The case for the Yamaha Tenere 700 in India
It took Yamaha nearly three years to launch the hyped up Tenere 700 to international markets and in the time that it has been out, reviews from all over the world have been raving about its incredible off-road capabilities as well as how easy it is to ride on the road. And while there is no official word on the Tenere 700 making it to India, we do feel that it could be a great addition to Yamaha’s lineup in India. For starters, its main rivals — the Triumph Tiger 900 Rally and Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT — are already here in India. Even higher capacity ADVs like the Honda Africa Twin are on sale in India. And if sold here, the Tenere might just be able to come out on top among both of those segments when it comes to raw ability. But that’s not the only reason why it should come he
Race Genetics but with functionality
The Yamaha Tenere 700 retains the developments made for the Dakar Rally and it is ready to hit the toughest of trails without modifications. It is powered by a 72.4bhp, 68Nm 689cc liquid-cooled inline twin-cylinder engine. We have seen this CP2 engine internationally in the Yamaha MT-07 and the Yamaha R7. A lot of attention has gone into the suspension setup as well, with the longer swing arm and its sharper angle helping the motorcycle stay flat and reduce squat under acceleration (which lifts the front wheel up and the motorcycle loses steering ability). Yamaha was able to give the bike improved low- and mid-range performance thanks to the shorter final drive, to make technical riding effortless. This combination of dirt bike-like capabilities, an engine suitable for long hauls, and 240mm of ground clearance can be put to good use in our conditions.
The Tenere 700 is rather similar to the concept Yamaha showcased at EICMA 2018, with next to no changes in terms of the rally-ready design that appears to have been plucked from the Dakar Rally. The aesthetics are more to help the functionality of the motorcycle which itself is a lesson in compact packaging. The purposeful quad-LED headlamp makes the motorcycle look like an alien on the roads and the instrument cluster is made to resemble the road book on a competition motorcycle.
There is a market for it!
The ADV market is expanding. People want to log out from the humdrum of daily life and go on the road less travelled. Social distancing done right. And a multifunctional ADV fulfills this purpose very well. For example, the Royal Enfield Himalayan and the KTM 390 Adventure are a tremendous hit since they can travel everywhere, on or off-road, and these two are versatile vehicles and can be used as daily commuter through the week. The Tenere 700 will entertain those who want to upgrade but do not want to go all out on big tourers.
Another case for the Tenere 700 in India would be its no-nonsense functionality with next to no electronic intervention. If you’re one of the riders that prefer a more raw, connected ride without your ADV, the Tenere strips the electronics down to their bare essentials which also means fewer things go wrong when you’re hammering down the Sahara!
If the Yamaha Tenere 700 does come to India, you can expect it to be priced at around Rs 9 lakh. Mind you, that isn’t affordable, but rivals like the Triumph Tiger 900 Rally and Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT are priced at Rs 11.99 lakh and Rs 8.91 lakh respectively, and the Tenere could even sway prospective customers away from bigger, more expensive ADVs like the Honda Africa Twin and the BMW R 1250 GS.