The Yamaha T7 Concept is for everyone who likes touring off the boring 4-lane highways has dreamt of having a machine that they can take off the tarmac more confidently. And if you were young and impressionable in the 80s and 90s, the words Africa Twin and Tenere would be etched in your minds. This concept is a tribute to the original Tenere XT600Z’s spirit. Enjoy the pictures and the bonus video at the end.
Travel to stunning places even when there are no roads to get there; this photo below sums it up. Adventure represents a very pure and essential way of enjoying motorcycle riding.
Yamaha T7 Concept’s Inspiration
The iconic XT600Z Ténéré was based closely on Yamaha’s factory Dakar Rally competition machines that were raced by legendary riders including Stéphane Peterhansel, who is papa-Dakar himself. In the first ten years of the XT600’s life (which was the mid-80s to the mid-90s) Yamaha sold 61,000 motorcycles, and that was beginning of the adventure bike segment. Today, Yamaha can hope for much more, given the interest around this motorcycle.
Adventurer’s Ideal Wishlist
Many existing mid-size adventure models are perceived as being too road oriented and too sophisticated and are unsuited to real off road riding. What the adventure world needs is a rehash of the segment offering a good combination of:
- Genuine long distance versatility and pure durability of the original Ténéré
- Contemporary design
- Cutting-edge engine and chassis technology.
Tall by design. Maybe too tall?
May be too tall for Asian markets as the design team is composed of Yamaha’s engineers, designers and product planners from the Official Rally Team in France, the R&D in Italy and GK Design in the Netherlands. So, I surely hope they come out with lowered options for markets where the average height is much lesser. But, that would also depend on Yamaha’s sales strategy, Asia may never see this beauty.
Yamaha T7 Concept: 80-20 or 60-40?
Yamaha claims that the T7 Concept is a fully functioning prototype developed to achieve a perfect balance between road and offroad capability. I feel this machine is more of an off-road machine than on it. 80-20 or at the very least 60-40? This lightweight machine is based on an all-new chassis that has been designed to complement a specially developed version of Yamaha’s highly acclaimed 700cc CP2 engine. Strong torque and an easy power delivery for perfect traction in all conditions? Time will tell.
Yamaha T7 Concept Features
Some of the features that (I feel) may or may not be carried over to the production model:
- Aluminium fuel tank – Yes
- 4-projector LED headlight – Yes
- High specification KYB front suspension – Hopefully Yes
- Carbon fairing – Nopes (Add-on)
- Carbon skid plate – Nopes (Add-on)
- A custom made Akrapovič exhaust – No (Aftermarket)
T7 Concept is a vision piece meant to drive Yamaha’s next generation adventure models. May not go into production itself in its current avatar.
T7 concept model was shown at EICMA 2016. It’s inspiration, the legendary XT600Z Ténéré, launched 33 years ago at the Paris Show. Long time in the making and hope it lives up to the hype created around it.
Alright, what do you guys think about this motorcycle? Something you would buy if it was available? Leave your thoughts in the comments while I go away and play around with the rally navigation styled buttons on the handlebar.
Bonus – Yamaha T7 Concept Video