When it comes to middleweight adventure tourers, the market is rife with new and enticing options from new manufacturers, many of which from China. Because of the resurgence of the middleweight ADV segment in recent years, the Japanese big four have begun revamping their 650cc class adventure bike offerings in the market.
Today, let’s take a look at one of the newest ADV bikes in the local market, the Yamaha Ténéré 700, and put it up against a more established motorcycle in the local market, the Suzuki V-Strom 650. These two bikes are the most off-road capable machines in the middleweight ADV segment, thanks to their wire-spoke wheels, long travel suspension, and punch twin-cylinder motors.
On the performance front, both the Yamaha Ténéré 700 and Suzuki V-Strom 650 are among the most unique and powerful bikes when it comes to outright engine performance. The Suzuki V-Strom 650 employs a 645cc 90-degree V-twin. Equipped with a dual-overhead camshaft, electronic fuel-injection, and four valves per cylinder, it pumps out an exhilarating 66 horsepower. More importantly, its V-twin configuration gives it a punchy bottom-end, making it more responsive and linear than its parallel-twin counterparts.
Meanwhile, the Yamaha Ténéré is equipped with a 689cc parallel-twin engine—but not just any parallel-twin. It gets Yamaha’s iconic CP2 crossplane crankshaft, which has the same power delivery and overall engine feel as a 90-degree V-twin. That said, the CP2 is the same engine found on the Yamaha MT-07 naked sportbike and XSR700 retro-modern roadster. It pumps out a healthy 72 horsepower, giving it a slight edge over the V-Strom 650.
When it comes to features, both the V-Strom 650 and Ténéré 700 are rather barebones adventurers which are meant to deliver the bare essentials of adventure riding. That said, however, the Ténéré 700 inches ever so slightly ahead of the V-Strom when it comes to overall features. For starters, the Ténéré 700 features beefy inverted forks, as opposed to the Suzuki’s standard telescopic units. Additionally, the V-Strom 650 misses out on the convenience of a slipper assist clutch.
As far as price is concerned, the Suzuki V-Strom undercuts the Ténéré 700 by a sizable margin. At just P489,000 for the standard model, the top-of-the-line V-Strom 650 XT fetches P539,000–nearly P100,000 less than the Ténéré 700, which comes with a sticker price of P619,000.
Given how much more affordable the V-Strom 650 is, as compared to the Ténéré 700, it would certainly make a strong case, especially for those looking for a reliable, dependable, go-anywhere adventurer. Meanwhile, those in the market for a more purpose-driven machine which offers significantly better off-road performance will definitely be better served by the Ténéré 700.