If you’re considering the Yamaha Ténéré 700, then you might be bamboozled by the model options available. Every time a press release comes out, they market it as all being “new” — when in fact some stuff might just be carried on from previous years, or even lacking compared to another model.

Since Yamaha launched the Ténéré 700 in 2019, it has already been upgraded, and several new model variants released, totalling five so far:

  1. The T7 “base model” (2019)
  2. The Rally (2020)
  3. The World Raid (2022), and
  4. The Extreme Edition (2024)
  5. The Explore Edition (also 2024)

On top of that, the base model and Rally were upgraded in 2023 — but not in the same way in all markets! For example, not every market gets the colour LCD from 2023, but below is how they stand for the US. Just check with your local distributor first.

For those people a little confused between the variants, and wondering which are just fancy names or the base model with bolt-on bits, here’s a model guide to the Yamaha Ténéré 700 so you can walk into your used bike sales appointment with knowledge in the palm of your hand.

You might also like this guide to middleweight adventure motorcycles.

Yamaha XTZ700, original model and 2024 Extreme edition, blended
Left: 2019 original model. Right: 2024 Extreme edition.

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A Brief History of the Ténéré — How Did We Get Here?

Yamaha has been making the Ténéré since 1983, so they’re no strangers to the adventure motorcycling world. Below is a very brief history of the Ténéré brand, skipping over a few models — I’m sorry! (More detailed history coming in the future.)

The first version of the Ténéré, a single-cylinder rally-oriented bike, had an over-bored XT550 mote, a 33-litre tank, and off-road styling that still looks amazing.

1983 Yamaha XT600Z Ténéré

These days, the original Ténéré is a collector’s item, and hard to come by.

Over the next few decades. Yamaha released iterations on the Ténéré. The first parallel twin was the 1989 XTZ750 Super Ténéré, which also has a large 26-litre tank.

1989 Yamaha XTZ750 Super Ténéré rhs 3-4
1989 Yamaha XTZ750 Super Ténéré

The Super Ténéré these days is the much larger and heavier XTZ1200, powered by a big and low-revving 1198 cc parallel twin, and putting power down via a shaft drive. It’s a well-regarded adventure bike, but it hasn’t been updated in a while, and the writing is on the wall for it.

2019 Yamaha XTZ1200 Super Tenere RHS 3-4 black
Yamaha XTZ1200 Super Tenere

While the XTZ1200 is / was popular as a sleeper alternative to the BMW R 1200 GS, Yamaha went back to a single-cylinder for the smaller Ténérés.

They started with a five-valved carburettor-fuelled 660 in 1991, evolving into the fuel-injected XTZ660 single, the most immediate model in the lineup before the Ténéré 700.

Yamaha XTZ660 Tenere grey rhs 3-4
Yamaha XTZ660 Tenere

The XTZ660 Ténéré is a great bike, and a bit of a bargain buy if you can find them. They’re reliable, powerful enough, and very versatile.

However, the single-cylinder Ténéré 660 wasn’t available in every market, and was eventually discontinued for the Yamaha Ténéré 700.

Yamaha Ténéré 700 Shared Specifications

Here are the specifications for the Yamaha Ténéré 700 common to all the model variants, along with some notes.

Some items are different between variants — addressed below.

Basically, the engine hasn’t changed since launch. But the suspension and electronics differ in the model variants.

Engine type“CP2”, Parallel twin, 270-degree crank, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinderSame as the MT-07, Tracer 700, YZF-R7, etc.
Capacity689 cc
Bore x stroke (mm)80.0 x 68.6 mm
Compression ratio11.5:1
Front suspensionKYB 43mm USD
(specs vary)
Rear suspensionKYB monoshock, fully adjustable
Fuel requirement“Regular” (i.e. not “Premium”), maximum 10% ethanol* European manual requires 90 RON.
* US manual requires 86 Octane (R+M/2).
Peak power54 kW / 9000 rpm
Peak torque68 Nm / 6500 rpm
Transmission6-speed, chain drive
Front brakesDual 282 mm discs, Brembo 2-piston calipers
Ride aidsABS (Switchable from 2022/23)No IMU, no cruise
Yamaha Ténéré 700 Specifications Shared

Yamaha Ténéré 700 Model Variants

Below is a summary of the model variants of the Ténéré 700.

