My initial reaction was that the Brembo brakes could be better in terms of shear stopping power. The 4-piston caliper dual 282mm disc front brakes are adequate and I was able to modulate with just one finger which is great. They just didn’t give me that ‘wow those are good’ feeling that I have sensed during my first ride on some of the recent twin-cylinder ADV bikes. The rear brake reservoir is somewhat exposed so I protected it with a Brake Reservoir Guard. Yamaha did score points with me on the off-road ABS system.
One of the best inventions of the last decade is off-road ABS. I remember the early days of ABS where we had to constantly remember to disable it and when we forgot to turn it off, there was an oh-shit moment coming into that first corner, feeling the overactive ABS rejecting your instructions to lock up that rear tire and the front brake just wouldn’t bite. I don’t miss those terrifying moments. The off-road ABS on the Tenere 700 is fantastic. It allows you to completely skid the rear wheel to help turn in those corners and for braking assistance in loose gravel. The beauty of this mode is that the rider can grab the front brake hard without completely locking up the wheel. This reduces crashing risk and makes the bike safer to ride, especially for people with beginner or average off-road skills. I protected this critical system by installing an ABS Sensor Guard.
698cc Parallel Twin Powerplant
While it’s not the most powerful twin in the segment, it has plenty to get the job done on pavement, even at highway speed, and it’s very good on the dirt. Riding this bike some 1,500 miles with about half of those miles being off-road, I came to really like the character of this motor. My first impression centered on how smooth it was and that it pulled better than I expected on the highway. I came to enjoy the sounds it made while riding on the twisty high-mountain two-track.