What we’re seeing here is a middleweight Ténéré based on the FZ-07 parallel-Twin engine. The obvious giveaway being the sexy little S-bend of the header pipes betraying its family origins, here shielded by an aluminum bash plate. Launching a mid-size ADV bike fills a hole in Yamaha’s current model lineup and should offer stout competition for the likes of Suzuki’s V-Strom 650XT, Triumph’s Tiger 800s and BMW’s F800GS.

From the spy shots, the smaller Ténéré appears to roll on 21-inch front, 18-inch rear wheels, while the existing Super Ténéré runs a 19-inch front/18-inch rear combo. These wheel sizes convey Yamaha’s intention to make the mini Ténéré a more off-road-worthy model, and one that will replace the XT660Z Ténéré currently still available in some markets but not in the USA.

Yamaha Tenere Spy-

The 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels point to true off-road intent.

The bike seen in these spy photos looks to be very early in its development phase. Notice the radiator reservoir zipped-tied to the frame downtube, while the rear of the bike seems better equipped for carrying data acquisition devices rather than passengers or luggage. We don’t expect many changes to the FZ-07’s 689cc engine, since its 270-degree crankshaft and current tuning will translate well to off-road situations while complying with Euro 4 regulations.

Yamaha Tenere Spy-

There’s a fairing under that rubber matt, and the windshield appears to be non-adjustable. Behind the fairing is a gauge cluster that looks like the FZ-07’s.

The bodywork ahead of the rider includes a fairing with what looks like a non-adjustable windscreen, at least in this early iteration. A tall fuel tank indicates a much larger capacity than the 3.7-gallon unit on the FZ-07. Rubber inserts in the serrated-steel footpegs damp vibration and will be removable for optimum grip in muddy environments.

Suspension duties are handled by an inverted long-travel fork up front and a single shock acting on a linkage and what appears to be a steel swingarm. By the appearance of the wire wheels, we’ll assume the tires will require tubes. We expect the muffler seen here to be binned in favor of a more stylish exhaust on the production version.

Yamaha Tenere Spy-

We expect the FZ-07’s 689cc engine to remain basically unchanged in its transition to Ténéré duty.

Since the FZ-07 scales in fully fueled at just 403 pounds, we could imagine the Ténéré-07 weighing less than 435 pounds, even with the added bodywork and heavier wire-spoke wheels. This would make it attractive to a lot of ADV enthusiasts who’ve been clamoring for a lightweight, mid-displacement adventure bike.

Yamaha Tenere Spy

A pair of Brembo single-action, two-piston calipers provide the stopping power. Oddly, no signs of wheel-speed sensors for ABS at this point in the bike’s development.

Two surprises in the brakes: First, they look to be Brembo two-piston calipers, which the FZ-07 doesn’t have. The FZ-07 uses four-piston calipers of the Yamaha variety. Secondly, there seems to be no wheel-speed sensors, indicating a lack of anti-lock brakes even though all 2017 bikes sold in Europe – a primary market for this bike – will require ABS. This is another indication the test mule is a long way from being finalized, so a production version is unlikely to debut until 2017.

As for a price, it will surely come at a considerable premium over the inexpensive ($6,990) FZ-07, which lacks a fairing, ABS and other ADV accoutrements. Yamaha’s FJ-09 has a $2,300 premium over the FZ-09 platform-mate, so it’s possible the Ténéré version of the FZ-07 might carry an MSRP around $8,700, depending on the amount of extras Yamaha adds to it.

  • SRMark


  • Ian Parkes

    Seriously good idea.

  • Branson

    A more off-road friendly (compared to VStrom 650) Japanese middleweight ADV bike.

    It’s about time Yamaha — good call!

    • SekritDox

      I’d say with that amount of power it can also give the Kawasaki Versys 650 and the Honda middleweight twins CB500X/NC750X a run for their money. Definitely an interesting bike!

      • Born to Ride

        The versys is far more road oriented than this Yammer appears to be. Different market segment I would think.

        • SekritDox

          Yep they are actually for different market segments but in various parts of the world people actually take the bikes I mentioned off road (albeit slowly lol) not to mention that with 60+ hp the XT700Z (let’s assume it’s what the bike will be called) can also act as commuter and long legged tourer.

  • Patriot159

    Now we’re talkin’! Good by to my DR650?

    • throwedoff


  • ColoradoS14

    Good looking bike, but as the article mentions a curious lack of ABS. I have noticed this across the Yamaha line where they seem to offer less ABS options than the other JDM manufacturers.

  • Luke

    Like everything about this bike except the 21″ front tire. I know it makes it more off-road worthy, but I imagine you pay for it with much less friendly on-road work – which is where 95%+ of people will use it.

    • 12er

      Its the thing I liked about it. Looking for an inexpensive ADV bike that I can put some serious knobs on that has more power than a thumper. Get a little more serious on my fire road exploration than what Im comfortable with on my multi.

