The much anticipated 2023 Yamaha Ténéré World Raid has finally hit Australian shores. Sitting above the standard model (and carrying a $5,500 price premium), it scores dual fuel tanks, that take capacity to 23-litres, and a host of cool add-ons.
Upgraded KYB suspension provides 20mm extra travel front and rear, with a high spec 43mm fork (230mm travel) with fully adjustable preload, compression and rebound. The back end features a redesigned linkage and adjustable preload.
There’s an Ohlins steering damper with 18 different settings, and an upgraded TFT display. Braking performance comes from Brembo dual-piston callipers and twin 282mm floating dual wave discs at the front and a single piston calliper with a 245mm disc at the rear.
ABS comes with three switchable modes (front and rear, rear only, and off), and it’s the middle of those we chose for the dirt. Rear only mode provides confidence that the front won’t lock under heavy braking and allowed us to lock the rear and slide into corners.
Yamaha’s adventure icon is powered by its road-proven high output CP2 cross-plane 689cc inline 2-cylinder liquid cooled DOHC engine, sporting a 270-degree crank that produces 55kW of power and 69Nm of torque. It’s got plenty of punch down low and a great sound.
21-inch front and 17-inch rear anodised blue wire-spoked wheels come fitted with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres, or optional Rally Race rubber (fitted to our tester). The latter are more dirt orientated and provided almost limitless amounts of grip on the dirt.
The 5.0-inch colour TFT display is mounted vertically, giving a real rally vibe and has three different screen displays to choose from. You can select a digital or analogue tacho, or just display the speed, with all of the options supported by two trip computers.
Connectivity to the MyRide app is also available, which will display text message and call alerts on the screen. Tech aside, we took the 2023 Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid to the Blue Mountains in search of some epic rocky hill climbs and flowing pine forest tracks.
Straight away, the World Raid felt at home off road, with nothing was really a challenged for it. Pushing hard up hills, the suspension did an excellent job at soaking up all the hits and made easy work of most tracks.
We found ourselves pinning the throttle and just sending it, and for the most part the suspension would take it all, with only the biggest bumps and rocks deflecting the front wheel or pushing us off line.
The adjustable Ohlins steering damper provided assistance when needed. Sure, the engine isn’t the most powerful out there, but it was still more than enough for what we were doing. Outright horsepower really doesn’t matter when you’re on an adventure anyway.
The torque down low is good and while it could do with a little more grunt on the black top, it was a minor quibble. There’s no fancy traction control or engine mapping modes either, meaning it’s all left up to the rider, which just adds to the fun of riding this bike.
On the dirt, grabbing a fist full of throttle will either have you stepping out sideways or lifting the front wheel, which will leave you grinning from ear to ear. The gearing ratios are good, and the constant mesh 6-speed delivers, as does the cable clutch.
The latter is a nice touch and means it’s easier to repair on the side of a track if something does go wrong. First gear is low enough to crawl through tight sections and in top gear you could comfortably sit on highway speeds.
We’d like to see a quick shifter come standard for a bit more on-road fun. providing a bit more on road fun. In terms of the actual bike, the two-piece seat design is great and allows for the pillion seat to be removed and replaced with a luggage rack.
The seat itself, which sits 10mm higher on the World Raid at 890mm, is firm and grippy, but comfortable enough for a whole day of riding. The height is intimidating at first, but you quickly get used to it thanks to exceptional overall balance.
Even in tight rocky sections we rarely needed to put a foot down. For those on the shorter side, a low seat option is available. Rally-inspired headlights feature, which tie in nicely with the bike’s design, and the textured black panelling and blue colour scheme look great.
The windscreen is a good size and has wind deflectors on the sides for extra protection. The handlebars are at a perfect height for maximum control in both the seated and standing positions, while the fuel tanks are narrow enough to squeeze your legs for grip.
The wide foot pegs are comfortable and we like the removable rubber inserts that provide comfort or ultimate grip in muddy conditions. Handlebar mounted controls are well placed and easy to use, with the exception of the menu scroll button.
To make changes, the scroll button needs to be pushed in with significant force and takes a real effort that leaves an imprint on your thumb. The USB port was a welcome addition though and well position to provide phone power, with little fuss.
What’s also missing is cruise control, and the option to add it, which is a bit of a blight on this middleweight adventure tourer. We worked out a trick with the twin fuel tanks to get both caps open when filling up, which allayed initial concerns we had about those.
The advantage gained in having more fuel is worth it, with the reduced height keeping the weight down low. As a result, the cockpit feels much roomier and the extra range of a claimed 500km is a huge plus (we managed 450km – still awesome).
The 2023 Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid is serious off road weapon with on road capability. It’s ready to go, out of the box, and well worth the $25,499 ride away price. We’d probably throw on some good hand guards and an Akrapovič tail-end if it was ours.
It’s available in two colours; Midnight Black and Icon Blue (as tested), and you can find out more about the 2023 Yamaha Ténéré 700 World Raid on the Yamaha Motorcycles Australia website, or from your local Yamaha dealer.
Our test bike was supplied by Yamaha Motorcycles Australia for review purposes.