Built For Travel: Yamaha Tenere 700 Explore

Yamaha Motor Europe continues to introduce new T7 variants that we can’t get here in Canada—alas! This week, in the run-up to the 2023 EICMA show, we get the new Yamaha Tenere 700 Explore, a machine that is made for middleweight touring.

The changes from the standard model are simple and practical. First off, you get an updated suspension. The Tenere 700 Explore has 190 mm of wheel travel, a 20 mm reduction from the standard bike. This is due to changes in the internals of the KYB fork and shock, which also come with stiffer spring rates to help absorb the weight of added luggage.

The changes to the suspension also mean the seat height now drops to 860 mm. That’s not low, but it’s lower, and for many riders, that’s a step in the right direction. If you’re touring and constantly getting on and off the bike, a lower saddle means less hopping around every time you need to stop.

The other most noticeable updates are a massive new windshield. Yamaha says it’s 50 percent larger than the standard T7 screen, offering plenty of wind protection. And there’s also a set of rear side-bag mounts; Yamaha wants to sell you its own soft or hard luggage to fit these. Many owners will opt for the aftermarket, of course.

There’s also a quickshifter fitted as standard kit, but it’s not bi-directional, it seems, as the PR only mentions clutchless up-shifts.

The rest of the bike sounds like it’s more-or-less the same machine as the standard T7, which was updated for 2024 in the Canadian market (see more here). But unlike the standard T7, it looks like the Explore is just the latest in a long line of T7 variants that have been built by Yamaha’s European arm, with no plan to bring it to North America at this point. Too bad! There would definitely be interest in a travel-oriented T7 in our market.

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