While the shiny-new Yamaha Ténéré 700 finally landed in North America for us Yankees and Canucks to get our hands on, the model has already been available in Europe for well over a year and is already yesterday’s news. Our cousins on the Old Continent are ready for something else and Yamaha Europe obliged.
Because the Ténéré 700 apparently wasn’t rugged enough already, Yamaha introduced a new, even more rugged edition of the popular model. Behold, the Ténéré 700 Rally Edition.
Rumors that Yamaha was developing a rally-inspired version of its mid-size ADV surfaced back in February 2019. It all started with one of Team Blue’s team lead confirming that they would consider a brawnier version of the model if they judged the interest was there. Then in January 2020, colleagues at Bike Social revealed that a new Ténéré model number had been type-approved.
Sure enough, six months later and here we have it, the Ténéré 700 Rally Edition in all its glory. The new edition’s most obvious feature is the rad OG Ténéré-inspired livery, based on the 1983 Yamaha XT600 Ténéré’s bright blue and yellow colorway. The 600 was preceded by the hugely successful XT500, the very bike Paris-Dakar founder Thierry Sabine was traveling on when he got the idea for the famous desert raid. The XT600 also saw its fair share of competition as Jean-Claude Olivier and Serge Bacou’s weapon of choice for the 1983 and 1984 Paris-Dakar races.
Gallery: 2020 Yamaha Ténéré 700 Rally Edition
The Rally Edition also features a rally seat that increases the seat height to 35.2 inches from 34.4 inches, grip pads on the tank, off-road hand grips, an Akrapovič slip-on muffler, a heavy-duty skid plate, radiator and chain guards, and LED turn signals. The 689cc parallel-twin remains unchanged; so are the long-travel suspension, brakes, and wire spoke wheels. The Rally Edition package pretty much adds extra protection where you need it to make the bike even more off-road ready.
The 2020 Ténéré Rally Edition will be available in European dealers in July but no price range was announced for what will likely become the range’s new flagship.