All Tests – Test Yamaha Tracer 700: small road, big ambitions – Tracer 700: in the footsteps of the 900 …

Yamaha Tracer 700 test: small road, big ambitions

All Tests - Test Yamaha Tracer 700: small road, big ambitions - Tracer 700: in the footsteps of the 900 ...

Six months after the neo-retro XSR700, Yamaha offers a new version of its MT-07: the Tracer 700, with meticulously prepared cycle and plastic parts. Posted 1700 euros more expensive than the roadster, is the small road worth the cost ? Test.

Tracer 700: in the footsteps of the 900…

The rhythm imposed by our opener – which it is strictly forbidden to exceed, grr … – oscillates between the ride and the little arsouille. And the Tracer 700 is doing very well! The engine and the gearbox, as we have seen on the previous page, allow gentle revivals in 4th, effective in 3rd and exhilarating in 2nd on the back roads of the Dolomites..

The geometry of the cycle part corresponds perfectly to the "Touring" program: with its open caster angle of half a degree (24.8 ° against 24.5 ° on the MT-07) and the swinging arm more 5 cm long, the small road is more calm than the roadster, in the true sense of the term.

Between two closed bends in particular, even maximum acceleration in second gear no longer lifts the front wheel: the front axle continues to trace the route carefully, while it was showing itself to be lighter and more nervous on the MT. The "païlotes" apprentices will appreciate.

The other side of the coin: the Tracer 700 is less incisive when changing angles. Appreciable in town, the moderate width of the handlebars restricts the agility of the bike. Fortunately, its featherweight limits the pilot’s efforts: slower in the winding than the MT-07, the Tracer 700 does not become physical. !

The new Yamaha also takes care of its rider when it comes to damping, effectively erasing the majority of road imperfections. The fork can’t keep the handlebars from twitching on potholes or big speed bumps, but we don’t blame it…

Indeed, the front axle of the Tracer 700 already dives sufficiently quickly and far enough on hard braking. In the end, the sport / comfort compromise found by Japanese engineers is satisfactory. In addition, taking and releasing the brakes on a curve does not have too much of an impact on the trajectory..

At the rear, the shock absorber – which can work over 142 mm in total (see the technical sheet on the last page) – better absorbs big shocks. On the few bumpy roads encountered during this test, the rear axle of the Tracer 700 also performed well, transmitting power from the engine perfectly to the ground..

In terms of braking, the small road also fulfills its contract: it is scrupulously identical to that of the sisters XSR and MT. At the front therefore, the 4-piston calipers require a little grip on the right lever to tighten with all their power the small 282 mm petal discs..

Fans of "sports tourism" and late braking will no doubt find that they lack a bit of bite, but the majority of users will be just as satisfied with the front brakes, for their considerate and finely controlled character..

In terms of the rear brake, the Tracer offers a good pedal feel: practical for slowing down quietly when approaching a stop sign or a red light – nice for the duo, in particular – and useful for fine-tuning your speed on the road. approaching or within a curve.

Equally valuable is the original presence of Michelin: the Michelin Touring tire gives the bike great handling in the wet. Passing under a heavy downpour, MNC checks that the lack of traction control is not a problem … ABS is awake and is only very rarely awake !

Back on a dry asphalt, the Motorcycle Journal of the Net confirms that the long lugs of the footrests do not touch the ground until late. In solo, the ground clearance is therefore quite satisfactory: you can lean in the bends as you would with a roadster … sporty !

The very comfortable driving position could, however, raise concerns about more measured angles: even the long legs are not folded on board the Tracer 700. The footrests have not yet moved … is the saddle that has risen !

Positioned at 835 mm (30 mm higher than on the MT-07), the saddle of the new Yamaha fortunately does not become inaccessible: sufficiently thin at the front and padded, the majority of bikers – and female riders – will be able to touch the ground on both sides simultaneously.