    • Born to Ride

      Exactly. Those 95% of people will buy it, use is solely for commuting, hate it, then sell it to me for 50% of what they paid for it.

    • Patriot159

      I have a DR650 with 21″ front and find its road manners just fine (depending more on tires than the size of the rim). Many in the DR community also have 19″ and 17″ fronts they swap out for ADV and Motard use. I suppose the same can be done with this bike.

      • throwedoff

        I ride a big DR650 as well. Still have the stock “Deathwings” on it. I am amazed at how well they grip on the pavement. My DR even with the “ungainly” 21″ front wheel easily out handles my ’06 Bonneville. Way more cornering clearance and feedback. The only thing that I have touched down while leaned over on the DR has been the outside of my left boot by my little toe! The Bonneville just doesn’t feel near as planted anywhere near touching hard parts down. Of course it may have something to do with the stock tires on it. The “Deathwings” on the DR are terrible off pavement on anything other than hard pack. Gravel roads would be nail biters if I had the luxury of the lack of concentration. Throw in sand, loose dirt, or mud and the “Deathwings” become a test in dexterity.

    • Starmag

      My KLR handles great and is fun on a twisty road except for the dismal 37hp and weak front brake and it has a 21″ with a 80/20.

      • throwedoff

        DR650 same 21″, weak front brake, and “Deathwings”! Pull the brake lever hard and use up most of the front suspension travel!

  • Bmwclay

    Guess I’ll have to trade in my DT-1…………….

    • Montana dave

      Wish I still had my first bike. Gotta miss those two strokes.

  • Tod Rafferty

    Neat. Good spy work (or is Berhard a double agent?) Fairing looks like a mini Windjammer, likely just mocked up for test gear. Agree with Luke, a 19-inch front would be better. Nonetheless, it’s on my possibility list.

    • Montana dave

      The “Windjammer” was exactly my thought. Once visited their “factory” in Rantoul,IL. Whatever happened to Craig Vetter?

      • pennswoodsed

        He is still around , and active.

        • Robs

          I think he has a vineyard in Paso Robles area of California.

          • Montana dave

            Vetter was smart with selling his company right before the bike companies came out with their own and his market collapsed. One does not get rich working for the rich but selling a ideal to the masses.

  • Born to Ride

    Wow, this is an adventure bike that I might actually consider over the venerable KLR. Hopefully they managed to keep the weight nice and low like the FZ-07.

  • Starmag

    This is a no brainer. I can feel the resale value of my KLR going down as we speak. My only reservation is what’s under that fairing cover given Yamaha’s latest “styling” excursions. I hope someone in corporate has called for an intervention in the styling department.

    One suggestion Yamaha, TUBELESS spoke wheels. Come on, It’s not that hard or expensive.

  • Douglas

    I’d want a shaftdrive, like the Super Ten….and a centerstand.

    By the way, anyone know what a Tenere is? The Japanese have some odd names for some of their products, like Corolla? What’s that? We know a Corona is either a cigar or a halo around the sun….and for a while I thought a Camry was what Jed & Jethro took pitchers with in Beverly Hills…..but a Tenere? Anyone?

    • denchung

      Ténéré is a region in the Sahara Desert.

      And a corolla is a type of ceremonial crown, also known as the less poetic-sounding “chaplet.” Camry is an anglicization of a Japanese phrase meaning “little crown.” Both get their names because they followed what was then company’s flagship, the Toyota Crown.

      • Montana dave

        Educated reply. Often cars/cycles models have different names for different regions they are sold in. Sometimes just made up words.

        • Bmwclay

          How about K.I.A.?

    • Robs

      Chain is lighter and cheaper than shaft drive and it would require a new engine case and trans. +++ on the center stand though!

      • Douglas

        That’s ok, it’d be worth it….and a nod to those preferring a 19″ front vs the 21. A 100/90×19 and a 160/70×17 wd be just right (IMHO, of course). I think chain drives are right in there w/kick starters, acetylene headlights and suicide shifters.

    • Bruce Steever
  • JMDonald

    If this bike weighs in at less than 435 it has an appeal. More often than not it seems middleweights weigh in at almost the same as the big brother versions. Middle weight to me is 400lbs.

  • markbvt

    Curious to see what Yamaha actually delivers (and where to). If it really does come in at 435lbs, it’ll be a winner and steal a lot of sales from the other middleweight bikes (and maybe force Kawasaki to finally put the KLR650 to bed in favor of something with a better power to weight ratio). This is all assuming, of course, that Yamaha deigns to sell it in North America, unlike the XT660Z.

    Speaking of which, I can’t imagine they’d designate this FZ-07 like their naked sportbike. I’m sure it would be XT-07 or XT700.

    And by the way — the Super Ten has 19/17 wheels, not 19/18.

  • Craig Hoffman

    Oh ya. The trouble I could get into on this bike. Bring it 🙂

  • Starmag

    Only a small child would be happy with the passenger peg placement. Way too high for an adult passenger. My 5’8″ wife likes to go with me sometimes.