BMW’s marketing department would disagree, but Yamaha practically invented the adventure bike. Their XT500 (First tested in Bike in March 1977) was the first time that a production trail bike was a convincing road bike. Modified XTs won the first two Paris Dakar rallies.
The big-tanked XT600 Tenere (first tested in Bike in March 1984) tapped into Dakar rally credibility and become the bike of choice for round the world riders in the eighties and nineties.
The XTZ750 Super Tenere (first tested in Bike in May ’89) led the big trailie (they weren’t called adventure bikes then) boom that swept Europe in the nineties, and Super Ten-derived bikes won the Dakar seven times.
Now the Yamaha revival that began with the introduction of the MT-09 (first tested in Bike in November 2013) is about to produce a bike that lives up to their adventure bike heritage.
We got the exclusive ride on the concept version of the new 700cc adventure bike. Off-road editor Jon Pearson reckons it’s very good and as soon as there’s a production model we’ll be riding that, hopefully across the Sahara (I’m volunteering). Bike has always delivered the best tests and insight and we’ll continue to do so.
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