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Yamaha XT660Z Tenere Hot

Yamaha XT660Z Tenere

Listing Information Motorcycles

Manufacturer Yamaha
Model XT660Z Tenere
Price 5,699
Top Speed 120mph
Insurance Group 10
Engine Size 660cc
Engine Type Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, 4-valve, single cylinder, SOHC
Compression Ratio 10 : 1
BH Power 48bhp
Torque 58Nm
Gears 5
Seat Hight 895mm
Ground Clearance 245mm
Fuel Capacity 22 Litres
Dry Weight 183kg
Front Suspension Telescopic forks
Rear Suspension Swingarm (mono-cross)
Front Tyre Size 90/90 - 21
Rear Tyre Size 130/80 - 17
Brakes Front Double disc, 298mm
Brakes Rear Single disc, 245mm

Big single cylinder thumper with better than average off road ability. Yamaha increased the price of the Tenere by £500 in April 2009 due to the weakness of the pound.

Editor review

I should have gone desert bashing

Overall rating: 
 
7.0
As a Long Distance Tourer:
 
3.0
Off Road Capability:
 
7.0
Around Town:
 
8.0
Additional Equipment Availability:
 
9.0
Reliability:
 
9.0
Handling:
 
7.0
Engine:
 
5.0
Value for Money:
 
8.0
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10 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Back in the 1970's the bike I'd have happily died for but could not afford was the Yamaha XT500. For me this was the first of the big trailies that had style, performance and heaps of desirability. However, by the time I had the cash (1989) the Yamaha Tenere was setting the pace and with a big wad in hand (it was the 80's after all) I made my way to Brierly Hill in the West Midlands and picked up a brand spanking new big thumper.

And if truth be told I knew on the ride back home I'd made a mistake, but let's put that judgement in context. At the time I was into on-road speed and performance and off road trials riding. The big single cylinder Tenere was not great nor suited for either. The lack of punch and top end speed was brutally frustrating for motorway riding and the poor comfort levels didn't help either.

As for it's off road capability I found the Yam too big, top heavy and the gearing was far too high for just about anything that resembled a technical challenge. That said, I was more into technical off road stuff than long distance desert piste bashing at the time – so my views of the Tenere would have been influenced by that. In short I bought the wrong bike, I would have been far happier with a machine that would eat road miles or a smaller more nibbler bike for enduro riding. If I valued anything about the bike then it was it's ability for nipping smartly around town and the fact that it did let me live when we flew over a hidden 10ft drop on a far too fast blast around some local fields.

That said, I reckon that these days with my focus more on the less technical off road stuff and warp speed road work a thing of the past the Tenere would be better suited for my needs. And in fairness there are many who rate this bike as one of the best dual purpose big trailies ever made and I can understand why. For example, if I were riding from the UK to Timbuktu then the Tenere would be a fantastic choice, as long as I had it shipped to the start of the desert piste.

I guess it's time to try out the new Tenere and see if I could now live with the on-road restrictions of riding a big single, though I doubt it, I still like a bit of speed and comfort.

Review Information Motorcycles

Time owned 1
I liked Nippy around town
I Disliked On road restrictions of a big single thumper
Would you buy again Maybe
In one line It's a classic and very able, I just bought one for the wrong reasons at the wrong time
 
 


User reviews

View all user reviews

Average user rating from: 13 user(s)

Overall rating: 
 
8.0
As a Long Distance Tourer:
 
7.4   (13)
Off Road Capability:
 
7.2   (13)
Around Town:
 
8.5   (13)
Additional Equipment Availability:
 
8.3   (13)
Reliability:
 
8.7   (13)
Handling:
 
7.8   (13)
Engine:
 
7.3   (13)
Value for Money:
 
8.5   (13)
 
Ratings (the higher the better)
As a Long Distance Tourer*
Off Road Capability*
Around Town*
Additional Equipment Availability*
Reliability*
Handling*
Engine*
Value for Money*
Comments*
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Big grin factor and a seriously usefull bike

Overall rating: 
 
8.3
As a Long Distance Tourer:
 
7.0
Off Road Capability:
 
7.0
Around Town:
 
9.0
Additional Equipment Availability:
 
7.0
Reliability:
 
10.0
Handling:
 
8.0
Engine:
 
9.0
Value for Money:
 
9.0
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful

Can I start by saying , the editors review is based on a 1989 Ten,, pretty pointless really.
I bought mine new from wigan Yam, who delivered it (with Yam Panniers) and picked up my KTM 640 supermoto, Great service, I stay near Edinburgh so they did well.
I thought aboput a beemer before buying this, but the money, and the weight made me buy the Ten, and I love it, Two up touring the Hebrideas, camping off the bike for a week was superb and once I got the hang of the hight of the bugger it coped brilliantly.
Mines has been totally reliable,, no issues at all. Fuel economy is superb, handling is excellent, off road as well, copes great on the trails round my way.
I have been messing about a wee bit, fitted big ebay pegs (superb), Garmin, on a ram mount wired tothe aux outlet in the dash. XT660.com is the place to go for all advice and bits and bobs etc. Will sort out the exhaust (very heavy and restrictive) and do a fuel mod, once the 2 yrs are up.

