There’s nothing better than owning a piece of Dakar heritage but is it all it’s cracked up to be?
While the rest of the world is scrambling for the Tenere 700 we snatched a bargain 2016 and spec’d it out for less than a new T7
- Akrapovic Slip-On Mufflers
- Lowering Link
- Heated Grips
- Seat Concepts Seat
- SW Motech Centre Stand
- Pivot Pegz
- Smoto Tail Tidy
- Plastic High Front Fender
- Barkbusters VPS Handguards
- SW Motech Crash Bars
- Touratech Headlight Guard
- Touratech GPS Mount and Cradle
- Touratech Heat Shield
- Touratech Rear Brake Reservoir Guard
- Touratech Side Stand Foot
- Yamaha Heated Grips
- Denali Power Module
- B&B Engine Guard
- Zumo 595 GPS
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The Classic Lives On
We started with a pretty scrappy 2016 Tenere but with a view cosmetic fixes it cleaned up nicely. Now with the new T7 on the market old series Tenere accessories are are getting cleared out and there are some bling bargains to be had.Photos by Lance Turnley
Rest Here When Crashing
It’s not a question of if but when you will throw your bike down the road and it’s not because you can’t ride but you never know when that greasy clay will appear around the next corner. And those plastic guards on the side of the tank might save your fuel cell in a light fall but Iíve seen the tarmac grind right through and spread fuel all over the road. I think SW Motech design some of the best crashbars on the market. I think that Hepco Becker and Touratech are just as good but SW Motech are spot on with strength and the way their crashers blend with the lines of the bike. Motorrad Garage in Sydney and Perth are the importers and they are well worth the investment at $345
Goodbye Chook Choof
The over muffled note of of the standard exhaust, like any 650 single coming straight off the assembly line is uninspiring at best.It’s a no brainer to go straight to an after market exhaust. There are much cheaper makes on the market but I had the budget to go for the Akrapovic system. You can’t beat the quality and it’s all you would expect for $1,195.00. Available online from Shop Yamaha.
Taking a Stand
I was lucky to score a centre stand secondhand. Yes, they add weight but are invaluable when you get a puncture and perform a roadside repair. SW Motech still have centre Stans available for $364.00
This is by far one of the most important investments you’ll make. B&B Off Road Engineering make the toughest bash plates available. Not only are they the toughest but also well designed. And I’m not talking about for looks but their mount points are designed for the frame to take the impact so the engine is isolated from any damage. I’ve actually seen poorly design engine protection punch holes in engine cases. Available from B&B Off Road Engineering.
We bought our Tenere already fitted with Barkbuster Storm which are great for the winter months but for the warmer weather we s\wapped out the Storm plastics for some floor green VPS. They don’t just offer impact protection but also gives you a little more visibility out on the road.
I love Teneres but I’ll be the first to concede the XT660Z is heavy to start with and as the list of bling grows so does the weight. So being on the short legged size you need to be able to plant your feet solidly on the ground when you stop. I couldn’t get anything locally so I found these lowering links on eBay from Lust Racing. Can’t complain. Good quality and arrived pretty quickly from the UK and cost about AUD$150 landed.
The two level design of the Tenere seat allows enough height to accommodate twin high mounted mufflers but the standard design locks you in to one position and is particularly uncomfortable for bigger riders that want to move back in the seat. Australian distributors AdventureMoto had Seat Concepts based in the USA to design a new frame mould to allow bigger riders to sit back from the tank. Seat Concepts also use a proprietary foam formula that is firmer and more supportive over time. The kits are supplied with foam and cover and you can fit them yourself, use your local upolsterer or for a small fee AdventureMoto will do it for you.
Control That Power
When you run an increasing number of powered accessories the old school way the positive and negative terminals can start to get a little crowded. Not only that accessories will slowly drain your battery just for being connected. The solution is a Denali Power Hub. The PowerHub2 Power Distribution Module, allows you to connect up to 6 electronic devices to your motorcycle in a clean, professional manner. It is CAN-Bus compatible and includes six 15-amp rated and fused outputs, six ground posts, and a plug-and-play wiring harness for direct battery hookup. Each of the six outputs can be individually set as “always on” or “switched” on/off with the ignition of the motorcycle. There is just enough room under the seat to fit the module on a home made bracket. Available from AdventureMoto for $279.00
Some say I should harden up but when it comes to being relaxed on the bike heated grips are the best thing ever on cold mornings. There are lots on the market but I splashed out on some genuine Yamaha heated grips. I have to admit they are excellent quality and basically you just plug and play. The controls are on the inside of the left grip and can easily be operated with your index finger. Keep pressing the little green button to chose one of three settings. The compact controls also mean you don’t have to find a place to mount a seperate controller. Reasonably comfortable but a bit expensive at $321.48. Available from Shop Yamaha.
