Yamaha Ténéré 700- The Next Big Thing In Adventure Bikes?
Bike SA|November 2020
The Next Big Thing In Adventure Bikes?
Gavin Morton

If there is one motorcycle with multiple charges that can be leveled at it for its constantly delayed official launch date, it has to be the Yamaha T7; we have eagerly been anticipating this bike since its announcement in 2017.

The first two units arrived in South Africa in September 2020. They were homologated and have paved the way for the long-awaited sales stock, having been ridden by motorcycle journalists worldwide with outstanding reviews.

Many dirt bike enthusiasts have spent uncounted time chatting about and debating the T7, so I cornered Adrian Bac of Yamaha at a social event about the yays and nays of this bike. Adrian, and Commercial Manager Peter Wilkin, GM of Yamaha, were at the time probably the only two people in SA to have ridden the T7. This little chat took place two weeks before our annual Jozi2Kozi (J2K) ’Summer Edition’ for which I normally ride my KTM 500. We wanted Adrian to join us on the J2K on the T7 but, surprisingly, he declined, saying he had some work to do! The J2K is a motorcycle challenge, so he suggested that I ride the T7 bike on the event. Well, that deal was signed and sealed in a matter of seconds! Cheers to that!

The Jozi2Kozi is a 4-day off-road event offering both Adventure and Enduro riders various GPS routes, riding to their own time and traveling approx. 300km per day through some utterly magnificent terrain in KZN and rural Zululand. It really is untamed, unridden Africa and GG Alcock, our Route Director, and I can change the routes all the time without repeating ourselves and yet still offering a real challenge to participants. I could not think of a better riding and appraisal challenge for the Yamaha T7.

For five years now, the J2K has started at Jan Du Toit’s farm Country Trax near Amersfoort. We normally spend the first afternoon riding on the farm and enjoying one of the best - and oldest motorcycling playgrounds in the country, but the heavens opened, and the storms came in – even the farm dogs were scared! Well, that canceled the shenanigans for the day, but it did give us the opportunity for all participants to connect and chat about the T7 which, of course, opened up debates and discussions about the pros and cons of different adventure bikes.

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