Stijn's T700 solo adventure setup.


There’s a wonderful story unfolding over on YouTube of a young guy exploring Scandinavia and the Baltics solo on his T700. 

If you’ve ever thought about riding in Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania or Poland you’ll probably enjoy what he’s published so far. 

Stijn is solo on his adventurised Yamaha Tenere T700

This email is a little longer than usual but read on to find out more about Stijn's bike, kit and what he’s hoping to learn on his 'Hel and Back' project. 


Greg Villalobos. 


Talk me through the mods you’ve made to your T700.


So I bought it second hand, with 4000km on the clock. The previous owner had already installed crashbars, skidplate, centre stand, fog lights and handlebar guards (which have been put to through good use and need replacing haha!). I added a headlight guard, higher windscreen, tail tidy, wider side stand (must have!) and a new exhaust muffler (sounds great). 

At this point it looked awesome but wasn't really ready for long distance travel.

While at work in Amsterdam I saw another Tenere parked outside my office building with the bright red Adventure Spec top and side rack, which I had never seen before so started looking into them.

I pretty quickly adopted the whole ‘light is right’ lifestyle which made me remove the center stand, haha! Further fueled by Adam Riemann who takes it to the next level, I bought your side and top racks.

I also got a set of Magadan Panniers with one dry bag (cos who brings that many clothes anyway?!).

The other is filled with repair and cooking gear, and a waterproof tent bag. 

Then I got an off-brand Pelicase and some rubbers to dampen vibrations and attached it to the top rack to carry my drone. 

I added a little digital clock on the dash so my YouTube audience can see what time of day it is without me explaining. 

Finally, I use a small plastic tube on the inside of the Adventure Spec side rack that holds my tools.


I love the detail of that little clock. Smart. After 5,000km, how are you finding the T700? What should people know about this bike if they are considering a similar trip?


1.⁠ ⁠If you’re a heavy guy (I am 100kg) the stock suspension is not up to par. 

2.⁠ ⁠If you ride in groups in dusty areas and not up front, the stock air filter is not up to par. 

3.⁠ ⁠⁠She can get heavy when fully packed, practice best ways to pick her up solo. 

Other than that I feel like I am an amateur and don’t really have too much experience on similar bikes. To me, so far, it’s the best of both worlds, or a master of none. 

If you want to ride tiny single track goat trails, this is not for you.

If you want to eat 600km of highway in comfort, this is not for you.

But if you want a super reliable motorcycle that is easy to maintain, still pretty comfy during a liaison and can hit any type of off-road then this is a great motorcycle

And the aftermarket community for it is just epic. So many awesome companies make parts for this bike. 

I've ridden a Husky 701 enduro here in Spain, and the vibrations are just crazy to me, But it's a lot more nimble and forgiving when hitting dirt or gravel. 


For anyone using AS racks on their T700 do you have any advice on fitting the Magadan's or other luggage?


The Magadan straps are a little long so I cut them to size for the perfect fit on my bike. 

I use 2 x Rok-straps per side to strap them down tight, one horizontal, one vertical. That way they still have some give if you bump a tree or something because the straps are partly elastic. And you can leave them on when empty - just use the straps to compress them.

I also added an exhaust guard to prevent any potential hot exhaust burns.


Adventure riding solo. Pros and Cons?



You have to bring EVERYTHING. 

If you ride with a buddy you can bring one tent, one repair kit, one pump... whatever.  

It can get nervous in a sticky situation, like what do you do if you’re stranded by yourself in a forest somewhere in Sweden with no reception? 

When I got stuck deep into slick mud somewhere in Latvia (episode 8) I got a bit flustered. I didn't have the experience yet to just stay calm... I just was like, I need to get out - ASAP!


The freedom to truly depend on yourself and not have to account for your decision to anyone other then yourself. To me is truly liberating.

I want to go there? I go there. You can just go with the flow.

And you also run into the funniest encounters when riding solo.

Also if you ask for help, people always help a solo rider.

They give me food, shelter, tips haha!


It comes across from your media that the act of learning is quite an important part of this project. What are the most surprising things you’ve learned so far? 


That’s awesome of you to notice and remark upon. 

I feel like sometimes there’s this vibe in the automotive community that one should already know everything about maintenance and stuff. So I try to counter that, by showing my vulnerability and willingness to learn, show the cool stuff, but also share the mistakes, the errors, so that others may learn from my mistakes.

The most surprising thing I've learned is how little stuff you actually need.

I can kinda micromanage, prepare for everything, hail, blizzard, firestorms, the armageddon, but as long you have plenty of water and a general idea of where you are, at least in Europe, you can walk out of any situation.

And how friendly people are when in the outskirts of nature - much more so then in urban areas.


And what do you hope to learn by the end?


I hope the project doesn't end - and it becomes my life.

But I started this thing from a bit of selfish reason, to showcase to my surroundings and the world that I am awesome and capable of great motorcycle adventures. I was fuelled by ego i suppose, the urge for external validation, to prove a point.

But i realised along the way that the only person i need to impress and prove something to is myself.

So even when no one watched my videos, I don't really care anymore, I just really love what I do right now, and I hope to continue to do that in the future, whatever shape it may take.

So when i uploaded that last video to YouTube a few weeks ago I was really happy, like ‘damn, i did that’.

​Watch more of Stijn's films here

 ​Follow Stijn on Instagram here



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