Since its introduction, the Ténéré 700 has quickly established itself as the best-selling mid-range adventure bike in Europe. To date, more than 8,000 units have been sold throughout Europe. The recipe for success: The Ténéré 700 combines characteristic, high-torque engine performance with agile handling, remarkable versatility and a high level of long-distance comfort.
The legend of the Ténéré has its origins in the introduction of the first Yamaha Adventure bike in 1983. With its historic colours of blue and yellow and a black Yamaha speed block, the new Ténéré 700 Rally Edition pays tribute to the achievements of Yamaha Dakar heroes and their machines from the past.
Designed exclusively for the new Rally Edition, this special coating makes this motorcycle a desirable collector's item for any rider who knows the legendary status of the original Ténéré and knows what role it played in the Dakar and many other rallies.
In addition to the special coatings, this premium adventure bike also has a higher standard equipment and is equipped with a range of lightweight components that provide better protection and a more dynamic rallying experience.
The origin of the Ténéré legend
The Ténéré is named after a huge sand plain in the southern Sahara that stretches from northeastern Niger to western Chad. Its origins date back to 1976, when Yamaha launched its first motorcycle with a powerful single-cylinder four-stroke engine - the legendary XT500. This robust, handsome enduro-style multi-purpose motorcycle with a unique "Thumper" character was an instant sales success in Europe and remained one of the company's best-selling models for many years.
The XT and the Dakar
Perhaps the most important chapter in the remarkable history of the XT500 was its role in the emerging rally scene. The Frenchman Thierry Sabine had the dream to give every rider a real adventure, and he realized that enduro bikes like the XT could open up a whole new era in off-road riding. Sabine set herself the goal of creating the ultimate off-road challenge. His dream came true in December 1978, when 182 vehicles gathered at the Place du Trocadéro in Paris for the start of the first Paris-Dakar Rally. Among the two-wheelers were numerous Yamahas. With its robust design, off-road chassis and high-torque Thumper engine, the XT500 proved to be the ideal machine for the 10,000 km long race, which was to change the motorcycle world in many ways for decades to come. Yamaha riders Cyril Neveu and Gilles Comte were overall winners and second in the first Dakar history, and in 1980 Neveu won again for Yamaha - while 2nd, 3rd and 4th place in the overall standings went to Yamaha XT riders. With its legend status, the XT500 became one of the best-selling motorcycles in Europe with a huge, loyal following. And it was the starting point for the development of a new generation of Yamaha Adventure bikes, with which every rider can go on an unforgettable journey.
The first Ténéré
Equipped with a large fuel tank, long spring travel, front disc brake and a monocross rear suspension, the XT600Z Ténéré 1983 was Yamaha's first specially developed standard adventure bike that took the performance of the XT series to a new level. As with the original XT500, the new XT600Z was able to cope with the most extreme conditions of the Paris-Dakar Rally. Their strong performance helped Yamaha to an unsurpassed record of 18 podium finishes in the first six events of this series.
Yamaha's Dakar Heroes
1983 was also the year in which the Paris-Dakar Rally confirmed its dreaded reputation as the most extreme event in motorcycling: more than 40 participants got lost in the desert for up to four days, three-quarters of the riders did not make it to the finish. On the new XT600Z Ténéré, Serge Bacou and Jean-Claude Olivier finished 5th and 7th for team Sonauto Yamaha – a fantastic success for both the riders and the new motorcycle. Olivier finished an impressive 6th in 1984, and teammate Bacou finished ninth - both on their distinctive blue Ténéré motorcycles. This made them an important part of the history of the world's most famous rally - and achieved legend status as two of the most talented and charismatic rally drivers of their time. Jean-Claude Olivier, whom everyone knew as "JCO", was not only one of the greatest personalities within the Dakar - he was also CEO of Yamaha Motor France! JCO was not only the toughest and most determined racer, but also a visionary businessman who made Yamaha the leading brand in France. JCO played an important role in making the Ténéré one of Yamaha's most successful, legendary and durable models - and the historic colours of the Ténéré 700 Rally Edition pay homage to him and the other Dakar heroes.
Classic rally colours
The 2019 Ténéré 700 model year is the result of one of Yamaha's most intensive development programs, with some of the best rally drivers in the world testing and evaluating prototypes in a variety of terrains around the globe. With its compact and agile chassis and characteristic high-torque CP2 engine with 689 cc displacement, this best-selling mid-range adventure bike offers both exciting off-road performance and exceptional long-distance comfort on the motorway. The new Ténéré 700 Rally Edition is built by dedicated employees together with the Ténéré 700 in France and, with its special blue-yellow finish, pays homage to the Yamaha racing machines driven by JCO and Serge Bacou at the Dakar Rally in 1983 and 1984. Yamaha fans will recognize the legendary design of the XT600Z from 1983. The black Yamaha speedblock decors underline the historic look and are an authentic tribute to the men and their machines that have inspired so many riders to set off to new horizons in search of new adventures and unforgettable memories.
Ténéré 700 Rally Edition – Highlights
Motorcycle adventurer on the Ténéré 700
Yamaha is proud of its partnership with numerous motorcycle travelers worldwide. The adventures of Nick Sanders, who is currently on his 8th circumnavigation of the world, are particularly well known. Nick has ridden over 1 million kilometres on many different brands and knows exactly what he expects from an adventure bike. The fact that the choice for his latest world tour was the Ténéré 700 speaks for itself. "In my role as a filmmaker, I got the opportunity to find out why the name Ténéré is so important to Yamaha. This was incredibly interesting because I was able to drive the new Ténéré 700 on its first adventure out of Yamaha's MBK factory near Paris and follow parts of the original Paris-Dakar route towards Senegal. It's a test drive. It's an adventure.' Nick Sanders's new Paris-Dakar film is on the YOUTube channel MAD TV. The names Erik Peters, Lea Riek and Dirk Schäfers will also be known to German-speaking adventure fans. These motorcyclists also rely on the Ténéré 700. We will report on the current adventures of these three shortly.
Price and availability
The Ténéré 700 Rally Edition will be available from Yamaha dealers from July 2020. The price is 10,999,-€ plus additional costs.
The Ténéré 700 Rally Edition is available in Sky Blue.