All in all,, brilliant, would reccomend one any day.

Review Information Motorcycles

Time owned 1.5 years
I liked The whole package really
I Disliked Maybe the hight when touring
Would you buy again Yes
In one line It`s a Tenere
Grin Factor (0=crap 10=I loved it) 9
 

Yamaha tenere 660

Overall rating: 
 
9.8
As a Long Distance Tourer:
 
10.0
Off Road Capability:
 
10.0
Around Town:
 
10.0
Additional Equipment Availability:
 
10.0
Reliability:
 
10.0
Handling:
 
9.0
Engine:
 
9.0
Value for Money:
 
10.0
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Reviewed by andre
September 25, 2011
Comments (0)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful

i own several bikes and this is my smallest capacity bike. have had this bike over mountains, on long trips and use it lots in town and on freeway. its extremely capable for its size and horsepower.

do not try to ride it like a 1200 as it is not. its extremely comfortable compared to what is out there in the market that compares. most 600 size bikes with such capability are either enduro orientated or too road orientated. i think the main review misses the boat totally.

 

i just love this bike warts and all

Overall rating: 
 
9.0
As a Long Distance Tourer:
 
8.0
Off Road Capability:
 
10.0
Around Town:
 
8.0
Additional Equipment Availability:
 
10.0
Reliability:
 
10.0
Handling:
 
9.0
Engine:
 
7.0
Value for Money:
 
10.0
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful

ive given this bike a year .. i bought it with one intention to do as much off road riding as i could ..with a trip to morroco on the horizon too

engine .. well its a big single 48hp with tall gearing .. but its sprightly and surprisingly smooth as long as you dont bog it down
it gives its tourque early and with standard gearing will lollop along at 80mph all day
its delivery is great its soft low down but with a long action throttle you can spin it up when you want to .not when the engine feels like it ..so easy to pick your way through rocks and stuff without unwelcome spin ups ..on a bike this tall its a nice plus
evryone has a different take on what they want ..to own this bike and get on with it i think a certain mindset is a good idea .
for me the gearing is too tall ..a 14 tooth front sprocket helps usability all round ..the payback is 75mph criusing on the motorway is where your at shed with knobblies this seems sensible enough anyway so no big deal
overall it gives around 65mpg ..that can be 55mpg on motorway slogs and 70mpg chugging around the back roads short shifting at 4k revs
i went on to cut the cat out of the exhaust and fit a fual mod ..now the big single is really flexible ..between the gearing and the breathing mods its so much better all round

inm not a total mug off road but not a great talent ..but bit by bit ive got used to the tenere and have surprised myself where its gone and how well its dealt with it
lowering the bike has helped to get me feet down off road [im 6ft 1 tall too ]
replacing the fork springs with ohlins is a absalute must ..i say that after doing it but its way to0 soggy as standard ..
loads of suspension travel and for a big bus adventure off road its very good as long as you remember your not in the dakar here the tenere makes a lot of sense

the equipment readouts are fine

the brakes ...very very good smooth progressive loads of feel no abs ..but i dont want it on this type of bike

ergos for me is very good the seat is ok but me airhawk is a great addition for that big trip .a larger giv1 screen with a mra wing and the protection is very good i ride open face lid everywhere
raising the handlebars for standing makes this bike fit well with the peg handlebar position spot on .i can literally stand for a hour or more should i want to
servicing ..is simple easy access to everything although the rad has to come off for the valves ..its a simple one pot ..locknut adjusting affair .. 15k miles no adjustment needed
it took me a while to get it where i want it to be .the tenere can be much better with a few cheap mods
it handles really well on the road but again with knoblies fitted quick to 80mph is as much as id like it starts to get skittish after that ..but was pretty nippy through the bends with road rubber when i first got it ..but thats not what the tenere is about ..that said its pleasent enough to ride on the road ...
ok so whats bad
well the cush drives are poor but can be packed out for 50p
the well recorded rectifier connection ..check and seal
i would say the standard gearing
low beam is ok high beam is pathetic ..spots for this winter are going on ..they are needed

