Content creator Adam Riemann and MX legend Ben Townley score a dream trip to Spain to ride the 2023 Ténéré 700 World Raid. Yamaha Motor Australia’s Sean Goldhawk follows along for the boy's trip and recounts the action.
It’s not often that riders from down under are invited to a global media event. So when the call comes from Yamaha Motor Europe that there are two spots available on the Ténéré 700 World Raid launch, Yamaha Motor Australia and New Zealand are keen to make the most of it.
The team that we chose to send on the Spanish adventure are movie-making enduro rider Adam Riemann and former World MX Champion Ben Townley. Both have carved a career out of riding hard and fast and both have ridden the standard Ténéré 700 extensively, so are well placed to not only explore the full performance of the new model but comment on the upgrades. The plan is for Adam to create a buddy movie with Ben to showcase the new World Raid – a model that is designed to go harder and further than the existing Ténéré 700.
After a challenging series of flights – five in total for Ben from his home in Tauranga, NZ – the pair arrive in Alicante, Spain where they are transported to an imposing hilltop castle with 360-degree views over Lorca for the Ténéré 700 World Raid model presentation. The pair hit it off immediately and set about planning their movie of the event riding as Team Anzac. As the sun sets over the Murcianmountains they are introduced to Lino Gardina who is the Project Design chief for Yamaha’s successful adventure twin. And then to Alessandro Botturi who is fresh from winning the Tunisia Desert Challenge on his super trick Ténéré World Raid race bike.
After the preso' the pair meet with event organiser Hans Groendijk and Adam outlines what is involved in creating an engaging movie that shows what the new bike is capable of.
Hans explains that it’s not possible to accommodate Adam’s request to form a separate ride group to film the bike with Ben. Resources are too scarce to allow the pair to follow their own agenda – they will need to join journalists in a group ride to Granada. It’s a tough gig and one that means they will need to capture footage during a fast 300km ride – a spectacular route that combines twisting tar with fast dirt roads and technical, rocky trails. Pure Ténéré territory.
The pair have been put in the last group to depart with six other riders from Greece and Finland with an English lead rider and Finnish sweep. There is no cornerman or GPS – instead, the riders are kept fairly close together between lead and sweep.
The route is a mix of twisting tarmac, dirt roads and twin-track with a spectacular Andalusian backdrop. There are several photo stop locations where a camera and video team captures each rider as they pass. Adam will use the video footage to blend with his own GoPro, drone and camera vision to create a unique movie of a pair of mates riding in a global media event for his Motology youtube channel.
Ben is more than happy to join Adam in his quest to create an epic movie and is super enthusiastic about the bike, the ride, the laughs, the food and just being in Spain again soaking up the culture. His successful race career took him all around the world including Europe for MXGP and US for AMA competition. But all he ever saw of each country was the inside oftheir airports and the layouts of their MX tracks. Now is Ben’s chance to sample paella and sangria in authentic surroundings…
The next morning Ben asks Alessandro Botturi for a ride on his Tunisian Desert Challenge winning Ténéré 700 race bike (above) , but the answer is negative – unsurprising considering the machine is full competition spec and one of only two built, the other being ridden by ADV trials riding legend Pol Tarres.
After tuning the bars, levers and brake pedal to their preferred positions, Ben and Adam set off with their group to the first photo location. With years of experience and competition including finishing the extreme enduro at Erzberg, Adam can explore the limit of a Ténéré 700s performance. Ben’s skills have transferred directly from the MX track to the twin track, so watching the pair drift around corners in unison is a treat for the photographers.
At the first photo stop, the Anzac group catches up with Alessandro Botturi who is riding his race bike with the Italian group. While European journalists are being photographed on a twisting dirt road, Adam launches the drone and captures himself and Ben exploring the most recently ridden trails. Now the pair are playing catch up to their group, which isn’t a problem for them because they are now hooking, having fun and exploring the limits of traction around the dry and dusty Andalusian trails.
The day continues with Adam and Ben grabbing footage whenever there is a pause for authorised photo shoots. Drifting, wheelies and bar-to-bar action for the camera show how much both riders are enjoying the event and the capability of the new twin.
Lunch is served with traditional Spanish tapas including fresh anchovies in garlic olive oil and Gazpacho, a cold vegetable soup.
Adam digs in but Ben gives some of the fancier dishes a swerve, preferring a more traditionally Kiwi menu – what, no roast lamb? The cheese-filled potato croquettes and salad are popular though. Time is tight so before lunch has finished it's back to the drone and camera on a picturesque bridge across a dam filled with turquoise water.
The ride is back on and the pace is hot. To capture the footage they need to make a kickass movie means they need to push on.
Adam and Ben turn up the wick, sliding and roosting around the Spanish countryside while enjoying the banter on their comms-connected headsets. Each creek crossing becomes a playground with the cameras rolling, and the Greek riders are on hand to capture the fun on their iPhones. Adam is stoked that in one steep, loose and rocky corner Ben tries – and fails – to overtake him.
It’s not every day you can accelerate away from a world champion MX rider, but Adam’s adventure riding game is strong.
The group picks up the pace on the tar and Ben goes after them as Adam admits that riding fast on tar doesn’t do anything for him. The route takes a turn into a stunning valley with high, rocky cliffs providing sun shelter for the riders as they pass. The bikes keep on delivering with instant low torque sending showers of roost out from their Pirelli Scorpion STR tyres. The final 50km takes the group on an incredible twisting dirt road from La Peza to Granada with a smooth, grippy surface designed to highlight the new Ténéré 700s impeccable road manners. The pace is equally hot with the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains as a backdrop – snowcapped despite the 30-degree temperature at sea level.
