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T700 very long bike, handling


marymoocow
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I love the idea of the t700 and seriously considering it as my next bike, exploring the spec sheets, I noticed that the bike is the longest in its class at 1590 mm wheelbase. What I'm hoping to get feedback on is how does this impact on road handling, does it feel sluggish in turns, can it hit a windy road at a decent clip and not feel out of place. And more over just trying to get some thoughts on why Yamaha designed such a long bike, given the fact that it's otherwise on the lighter side of Adventure touring motorcycles. What is the advantage of such a long wheelbase.

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I don't know what oriented Yamaha's choices, but I can tell you that the bikes is great on road, simply great. Sticky tires add to the feeling, if the asphalt is good you scrape the pegs without any fears of damaging the bushes along the road. Of course there's a lag when tilting the bike, due to the 21" front wheel. But you get used to it very fast and really enjoy the behaviour on road. It's a bit sensitive to side winds, but nothing close to dangerous in my experience.

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Its a brilliant bike  for fast off road riding and im glad you said that as i scraped my pegs also.

definatly a fantastic all round bike which is highly unusual as im in a lucky position as ive owned them all. Well nearly all of the like for like bikes.

its the only one that ticks all boxes

Off road 

green laning

fast road

twisties

touring

pottering

 

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I would agree with what’s been said above, but will add that it does push a little wide in the corners on dirt.  This can partially be due to its long wheel base among other things. 

 

 

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@DT675

Just curious, when you said, "does push a little wide in the corners on the dirt" is that with stock tires?

I have noticed the bike likes to corner with a good amount of throttle, but the front tire gives up fairly easily in any loose situation and the back tire steps out quickly with much throttle if the bike is leaned over at all.

I do love the way the bike behaves on tarmac, thinking I will try the Dunlop Trailmax Mission tires to see if I can get a little off-road improvement without loosing the tarmac performance.

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2 hours ago, Matth said:

Its a brilliant bike  for fast off road riding and im glad you said that as i scraped my pegs also.

definatly a fantastic all round bike which is highly unusual as im in a lucky position as ive owned them all. Well nearly all of the like for like bikes.

its the only one that ticks all boxes

Off road 

green laning

fast road

twisties

touring

pottering

 

Spot on.

 

Edge of the tyres on the road. Very flickable on and off road. I've ridden bumpy B roads on the T7 that I genuinely couldn't have gone realistically quicker on anything else.

 

It's great off road. Very balanced indeed.

 

Never noticed any issues with side winds other than overtaking a big lorry on the motorway. But that's standard on any bike.

 

Awesome machine and never even noticed it's a LWB🤣

 

PS I raised my forks another 10mm from the top of the yoke. I find this much better and no stability issues whatsoever. Faster turn in. Doesn't feel like it's a 21 inch wheel at all. Just need to get a stiffer spring at the rear, set the static sag at the rear, and tweak up the rebound and compression to make it handle real good. 

 

Cheers

Rich

 

 

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Thank you for your replies, this is great information. I think I'm gonna need to test ride this bike.

 

I am however curious about the why, yamaha built it this way, Im not sure Ill find the answer, but I know yamaha wouldn't spend years on RnD to just then slap something together with out much thought, and the geometry of the bike is one of the first things they would have designed as far as I can imagine.

Edited by marymoocow
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I was just about to start a new topic with regards to on-road behavior rather than the many topics we see here which focus on off-road behavior. I have done 7k miles over the last 4 months, around 95% on A, B and Motorway roads. The bike is really good and very steady in all conditions in it's factory set up but with a bit of adjustment it is simply great.

The front in it's original state did feel a bit light and not as planted as i would have liked for higher speed cornering and the back a bit on the soft side leaving you with a wollowing feeling when you are on the throttle exiting a corner.

I spend 4 hours yesterday with a suspension set up specialist and £90 later, after a number of measurements, tweeks and track trials, i am gobsmacked with the difference it has made, without any need for buying aftermarket hardware (a note on this at the end of this reply).

 

This is a detailed list of the final settings for my weight:

T7 Suspension settings for road use

Fully clothed / 95 kilo

Turn everything all the way anti-clockwise

Forks

raise both forks up 4mm (lowers front by 4mm)

Compression (bottom of forks)

11 clicks clockwise

Rebound (Top of forks)

11 clicks clockwise

Rear Shock

Preload

Full / all the way  clockwise

Static sag 20mm (perfect)

Sag 58-62 mm  (perfect)

Compression (top of spring)

18 clicks clockwise

Rebound (bottom of spring)

14 clicks clockwise

Tyres

Front

Continental KTC 70

90/90 21 M/C 54H TL M+S

Pressure 30 PSI

Rear

Continental KTC 70

150/70 R18 M/C 70H TL M+S

Pressure 34 PSI

Note: the preload is no doubt on the limit for my weight and for touring there is a need to change to an 80nm rear shock. Costs around £80-90 and £50 for fitting.

