Our man Melling tests an adventure bike most American’s have likely never heard of, the XT660Z Tenere. See photos in the Memorable Motorcycle: XT660Z Tenere photo gallery. Read the full report in the Memorable Motorcycle: XT660Z Tenere.
- The Tenere is named after a particularly nasty bit of desert in the southern Sahara which enjoyed a formidable reputation as a bike killer in the early Paris-Dakar rallies.
- There are many thought provoking conundrums in life these days, but none so pressing as why the Yamaha XT660Z Tenere is not the best-selling dual-sport bike in America.
- On or off-road the Tenere handles well and it is a real wolf in sheep’s clothing on the road.
- In practice, on the road or dirt, you never feel that the XT660Z Tenere is lacking.
- The gearbox is five speed – how dated is that these days – but there is never the feeling that six or seven ratios are needed because the Yam simply gets on with its job without making a fuss.
- Yamaha has been serving up the XT660 engine, in various suits of clothing for a whacking 23 years.
- The Yamaha XT660Z Tenere is a motorcycle which is utterly and totally reliable and which, given a hint of tender loving care, will run for ever and a day.
- The XT660Z Tenere's resume is stacked: it's stone-axe simple and capable of serious off-roading, cruises roads well at 80 mph and is extremely light on fuel.