55mph - This is Africa ! Chapter 02
A grand tourer beyond imagination!
This epic Ténéré 700 tour would start to unfold as we moved through Portugal, Spain and Morocco. With World Heritage status, and known as one of Lisbon's most famous sights, our beginning point was at the Jeronimos Monastery, which coincidently was where Kirishima began his Paris-Dakar Rally in 2007.
We picked up our bikes from the Yamaha Motor Europe office and it was already past 2pm by the time we finished filming in Lisbon. Today’s ride was nearly 500km to our destination in Seville, Spain. Even though we had always planned to cover some distance on the highway for this part of the trip, it was still quite late in the day to start out. With the early winter European sunset fast approaching, it would be pretty much like starting out on a ride from Tokyo to Osaka.
We headed out anyway, and in the warm December air of southern Europe, surrounded by magnificent scenery making us feel emboldened about the journey ahead, we were able to relax and get into the days ride. It was also helpful that the Portuguese highway has very little traffic, so it was really easy riding. Naturally, as our average speed increased, the trip meter also showed our rate of progression to be much faster than we expected.
Ténéré's high performance as a tourer was also a factor that kept us from feeling the sheer distance we had to cover. The 698cc parallel twin engine purrs along like the smoothest of motors, but also keeps power and torque on-hand ready to kick-in whenever needed. Within the legal speed of 120km/h, we had perfect conditions and could want for nothing more.