 

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22 hours ago, UtahJack said:

@DT675

Just curious, when you said, "does push a little wide in the corners on the dirt" is that with stock tires?

I have noticed the bike likes to corner with a good amount of throttle, but the front tire gives up fairly easily in any loose situation and the back tire steps out quickly with much throttle if the bike is leaned over at all.

I do love the way the bike behaves on tarmac, thinking I will try the Dunlop Trailmax Mission tires to see if I can get a little off-road improvement without loosing the tarmac performance.

Yes that is with the stock tires. Sometimes its hard to tell if its just running wide vs giving up traction.  I took a good friend out on a 100+ mile ride a few weeks ago and let him use my T7 for that day. At the end of that ride his only complaint really was also feeling it running wide in the corners off road.  I don't seem to share that feeling on road though. 

 

Like @Rich TT said, I also have raised my forks in the clamps a bit and am really pleased with the outcome. Still rock solid stable on road but feels a little more like I think it should cornering off road. 

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Better the T7 i was on strictly supermotos for the last 6 years and the T7 really feels like a large supermoto it handles better in the corners then my 2014 hypermotard and my 2009 ktm 690smc did wich are also both large supermotos but both of those bikes never felt planted in the corners like the T7 does. I have been amazed by the T7 in the way it does everything perfectly for me. I didn't want a big adventure bike i wanted a supermoto type bike that i can do really long days on and still do all the same off road Shet i did on my supermotos the T7 fits the bill 100%. Single track yup, mountain twisties yup, hill climbs yup, long slab cruising yup, comfortable for hours yup, hold camping gear yup, wheelies for days yup, honestly there is not a single bike on the market that I would rather have. My buddy swapped bikes with me and let me ride his BMW1200gs and i couldn't get back on my T7 fast enough.  That bmw was an interesting bike for sure but it took the exhilaration out of riding.  

20200805_133115.jpg

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Said it perfect @Mr.motarded

 

I'm exactly the same. Not interested in anything else having owned lots of bikes. Motos to Tuono V4. This bike really does it all. I still can't believe how well it grips and handles on the STR tyres on the road. Doesn't feel like a 21 inch front once you get into it.

 

I pushed my forks through so there is now 20mm total from the top of the yoke/triples to the end of the fork cap. I pushed them through a total of 10mm from standard. Still super stable but feels more "Moto".

 

Rich

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On 11/15/2020 at 12:50 AM, marymoocow said:

I am however curious about the why, yamaha built it this way, Im not sure Ill find the answer, but I know yamaha wouldn't spend years on RnD to just then slap something together with out much thought, and the geometry of the bike is one of the first things they would have designed as far as I can imagine.

 

Longer wheel base means a lower centre of gravity. COG affects all aspects of chassis and suspension design. The holy grail of chassis design is getting the COG as low as possible.

 

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8 hours ago, Hogan said:

 

Longer wheel base means a lower centre of gravity. COG affects all aspects of chassis and suspension design. The holy grail of chassis design is getting the COG as low as possible.

 

And that is why KTM engineers mounted the gas down so low on the 790 to help with the CoG and keep the height down as much as possible. But the width suffers some and then your fuel system is more vulnerable IMO. The T7 in the miles I have on mine handles really well. I hated my GS F800ADV as it was top heavy and felt like a pig. The T7, it is very nimble feeling and works really well. Slow speed handling is real good, but I do want to drop the gearing down a few teeth for slower work on trails and such. I also have a Ducati 800 Desert Sled and that thing is a hoot, but I am finding I can ride the T7 as fast and feels as comfortable as my well planted Duc in on and off road conditions.

Edited by Firebolter
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It's why I'm keeping my Husqy Terra besides the T7. It is still a 165kg bike, but the underseat tank makes it handle like a 130kg enduro.

Destinationworld.be - Journeys... not just travels | Discoveroverland.eu - Inspiring overland travel meetings

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6 hours ago, marymoocow said:

@hogan that's really interesting, is COG then a ratio of length to height?

To be more accurate, the longer wheel base affects centre of mass, which is different to centre of gravity. However for engineering purposes objects on Earth, both COM and COG are in the same location.

 

COM is the point of an object where it is essentially 'balanced' in any dimension. When you balance a ruler on your finger it will balance at the mid point of the ruler. That is the COM of that ruler. However put an eraser on one end and you will have to move your finger much closer to the eraser to balance it. The COM then becomes that point.

You might have seen some COM tricks, like the hammer suspended by a ruler on the edge of a desk, or the dove you balance by the nose on your finger?

 

A bike is a bit more complex, but most of the weight is around the engine area, and thus the COM/COG is typically located around the midpoint of the engine. By increasing the wheel base, you are moving more mass away from the engine. Thus it is akin to adding the eraser to the ruler.


It's actually not a simple task to calculate centre of mass on a complex object like a vehicle. The Yamaha engineers will have a good idea where it is, but that is based on some very detailed 3d CAD models and software doing all the hard math.

