEMs so dunce to this reality? I’ll take a stab at this. The OEM desire to cater to the smaller ratio of buyers with deep pockets. The more costly the bike the bigger the profit margin. The OEM marketing departments equate engine displacement with perceived value. Put those two together and you have OEM’s making ever larger displacement deluxe high end bikes with premium componentry.

      I think the marketing departments are wrong on this point. If the performance is there, IMO buyers would pick the best performing bike for their intended use independent of engine displacement.

      It’s possible the marketing departments are correct. A friend of mine is a wood craftsman of the highest order. For years he has been converting his rich brother in law’s huge house into a gorgeous craftsman home.

      When his brother in law described the desired dimensions for the screen for the HT room with front projector, the brother in law said, “I don’t want to visit anyone else’s home and see a larger screen.”

      Screen size + viewing distance requires a certain resolution threshold. Below the resolution threshold results in pixels being visible. IOW there’s such thing as too large a screen depending on several variables. At the time of this conversation the highest resolution projector was only 1080P.

      • Random says:

        Well you see, old 4-cylinder 250-500’s flopped in many markets, and new sporty ones too outside of countries with tiered licensing, so…

  32. Hot Dog says:

    2 years to get this to the U.S.? Whoa, that’s one slow boat from Japan.

  33. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    If this weighs less than 390 pounds and still has a 270 degree crank and does not cost $10k +, I’ll buy if I am not dead by then. Seat looks nice and flat.
    Anybody know how to pronounce Tenere ”’ ?

    • Tommy D says:



      Berber term for the most remote wilderness of the Sahara.

      Moto-SLANG – Showing up for event 12 months late. “I heard Joe pulled a Ténéré and showed up a year late for a show and go.”

      • Reginald Van Blunt says:

        Thank you for both the pronunciation and a severely good laugh for your example. Been a fine day.

    • Provologna says:

      The new Tenere shall meet your weight spec dry (390#), but not wet. The street naked bike with this motor weighs about 407# wet. The frame, wheels, sub frame, suspension, etc. for an adventure version must be stronger and heavier. I estimate this Tenere’s full tank curb weight is 425#.

      Boy, that’s a long lead time to actual release.

      I’d prefer a front fender much higher than the one pictured. Beyond that, I suspect Yamaha quickly sells out once they arrive.

      It DOES look d’bidness…

    • Curly says:

      The wet weight spec is 205kg (452lbs) full of gas.

  34. Don says:

    We’re finally getting the announcement (late) in the second half of 2018 that we’ll see this bike in the second half of 2020? After all that teasing it’s still that far away from hitting the streets in the US? Wow. I can’t describe how underwhelmed and disappointed I feel. A competitor might actually have time to beat Yamaha to the punch. Certainly, if this type of bike proves popular, Yamaha won’t have the niche to themselves for long.

    • Tommy D says:

      Obviously Yamaha is taking a page from certain software development practices on product road map for new features.

      What do you mean it pushed again….

      Bitterly disappointed myself.

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