After a solid eight hours in the saddle, the group reach their destination in Granada, home of the famed Alhambra Moorish palace and gardens. Then it’s straight up to the hotel’s rooftop bar for a well-earned cerveza and a debrief on the day’s ride.
“We rode the wheels off both bikes and it's a testament to the Ténéré World Raid that we felt super comfortable doing so,” says Adam. “We were pretty confident out there and at times I doubt we’d be riding faster around those trails on any other kind of bike. It was awesome doing it all in tandem with Ben – we were in the zone” he adds. “What an amazing experience, to be in Spain again and riding adventure bikes around those awesome trails, it just doesn’t get any better,” froths Ben.“They really got this bike right. All the changes they made to the World Raid version are spot on, all improve the bike,” he adds. And Ben should know because he runs Ténéré 700 Adventure Tours in New Zealand.
At 0930 the following morning Ben jets out of Granada on his way to Sardinia to watch the MXGP and catch up with old mates like former pommy MX gun Paul Malin. Did he get the chance to order his paella and sangria though? Sadly not, that will have to wait for his next Spanish adventure.
Watch the movie on Motology’s youtube channelARiemann1
The riders: Adam Riemann
Adam is from WA where he runs Motology Films - a platform to showcase his dirt bike adventures. A former enduro racer, Adam spent eight years as a journalist with ADB magazine and has competed at a high level in events such as the Erzberg Rodeo and the A4DE.
Motology Films: https://motologyfilms.com/
The riders: Ben Townley
Ben lives in Tauranga, NZ where he runs MX training and 101 Adventures for riders keen to explore the stunning trails and scenery of both North and South Islands. The former MX racer competed and won at the very highest level - Ben was 2004 MXGP MX2 World Champion and 2007 AMA SX2 East Champion.
101 Adventures https://101adventures.co.nz/
The bike: Ténéré 700 World Raid
The new Ténéré 700 World Raid is due to arrive in AUS/NZ around March 2023 in Icon Blue and Midnight black colour schemes. No price is set yet. The standard model will also continue to be available. The new World Raid model features a wide range of updates designed to go even harder and travel even further than the standard model. These new features include:
• 23 litre capacity dual side-mounted fuel tanks
• Flat Rally inspired two-piece seat
• 5in colour TFT meter with mobile notification connectivity
• USB charger
• Three-mode switchable ABS
• High specification 43mm KYB front forks with 230 mm travel
• Öhlins adjustable steering damper
• Aluminium piggyback rear shock, 220 mm wheel travel
• High windscreen, easy to remove side deflectors and LED flashers
• Fully new cockpit area and new front cowling
• New larger rider footrests with easy-to-remove rubber inserts
• Three-piece aluminium engine guard
• New aluminium die-cast engine support
• New radiator grille
World Raid - the future
Yamaha has used the World Raid model as a base to create two very special Ténérés for the newly formed Yamaha World Raid team featuring Pol Tarres and Alessandro Botturi. The latter won the Tunisian Desert Challenge in the first outing for the trick bikes – a great result for the big twin up against dedicated 450cc rally bikes.
The race bikes were developed by Team Manager Manuel Lucchese who worked as Yamaha’s R and D project manager and is the brains behind Rebel X, the creators and suppliers of high-end performance parts for Tenere 700 https://rebelxsports.com/official-yamaha-tenere-world-raid-team/
Yamaha plans to market parts developed and tested by the Ténéré World Raid team such as the dual 10 litre rear mounted fuel subtanks as GYTR parts available via the Yamaha network. Fitting these tanks gives the Ténéré 700 World Raid a fuel capacity of 33 litres – enough to satisfy the most hardcore adventure rider.
Yamaha Europe also plans to offer their customers the opportunity to join rally raid events and compete on the World Raid model. In Australia and New Zealand the increased off-road focus of this model is bound to appeal to Yamaha-supported adventure tour companies such as RideADV and 101 Adventures.
Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid Specifications
Engine type 4-valves; 4-stroke; Liquid-cooled; DOHC
Bore x stroke 80.0mm x 68.6mm
Compression ratio 11.5:1
Maximum power 54 kW @ 9,000 rpm
Maximum torque 68 Nm @ 6,500 rpm
Lubrication system Wet sump
Clutch type Wet; Multiple Disc
Ignition system TCI
Starter system Electric
Transmission system Constant Mesh;6-speed
Final transmission Chain
Fuel consumption 4.3 l/100 km
CO2 emission 100 g / km
Frame Double cradle; Steel tube backbone
Caster angle 27º
Trail 105 mm
Front suspension system Upside down telescopic fork
Rear suspension system Link suspension; Swingarm
Front travel 230 mm
Rear travel 220 mm
Front brake Hydraulic dual disc, Ø 282 mm
Rear brake Hydraulic single disc, Ø 245mm
Front tyre 90/90 - 21 M/C 54V
Rear tyre 150/70 R 18 M/C 70V M+S
Overall length 2370 mm
Overall width 905 mm
Overall height 1490 mm
Seat height 890 mm
Wheelbase 1595 mm
Minimum ground clearance 255 mm
Wet weight (including full oil and fuel tank) 220 kg
Fuel tank capacity 23.0 litres
Oil tank capacity 3.0 litres
Warranty 24 months, unlimited parts and labour
Colours Icon Blue, Midnight Black