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Yamaha Ténéré World raid

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When the late, and very great, Spike Milligan wrote Puckoon, the hero of the story takes time out to have an argument with the author of the story with regards to what an awful pair of legs the former had written for him. The argument goes back and forth until the writer declares the matter closed and, if you’ll pardon the pun, puts his foot down. The awful, stick thin things were staying and that was that.

I, dear reader, don’t have any such problem. Whoever ‘wrote’ my legs deserves, at the very least, a Nobel prize for literature. Or maybe one for anatomy. In short I have a pair of wonderful, long, strong, perfect pins. They. Are. Awesome.

With a 917mm inside leg I like my road bikes tall. When I rode the new Ténéré World Raid I’ve rarely been happier. With an 890mm tall seat it would appear to be a tad on the intimidating for many riders, but not me. I found NOT being able to get both my feet flat on the floor and having to think before I put my left foot down to be confirmation of the bikes comfort.

The World Raid is just one of five Ténéré models that are currently available from Yamaha. There’s the World Raid, that I’m on this week, the Explore that has a seat height more suited to mere mortals, the Extreme with its cool high front mudguard, the World Rally has an Akrapovic as standard and there’s the original 700. All are available now and range in price from €12,399 for the base model to €15,199 for the ‘Rally. The World raid is €14,299 with a limited amount of ’23 models being available for a grand cheaper.

Loving a bit of rough!

After collecting the bike from Yamahas new Dublin store, Danfay Newlands, I took the time to have a good look around. The screen is just the right height. It’s functional, yet it doesn’t get in my eye-line. The 'clocks' are a TFT piece. It sits at a ‘portrait’ angle creating the look of a smart phone. As well as being connectable to my phone I can scroll through a choice of displays. There’s even a roadbook style in addition to a conventional digital display and a really cool analogue one.

The overall look of the bike is very impressive. The forks, the twin tanks, the TFT screen that looks like a road book from the front, the shape of the saddle. It all looks the part.

The riders part of the saddle runs forward to the space between the two fuel tanks. While I’m not going to need anywhere near 480KM of range today I fill them anyway. I’m pleased to see that the weight all this juice adds is ‘hidden’ thanks to how low these tanks are. While that seat is harder than a delicate flower such as myself would appreciate, when using the full length of it I’m able to move about significantly which makes riding on the rougher stuff so much easier.

Like a digital Roadbook

Then there’s the long travel KYB forks and the Öhlins steering damper. This things intentions and abilities are clear. I won’t, I expect, be getting the better of it anytime soon. Then there’s the inconspicuous black button marked ABS to the left hand side of the screen. This gives the rider access to three different modes, everything on, front wheel only, and rather wonderfully, all off. Only the first one is road legal. But the button does whatever I want it to. A little bit of breaking the rules and all that…

Before I leave the capital I have an errand to run in ‘DIC’ (Deh Inner City). It nay or may not have something to do with procuring some Cuban cigars. I quit again recently after an outbreak of chain smoking at a Motocraft event, so it probably wasn’t that. Anyway, while the T7 has a well earned reputation for making light of the sand and dirt, because of its tight turning circle it's a joy to ride through traffic. After I’ve done in the city it’s time to, quite literally, head for the hills.

While the parallel twin produces a little over 72 bhp, quite modest compared to the MT 10 in the shed, it’s more than enough to hurt the Road Traffic Acts feelings and I make good time out of Dublin and onward on the national roads. I’ve grown to the opinion that motorcycles and motorways have absolutly no business being together…

Better branded longer, stronger legs on this bike...

A couple of hours later and I’ve crossed the border into Donegal. The better paved roads reward the rider with more twists and turns than an English red tops rolling commentary on their Royal family. They’re awesome. The roads, that is, not King Charles and Co.

But it gets better. Once off the beaten track and onto poorly paved roads the bike proves its pedigree by handling exactly the same way when I stand up as it does when I sit. The pot holes and gravel are dismissed with ease and when the rear wheel breaks loose, as it does a lot on gravel, the bikes recovery is predictable in a way that make this sort of messing both comfortable and fun. Indeed the 21’ front wheel being married to an 18’ rear make for a bike that works so well on the rough stuff it’s almost a shame to bring it back out on the blacktop.

However if you look on your Google Maps app for the R256 in the northwest of the county you’ll be enticed by one of the most rewarding and technical roads in the country. It’s only 15 minutes or so long, but it’s got a corner at least every 100 metres and the crests are made to be jumped off while on a bike like the Ténéré. It also runs through a valley of desolate beauty. It’s very easy on the eye, terribly photogenic and wonderfully bereft of other people.


Alas all good things come to an end. The other motorcyclist in our house, the one who’s actually good at it, can’t get a foot on the ground, so buying another bike that we don’t really need has been put off indefinitely. All I can do is strongly suggest that you ride the R256 into An Falcarragh, when you get there drop into An tsean Bheairic, a café where you’ll pay ‘local rates’ if you order your lunch as Gaeilge.   

The other thing that I’d also strongly suggest, no insist, is to take a test ride on the Ténéré. It really is a fantastic motorcycle. Talk nicely to Jamie at Danfay Yamaha on 016871922 and he’ll organise it for you. Gimmie a shout when you’re ready to head up and I’ll be sure to take the time to show you around. Just no petty jealous remarks about my legs…




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