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Archive for May, 2020

2016 Yamaha Tenere Part 1

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

This is our first project bike starting with a second hand bike. So what’s the bad news

You’re not going to find a bigger Tenere fan than me… (well at five foot six you probably will) but when you take into consideration two 34Ls, one pristine 3AJ, two ‘89 Super Teneres, and a ‘99 XTZ660 3YF then it’s no surprise I have recently purchased a 2016 XT660Z.

It was a clean example to start with but a closer look revealed plenty of rough edges and the worst were yet to reveal themselves.

Some of you are might be thinking why I haven’t bought a brand new XT700Z. Well given my past purchase history I figure I have another 20-30 years to make a commitment to a 2020 model so there’s no rush. After all historical rego is so much cheaper.

Not all of us can afford to buy a brand spanking new bike and with the release of the new 700 twin there’s plenty of 2010 to 2018 XT660Z bargains to be found of the last model series of the famous Tenere.

Instead of looking for a blinged up unit I decided to go for an average shitta with the sound mechanicals but a bit rough about the edges that I could set up to suit my simple needs. Sure there were some great examples out there but I focused on ugly dogs with a rough head that nobody wanted.

The perfect example finally turned up. A slighting battered unit that had been poorly touched up and needed some love. Bits of miss matched touch up paint around the exhaust with signs of overspray did have me worried. A bit like the other guys girlfriend who’s makeup looks like a diorama of a crash scene. Nevertheless I recognised as a rough diamond that needed a a little cosmetics.

Getting down to basics

The basics were good. Earlier model Teneres tend to be very spongy and this one had suspension upgrade courtesy of Technik, a Guard-IT Technology rear rack, Barkbuster handlebars, hand guards and Pivot Pegz. I just had to get it at the right price.

Getting a good bargain is mostly about being in the right place at the right time and I had to haggle hard and was prepared to lose the sale. That didn’t worry me because I still hadn’t thought of an excuse to tell my wife. I figure any excuse that had the word ‘investment’ in it would do the trick. However, being the intelligent woman that she is a fleet of six old Teneres would surely spell bullshit to her.


The final price was a bargain at half the market value 2017 Teneres are pulling at the time so it gave me lots a budget to spec this Tenere up to something that would tide me over till I would finally get to throw my leg over a T7… one day.

To be honest I prefer the ergonomics on the 2017 Tenere than the 2019 XT690Z (T7). I find the seating/handlebar position suits me a little better but there’s no comparison between the single cylinder 660cc thumper and the MT07 based twin. I’d take the new generation engine any day.

There are many reasons why we buy a particular bike. Size, style, power, brand loyalty, it can be hard to understand. For example, VStrom owners? Regardless of your reasoning you don’t necessarily have to get the latest and greatest to enjoy an epic adventure ride. Reliability helps and the XT660Z will dish it up in spades. In part two we’ll show you the mods we made to our latest edition to the ORE fleet.