Motorbike

Yamaha XT660Z Tenere (2008 - present) review

Details
Manufacturer:
Yamaha
Category:
Adventure
Price:
£ 4899
Overall
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)
This Tenere is intended for adventure touring, not desert racing
Cool styling and a fun bike to ride.
Seat height is a touch too high, especially for shorties.

If ever there’s been a bike that reflects the way motorcyclists have changed over the last couple of decades, it’s Yamaha’s Tenere. The original XT600Z Ténéré, launched in 1983, was a direct descendent of the XT500 that had won the first two Paris-Dakar rallies a few years earlier.

That first Ténéré might have had fancy French accents in its name but it was a down-to-earth bike with an aircooled, 43bhp single-pot engine, gigantic 30-litre tank and several yards of suspension travel. It didn’t repeat those Dakar wins but became hugely popular with desert racers. More power and a twin-headlamp fairing kept it successful into the Nineties.

Now the Tenere is back, and you’ve only got to glance at the spec sheet to realise that the new-generation XT660Z is distinctly different. This Tenere’s liquid-cooled motor, borrowed from Yamaha’s XT660R trail bike, is more sophisticated than the original aircooled unit, but has gained just 5bhp in 25 years.

Likewise the new bike’s chassis and bodywork are more refined – but at 183kg dry, the 660Z weighs 45kg more than its predecessor. This Tenere is intended for adventure touring, not desert racing. It’s more rounded, heavier and less aggressive – just like the typical rider it’s aimed at.

This became clear almost before I’d left the launch base hotel at Tiznit in Morocco. At 895mm the Tenere’s seat is high, but not ridiculously so, thanks to gaitered forks that have less travel than the XT660R’s. Rather than requiring an old-fashioned boot, the Yam starts effortlessly on the button, its liquid-cooled motor efficiently silenced by the high-level exhaust. So far, so quiet.

Click next to continue

If ever there’s been a bike that reflects the way motorcyclists have changed over the last couple of decades, it’s Yamaha’s Tenere. The original XT600Z Ténéré, launched in 1983, was a direct descendent of the XT500 that had won the first two Paris-Dakar rallies a few years earlier.

That first Ténéré might have had fancy French accents in its name but it was a down-to-earth bike with an aircooled, 43bhp single-pot engine, gigantic 30-litre tank and several yards of suspension travel. It didn’t repeat those Dakar wins but became hugely popular with desert racers. More power and a twin-headlamp fairing kept it successful into the Nineties.

Now the Tenere is back, and you’ve only got to glance at the spec sheet to realise that the new-generation XT660Z is distinctly different. This Tenere’s liquid-cooled motor, borrowed from Yamaha’s XT660R trail bike, is more sophisticated than the original aircooled unit, but has gained just 5bhp in 25 years.

Likewise the new bike’s chassis and bodywork are more refined – but at 183kg dry, the 660Z weighs 45kg more than its predecessor. This Tenere is intended for adventure touring, not desert racing. It’s more rounded, heavier and less aggressive – just like the typical rider it’s aimed at.

This became clear almost before I’d left the launch base hotel at Tiznit in Morocco. At 895mm the Tenere’s seat is high, but not ridiculously so, thanks to gaitered forks that have less travel than the XT660R’s. Rather than requiring an old-fashioned boot, the Yam starts effortlessly on the button, its liquid-cooled motor efficiently silenced by the high-level exhaust. So far, so quiet.

Click next to continue

Price: £4,899

Front suspension: 43mm telescopic, adjustable preload
Rear suspension: monoshock, adjustable preload
Front brake: Two 298mm discs, two-piston calipers
Rear brake:  245mm disc, one-piston caliper
Dry weight: 183kg (claimed)
Seat height: 895mm
Fuel capacity: 23l

Colours: white/red, khaki, black

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests-first-rides/yamaha-xt660z-tenere-first-ride-review/11168-3.html#ixzz0wJTlBnXF

Engine: 660cc, liquid-cooled, SOHC, 4-valve single
Power: 48bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque: 36 lb.ft @ 5500rpm

Top speed: 105mph (est)

Cool styling and a fun bike to ride.
Seat height is a touch too high, especially for shorties.

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