Good protection equipment is essential for motorcyclists and their motorcycles, whether on pavement or off-road. Have you ever run through the edge of a bush thinking it was just leaves and buried out of view was a branch that hit your boot’s shin guard? I have. That is when I take a moment to thank myself for buying those boots. You can usually limp a motorcycle back to civilization even if a major component is dented, bent, or broken. It gets a whole lot more difficult to get out of the wilderness if a major component on your engine is smashed by a big rock or limb.
The Yamaha Ténéré 700 comes from the factory with a skid plate that will protect the engine from stones that the front wheel might kick up on a forest road. If you are sure you will only be riding on pavement or graded dirt roads, then the factory skid plate should be adequate protection for your investment.
However, if you are like thousands of Ténéré 700 owners around the world, and me, you take your motorcycle wherever you are motivated to go. That means you will encounter obstacles that can dent, bash, break or smash your engine and exhaust headers. I definitely needed a full protection skid plate for the adventures I had planned. That is why I got a Touratech RallyeForm Skid Plate ($450) for the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike.
The RallyeForm Skid Plate is stamped from a single piece of 4mm-thick aluminum, so it has no potential welded weak points. It is made of considerably thicker material than the stock skid plate and protects much more of the front of the engine.
On my first ride with it installed, I was powering up a steep and rocky 4×4 trail and heard and felt the skid plate being peppered with rocks being thrown up by my front tire. It is not just the log across the trail or the step-down ledge that exceeds your ground clearance that can ruin your day—it can be the errant flying rock, too. I could actually hear the Touratech RallyeForm Skid Plate protecting the Ténéré 700’s engine’s vital parts.
One loud bang, in particular, caught my attention. Yet it caused only a small pit in the aluminum, right where it could have wrecked the exhaust header.
The skid plate is aluminum, and the mounting brackets are stainless steel. They screw into the same mounting points as the stock skid plate.
Installing the Touratech RallyeForm Skid plate was a simple project. It took about 30 minutes solo, though it would be a quicker install with a second pair of hands to hold it up into place.
Loosely install all the brackets first, and then go back and tighten them. You will have to drop the skid plate to change the oil filter, but that should only add about 10 minutes to the filter change.
I take the products I review into real-world situations, but I don’t try to wreck them or me to prove their value. Sometimes the value just shows itself, and the Touratech RallyeForm Skid Plate did what it was designed to do on cue.