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ADV BikesNew Spy Shots Show XT700Z Ténéré Inching Closer to Production

New Spy Shots Show XT700Z Ténéré Inching Closer to Production

More details revealed about the production version of the XT700Z Tenere.

Published on 07.05.2017

It’s been more than a year now since the first early Spy Shots surfaced of a new middleweight Adventure Bike coming from Yamaha. The idea of an FZ-07 (MT-07 in Europe) derived motor put into an off-road-focused chassis, caused much excitement for dirt-loving Adventure Riders. Later in the year, Yamaha’s plans for the release of the new model were confirmed when they unveiled the T7 Concept bike at EICMA. According to Yamaha, the production version would be designed for “real off-road conditions” with the “versatility to tackle long distances.”

Despite the warm response to the T7 Concept, its design was clearly more Rally Racer than Adventure Machine. The question remained if many of its Dakar elements would be retained in the final production version. Would this new model, dubbed the XT700Z Tenere, be a true off-road warrior or something more practical? And would it be able to fill the big shoes of the now discontinued XT660Z Tenere?

Yamaha XT700Z Tenere Adventure Motorcycle
Photo Courtesy MCN


New spy shots from Europe are the first to show a ‘near-production’ version of the XT700Z Tenere. While the development model is heavily cloaked, there is still much revealed in the photos. It has a clear off-road focus with its 21″/18″ wheel combination, along with a tall oversized handle bar and serrated footpegs with removable rubber covers.

The new tank looks larger than the T7 Concept and the seat appears to be sunk down into the bike for a shorter reach to the ground. The T7 concept is said to have a staggering 39-inch (990mm) seat height, which might be acceptable for Rally competition but creates a big deterrent on the sales floor for the average height rider. The new bike looks significantly lower than the T7 concept and also a bit lower than the original Spy Shots of the ‘rough’ development model captured in early 2016.

Yamaha XT700Z Tenere Adventure Motorcycle
Photo Courtesy MCN

Gone is the one-piece off-road seat of the T7, replaced with a two-piece seat design. The production model will also have a more robust subframe for carrying a passenger and luggage. While the bodywork is highly disguised, the styling is expected to have a close resemblance to the T7 Concept with its rally-style clear windscreen that covers the headlight module. In order to save costs, most of the exotic parts and materials will most likely be removed like the aluminum tank and carbon-fiber bodywork. We can see the Akrapovič exhaust system has already been replaced with a larger, emissions-compliant version. The photos of the development bike show a departure from the T7 with its more street-oriented dual front brake disc setup as well.

One thing we can be sure about is that the new XT700Z Tenere will utilize an FZ-07 derived 689cc parrallel-twin, 270° crossplane crank engine – a powerplant that produces 75 horsepower and 50 lb.-ft. of torque with a soulful exhaust note similar to a V-Twin. And while the T7 Concept is said to weigh 408 pounds (185kg) wet, it will likely gain some weight in production trim. It is speculated that Yamaha will try to come in at a weight that undercuts the F800GS (478 pounds wet). The XT700Z Tenere is expected to have a more affordable price tag than either the F800Gs or Tiger 800 as well.

Yamaha T7 Conectp Adventure Motorcycle

Yamaha T7 concept
Yamaha T7 Concept model unveiled last year at EICMA.

Next year should be an interesting one for the middleweight Adventure Bike category, with the potential release of the Yamaha XT700Z Tenere, KTM 790 and F900GS all on the horizon. Look for the bike to be revealed as soon as November at EICMA 2017 in Milan, Italy. Stay tuned for further developments!

Photo Courtesy MCN

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

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14 thoughts on “New Spy Shots Show XT700Z Ténéré Inching Closer to Production

    • A point of clarification, after I re-read my comment. I don’t want to pay more for expensive bits to bring down the weight. Don’t give me carbon fiber bits, give me bits that I can break and easily (not costly) replace. OK, thanks!

  1. I sure hope they change the fairing because right now it’s seriously ugly. And at it’s projected weight, it weighs the same or more as my Tiger 800XCA.

  2. Never thought the T7 is anything more than what it’s called…a concept. If it does get produced, it’ll be a OHV, but that wouldn’t make sense either because Rally Raid rules are 450cc thumpers.

    Still would love to see a Tenere 320. WR250R frame/suspension, 4 gallon tank, MT 03 engine/electronics, simple plastic rally type fairings.

    They say big bore thumpers are done, well give us a small/medium bore twin. No it won’t cruise comfortably all day at 80mph, but neither will a KLR or DRZ. I want a bike that will be comfortable and capable for long-range off road. These 450+ pound bikes aren’t it. Tenere 320 could be 350 or less wet if they put in the effort, and it would sell like hotcakes.

    • If the Big 4 decide to provide Mid Size ADV’s in the proposed weight range, then I see a good validation of Guest’s point here.

      I will not spend for / do not want another heavy ADV. I have one of those already. Don’t call it mid-size at 450+ lbs. and ask me to pick it up in mud, or get pinned underneath it.

      But a Small Size ADV that has the same torque and / or HP output (whichever makes sense) as a mid-80’s manufacture “dual sport” cycle (like say a DRZ400), well that alternative starts to sound appealing. Oh, guess what? They’re available now, and will be a couple years in (and likely sorted) by the time this offering becomes available…

      I’ll say this a different way, just to be clear: If the cycle is built to the proposed target weight of this T7, I’ll spend somewhere else. I bet it’s not long before a KTM 690 appears with the redesigned motor, or a 790 with less weight, on US shores.

      Choices are good to have.

  3. So we’re getting a cheaper version of the Africa Twin that weighs about 475 lbs. Yamaha is going to sell a zillion of them. It seems like they’re applying the same strategy as the other FZ platform bikes, bring the bang for the buck and watch them fly out the door.

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  5. Pingback: New Spy Shots Show XT700Z Ténéré Inching Closer to Production – ADV Pulse |

  6. My 06 KTM950SM is supposed too weigh 458lbs wet, no ABS or EFI. So I don,t see how they can get much lighter than that and still be tough enough to hammer off road!

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