A prototype of the most anticipated adventure bike of the year has been tested! Yamaha T7
Yamaha T7 – Unleashed at the 2016 EICMA show in Milan, it’s the long-awaited machine that will eventually morph into the Ténéré 700 production bike. And Germany’s Motorrad magazine has bagged an exclusive ride on it!
While it would be rash to draw any conclusions from a brief blat on a concept bike featuring many not-for-production parts, initial reports are positive. Testers Biebricher and Thorsten Dentges have high praise for the engine – a direct part from the MT-07, making 56kW – as well as the bike’s ultra light weight and very capable off-road abilities. Some of this comes down to the parts used purely on the concept, which included a WR450 fork, an aluminium fuel tank and plenty of carbon fibre components.
Motorrad weighed the T7 at a skimpy 185kg complete with some fuel in the tank. That figure is sure to rise on the production version, probably reaching 210-220kg ready to ride and fully fuelled.
“Everything went smoothly on the road and on trails. Fine ergonomics, good-natured engine characteristics, an almost miraculous weight for an adventure-enduro – all this immediately gives you great confidence in the Yamaha T7,” Biebricher said.
The production model will get a lower seat, partly thanks to slightly less extreme suspension, but also due to a more road-oriented seat design to replace the competition-style bench of the prototype – which currently measures in at a towering 990mm. The perch and suspension tweaks should cut the seat height down to under 900mm – still lofty, but not as intimidating as the T7 concept.
As well as the suspension, the final production bike’s brakes will be changed, with a second disc expected to be added, along with ABS. The bodywork will, of course, be plastic rather than carbon fibre, and the fuel tank is expected to be remade in either plastic or steel. The tank is likely to grow, too, to improve the overall range, which along with the lower seat will shift the bike’s proportions away from the rally campaigner look of the prototype and towards a more adventure-tourer style.
What isn’t known at the moment is how far down that road Yamaha will go. Given the firm already has the touring-oriented Tracer 700 in its line-up, based on the same engine and with a slightly adventure-tourer stance, we’re expecting the firm to make the Ténéré 700 a fairly capable off-roader.
The T7’s purpose-built, double-cradle frame is expected to be carried straight across to the production bike, which is a promising start for those wanting to see an all-new registrable Yamaha with some genuine off-road credentials.
We’re expecting Yamaha to pull the covers off the final production version at one of this year’s international shows, before it hits showrooms in 2018.
By Ben Purvis