It takes a beating so your engine doesn’t.
When Yamaha released the Ténéré 700 with a sub-$10,000 MSRP, the motorcycle industry’s collective jaw dropped. Without electronic wizardry like traction control, cruise control, or a fancy TFT display, Iwata kept the T7 attainable for adventure riders of all levels. Cuts didn’t stop there though. Key crash protection like engine guards and case protectors had to be conceded as well. Tenere 700 owners can address the middleweight adventurer’s shortcomings with Yamaha’s extensive accessories catalog.
Skid plates are arguably the most important off-road accessory. Unlike crash bars or sliders that see action upon tipover, the skid plate receives a constant battering from road debris and rugged off-road terrain. The plastic skid plate outfitted on the Ténéré 700 matches Yamaha’s stripped-back, budget approach. The brand does offer a 4mm-thick aluminum replacement in its parts catalog but Black Dog Cycleworks (BDCW) thinks its Ultimate Skid Plate will outlast any competitor.
Based in Idaho, Black Dog Cycleworks what’s needed for off-road exploration and the company supplies an assortment of aftermarket mods for lage to mid-size adventure bikes. The firm has extensive experience with BMW, KTM, and Honda ADVs, and all that experience went into crafting a superior skid plate for Yamaha’s new contender. The 4.8-mm 5052 aluminum skid plate provides ample protection while giving very slightly upon impact to preserve mount integrity.
To better reinforce the belly guard, BDCW created a new mounting bracket at the front and steel submount that attaches directly to the rear frame. The new mounting system not only delivers a more robust line of defense but also provides a crush zone between the header pipes, frame, and the skid plate itself. The Ultimate Skid Plate even covers the upper portion of the exhaust, an area that the stock Ténéré 700 failed to protect.
For those looking to explore the path less traveled on a T7, BDCW’s rugged skid plate should be on the upgrades shortlist. With a promotional price of $375, the Ultimate Skid Plate even undercuts Yamaha’s heavy-duty skid plate ($379 USD). Yes, Team Blue made some compromises when it created the budget-friendly middleweight ADV, but that doesn’t mean that owners need to do the same when protecting their investment.