2022 Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid off-road review | Dakar Everyday!

Tenere-700-World-Raid-2022-Visordown-Review

Visordown went along to the world press launch of the new 2022 Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid, to find out if this really is the everyday Dakar racer 

Details
Manufacturer:
Category:
Adventure
Price:
£ 11800
Overall
Not rated

IT'S important to realise that the 2022 Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid is an adventure bike with a design bias to give it strong off-road performance. Several of its new features are a reminder of that, including higher-spec longer travel suspension, bigger 23-litre tanks, a flatter two-piece seat, new clocks, a stronger sump guard, and extra ABS braking modes.

Much of our 200-mile riding day followed the off-road theme too, with around half that mileage done on the dirt – no doubt part of Yamaha’s plan to give us a chance to fully understand and appreciate the new 700’s virtues when the terrain gets tougher and less grippy.

The big question is, of course, is the £11,800 World Raid model worth spending the extra £1900 on? Well, if much of your riding is often spent doing what we did on the launch, then yes, it certainly is. However, if your adventures are limited to road travel only, then there’s an argument to say the standard £9900 model might well be enough. But just to blur the decision-making further, given the new Yamaha is more comfortable, has a much better tank range, and a few extra toys to benefit from, then even for just road riding, the new version of the Ténéré could still be tempting. Let me tell you more about the bike and the day I had on it, hopefully you can then make a more informed choice.

2022 Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid 

Starting the day in excellent spirits, Yamaha had scheduled for us is some of my favourite sort of riding, and it didn’t take long for me to appreciate the upgraded model. It was a mixture of on and off-road stuff, and you really have to keep on your toes for that. Mind you, with a slightly taller 890mm (up by 15mm) seat height, I definitely relied on my experience of climbing aboard many equally tall bikes to get underway comfortably. In fairness, thankfully it didn’t actually feel as tall as its spec sheet suggests. But even so, if you’re a shorty like me with a meagre 30” inside leg length, perhaps it’d be worth sitting on the bike in the showroom before further considerations. The tall seat never really caused me any subsequent issues throughout the day, but within just yards of setting off, one very obviously superior aspect of the new bike really won me over.

The current standard Ténéré model’s suspension is fine for most people, most of the time. But if you take that bike off-road, and ride it harder over rougher ground, you’ll start to notice its limitations. The 20mm-longer travel World Raid model’s forks and shock provide an appreciably plusher, more compliant, and better controlled ride, the advantage of which I would appreciate more and more as the day wore on. Not all of the bike’s new features would get a thumbs up for me, but that higher-spec suspension really does perform very well.

Those bigger, wider-section twin tanks look as though they could make the bike seem a little ponderous and unwieldy. But don’t worry, their lower-mounted pannier-style fitment, and the relocation of the fuel pump further down in one tank means the C of G is about the same as the existing bike. Combined with the redesigned seat, which allows you to slide further forward over the tank (which you can’t do on the current bike), to significantly load and consequently increase front end grip off-road, also has you feeling more integrated and comfortable on the bike on the road. With the 15mm-taller fairing screen, and side deflectors offering a lot more protection than their diminutive size suggests, and the tanks also serving as very effective shelter from windblast for your legs, long periods in the saddle feel as though they could be easily entertained. I dunno about you, but I think the huge 250-300mile fuel range they give, is really good news. Especially on longer adventures where refuelling’s not easy. Bet the bill for filling the buggers could make you wince a bit though, and you might moan a bit about having to unlock two caps too.

The tanks are joined but the link won’t flow quickly enough to just fill from one side. With the pair fully topped up and ready to go, the World Raid tips the scales at 220kilos. That’s a not inconsiderable 16kilos more than the current bike. But while some of that extra weight is evident, I’d say it still feels as manageable on the road, and just as much when you get onto the loose stuff.

When we reached our first off-road stint, the lead rider encouraged us to switch off the ABS. But I took the opportunity to select the new mode which allows the rear brake’s ABS to be disabled independently. That way, I’d be able to see how intrusive or helpful the system was at the front. Like the original model, Yamaha has gone for a more simple, cheaper, electronic system so there’s no IMU to give cornering ABS, as there is on the KTM 890 Adventure R for example. And there’s no traction control system at all. Whether you view that as a disadvantage or not is up to you. My opinion is it reduces complexity and cost, and there’s less to go wrong – an important consideration sometimes in the more hostile and remote off-road environment the Ténéré’s designed to work in. OK, when the ground is very slippery, on a bike as relatively big and heavy as this, getting to throttle happy can have it turn into a bit of a handful. But from a personal point of view, learning bike control is one of the main challenges and rewards of off-road riding, so I’m not at all bothered by the comparative lack of electronic assistance.

It certainly wasn’t a problem on the sort of terrain we rode over. The route mainly consisted of hard-packed ground with some occasionally slippery, but easy to identify, loose gravel sections. Ruts, rocks, and changing cambers tested the mind more from time to time, with gradients also adding extra demands of judgement and bike control. But all in all, I found the Yamaha pretty easy to manage and certainly great fun. Several factors contributed to this. That ABS setting proved to be very useful, preventing front wheel lock in a subtle and unobtrusive manner. The new suspension is definitely the big plus point though. Its action is considerably better than the current bike’s, providing all the support and control you need, even when you’re asking a lot of it at speed. It absorbs the effects of rough ground well, allowing the tyres to stay better connected, and cushioning the rider from the worst ruts and jolts. The standard-fitment 18-position Ohlins steering damper will no doubt help keep things in check too. Though even when adjusted to give light steering on the road, the bike never got over lively when giving it some on the dirt. I think the new forks and shock are the main reason for the increased expense of the bike, with the anti-friction Kashima coating on the forks being especially pricey. Though believe me, the pricier kit feels well worth it when you’re riding.

