Yamaha Ténéré 250: Rally Edition!

Yamaha Tenere 250 Rally

STG Tracker builds a Yamaha Ténéré 250 Rally… 

The Ténéré (Tuareg for “Desert”) is a desert region in the south central Sahara — a vast plain of sand that covers some 150,000 square miles, said to be the prehistoric bed of Lake Chad. There’s very little vegetation, water, or inhabitants. These challenging sands gained quite an infamous reputation in the early years of the Paris Dakar Rally, and Yamaha rally bikes and dual-sports began to carry the Ténéré name in honor of their multiple victories in the race.

Yamaha Tenere 250 Rally

Since 1990, most Ténéré machines have been big, twin-cylinder machines. In South America, however, riders have access to the Yamaha XTZ250 Ténéré, which is something of a baby adventure bike. It offers a 21-hp air-cooled single-cylinder engine, 21″ / 18″ wheelset, and suspension travel of 9.4″ up front and 7.8″ in the rear. The 4.2-gallon tank translates to a range of 280 miles, and the bike weighs right around 300 lbs dry.

“The XTZ 250 Ténéré is a capable trail bike with low weight and a relatively stiff suspension… It’s a great all-around bike that can easily escape the city for an adventurous weekend in the wilderness.” –ADV Pulse

While this “Baby Ténéré” is a great all-around performer, it has always lacked the aggressive character and rally-bred style of its larger siblings, such as the Ténéré 700 and XT1200Z Super Ténéré. Recently, a customer brought Marcelo Obarrio of Argentina’s STG Tracker a green, low-mileage 2018 Ténéré 250 with just this issue in mind:

“Talking with the client he wanted it to look more ‘aggressive.’ So we searched for the Tenere 700 Rally edition, and there it was.”

Yamaha Tenere 250 Rally

Marcelo and team set out to transform the rather pedestrian runabout into a model more worthy of the storied name Ténéré, which has been attached to some of the most successful rally bikes on the planet.

Yamaha Tenere 250 Rally

The wheels were swapped out for a new aluminum set, with a smaller 19″ front wheel for quicker handling and beefy dual-purpose tires. The bike is now running a sump guard, new high-mount front fender, LED lighting, and stainless exhaust. The rider gets a nice set of fat bars in the cockpit, and the classic yellow / black Yamaha speed block livery — done in paint, not vinyl.

Yamaha Tenere 250 Rally

Marcelo says the bike rides much better with the fat bars and 19-inch front wheel, and he’s especially proud of the speed block design his painter, Alejandro Minissale, (@taller_minissale), managed to lay down on the highly-curved tank cover, recalling a 70s enduro.

All in all, this bike makes us wish Yamaha would bring out a Ténéré 250 Rally edition…and sell it here! Below, we talk to Marcelo for the full details on the build. Photo credit goes to Dario Rodriguez (@darirdz).

Ténéré 250: Builder Interview

Yamaha Tenere 250 Rally

• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?

The bike is a Yamaha Ténéré 250 green 2018, with very few kms.

Yamaha Tenere 250 Rally

• Why was this bike built?

This bike was a customer request; he didn’t like at all how the original bike looked.

Yamaha Tenere 250 Rally

• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

Talking with the client he wanted it to look more “aggressive.” So we searched for the Tenere 700 Rally edition, and there it was.

• What custom work was done to the bike?

Knobby chunky tires, fat bar handlebar, all blacked out, upper front mudguard, and the Yamaha classic black/white design.

Also we changed both rims with aluminium ones, 19” in the front. Added a sump guard, LED side markers, and a new silencer with stainless steel tube.

• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride?

The bike now has a better position to ride because of the new handlebar and 19” front wheel.

Yamaha Tenere 250 Rally

• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

The hard part was to apply the paint design. The bike has very curved lines on the tank cover for the flat Yamaha design. We based the final design on a 70’s trail bike.

Yamaha Tenere 250 Rally

• Is there anyone you’d like to thank?

Thanks to Alejandro Minissale (@taller_minissale), our painter, and Dario Rodriguez (@darirdz) for the pics.

More Photos

Yamaha Tenere 250 Rally Yamaha Tenere 250 Rally

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Instagram: @stg_tracker
Facebook: @stgtracker

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  1. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  2. David Cowan

    Killer bike , congrats on the build , i built a Yamaha 1983’ tenere xt-125

  3. Beautiful I would love to have a bike like that a work of art modern but yet Old School well done guys!!!!! Matt ky

  4. Pls build one lower for us old guys.

  5. It’s such a shame the WR250R is not in production anymore. It would have been a much better bike for this project.

  6. A 250?? Why not a 450? Maybe I’m missing something but it seems like all the motorcycle companies just will not produce that size bike in a duel sport. The RH is about the only one.

  7. Simple works; many forget – all dirt bikes were air cooled at one time, AND If you aren’t racing, adding big dyno numbers also adds $$ cost, weight and complexity for that liquid cooling. Chances are that most of you don’t really need a wheelie rocket 🚀 to meet your riding requirements.

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