2016 Yamaha Tenere Part 1

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.

Please share OffRoadExplorer.com
  • Nordic Adventure

    Nordic Adventure

    There's the good and the bad about this video. Mostly good. Nicely shot in 4K (I'm guessing) and featuring spectacular...


  • 2019 Tenere Tragics

    2019 Tenere Tragics

    Motorcycle Adventure Dirtbike TV embed with the Yamaha Tenere Tragics for their 2019 High Plains Run and tries to uncover...


  • 2016 Yamaha Tenere Project Bike

    2016 Yamaha Tenere Project Bike

    While the rest of the world is scrambling for the Tenere 700 we snatched a bargain 2016 and spec'd it...


  • 2015 BMW GS Safari-Enduro

    2015 BMW GS Safari-Enduro

    The BMW Safari Enduro is becoming one of the premier adventure bike rides in the world and has again been a...


  • KTM1190 Adv R Chris Birch Cuts Loose

    KTM1190 Adv R Chris Birch Cuts Loose

    Red Bull athlete Chris Birch cuts loose on his KTM1190 Adventure R in the stunning South Island of New Zealand....


  • 2014 WR250R Tenere

    2014 WR250R Tenere

    The world is screaming for a lightweight adventure bike. We built a Super Light. Photos courtesy of Wilkinson Photography...


  • MAD TV Bridle Track Ride

    MAD TV Bridle Track Ride

    Back in 2007 the Bridle Track was our very first adventure ride for Trail Zone Magazine that appear on Trail...


  • KTM1190 Adv R Chris Birch Low Flying

    KTM1190 Adv R Chris Birch Low Flying

    Chris Birch makes a KTM 1190 R look as light as a feather....