When I first rode the T7 in 2020 I asked myself if it would become the successor to my 800 GS. After writing that review, I couldn’t get the bike out of my head. And if you follow Jean Le Motard on Instagram, you know what happened eventually.
Last October I visited my local Yamaha dealer who needed a bit of luck to find one of the last 2021 Rally Editions for me. Two weeks later I said goodbye to my 800 GS. 110,000 km on the counter, 12 years old. Thanks for the good times!
In the meantime I have equipped the T7 with a few extras: a centerstand and a shorter Yamaha license plate holder, a Donner-Tech GPS holder and connections for a trickle charger and my heated jacket. I also hopped by at Allroadmoto for Bumot Defender panniers, Barkbusters handguards, Double Take mirrors and Outback Motortek crash bars. Coming soon: an Altrider clutch arm.
Still on my wishlist: heated grips and a small (but hard to find) rear luggage rack.
It was the year 2016 and as the first pictures of the Yamaha T7 Concept came in, I couldn’t stop drooling over them. It was a long wait until the Ténéré 700 finally arrived in 2019 and an even longer wait until I could finally swing my leg over it mid-2020. Enough with the drooling, shall we go for a ride?
Before I turn over the key, let’s have a look at what I’m dealing with. A middleweight adventure bike. That’s a very crowded segment with all the usual suspects and mavericks. It’s not hard to find some ten competitors once you start listing them up. BMW F 850 GS, Triumph Tiger 900, KTM 790 Adventure, Suzuki V-Strom 650, Moto Guzzi V85 TT, Ducati Multistrada 950, Kawasaki Versys 650, Benelli TRK 502, Royal Enfield Himalayan, Honda CB500X … almost all brands have got one in their model range. What added value can Yamaha offer?
The looks and equipment clearly state which side the Ténéré 700 is choosing. Offroad? Yes, please! It turns its back on more road-focused adventure bikes, thereby shortening the list of competitors.
The high, slim figure, the rally-inspired face, the long suspension travel (8.3 inch front and 7.9 inch rear), block pattern Pirelli’s, aluminum engine guard: it all looks pretty tough. The seat matches the adventurous appearance: Continue reading →