Yamaha Tracer 700: First Riding Impressions!

Michael Mann - Web Editor, Bike Social
By Michael Mann
MannOnABike Web editor of Bike Social. Been riding bikes since he was four-years-old. Fast and smooth road rider, just about hangs on in a track day quick group.

A man with a plan, Michael Mann and the Yamaha Tracer 700.

Having enjoyed epic levels of sales success with its MT-range in recent years, namely the naked MT-07 and MT-09 and more recently the sports-touring MT-09 Tracer, entry level MT-03 and ever-so-slightly crazy MT-10, along comes the 10th bike to bear the MT name…except that it doesn’t.

The new sports-tourer that is powered by the same 689cc, twin-cylinder engine as the MT-07, was expected to be named the ‘MT-07 Tracer’. Insetad, Yamaha called it the Tracer 700, and also renamed the MT-09 Tracer into the Tracer 900.

Anyway, having been spotted in secret testing in July 2015, it took Yamaha until April of this year to fine tune the developments and officially announce its versatile mid-capacity sports-tourer set to rival the likes of Suzuki’s V-Strom, Kawasaki’s Versys 650 and the new Honda NC750X.

At first glance of the comparative specifications, the Yamaha makes 5bhp more power (73.8bhp vs 68bhp of the Kawasaki and Suzuki), weighs at least 18kg less (196kg vs 214kg of the Suzuki) and costs a bargain £6299, £350 cheaper than its closest rival. So given the MT-07s dynamic and sporty ability on the roads, Yamaha could continue their sales chart-dominating resurgence with the taller, more comfortable Tracer 700.

The Tracer gets a 50mm longer swinging arm than that on the MT-07 to increase stability at higher cruising speeds especially when riding two-up and with luggage. Both front and rear suspension systems get revised settings for ‘smooth and responsive’ characteristics in a variety of conditions.

A larger 17 litre fuel tank, manually adjustable screen and wind defecting knuckle guards add to the Tracer’s ability to eat up the miles on tour.

The bike is set to be available in dealerships from next month with optional extras including 20-litre soft side cases, as well as a 39-litre top case, and there is also a higher windscreen for increased weather protection.

Yamaha Tracer 700 in one of its three available colours - Radical Red

The press launch is taking place right now in Northern Italy where Bike Social’s Michael Mann has been riding the new Tracer 700 this morning. Ahead of his full review, these are his first impressions:

"The new middle-weight sports tourer is a hoot to ride. Easy to just hop-on and go. No modes to worry about, no traction control levels or anti-wheelie settings. Just standard, simple, uncomplicated operations." 

Mann added: "The twin cylinder 689cc 4-stroke is a fine engine with plenty of torque as you'd expect as it came straight as the MT-07. Some nice little design features such as the indicator covers (looking like MotoGP winglets!) and twin headlamps add to its neat and pleasing-on-the-eye styling.

The riding position is spot-on and the seat both comfortable and versatile. Shuffle forwards and it feels sportier, scoot to the back and the ridge separating the pillion section acts as neat buffer for a more touring position." 

 

He continued: "At £6299 and less than 200kg the Yamaha represents terrific value but the price tag of course means brakes and suspension aren't too high spec but for the target customer of a less experience rider they're more than suitable. One worthy point to make at this stage is how good the standard-fit Michelin Pilot Road 4 are. The longer shock absorber and lengthier swing arm help combat the slight sogginess suffered by the MT-07. The Tracer version is set to be a huge seller. As big as the MT-07? Only time will tell."

 

The Tracer 700 is sure to send Yamaha's sales as high as this mountain.

YAMAHA MARKETING VIDEO

TECHNCIAL SPECS vs RIVALS

 

Yamaha Tracer 700

Suzuki V-Strom 650

Kawasaki Versys 650

Honda NC750X

Engine

Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-stroke, 4-valves, 2-cylinder

4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90° V-Twin

Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke Parallel Twin, 8 Valves, DOHC

Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, 8-valve, SOHC, parallel 2-cylinder

Displacement

689cc

645cc

649cc

745cc

Max. Power

73.8 bhp / 55 kW @ 9000 rpm

68 bhp / 50.5 kW @ 8800rpm

68 bhp / 51 kW @ 8500 rpm

54 bhp / 40.3 kW @ 6250 rpm

Max. Torque

50.15 ft-lbs / 68 Nm @ 6500 rpm

44 ft-lbs / 60 Nm @ 6400 rpm

47.2 ft-lbs / 64 Nm @ 7000 rpm

50.15 ft-lbs / 68 Nm @ 4750 rpm

Frame

Diamond

 

Diamond, high-tensile steel

Diamond; steel pipe

Suspension

Front: Telescopic forks

Rear: Swingarm, (link suspension)

Front: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped

Rear: Link type, coil spring, oil damped

Front: 41 mm inverted telescopic fork with adjustable rebound damping (right-side) and adjustable preload (left-side)

Rear: Offset laydown single-shock with remote spring preload adjustability

Front: 41mm telescopic fork, 153.5mm stroke

Rear: Monoshock damper, prolink swingarm. 150mm travel

Brakes

Front: Hydraulic dual disc, Ø 282 mm

Rear: Hydraulic single disc, Ø 245 mm

Front: Disc brake, twin

Rear: Disc brake

 

Front: Dual semi-floating ø300 mm petal discs; Caliper: Dual 2-piston

Rear: Single ø250 mm petal disc; Caliper: Single-piston

Front: 320mm single wavy hydraulic disc with 2-piston caliper and sintered metal pads

Rear: 240mm single wavy hydraulic disc with 2-piston caliper and resin mold pads

Tyres:

Front: 120/70 R17 M/C 58W

Rear: 180/55 R17 M/C 73W

Front: 110/80R19M/C 59H

Rear: 150/70R17M/C 69H

Front: 120/70ZR17M/C

Rear: 160/60ZR17M/C

 

Front: 120/70ZR-17M/C

Rear: 160/60ZR-17M/C

Dimensions

Length: 2138mm

Width: 806mm

Height: 1270mm

Length: 2290mm

Width: 835mm

Height: 1405mm

Length: 2,165mm

Width: 840mm

Height: 1,400 / 1,450mm (high position)

Length: 2230mm

Width: 845mm

Height: 1350mm

Seat height

835mm

835mm

840mm

830mm

Wheelbase

1450mm

1560mm

1415mm

1535mm

 

Fuel capacity

17 litres

20 litres

21 litres

14.1 litres

MPG (claimed)

65.7mpg

71.19mpg

 

80.8mpg

Weight (wet)

196kg

214kg

216kg

Manual: 220kg

DCT: 230kg

Colours

Radical Red, Tech Black, Yamaha Blue

Red, Silver, Black

White, Grey, Orange

Red, Black , Blue

PRICE

£6299

£6999

£6849

MANUAL: £6649

DCT: £7049

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