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ADV NewsWrecked Tenere 700 Gets A Second Life As A Dakar-Inspired Machine

Wrecked Tenere 700 Gets A Second Life As A Dakar-Inspired Machine

A totaled T7 resurrected as a retro desert raider.

Published on 07.06.2023

A totaled bike is typically a worst case scenario, but every once in a while a phoenix does rise from the ash, as is the case with this resurrected Yamaha Tenere 700, reimagined by the Gas & Oil custom house in Prague, Czech Republic. 

Does the look tickle a memory? Those familiar with the history of Paris-Dakar might recognize it as a reflection of Yamaha’s late 70’s XT500, a model on which Frenchman Cyril Neveu won the very first edition of the famous rally back in 1979, and came back to do it again in 1980. 

Yamaha Tenere 700 Dakar inspired bike build

In fact Gas & Oil founder, Matej Sysel, has a soft spot for late 70’s era enduro bikes in general, so creating a classic-looking custom from the totaled T7 made perfect sense. In a conversation with Bike Exif, Matej said the goal was to build a bike that looked fully classic, yet offered modern components and the “pleasant perks” of today’s more sophisticated machines. He also added that he didn’t want to achieve that bygone look through adaptation of classic parts, which he says are easy enough to apply, yet rarely very functional. 

Yamaha Tenere 700 Dakar inspired bike build

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But the story of this bike really began on the road, where the modern Tenere was doing one of the main things it was intended to do: travel. The original bike’s owner was overlanding from the Czech Republic to New Zealand on his 2020 model year unit when an unfortunate encounter with a car in Iran stopped the Tenere in its tracks. Thankfully, the rider was okay and down the line went on to purchase a new T7 and finish his journey, while the crashed bike was trucked back to Prague in pieces and eventually ended up at Gas & Oil. 

Yamaha Tenere 700 Dakar inspired bike build

According to the shop the whole front end of the Yamaha was wiped out in the crash and so before styling could begin, damage to the bike’s stock wheel, fork, cooling system, a portion of the electrical system and gear shift needed to be addressed. In good news the frame was straight and engine and drivetrain unaffected.

Yamaha Tenere 700 Dakar inspired bike build

The first order of business from the Gas & Oil fabrication department was the unlikely adaptation of a WP fork off a KTM mated to a set of triple clamps from a 690 Duke, a mod that lengthened suspension travel by 20mm. Between the new fork legs rides a 21-inch D.I.D laced rim that turns on a custom hub that was made to join with the WP fork. The front brake caliper also had to be modified in-house in order to work with the unorthodox assembly. Out back an 18-inch Excel rim travels to the beat of a TFX rear shock. 

Yamaha Tenere 700 Dakar inspired bike build

Up the right side of the reborn adventure bike snakes a custom stainless steel pipe, which mates to the original header and ends in a roughly finished muffler from Czech-based Sharon Exhausts. What really steals the show, however, is the boxy, hand built aluminum tank cover — a direct shout out to the long range tank adapted to Cyril Neveu’s winning Dakar bike. The number plate-ready side panels are also custom molded aluminum while the white fenders are from Acerbis and fork guards are UFO parts. 

Yamaha Tenere 700 Dakar inspired bike build
Yamaha Tenere 700 Dakar inspired bike build

After the tank the most striking feature has to be the molded plastic headlamp nacelle, designed and 3D printed with an unmistakable 70’s boxy swoop. A custom structure made from laser cut plates unites the nacelle, its eye-catching LSK lights and electronics that include switches and USB sockets. Behind the nacelle is another 3D printed panel which frames the stock dashboard while a hand guard-clad bar from Renthal connects the rider to the works. 

Yamaha Tenere 700 Dakar inspired bike build

Of course a bench saddle was called for, so Gas & Oil stitched together a two-toned number using waterproof synthetic leather. The seat is crowned with one of the only true vintage parts, a small tail rack that was modified along with the custom seat rack to fit to the T7’s frame. Mounts for the bike’s small Motogadget LED turn signals and license plate holder were also fabricated at the Prague facility.   

Yamaha Tenere 700 Dakar inspired bike build

There’s a few more custom parts up front too, including the black laser cut radiator cover that adds nuanced dimension to the front view. Below, a massive sump guard wraps the bottom of the 689cc liquid-cooled parallel twin CP-2 engine. Performance enhancements on the resurrected Yamaha include a hydraulic clutch from Magura, air box from Muller Motosport and a Lithium-ion battery by Shido. A chain guard and heavy duty foot pegs from Kedo complete the package.

The finished product looks both retro and edgy, but beneath the imagery is all modern-day fun, as evidenced in the short but slick video showing Czech motocross star Ervín Krajčovič taking the Gas & Oil showpiece on a pretty darn tough off-road romp. In the same video we see the heroics of Cyril Neveu riding the inspo XT500 through the African desert. 

Yamaha Tenere 700 Dakar inspired bike build

From broken wreck to retro beauty, this latest creation from Gas & Oil certainly seems to go good, and it looks even better doing it. 

Photos by Jakub Frey

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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Bob
Bob
July 6, 2023 4:42 pm

Good story. Nice resto-mod.

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