 

 

 

 

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FortNine on YouTube has a review of the T700 and its design that talks about why it is set up the way it is.

 

It is a tall bike and needs a road test - my first test was aborted because they fitted the rally seat and I couldn't safely reach the ground (I'm 5' 8"). Standard seat is OK and I bought it because, amongst the usual other stuff, it steers so well. I also have the lowering kit fitted and have zero preload at the back. Forks are 10mm through the yokes. Steering remains ace at low and high speeds.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/20/2020 at 12:00 AM, Hogan said:

 

Longer wheel base means a lower centre of gravity. COG affects all aspects of chassis and suspension design. The holy grail of chassis design is getting the COG as low as possible.

 

Actually, there is more to it than that... it's called mass centralization and Yamaha is a master at it with the reverse cylinder YZ/WR 250/450s.    When I look at the profile of a T700 and see all the light at the ends, I can't help but wonder if Yamaha did something similar with the T700.

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  • 3 months later...

Sending the T7 on a little

 

Not making this video public (keeping it unlisted) or indeed adding any identifying watermarks 😉 (honestly lent the bike to a mate 🤣) ... nor am I saying where in the world this is ... does show it handles nice on the roads even though I had very low tyre pressures after being off road all day.  Missed a gear near the end on a hairpin which was rather cack handed of the rider but overall it shows just how tractable the engine is, how sure footed it is and I (sorry 'the rider') could've pushed harder but rode within the conditions allowing at the time.  Plus as people get older, testicles shrink a little.  My opinion is that Yamaha, with their three years of development produced an absolute gem that is better than most of us could truly exploit, be it on or off road.  I haven't been as excited as this about riding a bike in nearly thirty years - last time I felt like this about a bike was a 1992 CBR600FM nearly 30 years ago.

I just can't leave it alone.  Wish I still had that CBR though!

 

 

Edited by RIDER GUIDER
bad spelling

YouTube - RIDER GUIDER - check out my T7 playlist and say hello 😀 

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I gotta chime in. On the road in mountain twisties its so good its like cheating. Looking at it you would never guess how brilliant it is on road...no handling mods and stock tyres on mine. Biggest issue is not much feel on the rear brake.

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On 11/22/2020 at 6:16 AM, HoveToo said:

FortNine on YouTube has a review of the T700 and its design that talks about why it is set up the way it is.

 

It is a tall bike and needs a road test - my first test was aborted because they fitted the rally seat and I couldn't safely reach the ground (I'm 5' 8"). Standard seat is OK and I bought it because, amongst the usual other stuff, it steers so well. I also have the lowering kit fitted and have zero preload at the back. Forks are 10mm through the yokes. Steering remains ace at low and high speeds.

I heard from my dealer that Yamaha are introducing a lower Rally seat option as well, not sure if it's available yet.  I'm also your height (if I stretch a smidge) but am on standard height and settings at the moment.  My test ride, the bike felt very tall but the further in to it the less I noticed.  After about half an hour riding I decided I'd never change it and I now find the standard height is spot on for me. 

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YouTube - RIDER GUIDER - check out my T7 playlist and say hello 😀 

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20 minutes ago, RIDER GUIDER said:

I heard from my dealer that Yamaha are introducing a lower Rally seat option as well, not sure if it's available yet.  I'm also your height (if I stretch a smidge) but am on standard height and settings at the moment.  My test ride, the bike felt very tall but the further in to it the less I noticed.  After about half an hour riding I decided I'd never change it and I now find the standard height is spot on for me. 

Like I tell new riders don’t worry about the height, your feet belong on the pegs. 
As long as you can slide your ass over and touch a foot you can ride it just fine. 
It’s a very common thing with people who have never ridden dirt bikes and have been street bike riders.......but but I can’t touch the ground with both feet. 
You can’t have ground clearance, decent  suspension travel,  a 31” seat height unless you want your knees in your armpits. 

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The stock tires work great. On the street. Handling is predictable. With the wide bars turn in is easy. Stock the suspension feels planted, just don’t think you can flick it into a corner. It is soft.

  Mine is resprung ,(sprang?)now. Went with gold valves on the front and .66 springs.

The stock shock is wearing one of George’s springs. 

Wanted to test it before the Penske  got here

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6 hours ago, mpatch said:

Like I tell new riders don’t worry about the height, your feet belong on the pegs. 
As long as you can slide your ass over and touch a foot you can ride it just fine. 
It’s a very common thing with people who have never ridden dirt bikes and have been street bike riders.......but but I can’t touch the ground with both feet. 
You can’t have ground clearance, decent  suspension travel,  a 31” seat height unless you want your knees in your armpits. 

EXACTLY - I'm a short legged git too and have no issues, in fact I'm looking forward to adjusting out some sag in the rear spring 😄

YouTube - RIDER GUIDER - check out my T7 playlist and say hello 😀 

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