by Matteo Accurso
Tenere Extreme Edition
For the test in question we are on Lake Maggiore, precisely in Arona. The route chosen by Yamaha for the test is very mixed, made up of paved roads but above all mule tracks with loose stones and more compact paths. Let’s face it right away, at first glance it inspires a bit of fear, the 910 mm of saddle height makes itself felt and for a rider who is not exactly as tall as the tester in question (1.72 cm), some concern can arise.
Fortunately, once on the move, the worries dissolve, the smoothness of the fork is really excellent, the Kashima treatment makes itself felt and it is not a question of the “placebo effect”, this fork slides really well. The Ténéré in this version is able to truly devour anything, loose stones, large and small, gradients, descents that in certain sections are more similar to downhill tracks in terms of gradient and size. Compared to the other variants, it is a little less manageable on the road, but offers great satisfaction off-road. Once you get the right confidence, the Extreme can reveal truly great potential, on one condition however, it must be ridden decisively. If driven without delay, in moving with the body, exploiting the suspension travel and the modulation of the brakes (you really have to go too far to lock the front wheel), it proves to be not only effective, but also very pleasant and fun to drive.
It loves to be driven with a tight throttle pointing at all times (as far as possible), in this way, it remains very stable along the track that the rider wants to follow, whatever the surface the front wheel is traveling on. The result of all these elements is a motorcycle that knows how to entertain but above all that has all the credentials to go really fast in off-road driving (compared to rivals in its category), all thanks to very good components with which, the more the pace rises, the more its quality is appreciated. For medium / high level riders, it is certainly an excellent solution, for fairly inexperienced riders but above all still a little shy in off-road driving, it may not be the ideal solution, everyone can get stuck on some difficult or sloping stretches , not being able to touch the ground easily could make life difficult. It is certainly a very specialized product, which cannot be fully expressed in road driving (and was not created to do so), this Extreme needs woods, stones and mud, for off-roading, it is a great vehicle.
Tenere Explore Edition
It is truly curious how much the “only” variation of the fork travel together with their calibration change the behavior of the bike. The Explore is very precise when driving on the road, the day is not the best, it’s drizzling and it’s quite cold, despite this it is very easy and intuitive to navigate the hairpin bends. If with the Extreme, on road sections at medium-high speeds, one perceives a certain lightness of the handlebar, which sometimes leads it to swing a little, this sensation is completely different on the Explorer, it has a front end more stable and stiff in road driving. Also in this case the suspensions work well and despite the day, you can brake without delay, the ABS is not cumbersome and leaves the rider great freedom, the overall behavior generates a feeling that almost makes you forget the wet asphalt. The extra kg is not felt (205 kg for the Extreme and 211 for the Explorer, mainly due to the pannier racks), the lower saddle height makes it easier to stop and restart (on this model the saddle height is 860 mm, 4 cm less than the Extreme). In any case Yamaha can provide a lowering kit which reduces the height by a further 30 mm. The aerodynamic protection provided by the oversized windshield is good and the handling on the road is excellent (superior to the Extreme), we have not had the opportunity to test it for a journey long enough to simulate a journey, but in the time available it was comfortable, fun and with a expenditure of energy required to drive it, really minimal.
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