ItemBase model
World Raid
Extreme Edition
Explore (2024+)
Front suspension adjustabilityRebound / compression dampingRebound / compression dampingFully adjustableFully adjustableRebound / compression damping
Front suspension travel210 mm210 mm230 mm230 mm190 mm
Rear suspension travel200 mm200 mm220 mm220 mm180 mm
Ground clearance240 mm240 mm250 mm260 mm230 mm
Steering damperNoneNoneÖhlinsNoneNone
Fuel capacity16L / 4.2 US Ga16L / 4.2 US Ga23 L / 6.1 US Ga, dual tanks16L / 4.2 US Ga16L / 4.2 US Ga
2023+: TFT
2023+: TFT
Seat height875 mm / 34.5 in895 mm / 35.2 in890mm / 35.0 in910 mm / 35.8 in860 mm / 33.9 in
Seat typeStandardHigh rally one-pieceMedium-height seatHigh rally one-pieceStandard
Ride aidsABS
2023+: Switchable 3-mode ABS
2023+: Switchable 3-mode ABS
3-mode switchable ABS3-mode switchable ABS3-mode switchable ABS
Quick shifter2024+: Optional2024+: Optional2024+: OptionalOptionalStandard
2023: Quad LED
Quad LED (from first version)Quad LEDQuad LEDQuad LED
Skid plateStandardHeavy duty 4mm3-piece aluminiumStandardStandard
Radiator guardNoAluminium meshYesAluminium meshNo
Chain guardNoYesNoYesNo
Foot gripsStandardStandardLarger, removable rubberTitanium, high-gripStandard
Yamaha Ténéré 700 Model Differences

Below there’s more detail for each model, plus a few pics.

Yamaha Ténéré 700 Base Model

2021 Yamaha Tenere 700 XTZ700 base model
2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700 XTZ700 “base model”

Yamaha released the base model Ténéré 700 in 2019. Of course, back then it was just the Yamaha Ténéré 700, not known as a “base model”.

In essence, it’s the CP2 motor that we all know and love from the Yamaha FZ-07 / MT-07, but with a chassis and setup more suited for off-road work.

The Yamaha Ténéré 700 didn’t invent the middleweight adventure motorcycle category, but it definitely helped kick it into gear. It paved the way for many other manufacturers to release competing models in the subsequent years, leading to the competitive market for middleweight adventurers that we have today.

Out of the box, the base model Yamaha Ténéré 700 comes with good protection levels — hand guards, an engine guard, and fork protectors. But these are things that Yamaha upgraded in other, subsequent models.

Yamaha initially released the T7 with an LCD cluster, but upgraded it to a colour TFT unit from 2023 onward.

2021 Yamaha Tenere 700 XTZ700 base model rhs 3-4 studio
2023 Yamaha Ténéré 700 Base model

Another thing that changed is that Yamaha introduced standard 3-way switchable ABS from 2023 onward. So you can switch off rear ABS for off-road riding — but only on the more recent models.

Yamaha Ténéré 700 Rally

2023 Yamaha XTZ700 Tenere 700 Rally Studio 34
2023 Yamaha Ténéré 700 Rally

The Yamaha Ténéré 700 Rally is a base model T7 but with a bunch of more hardcore offroad-oriented equipment, plus a few upgrades.

From the first model year, Yamaha gave the Rally edition quad LED headlights. These trickled down to the base model by 2023.

The Rally also got

  • A heavy-duty skid plate
  • An Akrapoviç silencer
  • A radiator guard
  • A high rally seat (adding to base seat height)

The core of the Rally is the same as the base model, though — same engine, and same suspension.

In 2023, the Rally got the same updates as the base model — 3-mode switchable ABS and a TFT display.

Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid (2022+)

2022 Yamaha XTZ700 Ténéré 700 World Raid Studio rhs 3-4
2022 Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid

The World Raid is the premium, highest-spec model in the T7 line-up. It’s also the most expensive, priced similarly to premium middleweight adventure motorcycles from other brands that come with a lot more tech.

The Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid has longer-travel suspension (with more adjustability) and a medium-height seat, which gives it even a higher seat height than the Rally.

The suspension isn’t just higher; it’s also more adjustable, and more resilient, with a coating intended to make it better able to withstand off-road gravel.

The World Raid also gets a 3-piece skid plate and a TFT display from the first model — others got it a year later.

