Touratech's Yamaha T7 Suspension Lowering Kit Review

| December 8, 2020

What if you love your new Yamaha Ténéré 700 but it’s just too tall for you? Yamaha offers some relief in the form of optional rear links and a lower seat. Total reduction is said to be 38mm but having less padding might not be the way to go for some riders.

Touratech’s Yamaha Tenere 700 Suspension Lowering Kit
Touratech’s Yamaha Tenere 700 Suspension Lowering Kit comes with everything you need to lower seat height 1.25 inches.

By Lori and Ray Conway

Touratech offers a lowering kit for the Ténéré 700 that does not involve the seat. This kit strives for a more balanced approach with changes to the front as well as the rear suspension. Touratech’s method for lowering the rear of the bike is a pair of link rods and an external shim for the shock bump stop. To get the forks to match the new ride height of the rear end, the kit includes a pair of progressive rate springs that are very soft in the first 35mm of fork travel.

The Touratech Suspension Lowering kit includes the aforementioned link rods, bump stop shim, a pair of the progressive fork springs and two bottles of 10-weight fork oil. The instructions are not specific to the Yamaha Ténéré 700.

Touratech’s Yamaha T7 Suspension Lowering Kit Lowdown

List Price: $349

Standout Feature: Lower seat height for short riders

wheelie-up Lower seat height without reducing the seat padding
wheelie-up Good-quality components
wheelie-up Relatively easy installation
endo-down Generic instructions are not model specific
endo-down Sidestand will need shortening

Touratech’s Yamaha T7 Suspension Lowering Kit: Rider Analysis

Installation of the parts was pretty easy, and it took us about an hour and a half. If you rode and worked on dirt bikes in the mid ’80s thru the ’90s all the fork operations should be familiar to you. At the rear, you only need to touch two bolts to swap out the link rods and the bump-stop shim just slips into place under the stop. We had access to a motorcycle lift, which helped make things easy. (A note to all 2021 Ténéré  700 owners, there appears to be little to no grease on any of the rear linkage pivot points from the factory so these should be serviced whether you upgrade your rear suspension or not.) Touratech’s instructions recommend shortening the side stand 20mm; you may need to find a local shop or welder for this procedure. After installation it was immediately easier to maneuver the motorcycle around the workshop. The lower center of gravity made gas station/parking lot maneuvering much easier.

before and after installing Touratech’s Yamaha Tenere 700 Suspension Lowering Kit
Proof is in the pudding: Our 5’5” tester on the stock Tenere 700 (left) and on the modified Tenere (right).

Of course, the next thing you will want to do is sit on the motorcycle. Our 5’5” test rider could just touch one-foot tiptoe on the ground while astride the Yamaha with standard suspension. With the Touratech kit installed our test rider could touch one foot flat on the ground or both feet tip toe on the ground. A measurement was taken from the ground to the top of the footpeg: standard height was 14.25 inches. With the kit installed, the new measurement was 13 inches, a reduction of 1.25 inches (31.75mm).

Test riding the Yamaha with the kit installed revealed a noticeable improvement in right/left “flickability” and an improvement in cornering turn in. A 150-mile back country ride revealed no negative effect when encountering normal road/dirt road bumps, cattle guards, washboard surfaces. Our test rider’s confidence was improved tremendously in all riding situations and terrain. If you are using your Yamaha Ténéré 700 as a full-on dirt bike this is not the kit for you due to the loss of ground clearance. (Touratech does offer an improved front and rear spring kit for full-length suspension for you Peterhansel-types.) But if lowering your Ténéré 700 is important, then this kit will get you that result with minimal change to the suspension ride quality and there is still some padding on your seat.CN

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