AXP Racing Yamaha Tenere 700 Skid Plate Review

Jesse Ziegler | April 6, 2021

The Yamaha Tenere 700 is a healthy dose of ADV off-road wrapped up in an affordable and simple package. It forgoes electronic sparkly bits in favor of a very analog approach to modern motorcycling. This approach should prove rugged and dependable. However, there is a chink in its armor, and its soft underbelly is a clear vulnerable point.

AXP makes bomb-proof plastic armor for off-road and ADV machines. Using plastic makes a lot of sense when attaching a skid plate to the frame of a motorcycle as its flexible nature is less likely to affect chassis flex or handling. Also, plastic generally moves when hit, absorbing and deflecting impacts and returning to its original shape—all benefits of going with this style of skidder on your machine.

Yamaha Tenere 700 Skid Plate from AXP Racing
The AXP Racing Skid Plate is constructed out of tough plastic, which makes a lot of sense when attaching a skid plate to the frame of a motorcycle as its flexible nature is less likely to affect chassis flex or handling.

AXP makes the Tenere 700 skid plate out of 8mm thick HDPE (High Density Polyethylene). It’s burly, yet relatively lightweight for its bulk, and feels up to the challenge of any ADV nonsense you can conjure. It installs via four OEM skid plate mounts plus one big t-shaped plastic block attachment in the back to space over the exhaust—protecting the exhaust in case of a very large send-gone-wrong.

The AXP Racing Skid Plate has massive coverage, covering from header pipes to linkage front-to-back and encasing the engine’s front-facing vulnerable points all the way over the water pump and cases. It also has pretty slick ventilation cut-outs to keep air flowing to the oil filter, for instance.

AXP Racing Yamaha Tenere 700 Skid Plate | The Lowdown

Standout Feature: Massive coverage, simple installation and burly protection

List Price: $299.95

wheelie-up Full Coverage
wheelie-up Easy Install
wheelie-up Looks Awesome
wheelie-up Proven Durable
wheelie-up Stock Part Pales In Comparison
endo-down The hardware isn’t all the highest quality. We’d prefer to see all OEM-style fasteners and no more hardware-store-style bolts.

AXP Racing Yamaha Tenere 700 Skid Plate | Rider Analysis

Installing the AXP skid plate on the Tenere 700 is simple. The hardest part is working the T-shaped plastic block between the frame in the rear and setting up the hardware to hold it. There isn’t a ton of space between the nut and the exhaust and if you try to use a ratcheting closed-end wrench to hold the nut in place like I did, you’ll soon discover that it won’t come off the tightened nut. Use the open end and you’ll only have to tighten it once, unlike me.

The rest of the mounting is on stock frame tabs so there are no hooks or brackets or bars to span at all. Just bolt it up. AXP recommends adding some foam between the water pump and skid plate to silence any vibrations there, but I just rode off in a hurry with ours and didn’t experience much chatter. I’m sure taking the time to drop a piece of adhesive-backed closed cell foam in there is worthwhile as vibrations do come out of nowhere at times.

AXP Racing Yamaha Tenere 700 Skid Plate vs stock
As you can see versus the stock skid plate, the AXP Racing Skid Plate (top) has massive coverage, from header pipes to linkage front-to-back and protecting the engine’s front-facing vulnerable points all the way over the water pump and cases.

When I say this skid plate is full coverage, I mean it. It covers everything from your foot height down and from header pipe to linkage. So, if you manage to bash anything down there hard enough to get oil to come out—good job, you’ve gone above and beyond standard destruction.

As installed, the skid plate will need to be removed for oil changes, which isn’t a huge issue as the service intervals on these bikes make this an infrequent event. If you want, you can cut a hole for oil draining. AXP has left you the outline to follow. But since the oil filter is still completely covered, I don’t see the point in ever doing that. Just drop the plate for oil changes. You should probably clean the squirrels and whatnot out of there, anyway.

Depending on other crash bars or center stands installed on your ride, you may need to trim the AXP armor to fit. They have a compatibility list on their website for popular options and most aren’t an issue.

Our test plate proved worthy of some serious abuse. It went around Southern California in photo shoots and comparison testing and then it took a Baja-bashing jaunt to Mexico for a long weekend. It has passed all of our tests and still looks great despite our disregard for its safety.

For more information, visit www.axp-racing.com

Click here to read the AXP Racing Yamaha Tenere 700 Skid Plate Review in the Cycle News Digital Edition Magazine.

 

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Jesse Ziegler