However, the Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid doesn’t have every option — there’s no default Akrapoviç silencer, for example.

Yamaha Ténéré 700 Extreme Edition

2024 Yamaha XTZ700X Tenere 700 Extreme Edition Studio RHS 3-4
Yamaha Ténéré 700 Extreme Edition

The most extreme edition of the Yamaha Ténéré 700 isn’t the highest spec… but it does have the most extremely high seat.

The Extreme edition brings the long-travel suspension from the World Raid, and adds in the rally seat from the Rally model. This combination gives the Extreme the equal highest ground clearance, and the highest stock seat height.

The Extreme edition also has an aluminium radiator guard, special off-road footpegs (even grippier than those on the Rally), and gold anodized wheels, which look great with blue (but this is a bike you’ll get dirty!)

But the Extreme doesn’t get everything from the Rally — it lacks the long-range tank, the silencer, and the heavy-duty skid plate (it doesn’t even have the skid plate of the World Raid).

Yamaha Ténéré 700 Explore

2024 Yamaha Tenere 700 Explore XTZ700 RHS 3-4
2024 Yamaha Ténéré 700 Explore

Also new for 2024, the Explore is designed for those who want to take longer adventures and might be spending more time on the road.

It still has a 21-inch front tire and only a 16L gas tank, but it has intentionally lower travel suspension for purportedly more comfort on long-distance rides. It also comes with side case racks as standard equipment — but you have to supply your own cases (or you might already have a set).

Due to its lower-travel suspension and standard seat, the Yamaha Ténéré 700 Explore has the lowest seat height of all the Ténéré 700 models. It’s also less wide than the rally-style seats of some models. Thus, for those that are shorter stature, the base model T7 may be the best.

Similarly, the T7 Explore comes with a taller screen. Though there have been aftermarket screens available for a while.

The Explore edition is also the first version to come with a standard quick shifter, which was only optional on other models.

Using the Ténéré 700’s Screen and Controls

When assessing any motorcycle, it’s useful to have an overview of the interface and the important controls — things like cruise control, rider aids, and adjusting rider settings. This helps you have an effective test ride.

Using the LCD

The base model’s LCD is more intuitive, as there are obvious physical buttons.

Yamaha Tenere 700 controls LCD
Yamaha Tenere 700 LCD controls

Use the top set button to move the display between odometer, trip meters, range / fuel consumption meters, or other things. Use the bottom set button to move in the opposite direction.

Push both buttons together to set the clock.

And finally, to switch off ABS on the Ténéré 700, with the bike stationary, press the ABS button and hold it until the ABS OFF warning light starts flashing.

Using the TFT

The TFT display has three themes. The Explorer and Street themes share a lot of information, but the Raid theme is different.

Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid TFT information panel modes
Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid TFT information panel modes

To control the TFT, use the handlebar controls.

Tenere 700 TFT controls on handlebars
Tenere 700 TFT controls on handlebars

The left switches are for operating between the major meters (trip meters, efficiency meters, range, etc.). Up, down, and reset.

The control wheel is for controlling the display and menu system. You can rotate it up and down, but you can also do a short press or long press to activate certain functions.

Here are a few guidelines for using the wheel switch:

  • Long-press to get into the menu system. The base menu lets you switch Settings, ABS mode, Themes, Telephone notification settings, and Message notification settings. (The latter two are for Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Rotate the wheel to select an item.
  • Short press to highlight / de-highlight an item.
  • Long-press to set / confirm a setting.

What the Yamaha Ténéré 700 Still Lacks

At the time of the latest update, the Yamaha Ténéré 700 lacks a few things that help its competitors stand out, including:

  • Cruise control (more common than IMU / cornering ABS)
  • An IMU / Cornering ABS (see here for a guide to motorcycles with the feature)
  • Active suspension (if present in any, it’s usually only in the rear shock)

None of these necessarily makes the other motorcycles a “better” bike. For many, the appeal of a motorcycle like the T7 is that it has just the basics, and that it performs them well.

Still, since the above items are differentiators for other brands, and the Ténéré 700’s price has soared with its popularity, it makes sense to note their absence.

Alternatives to the Yamaha Ténéré 700

This is quite a competitive market, with basically every manufacturer now clamouring for your middleweight adventuring wallet. Below is a slider of alternatives to the Yamaha Ténéré 700 for you to peruse.

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