For years, we’ve longed for Yamaha’s single-cylinder XT660 Tenere, which has never been imported into the U.S. But it looks like something even better may soon be ready, and is undoubtedly headed to our shores, what is likely to be called the MT-07 Tenere in Europe and possibly by another name here in the U.S. This bike will go head to head with a variety of bikes in the middleweight-ADV class, including BMW’s F800GS, Triumph’s Tiger 800 XCx, and unannounced but we-know-it’s-coming new middleweight twin-cylinder machine from KTM.
As you can guess from the nomenclature, this bike will be based on the same powertrain found in Yamaha’s FZ-07—one of our favorite motorcycles of the past couple of years. That engine is the 689cc liquid-cooled, parallel-twin, DOHC, 8-valve engine found in the aforementioned naked sport standard. The last FZ-07 we put on the Cycle World dyno, cranked out 65.9 horsepower at 8,750 rpm, with 45.4 pound-feet of peak torque at 6,480 rpm.
The parallel-twin-cylinder engine has a 270-degree crank, which is naturally by its nature crossplane, meaning it lays down a smooth, broad spread of power, which sounds totally ideal for off-highway exploration. We’re hoping that Yamaha decides to fit this version (unlike the FZ-07) with ride-by-wire throttle for the fuel-injection system, which would open the door to advanced traction control, and various ride modes. ABS will almost certainly be standard.
From the spy photo, we can see that Yamaha appears to be taking the off-road capabilities of the bike seriously, with what appears to be an 21-in.-front/18-inch-rear wire-spoke wheel combination, aluminum skidplate, twin disc front brakes, long-travel suspension, and tall off-road friendly handlebar position (ideal for standing while riding off-road). In FZ-07 guise, the platform weighs in at a feathery 379 pounds dry, but we suspect with the addition of fairings, and off-road protection, that it will likely hover closer to 400 pounds (dry).
With the current popularity of Adventure-touring machines—but with most of the bikes residing in the 1000-plus-cc displacement range—another light, maneuverable package with easily manageable power sounds like a great addition to Yamaha’s lineup.
Rumor is that Yamaha is going to officially announce this bike in the next few weeks, so, we will give you more information as soon as it becomes available.