In 1988, Yamaha Sonauto betting again on a single cylinder for Dakar, but the 750YZE has little in common with the previous year's XT680. The engine, that brand's Genesis technology, is a 757 cm3 5 valves (3 of aspiration, exhaust system 2) with liquid cooling.
Heavier but is also more powerful at all engine speeds (56 HP) and consumes much less. Tested in rally of the Pharaohs, in 450 km of slopes, saves 8 litres compared to XT680. The frame is a simple double swinging from a Kayaba fork at ohlinssingledamper front and back and Michelin mousse. Dry, the new Ténéré pesa 158 kg on the scale and allows the loading of 53 liters of fuel, of which 35 in the front.
During the Rally of the Pharaohs in 1987, the bike has technical problems due to the double switch engine that creates overheating problems.
Peak and Charbonnier are both forced to retire, While Stephane Peterhansel breaks a head gasket the day before arrival. Two days of testing in Tunisia and nearly 8.500 miles traveled continued to report big gain in reliability.
Four of these bikes will be entrusted to Sonauto Yamaha, supported by Mobil, and another four for the Italian team Yamaha Belgarda. Around Franco Picco, undisputed leader of the team, There's Medardo, Fat and Alborgetti. The French part, Thierry Charbonnier, Andre Malherbe, Stéphane Peterhansel and the patron Jean Claude Olivier.
The Dakar 1988 seems to condense the difficulties of previous editions: in this harsh environment, very fast, the Yamaha 750 YZE suggests that both the bike ready for a big hit. Franco Picco remains in the lead for nearly two weeks, while Carlos Mas, Peterhansel and Charbonnier won several special.
This edition will also be remembered for the dramatic incident André Malherbe and for the announcement of Jean-Claude Olivier, He finished seventh overall and will announce his retirement from competition in controversy with the organizers.