The early launch of the highly anticipated Yamaha 700 Tenere in Europe has many people in the rest of the world pretty unhappy. Seeing all the Europeans having fun on their new T7s while we have to sit on the sidelines and watch straight sucks. As an ADV enthusiast, this is not fun for me either but as a parts manufacturer, waiting a full year longer than my European competition is a whole different level of terrible.
We've had a deposit at our Canadian dealer of choice for 21 months already (placed Nov 2017 after the EICMA bike show) so we should be one of the first in the country to get a Canadian spec T7. That's cool and all but still quite unacceptable!
We enlisted a friend of a friend in Switzerland to order a Euro spec T7 as soon as the online ordering opened this spring. It was a bit unnerving to wire the full purchase amount to someone I'd never met before so he could go and buy the bike on my behalf. When I look at the chain of events, I could have just as easily lost all my $$$ on this deal. Anyway it's all worked out well so far (few snags but OK).
How did we get this Euro spec T7 into Canada? We applied for and received a special 12 month permit that allows businesses to temporarily import vehicles for things like exhibition, evaluation and testing, shooting of movies and TV shows etc. The catch with the permit is that after 12months, the vehicle has to be exported out of the country or crushed. Heartbreaking really. After a year of abuse, will it be worth enough to justify the paperwork drama and freight cost to ship it back to Europe, unlikely but time will tell.
For the next 11.5 months we'll be riding the wheels off this thing, seeing what we can break and what needs upgrading. We also plan on starting #TenereTuesday on our social media channels with new T7 content every Tuesday. If you haven't already, subscribe on Instragram, Facebook and YouTube so you don't miss out. There will be updates here as well as an FAQ section for the bike.
I've really put the 790 through the wringer, conquering terrain that I've been unable to on my previous ADV bikes. The 790 ADV-R really is a game changer bike.
There are few stand out things that aren't quite where I'd like they to be though. The first is the bottom end torque. The 790 is rated at 94hp which is respectable but the power comes on at about 5000rpm... somewhere I rarely ride. This bike is a Ferrari, a thoroughbred and it really likes to rev. For the riding I do, I prefer a Turbo Diesel 1 ton truck to a sports car, not actually a Diesel of course but a bike with really good bottom end.
To get the 790 where I wanted it required a sprocket change to start. Simply dropping a single tooth on the front sprocket really made a noticeable change to the bottom end of the bike. 16T to a 15T, worth it!
The other thing I noticed right away was the clutch engagement was very digital; off/on. The friction zone is quite short and it makes riding in technical terrain harder than it really needs to be. Luckily, the 790 comes with a cable clutch so the clutch arm on the motor side is accessible and easily swapped.
I designed a new clutch arm that is 19mm (3/4") longer than the stock unit. This gives a better mechanical advantage (lighter clutch pull) and increases the friction zone by 60%(!). I also added a second hole half way better the original and the 19mm hole so you have 3 options to tune clutch engagement to your taste.
The Camel ADV One Finger Clutch:
Fast forward 19 months and I got the first KTM 790 ADV-R at my dealer and one of the first in the country.
I've started plotting and planning already and have some ideas for cool useful parts already. Stay tuned for updates!
Honda ships the Africa Twin with a cast aluminum side stand. I have no doubt it's to help keep the bike's overall weight as low as possible. Unfortunately, over time, it starts to bend, causing the bike to lean even more than it's intended to (and the AT has one of the steepest lean angles I've seen on a bike). Its flexy nature also means using the side stand for the tried, tested and true method of breaking beads on flat tires is out. Climbing on your fully loaded bike with the stand down can also cause its early demise.
To combat this problem, we designed an all steel, heavy duty replacement kick stand. The center piece of the part is the machined billet mounting lug. Add some DOM tubing and a Camel's foot print at the base that's substantially larger than the stock part then TIG weld the whole thing together. Once it's powdercoated, you have the Camel Toe Side Stand!
Available in three lengths:
- Lowered bikes (-25mm)
- Standard (non-Adventure Sport bikes)
- Adventure Sport version (+25mm)
As always, thank you for your support!
2017 was the 34th annual LA-Barstow-Vegas (LAB2V) ride. This 2 day event sees 500 dualsport riders travel over 400miles through the desert from Palmdale, California to Barstow the first day and and Barstow to the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas on the second day.
I rode this event in 2015 on the shop KTM 1190R and had a great time. This year, I loaded the Africa Twin the the back of the newly acquired Sprinter van drove the 2100km to Vegas. Slamming and banging through the desert at +110km/h was the perfect opportunity to continue testing our new Africa Twin windscreen support and tweak the new suspension under the AT!
The event is mostly fast sandy 2 track but there are some technical sections along the way too. Red Rock Canyon is right at the end of day 2. The rocky sections though the canyon didn't disappoint!