Garmin Zumo 595 GPS
It was a no brainer to fit the Garmin Zumo 595 GPS. Years ago we had the Garmin Zumo 550 and I was always a big fan. With OZTopo maps out in the desert it helped us find trails we couldn’t see and got us out of the bush when the Trail Boss got lost. However one of the biggest advantages was when me would roll into town late at night and it would lead us straight to our accommodation. Trying to read street maps in the dark sucks the big one. Garmin has just release the new Zumo XT so there may be a few Garmin Zumo 595 on the market at discount prices. Seek and you shall find.
Touratech Lockable GPS Cradle
You can’t always rely on the standard Garmin mount . I’ve experienced losing a GPS mid-ride once before and having the purchase another one so the security of a lockable and durable mount makes more sense than you could possibly know. Compatible with the standard Garmin mount the Touratech unit clamps around the GPS unit and can be locked with a key to guard against thief Combine with a GPS mounting bracket to fit the GPS above the instruments. Available from Touratech Australia while stocks last.
Touratech Oil Reservoir Guard
I’ve always loved to quality of Touratech products and they have certainly led the way in alloy protection design for the last decade. Touratech oil reservoir guard is an essential item for oil reservoirs on any adventure bike that will see some off road action.
Touratech Headlight Protector
I’ve broken headlight lenses before from rocks thrown up from the back wheel of whoever you’re racing. Unfortunately it was my ‘99 model 3YF XTZ660 which became a huge pain when I found out that 3YF headlight are no longer available (NLA). I do like the look of the alloy Touratech alloy headlight guards but they do reduce the brightness just a little. I decided to go for the clear plastic version. If you avoid wiping the mud and dust of with a rag it will last the life of the bike.
Touratech Side Stand Foot
It’s a simple pice of kit but there is nothing worse than turning your back on your fully laden adventure mount and hearing a thud on the ground only to find a 250kg motorcycle horizontal on the ground after the side stand has sunk into soft ground.The Touratech side stand foot is a simple essential. Light weight but tough surviving some rock smashes on the first couple of rides.
This is our first project bike starting with a second hand bike. So what’s the bad news
You’re not going to find a bigger Tenere fan than me… (well at five foot six you probably will) but when you take into consideration two 34Ls, one pristine 3AJ, two ‘89 Super Teneres, and a ‘99 XTZ660 3YF then it’s no surprise I have recently purchased a 2016 XT660Z.
Some of you are might be thinking why I haven’t bought a brand new XT700Z. Well given my past purchase history I figure I have another 20-30 years to make a commitment to a 2020 model so there’s no rush. After all historical rego is so much cheaper.
Not all of us can afford to buy a brand spanking new bike and with the release of the new 700 twin there’s plenty of 2010 to 2018 XT660Z bargains to be found of the last model series of the famous Tenere.
Instead of looking for a blinged up unit I decided to go for an average shitta with the sound mechanicals but a bit rough about the edges that I could set up to suit my simple needs. Sure there were some great examples out there but I focused on ugly dogs with a rough head that nobody wanted.
The perfect example finally turned up. A slighting battered unit that had been poorly touched up and needed some love. Bits of miss matched touch up paint around the exhaust with signs of overspray did have me worried. A bit like the other guys girlfriend who’s makeup looks like a diorama of a crash scene. Nevertheless I recognised as a rough diamond that needed a a little cosmetics.
Getting down to basics
The basics were good. Earlier model Teneres tend to be very spongy and this one had suspension upgrade courtesy of Technik, a Guard-IT Technology rear rack, Barkbuster handlebars, hand guards and Pivot Pegz. I just had to get it at the right price.
Getting a good bargain is mostly about being in the right place at the right time and I had to haggle hard and was prepared to lose the sale. That didn’t worry me because I still hadn’t thought of an excuse to tell my wife. I figure any excuse that had the word ‘investment’ in it would do the trick. However, being the intelligent woman that she is a fleet of six old Teneres would surely spell bullshit to her.
The final price was a bargain at half the market value 2017 Teneres are pulling at the time so it gave me lots a budget to spec this Tenere up to something that would tide me over till I would finally get to throw my leg over a T7… one day.
To be honest I prefer the ergonomics on the 2017 Tenere than the 2019 XT690Z (T7). I find the seating/handlebar position suits me a little better but there’s no comparison between the single cylinder 660cc thumper and the MT07 based twin. I’d take the new generation engine any day.
There are many reasons why we buy a particular bike. Size, style, power, brand loyalty, it can be hard to understand. For example, VStrom owners? Regardless of your reasoning you don’t necessarily have to get the latest and greatest to enjoy an epic adventure ride. Reliability helps and the XT660Z will dish it up in spades. In part two we’ll show you the mods we made to our latest edition to the ORE fleet.