whats good ..well you get the idea from the report
..some things that dont get noticed that much ..
mild steel brake and gear levers [no stupid weak alloy ]
crank case protector for the brake lever
towing loop
ready for high fender if you need it
huge suspension movment
the price ..4500 quid for a 900 mile mint condition bike

marking the bike for points

it will do distance with the right mindset and lots of it

off road 10 its a great dual purpose bike

town with the right gearing its a breeze

equipment pretty much anything is out there

100percent reliable

handling its nice to ride

engine .. its a good old thumper urber tourers and fast boys look elswhere

value ...i think im going to get arrested for theft everytime i ride it



Review Information Motorcycles

Time owned one year
I liked feels good off tarmack
I Disliked the seat height
Would you buy again Yes
In one line competant
Grin Factor (0=crap 10=I loved it) 10
 

One of the first

Overall rating: 
 
8.0
As a Long Distance Tourer:
 
8.0
Off Road Capability:
 
7.0
Around Town:
 
9.0
Additional Equipment Availability:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
9.0
Handling:
 
9.0
Engine:
 
7.0
Value for Money:
 
10.0
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful

I've owned and ridden this bike since June 2008 and it is the longest I have ever owned a bike. I was planning a pan-European trip for August 2008 and I had a Honda Varadero all setup and ready. I went into the dealers to buy a set of pads for my TTR, and came out with a new Tenere!

A few weeks after taking delivery I was out in Europe, I covered well in excess of 8000 miles in 19 days, I serviced the bike on the roadside in Greece and she never missed a single beat. She laughed at the roads in Romania and took on the mountain roads in Greece. Happy to hussle with the Itallians and Polish dirvers without breaking a sweat (unlike her rider!)

The bike has had it's little problems, the wiring harness was over tight and a wire was worn through, there have been a few problems with the regulator assembly connection on other bikes (not mine), I've had a replacement swing arm (when the paint came off) but that's about it. She really is the most reliable bike I've owned, even after the Honda!

The Tenere is a little rough around the edges, after a while the suspension needs a tweek. Hyperpro progressive springs turn the bike into another machine all together. Replace the airfilter with a lovely DNA filter and PowerCommander V and the bike morphs again. Ditch the twin exit single can setup with a real single can (I'll plug MTC here) and the bike changes yet again. With each small improvement the butterfly becomes a more refined machine. The cost of these modification is probably around £700 with the PC-V being the single most expensive item.

The brakes are pretty good, you can add a little by upgrading to braided lines. You get a little more feel but not a huge amount.

In 2010 a group of us took the Tenere into Portugal, we covered 800+ miles of off road punishment, reaching speeds of 70-80 mph on gravel roads. These bikes just love this sort or terrain and are just as stable as doing 70-80 mph on the autoroutes. They get a little more hard work on slow stuff, but the key is speed, keep it up and the bike will carry you through.

They are very tall, but at 5'10" I'm not the tallest person in the world and I have a medioca 29" inside leg. Like most things in life it's not the physical attributes, but how you apply them, and I have no issue with the balance of the bike either on or off road. It's a matter of confidence in the bike, and this bike instills it by the bucket load.

Big singles aren't for everyone, with the Tenere you will love it, want to sleep with it or hate it.

Review Information Motorcycles

Time owned 3 Years, one of the first UK bikes on the road
I liked Whole style of the bike, reminded me of an Action Man toy, only needed foam missile launchers to complete the look
I Disliked Valve caps
Would you buy again Yes
In one line It's taken me further than any other bike.
Grin Factor (0=crap 10=I loved it) 10
 

Tenere 660 - just sold after 4 yrs 7 mths

Overall rating: 
 
8.3
As a Long Distance Tourer:
 
8.0
Off Road Capability:
 
7.0
Around Town:
 
8.0
Additional Equipment Availability:
 
8.0
Reliability:
 
9.0
Handling:
 
9.0
Engine:
 
8.0
Value for Money:
 
9.0
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Rup328 Reviewed by Rup328
April 29, 2011
Top 100 Reviewer
Comments (0)
View all my reviews
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Last updated: October 28, 2013
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful

Bought the bike for £4699 including centrestand in March 2009 and it had its 6000 mile service 4 months later thanks to a trip round the coastline of Britain, where it excelled. Averaged 65mpg on that trip, and about 55mpg at motorway speeds. I opted to fit Givi PLX363 panniers and a Givi monokey top plate, to which I fitted an old Givi E360 top box, rather than the aluminuim set available from Yamaha. I also fitted Touratech handguards and Oxford heated grips, and a 12 volt socket.

