Local DualSport-ing

Motivation has been a bit hard to come by of late. No problem motivating myself to get out for a spin, but the thought of sitting at the computer and posting something online just wasn’t there. This past winter seemed to almost be never ending, but it’s May now.. and eh, yeah, the car was still frozen over this morning.. and the fire is still in use. . maybe by June it’ll be warm enough to get away on another camping trip? Maybe?

Over the past few weeks we had a good few spins. There were one or two spirited dualsport rides around East Clare, and a few more around the Burren.

The biggest change during the past month for me has been the arrival of a new Yamaha Tenere 700. I ordered it in December 2020 but with covid and brexit and everything else it took about 4 months to arrive.

And it’s fantastic!! Ok, so it’s 200kgs, and I nearly dropped it the day I collected it. It’s not that I’m weak or anything, it’s just been so long since I manhandled a full size bike around the garage, that the extra 100kg took me a little by surprise. Also, am totally weak. Possibly soft in the head too.

On the roads it is planted and light and forgiving. Suspension seems plush (I’m only 80kgs) and the brakes have a nice progressive feel. Soft initial bite but serious power when you want it. It’s been nearly a decade since I last had a road bike and I’d expected it would take a while to get back into road riding, but I was so wrong. The Tenere is like an old friend, and we just picked up where we left off.

Off-road, I’ve been a bit cautious. I’m still waiting on decent crashbars / bashplate and a few other parts so haven’t pushed her hard into anything properly difficult yet, but on the gravel trails and a few easy loose rocky climbs she feels like a big happy overweight dirt bike. The OEM Pirelli Scorpion Rally STRs are absolutely fantastic on the road, but once you go off-road they feel like a set of old enduro tyres that are well past their best. The rear end slides at the slightest touch of throttle which is equal parts hilarious and terrifying at the same time. The slides are big full opposite lock how did I get away with that type of thing. They’re brilliant !!!

There might have been one or two hairy moments.. once when I totally forgot to turn the ABS off and had a few interesting moments on the downhill trails, and then a few more when that ‘dirt bike feel’ might have got the better of me, and I fed in the power on a loose rocky climb.. resulting in immediate sideways drift action. Not gonna lie, it was a lot of fun, but I definitely wound on more than I really needed to and it was full left steering lock followed by an overcorrected full right lock to control her. Managed to hold it together though, so, result!! Again :oD

That 1990 Super Tenere 750 is only gorgeous, right !!!!

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