Some words of praise are due to the engine too. Unchanged, bar its airbox having a repositioned intake to prevent dirt ingress, the Euro-5 compliant, parallel-twin has a super usable character to it. It always seems to provide plenty of friendly drive whenever you request it, with the bonus of the thrust never becoming excessive. Its 270° cross-plane crank, and the uneven firing order that brings, generates an almost single-cylinder-like level of immediate throttle response, giving the bike lots of that all-important finer control at low speeds – which is especially useful off-road. The iconic CP-2 motor has suited a diverse variety of Yamaha models, including the MT-07, XSR700, YZF-R7, and of course the current Ténéré. Yamaha’s thankfully deliberately avoided getting involved in the adventure bike horsepower race, saying it’s happy with the new bike’s ‘lesser’ 72bhp of peak power and its associated user-friendliness. Hats off to them for that approach I’d say, as the new bike is so much fun and easy to use. It’s smooth, frugal and well-proven as far as reliability’s concerned too.

In slight contrast to the always satisfying nature of the engine, comes the occasionally irritating switchgear, and access to the host of new features the new 5” TFT multi-mode dash has to offer. Let’s start with a bit of praise though. The unit itself is clear to read and compact enough to be protected in the event of a fall. And given the comprehensive info it displays, you’re always on top of stuff. Linking it to your mobile is helpful too. But the thumbwheel on the right-hand bar switch, used to scroll through the electronic options menu, isn’t always as easy to use as it could be. And very useful options like the three ABS modes, and three different ways all the key info can be displayed, can’t be altered unless you stop. It might be different if I owned the bike (and I’d very much like to) and got fully familiar with how to change stuff, and do it quickly. But on the launch, having to stop before I could alter the ABS settings each time I switched from road to off-road routes, started to bother me a little bit. There is a large button on the dash to instantly activate the ABS when you’re on the move, which helps when you leave the dirt with the system switched off to then join the road. But that’s the only direction you can change it with the wheels turning. Defaulting to its ABS-on setting being live on both wheels whenever you switched the bike off via the ignition key, or kill switch, had me swearing a bit too. ‘The Japanese consider it better for safety’ came the reply to my questioning of why it had to be this way.

Another gripe concerns the rear subframe and silencer hanger. Welded to the main frame, heavy subframe damage could result in a very big bill if it couldn’t be repaired. And though Yamaha defended the exhaust bracket by claiming what can be bent easily, can be straightened just as readily, I would have preferred if it was bolted to the subframe rather than welded to it.

2022 Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid verdict

But that’s the end of the moaning. Let’s get back to the praise. As a true dual-purpose adventure bike, the new Ténéré 700 World Raid is highly impressive. There aren’t many bikes as massively versatile as this one when it comes to coping with the very alternative worlds of road and off-road routes. OK, you do need to be quite selective about just where you take it once you leave the highways for the byways. Some of the more challenging muddy, rutted, boggy terrains we see a lot more of here in the UK, are probably out of bounds for the new Yam – unless your name’s Pol Tarrés; just Google him. However, for the sort of journey we had at the launch, the 700 really is spot on, and hugely enjoyable. Get yourself an off-road guide in the UK to lead you down similar, easier to navigate hard-packed byways, and I promise you’ll smile just as much as we all did. Though you’ll probably not enjoy the temperature and sunshine levels we were lucky enough to experience!

Ideally, I would have spent another few days exploring the Sierra Nevada region of southern Spain extending the opportunity relish navigating the twists, turns, and undulations running through its magnificent scenery. Even better, would have been the chance to ride all the way home on the bike, almost certainly in complete comfort and civility. Now that would have been a real, and very memorable adventure. And that’s the beauty of the new Ténéré 700 World Raid, it’s a brilliantly balanced bike, perfectly suited for an inspirational expedition of that sort.

The bike will be available in dealers this month in both blue and black options. A range of accessories including luggage, crash protection, fog lights, and centre stands will also be on sale. Explorer, Raid, and Enduro Packs can also be purchased to make your new Ténéré 700 World Raid even more versatile and capable.

2022 Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid on-board video review

2022 Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid Specs

Engine

 689cc, 8v, dohc, l/c, parallel twin

Bore & Stroke

 80 x 68.6mm

Compression

 11.5:1

Power

 72bhp @ 9000rpm

Torque

 50lb/ft @ 6500rpm

Transmission

 6-speed, chain

Chassis

Frame

 Steel-tubed double cradle

Front suspension

 43mm fully adjustable KYB inverted forks

Rear suspension

 fully adjustable KYB rising-rate shock

Front brake

 Twin 282mm discs, twin-piston ABS calipers

Rear brake

 Single 245mm disc, single-piston ABS caliper

Front tyre

 Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR, 90/90-21

Rear tyre

 Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR, 150/70-18

Rake

 27°

Trail

 105mm

Wheelbase

 1595mm

Seat height

 890mm

Wet weight

 220kgs

Warranty

 24months, unlimited mileage

For more information, head to: www.Yamaha-motor.eu

Pictures and video from Yamaha Motor Europe