Existing mid-size adventure bikes are too soft for you? An all-new off-road machine from Yamaha, based on the T7 and to be launched in 2018, should take care of that
Yamaha recently unveiled the T7 concept at EICMA, in Milan. The bike pays tribute to the early-1980s Yamaha XT600Z Ténéré, which was based on Yamaha's factory Paris-Dakar Rally racebikes that were ridden by Stéphane Peterhansel and other legendary riders. The XTZ600 was a big success for Yamaha back then, with the company selling more than 60,000 units between 1984-1984. And now, the spirit of that original Ténéré is back with the new T7 concept.
According to Yamaha, the T7 represents the ideal mid-size long-distance off-road motorcycle and addresses the concern that other existing mid-size 'adventure' bikes are actually too street-oriented, are too high-tech and aren't actually suited to hard-core off-road use. "The adventure world needs a new kind of motorcycle that can offer the genuine long distance versatility and pure durability of the original Ténéré, combined with contemporary design plus cutting edge engine and chassis technology," says a press note from Yamaha. "A team 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 have developed the new T7 concept. Each member of the team is driven by a desire to create something that would fit the needs of the adventure traveller and represent the Yamaha vision for the next generation of adventure bikes," it adds.
While the Yamaha T7 isn't a production-spec machine, it's a fully functioning prototype and, according to the company, has been developed to "achieve a perfect balance between road and off road capability." It's powered by Yamaha's 700cc parallel-twin and gets an all-new off-road-oriented chassis, along with an aluminium fuel tank, 4-projector LED headlight, carbonfibre fairing and skid plate, custom-made Akrapovič exhaust and high-spec, long-travel KYB suspension.
"A new chapter from the book of legends will be on the street - and on the dirt - from 2018," says the Yamaha press release. The competition had better watch out!