Higher than on the roadster, the handlebars are also closer to the rider who can therefore benefit from the full depth of the saddle, without having to stretch the arms or lean the torso forward. But it must also deal with vibrations that the pretty brushed metal weights do not contain, nor the silent-blocks….

Crackling actually appears in the hands when the engine reaches the 6,000 rpm zone, the speed around which we turn for fun on small, twisted roads, where the engine happily raises the tone (measurable both in Nm and dB). Pity !

On the other hand, the palpitations of the two pistons are well filtered under the feet by the rubber lining, between the knees thanks to the pads on the reservoir – particularly useful during very hard braking – and under the buttocks by the thick saddle..

Welcoming, this saddle helps the shock absorber to absorb big shocks. Our 250 km course having been shortened to 180 km by threatening storms, Site cannot really comment on the endurance of the buttocks: some colleagues were already starting to find the time long. Not us !

In terms of protection, the Tracer 700 surprises positively: admittedly, minimalist hand guards only very partially deflect air or rain. But the half-fairing insulates the knees and shins well, while the reservoir protects the upper thighs.

Note in passing that at the end of our walk, the computer of our Tracer 700 showed an average consumption of 5 l / 100 km, reasonable given the six passes crossed at good speed. Our neighbors’ motorcycles in the hotel parking lot were announcing half a liter more (ah, the Moto-Net Touch!).

Anyway, the autonomy of the small Yamaha roadster easily exceeds 300 km and can even touch 400 km if we consider the average consumption announced by the manufacturer: 4.3 l / 100 km, a value reached by MNC with the MT-07 during our previous tests.

Another good point for the Tracer 700: its bubble, whose fineness at the base does not prevent the pilot’s bust from being properly protected. Raised to the maximum (+64 mm divided into 28 notches!), It isolates the shoulders and half of the face from the wind (when measuring 1.80 m). You just need to bend down slightly to no longer feel a whirlwind.

However, the site notes a downside: if the two adjustment screws face the driver and not the road, it is still not recommended to play with them while driving. To raise the screen to the maximum, you have to unscrew them almost to the maximum too, which takes a little time…

The disappointment is greater with regard to the lack of space under the saddle: a yellow vest (compulsory in France!) Or a disc lock (recommended in France) can be lodged against the small tool kit. You will have to put your rain gear or your big lock in the top case (39 l) or suitcases (20 l) as an option…

Seen on the first images of the Tracer 700 (reread our), the 12V socket placed under the pilot’s right hand is not part of the original equipment. We partially console ourselves with the spacer installed as standard on the handlebars, perfect support for a GPS or a smartphone … but that we plug in where ?!

Greatly absent – even from the accessories catalog! -, the central stand will be missing for large rollers who scrupulously maintain their chain. On the other hand, it will not be lacking for bikers who think that the grease of the dealer holds 10,000 km or a year….

In the end, and in view of the very good performances of his small road, the future customer who will pay 8 399 € to acquire a brand new Tracer 700 will not be able to attack Yamaha for "theft". However, Site believes that the manufacturer could have made a small effort.

Indeed, faced with the 1700 euros which separate the MT-09 from the Tracer 900 with the hyper complete equipment (12V socket, central stand, adjustable saddle and handlebars, integrated case support, traction control), the additional 1700 euros of the Tracer 700 compared to the MT-07 seem less easy to justify.

Admittedly, the small Tracer benefits from a specific swing arm which skilfully tempers the ardor of the CP2, a successful semi-fairing and an adjustable screen and a welcoming "co-pilot" position. But small wallets would have appreciated a lower bill of a few hundred euros…

The Yamaha dealers themselves would no doubt have liked to offer the Tracer 700 at a higher price – like the MT-07 when it was released! -, because the competition in the small segment of "Sport Touring midsize" is sharp on this plan: the is displayed at 6999 €, the is on sale at 7999 € and the is sold for 5599 € without ABS !

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