Yamaha Tracer 700 test

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Pocket cruiser

Yamaha and the MT family are pleased to announce the birth to the road of its youngest, the Tracer 700. And yes, "more" one. And surely promised, like the others to a bright future, because the Japanese brand boasts of 95,000 MT of all types sold, making the first range in Europe.. In fact, in three years of existence, the successful siblings have established themselves on the market as an obvious choice for many bikers. With good reason, as the series accumulates the good points and proposes an extended range to all the segments, all the licenses (A, A1, A2, A3) and all the displacements. Single cylinder MT125 and MT03, twin cylinder MT07 and XSR 700 and of course MT09, XSR 900 and Tracer 900.

Road hybrid between trail and roadster, the latter has sold more than 15,000 copies since January 2015, renewing a front sector too split between large GTs or maxi trails. Because with its new Road of Life concept, Yamaha intends to offer light, agile road machines with a sporty character and good road capabilities. In short, effective fun in the long run.

The Tracer 700 takes over the base of the MT-07The Tracer 700 takes over the base of the MT-07

To complete its offer, the tuning forks firm now delivers the Tracer 700, just to prolong the pleasure of the twin naked experience. Largely based on the MT07 roadster, economies of scale oblige, the novelty sports a sporty aesthetic and is firmly equipped to chain the kilometers. Screen, fairing, geometry…. the machine takes care of protection and ergonomics and displays strong pretensions for cutting the bollard. We are fortunate to take this model in hand in the Dolomites region (Italy), for 250 km of ultra winding roads in a grandiose setting. Enough to put the Yamaha pocket cruiser to the test.

Discovery

Difficult to recognize the MT07 under this light traveler outfit. Although taking the engine and cycle part of its roadster, Yamaha seems to deliver a brand new machine here. On this, as on the Tracer 900, many elements have been designed to optimize travel capabilities, giving the novelty a specific aesthetic, different even significantly from the big sister three cylinders. A little less refined, the Tracer 700 offers a light road line with a sporty style and angular lines, according to the well-known codes of the manufacturer in tuning forks. Thus, the front face becomes incisive and airy, skilfully cut according to the MT spirit..

Yamaha Tracer 700 frameDifficult to recognize the MT07 under this light traveler outfit

It is with the tapered double optics that we clearly identify the family resemblance. Split into two blocks by a meshed opening and covered with a sharp trim, the LEDS lights are capped with a short and elegant height-adjustable bubble. Its distinctive cut bears the MT signature. The fork crown stretches backwards, but without renewing the graceful truncated shoulders of the large Tracer. Here, the side volumes form two sports air intakes, prominent and flared, extending into plunging scoops framing a large radiator.

The front end shares the design of the Tracer 900The front end shares the design of the Tracer 900

Higher up, the taut lines of the tank display a sensitive lateral curve to accommodate the 17 liters of tank capacity (14 for MT07). More autonomy means more time in the saddle and therefore requires a seat accordingly. Thus, the Tracer 700 is equipped with a welcoming two-stage monobloc saddle, framed by aesthetic aluminum passenger grab handles, with ergonomic flats. Thin and fully sheathed, reinforced to support luggage, the rear loop in steel tubes is adorned with a very reduced covering, concluding its stern with a large LED light from the 900 model. slightly thin plastic parts will be used to fix the tensioner hooks. Finally, placed low, the accompanying footrests also seem strong forward…. to test later.

Yamaha Tracer 700The rear buckle in steel tubes is adorned with a very reduced cover

This dynamic and stylish livery sits on a tubular diamond-like steel frame, weighing just 16 kg. Plastic side covers hide the various junctions of the frame by mimicking solid plates. Effective and well imitated. This chassis is based on the compact 689 cm3 twin-cylinder, placed as a supporting element, already powering the MT07. Unchanged for the road, just like the cycle part, this 53 kg parallel twin, with double overhead camshaft driving four valves per cylinder, has a crankshaft set at 270 °. An important characteristic inducing an asynchronous ignition to deliver more character. Its super square bore / stroke ratio of 80.0 x 68.6 mm is also a testament to its liveliness. The tuning fork unit still delivers 74 hp (55.0 kW) at 7,500 rpm and maximum torque of 6.8 da.Nm at 6,500 revolutions per minute. The A2 version clamps the power to 47 hp (35 kW).

