Industry sources have given us a pretty firm hint that a new Ténéré is on the way based on the MT07. Other sources have told us that aftermarket manufacturers have been working on protective hardware for a new Yamaha off-road model for the last twelve months. Word is now that it’s not a matter of if, but when.
It’s no secret that we’re a big fan of the Ténéré. The single cylinder big bore adventurer has classic Dakar lines that hark back to the days of the early XTZ660s. With it’s aggressive design lines it looks like a true off-road adventure motorcycle but has suffered from being overweight and under powered compared to other bikes in it’s class. Early Ténérés from the ’83 through to the ’96 featured a number of design and engine upgrades despite keeping the basic XT600 power plant.
However since re-releasing the XT660Z back in 2008 the only changes to the Ténéré has been cosmetic. That’s never been a good sign.
Perhaps that’s because the USA market, who prefer riding water pumps with wheels, have ignored the XT660Z and only chose to import the Super Ténéré despite the moans across many online forums. It looks like change is on the way.
For the last 12 months artist impressions have appeared based on the premise that the new MT07 or MT09 will be the foundation of Yamahas new mid-size adventure bike. Looking at the current competition from the Triumph Tiger 800XC and BMW F800GS the MT07 or MT09 seem like a logical choice.
The new MT07 twin cylinder 655cc with its uneven firing interval and 270-degree crank would certainly be a better performer than the tried old 660cc single in the current Ténéré. Overall it’s a slightly smaller bike in dimensions but the biggest bonus that the MT07 has a dry weight of only 164kg compared to the XT660Z hulking 190kg. We expect that an MT07 version of the Ténéré will be a little heavier with a larger fuel tank and some protective hardware.
It’s expected that the MT07 will be the platform of choice and built to a price point. It’s more likely that it will have a 19 inch front wheel as opposed to a 21 inch rolling stock. I can see a few WR450 frontends getting snapped up on eBay.
It’s a mystery as to when the release will happen. While it may not be a dirt bike riders ideal mount let’s wait before we pass judgement.