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ADV NewsT7 Rally: A Ripped Yamaha Tenere 700 That Is Ready to Rally

T7 Rally: A Ripped Yamaha Tenere 700 That Is Ready to Rally

 A radically-revised Tenere 700 built for Rally Raid Team Kapriony.

Published on 04.28.2020

Talk about a cool COVID-19 project. When bike builder Gian Paolo Mucci found himself in coronavirus lockdown in Bologna, Italy, he was just getting started on a project Tenere 700 for Italy’s successful rally raiders, Team Kapriony. Named the T7 Rally, he credits the forced isolation for the bike’s quick turnaround and also for its apocalyptic vibe.

The bike the Kapriony Team requested from Mucci would need to be suited very specifically for racing in the African desert, the group’s forte. According to Rocket Garage, after many years of success racing KTM adventure models, the team had decided to explore parallel concepts, and was drawn to the possibility so evident in Yamaha’s T7. 

Yamaha T7 bike build

Task in hand, one of Mucci’s main goals was to reduce and redistribute weight from the Tenere, so he cut away the steel frame and built an aluminum box frame half the weight of the original. New fuel tanks were created from 2mm-thick aluminum and situated very low within the framework (a whopping 19.6 inches below the original tank position) to provide a combined 9.25 gallons (35 liters), 5 gallons (19 liters) more than stock.

Yamaha T7 bike build
Yamaha T7 bike build

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With the stock tank gone, the riding position was “unlocked” says Mucci, to allow the rider to sit 5.9 inches (15 cm) farther forward, all part of a universal effort to situate mass more centrally. Another design choice that centralized weight was having the rear bodywork end a tidy 6 inches (15 cm) forward of the rear axle. Having all the bike’s mass so centralized should keep the chassis from unnecessary yawing, and also help it recover from unwanted skidding

Yamaha T7 bike build

Suspension has been upgraded, employing an air-cooled WP fork that provides an impressive 11.8 inches (300 mm) of travel. A Mupo shock in the rear is assisted by a hydro-pneumatic Air Tender system for ultimate dialablility. 

The bike’s radical-looking, wing-shaped steering plate provides for super quick removal of the fork and we’re also told the formation tweaks geometry for enhanced control in the sand. A burly-looking skid plate constructed of 3mm-thick aluminum goes a long way to intensify this Tenere’s serious stance. 

Yamaha T7 bike build

While the Yamaha’s 689cc liquid-cooled twin hasn’t seen any modifications to date, a claimed 8 additional horses were summoned by adding an SC Project exhaust system. 

In one of the coolest design implements, Mucci made the whole fairing removable in less than a minute using two socket wrenches to remove 8 screws, a very useful feature to have for rally competitions, especially since it allows quick access to the air filter. 

Yamaha T7 bike build

Possibly the most striking feature is the bike’s robot-esque headlamp assembly, which Mucci refers to as an animal snout. He says it does more than look fierce, however, as it positions the instruments and rally roadbook in better view of the rider. He also says the new assembly shaved off a significant amount of weight.

When Mucci wrapped up the project bike in mid-April the Tenere weighed in at an impressive 44 pounds (20 kg) lighter than stock.

We kinda dig this machine in its raw form, all aluminum and robust welds, though we expect Team Kapriony will have it done up in team colors ahead of its debut on the International Rally Raid circuit. 

As for the bike’s timing, it sure is nice to know someone out there used their Covid quarantine time to create something extraordinary. Though having it shed pounds instead of gain does seem a bit offside, no? 

Update

Team Kapriony unveils the finished T7 Rally, complete with team colors.

Photos GP Mucci and Rocket Garage

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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8 thoughts on “T7 Rally: A Ripped Yamaha Tenere 700 That Is Ready to Rally

  1. So, lower slung tank, more forward seating position and lighter with WP suspension…almost sounds like a stock 790 adventure lol. Wonder what he could do to the KTM though….

  2. From the front it looks like my lardy Honda X-ADV750 Big Scoot but it weighs in at 238kgs or there-about.

    I wonder what our maestro could do with it … dumping 60 or 70 kgs would be good ….

    givit

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