Yamaha Tracer 700 framePlastic side covers hide the various junctions of the frame

Particularly playful, the smart mechanics of the Yamaha propels its breath towards a catalyst-exhaust assembly placed under the engine. The centralization of the masses is thus optimal. Ultra short, the silencer barely exceeds the right side, leaving visible the neat and openwork volumes of a new cast aluminum arm. Extended by 50 mm, compared to that of the steel roadster, it thus guarantees greater stability. Its movements are entrusted to a KYB shock absorber, only adjustable in preload, mounted on rods and deflating over 142 mm (130 mm on MT07). In contrast, the conventional 41 mm fork, non-adjustable, slides over 130 mm. The set benefits from dedicated factory settings, to satisfy road use and manage the additional weight brought by the trim. The geometry also evolves in terms of column angle with 24.8 ° (24.5 ° MT 07) and the wheelbase increases to 1,450 mm (against 1,400), but the 90 mm trail is unchanged.

The swingarm has been modified compared to the roadsterThe swingarm has been modified compared to the roadster

The efficient braking system replaces the equipment in place on the MT07. At the front two four-piston calipers clamp 282 mm petal fret discs. The opposite, single piston retarder bites a 245mm track. The standard ABS watches over the whole and monitors the rotation of the wheels. In aluminum alloy, the 17-inch, 10-spoke rims are fitted with Michelin Pilot Road 4 wraps, in 120/70 and 180/55.

There are two 282 mm discs at the frontThere are two 282 mm discs at the front

Quite classic, the Tracer 700 however composes a convincing package. Its sporty lines give it a stature and a much greater presence than that of the roadster. She also gains a little weight, admitting 16 kilos more for a total of 196 units.

Enhancing, the light road testifies to a construction and finish of good quality. All the more satisfying as the novelty, like the XSR and Tracer 900, is produced in France, in the MBK factory in Saint Quentin (Haute Picardie). These models are also designed for the European market. Adjustment of the elements and surface appearance of plastic covers and metal parts, frame and swingarm, hardly suffer from notice. The attractive bronze finish of the crankcases and cylinder heads enrich the appearance of the machine. We regret all the more the lack of integration of hoses and other cables surrounding the Japanese twin. Similarly, shoe and center stand are missing, the latter can not be mounted because of the exhaust. Finally, an anti-skating could accompany the endowment. On the other hand, the aesthetic hand guards are delivered as standard, but their effectiveness remains to be verified..

In the saddle

As with our test in the mountains, the Tracer 700 takes a little altitude compared to the roadster. With 835 mm against 805 units for the MT07, the road reduces its accessibility a little, but also the flexion of the legs. A bad for a good, especially since the seat is narrow near the tank. Fairly wide, the latter equips its sides with effective non-slip pads, in finely ridged material, for the knees. These, separated by the volumes of the container, induce to position themselves towards the bottom of a saddle a little short in release. About ten additional millimeters would have been sufficient. Especially since the handlebars are found closer to the pilot. Its horns are also taller, but not very wide. Again, a little more space would seem useful. The whole, however, allows a relaxed and efficient driving position..

Grips take place on the sides of the tankGrips take place on the sides of the tank

Dominating the hanger, a perforated spacer stiffens the assembly of the handguards incorporating the indicators. Minimalist, these stylish elements are also quite exposed in the event of a fall. The brake lever is adjustable in spacing, but not the clutch lever and the stems appear very narrow. Good point, a warning command is present on the right side.

