The New 2021 Yamaha Ténéré Adventure 700

Off-road and ADV (adventure) riders have been asking for years for a good middle-weight on-road/off-road bike, and the new 2021 Yamaha Ténéré Adventure 700 might just be it. First, let’s define “middle-weight” as weighing in at under 500 pounds wet, with twin cylinders for a smoother ride, and enough suspension travel and ground clearance to leave the pavement.

There are plenty of great dual-sport bikes good for both on- and off-roading but some of us don’t have the skills to jockey a 500-plus-pound bike over rocks and mud ruts. Can’t there be something in between a dirtbike and a GS? Something that would be perfect say, for the Backcountry Discovery Routes? For me—barely 5’6” tall and 135 pounds—this means a bike that I can not only lift easier but one that doesn’t feel like trying to kick an elephant into gallop mode. I also want the bike to be capable of carrying luggage, feel safe on BDR secondary roads (i.e., handles well at speed and has a windscreen), and comfortable for long days in the saddle. 

Is the 2021 Yamaha Ténéré Adventure 700 my next bike? Is it yours? Let’s have a look!

Yamaha Tenere 700 adventure

 

2021 Yamaha Ténéré Adventure 700
under $10,000 MSRP

Specs:

  • 8-valve, fuel-injected
  • 698cc
  • Upright, parallel-twin motor
  • 74 horsepower
  • 11:5:1 compression ratio
  • Seat height 34.4 inches
  • 2 gallons fuel capacity (approx. 235 miles, and 56 mpg)
  • 452 pounds wet
  • 4-inch ground clearance
  • Suspension: 8.3 front, 7.9 rear

Pros:

  • CP2 engine (compact and low vibration)
  • Specific ECU settings, exhaust and cooling system, air box, final gear ratio at 46/15 cooling
  • Yamaha is known for reliability and low-maintenance
  • First valve check at 24,000 miles
  • Well-balanced
  • Comfort and off-road settings
  • Tractors well in second gear
  • Smooth linear power
  • 21-inch front wheel, 18-inch rear
  • 36-spoke wheels
  • Anti-squat feature: front sprocket at a steeper angle for swing arm (helps drive rear wheel into the ground and transfers weight to the front wheel better, unique to Yamaha)
  • Narrower rally bike feel
  • Simple console features (might be a con for some riders)
  • Adjustable suspension, adjust to your size and weight
  • Wide footpeg included
  • Rally-inspired windscreen and LCD display (easy to view when standing and sitting)
  • Crossbar has room to mount other electronics
  • Two knobs behind the windscreen allow the rider to adjust the four LED headlights

Cons:

  • No removable sub-frame
  • Some riders find the side panel digs into their knees
  • Seat height too tall for some riders
  • Heavier riders may need to swap springs
  • Small rear brake pedal
  • Finishing features on the cheap side: i.e., handguard brackets, grips, clutch and brake levers, footpegs
  • Anti-squat feature, although a pro, is also a con when the swing arm comes down low enough to catch on obstacles and hit the rear wheel at a more impactful angle
  • No pre-load suspension for forks
  • No center stand
  • No heated grips

Summary: For the money, the Yamaha Ténéré 700 Adventure is a great value bike for those looking for a middle-weight on/off-road ADV bike.

 

Yamaha Tenere 700 adventure

 

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Heather Lea has traveled to over 60 countries, forty of which were on her BMW F 800 GS during a two-year, round-the-world motorcycle trip she took with her then-boyfriend, now-husband, Dave Sears (Trip Blog: Riding Full Circle). Heather has been a freelance writer for over twenty-five years and a book and magazine editor for more than fifteen. Aside from Expedition Portal, her stories can be found in Overland Journal, Canadian Geographic, Kootenay Mountain Culture and Canadian Alpine Journal. She loves doing anything in the backcountry, including backpacking, four-wheel-driving, ski touring and climbing. Heather is a Canadian now living in Bellingham, WA. Find her on Instagram at writer_heather_lea or on Facebook at Heather Lea—Senior Editor—motorcycles.