Hands down, one of the most exciting bikes at last year’s EICMA show in Milan, Italy, was the Yamaha T7 concept. We all love ADV bikes, but most of them are huge, heavy, and expensive, so the idea of a lightweight, long-travel rally rig built on the bones of the FZ-07 had our hearts racing.
That was 12 months ago, and in the last year interest in the T7 has never waned, so we fully expected Yamaha to announce a production model for 2018. No such luck. Instead, another concept, called the Ténéré 700 World Raid. A bunch of Yamaha test riders will get to ride this thing around the world next year as part of a “World Raid Tour," but there’s no production bike in sight. Come on, Yamaha!
What could be keeping Japan from making this motorcycle? Maybe Yamaha knows that finally bringing a bike like the Ténéré 700 to the market will guarantee that all those unsold Super Ténérés continue to collect dust on dealership floors, or maybe it is worried about stealing the spotlight from the new YZF-R6. Whatever the reasoning, it’s driving us mad. Come on, Yamaha!
The bike currently on display in Milan has the same profile of last year’s T7, but Yamaha has added more fuel to the fire of our fantasies by telling us the 689cc “CP2” parallel-twin engine was specially developed for this application, presumably with more midrange thrust.
The steel frame, also pulled from the FZ-07 (which is now called the MT-07, in case you didn’t see that story), has been “reworked and improved… to achieve optimized on-road and off-road handling,” Yamaha says. That likely means the frame has been reinforced and geometry changed to suit the 700's mission of ripping on road and off. Damn, we want to ride this bike. Come on, Yamaha!
The seat is also lower, and carbon fiber was used to make the side panels, front fender, and tailsection. Like last year’s concept, the Ténéré 700 illuminates the trail with a quartet of project-beam LEDs, though the cockpit area looks far more developed on this bike, with a contoured windscreen and none of the exposed wiring we saw last year. It looks ready to sell, which leaves us with just one thing left to say: Come on, Yamaha!
Don’t forget to check out the rest of our coverage of all the new motorcycles released at EICMA this year.