The narrow screen is adjusted via two knobs to unlock, then sliding by 80 mm (due to its inclination, the height varies by 65 mm). Potentially, 28 notches split this travel! In practice, it will be placed either at the top or at the bottom and rather at a standstill, because handling is not easy while driving..

The screen is adjustable in heightThe narrow screen is adjusted via two unlocking knobs

Under this windshield, an elegant cockpit, strongly indented in the upper part, brightens up its textured plastic finish supporting the fully digital instrument cluster. Large, this window incorporates a bargraph-type tachometer in the lower part, a gear indicator engaged in the center, framed by the fuel gauge, the clock and the tachometer. A final space is used to display successively, by push-button on the instrument panel, odometer, two partials, exterior and engine temperature, average and instantaneous consumption. Two locations for a 12-volt outlet are adjacent to the dashboard. Clear and complete, this set concludes a quality presentation, as also evidenced by the fork well. However, many wires and electrical terminals surround the steering column..

The counter is identical to that of the MT-07The counter is identical to that of the MT-07

In the city

Discreet, the twin sounds its jerky song and gently propels the little traveler. Clutch control, gearbox and selection work the same, pleasantly supporting a rather flexible mechanics. On the fourth report, the Japanese block sets off again without complaining from 2,000 laps, or 30 km / h, but we will mainly use the three in town. Urban developments are thus more pleasant, especially as the compact size of the Yamaha allows it to easily infiltrate traffic..

This ease is found in maneuvering where its turning radius reduces frees it from the vagaries of everyday life. Likewise, the efficient centralization of the masses gives it a good balance for spinning at low speed between vehicles. Comely and docile, the Yamaha roadster is charming utility for a stylish everyday life with twin tremolo. But the latter knows how to play a larger score to the Tracer 700, ready to chain the kilometers.

Yamaha Tracer 700 test - agilityThe compact size of the Yamaha allows it to easily infiltrate traffic

Motorway and expressways

Vibrant, the Tracer 700 soars boldly towards the horizon, leaving its twin in short strides at 5,300 laps on the legal motorway. At a stabilized pace, the twin cylinder generates sensitive vibrations in the handles. On the mountain roads making up the test, it is difficult to find consistent long stretches to assess potential inconvenience. However, this phenomenon already present on the MT07 will hamper the pleasure of very long journeys on priced ribbons. Similarly, the saddle, rather pleasant, may turn out to be a little tight in padding after more…. 250 km and the break is welcome.

Nothing prohibitive in these points, the main part of the comfort being successful, with in particular a very correct protection to the air flow. Despite its narrowness, the bubble effectively reduces air pressure, sheltering from the top of the bust to half of the helmet depending on the position chosen. Above all, it causes little turmoil. Despite their wide cutouts, the fairings combine effectively with this adjustable screen to shelter the crew from the elements. Only the arms receive more turbulence. On the other hand, the tank with marked shoulders hides the legs well from bursts of stormy rains..

Yamaha Tracer 700 test - highwayThe bubble effectively reduces air pressure, sheltering from the top of the bust to the half of the helmet

The last gear is a bit tight to restart the machine with force. We prefer to enter a speed in order to overtake more vigorously, but the engine is rougher at high speeds. If you force the pace, the Tracer 700 remains imperial in terms of stability. Its new geometry gives it great rigor, whatever the pace and the course is flawless. Good arrangements will not make you forget to take the tangent to appreciate the machine on much more contrasting tracks.

Departmental

Motorcycling paradise, the Dolomites are a reservoir of narrow roads, full of more or less tight bends and hairpins forming balconies on the Alps. Enough to work on your piloting while admiring the landscape. Agile, the Yamaha roadster is less lively than its sassy sister. Its larger wheelbase "wedges" the machine more on its path and makes it a little less dynamic on rapid angle changes. It was the wish of the manufacturer, wishing to offer a more predictable and reassuring machine for beginners and bikers on the return.