Mine suffered from regulator problems stemming from the stupid design of the regulator connector, which allows water to run into the plug and corrode it. I have had a new partial loom fitted, which I have sealed with self-amalgamating tape. I also fitted a battery charge monitor as there is no charge light fitted. I have had no more problems since then.

The standard Michelin Sirac tyres warm quickly and offer good grip, although they run very hot when loaded and my first rear tyre lasted only 4700 miles. I now run Avon Distanzias, excellent tyres with a smoother on road ride than the Siracs. The rear cush drive is made of playdoh, just stuff cut up inner tube in there and the drive will be much smoother. The original chain was shot at 11500 miles and I have fitted an X Ring gold chain and sprockets.

The finish of the bike is not as good as my old Honda CBR 1000F, and it requires regular cleaning and dosing with ACF50 to keep corrosion at bay. In the winter it is cleaned after every ride but I still have some furring on exposed nuts and bolts. The spokes need some TLC as they have started to rust despite of the cleaning ritual.

The bike is no sports bike but it cruises happily at 80 mph fully laden, and I don't go touring at any speeds faster than than that, otherwise it isnt touring!! I have done 450 mile days on it, where you realise that the seat holds you in one position leading to a numb bum.

I do love the bike but the reason I wouldn't buy another is cost. The latest price from Yamaha of over £7000 for a new one is a joke. It is worth £5k new but no more.

Update Dec 11 - As the bike now has 19000 mls on it and I have had no further problems with the regulator I have increased the reliability figure from a 6 to an 8. It performed faultlessly on my summer trip to Nordkapp in some horrendous rain when I was covering up to 500 miles per day. Average rear tyre life is 6000 mls - I have kept with the Distanzias as they grip really well wet or dry. Now the bike is out of warranty I service it myself - all parts easy to get and reasonably priced (Yamaha oil filter £8), and from now on it will get oil and filter every 3000 mls rather than the 6k Yamaha say. The bke still pulls really well with decent shove still available when cruising at motorway speeds, and I am still amazed at how smooth it is for a large single.

Update Oct 13 - Just traded the Tenere in for a new Triumph 1200 Explorer - the Tenere had 27800 miles on it and I was genuinely sad to see it go. In recent months I put on a set of BT45 pure road tyres which greatly improved on road grip and I was throwing round the bends like a supermoto!! The engine seems to get smoother and better with mileage and economy has averaged around 55 -60 mpg. The Tenere really is an excellent bike and if you are considering buying one then you will not regret it.

Review Information Motorcycles

Time owned 4 yrs 7 mths
I liked Styling, road presence, economy
I Disliked Seat height a pain when panniers fitted
Would you buy again No
In one line A true adventure bike
Grin Factor (0=crap 10=I loved it) 9
 
 
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Comments (2)

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Mr Free Market
Quite a good review of the "Ten" in that bastion of British journalism, The Sun

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/motors/biker/1679041/Someone-lend-me-a-Tenere.html

& the money quote

"The long-travel forks soak up off-road bumps like a chocolate HobNob in a mug of steaming tea"


I want one
Mr Free Market , April 08, 2011
Tenere vs Sertao
Spannerfingers
I had a chat with Alan about this at the last (Aug 2012) Midlands Rally.

His view was that the XT660Z Tenere was better built than the new BMW 650 Sertao, which was built in China. I was intrigued by this because I used to own a BMW 650 Dakar and the build quality of this bike was generally better than that of the Tenere. I base this statement on 40,000 miles on the Dakar, touring South America, leading TRF runs, and doing all my own servicing and modifications. I have not owned an example of current the Tenere (although have owned some of its ancestors) but am reasonably familiar with the bike through accompanying five of them on a Round the World trip, three of them on a round Scandanavia trip and observing their strengths and weaknesses.

I had a word with my local BMW shop. They confirmed that the G650GS and Sertao engines were assembled in China but the majority of the parts were produced and assembled in Germany, the final assembly being in Spandau. I also took the opportunity to poke and prod a Sertao in the flesh (so to speak). As far as I could tell, the quality of build and finish was, if anything, better than the old Dakar model.

In summary then, given the choice between the Tenere and the Sertao, I would buy...


... a KTM690R. Sorry, it's miles better than either.
Spannerfingers , August 20, 2012

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