2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700 | Long-Term Ride Review

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Mileage: 3,688
MSRP: $9,999
Accessories: $1,464.99 (new); $3,334.92 (total)

2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700 Long-Term Ride Review
Photos by Arden Kysely.

As reported in my 2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700 Tour Test Review, Yamaha’s latest ADV is an exceptional machine right out of the box, but a few tweaks make it even better. The T7 is a pleasure to ride, with the CP2 motor smoothly generating enough torque to ascend steep, twisty roads in third gear, and it takes off-pavement obstacles in stride. For that test, we added accessories from Yamaha’s catalog — Main Stand, Aluminum Side Cases with locks and mounts, Engine Guard and Universal Grip Heaters — that totaled $1,869.93 and added 51 pounds to the T7’s curb weight. For our next round of tweaks, we turned to the aftermarket.

One challenge is the long reach to the clutch lever, which prevents me from having complete control in dicey off-road situations. To solve that problem, I installed a set of C5 Series Sport clutch and brake levers from ASV Inventions ($290). Adjustable over a 4-inch range in 180 steps, the American-made, machined-from-billet levers provide excellent engagement control, even with a shorty clutch lever. To protect the levers, I replaced the stock plastic handguards with Barkbusters ($154.70 for aluminum backbones, guards and skid plates). I’ve used these rugged items before, and neither branches nor crashes have damaged them. There’s one hitch: the ASV levers fit so closely behind the aluminum backbones that rotating them requires rotating the Barkbusters too.

2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700 Long-Term Ride Review

For additional protection, I installed R&G’s Engine Case Cover Kit ($178.99). Molded from 4mm polypropylene, the covers fit over the left and right engine cases to absorb hits that could cause damage. Installation couldn’t be easier: remove four case bolts on each side, then bolt on the protectors with the longer bolts provided.

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The T7’s stock footpegs are on the short side, and though serrated, they lack sufficient grip with wet boots. The new MK4 from Pivot Pegz ($189), which rotate fore/aft by up to 20 degrees, are 20mm longer than stock and have a much sharper surface. Enhanced traction and the ability to tilt my toes up or down as necessary are welcome attributes. A set of plastic Toppers ($29.95) tames the pegs’ teeth for street riding.

2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700 Long-Term Ride Review

For a lighter-weight alternative to Yamaha’s accessory aluminum panniers, I installed Touratech’s Extreme Waterproof Saddle Bags ($399.95) and 31-liter Waterproof Adventure Dry Bag ($114.95). Though hard bags are more convenient, and perfect for road trips, the Touratech luggage provides only a liter less storage while weighing just 6.3 pounds, improving off-pavement handling. I’m lost without a tank bag, so the Nelson-Rigg Trails End Adventure ($107.45) made my day by fitting the Ténéré perfectly. Twelve liters of storage become 16.5 with the top expanded, and the slim side pockets don’t beep the horn at full lock. A four-clip harness and non-slip base keep it tight on the tank, and a rain cover is included.

These improvements to control, protection and overall weight make the T7 a more enjoyable and durable partner for multi-surface adventures. 

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