Yamaha Tracer 700 test - turnAgile, the Yamaha roadster is less lively than her sassy sister

This new arrangement therefore requires a little more involvement on the handlebars, not wide enough in my opinion. But it is above all the choice of a tire in 180 which sometimes seems to make the machine "stick" when tilting. A narrower envelope would bring more profitable comfort without reducing the serenity on board. Efficient on all occasions, the Michelin Pilot Road 4 deliver reassuring progressiveness when setting the angle and deliver excellent grip, both on dry and wet roads. As proof, the pace barely drops when the rain falls between two passes. Especially since the front axle provides a very good feeling and a healthy reading of the road. Frank, the novelty easily accepts course corrections and is never treacherous.

Yamaha Tracer 700 road testThe front axle provides a very good feeling and a healthy reading of the road

Well suspended at the usual pace, swallowing the defects of the bitumen, the Tracer 700 is a little less rigorous when the pace increases. The fork plunges noticeably during strong decelerations and, on the angle, the machine oscillates on the rows of potholes, but without ever breaking up. Just enough to make your hand a little and wind up efficiently. Voluntary, the Japanese twin can be enjoyed in full from 5,000 revolutions on the intermediate gears and over the following 2,500 revolutions. In the tight shell, the selector will be used to remain in this speed range, between second and third gears. Entering the first does not pose any problem to the box, docile and precise, even accepting a sporty piloting. Identical to that of the MT07, its staging delivers good pleasure on these winding roads. Relatively light, the Tracer 700 quickly emerges from the turn to attack the next curve, jumping bikes, cars and other moving obstacles with ease. An increase in torque would have been appreciable, especially in a duo where the revivals will be less brilliant. Likewise, although correct, the ground clearance limits are however quickly reached also due to the long footrest nipples. Loaded, the crew will undoubtedly limit the taking of angles too adventurous.

Yamaha Tracer 700 test - road brakingThe front calipers give complete satisfaction, under the control of an ABS with discreet implementation

To reduce the pace, the front calipers are quite satisfactory, providing a lot of power as soon as the lever is taken, but also giving excellent control. Progressive, the force delivered makes it possible to attack the descents of passes with recklessness, under the control of an ABS with discreet implementation. The rear clamp attracts the same comments, ideally assisting opposing elements, especially in curves to refine the trajectory and limit the grip of the front lever which raises the machine.

Less pleasant, the tachometer is difficult to read and the dashboard screen placed really too low. The general ergonomics are however rather good, in line with the road ambitions of a quality streamlined roadster..

Part-cycle

Well known and well born, the cycle part of the Tracer 700 evolves only for its extended swingarm. The difference in liveliness with the MT07 roadster is noticeable, but brings more serenity to the road. Rigid and frank, the Yamaha brings a lot of confidence to its rider. Working with progressiveness and softness, the suspensions provide very good comfort, but will be exceeded on the largest compressions.

The Tracer is a bit stiffer than the roadsterThe Tracer is a bit stiffer than the roadster

Braking

The substantial consistency of the decelerations is almost surprising and is very useful on the heaviest braking. As a duo and / or loaded, we will not be afraid of running out of power. Progressive, this force is ideally controlled by the ABS and the whole will reassure both daily and long-term.

Comfort / Duo

Welcoming, the seat also offers a good level of comfort, well supported by a damping which is usually sufficient. Like the pilot, the passenger has adequate space and posture. Although perfectible, the adjustable windshield provides welcome protection over long distances. A particularly extensive optional touring element will satisfy the most demanding. Flexible luggage or optional polycarbonate cases will improve the crew’s trips. To be completed with a 39 liter top case or a comfort saddle.

The saddle is now made in one piece for more comfortThe saddle is now made in one piece for more comfort

Consumption

During this test carried out at an almost usual rate, consumption was 5.6 l / 100 km, or a range of 250 km before failure. 300 km can be considered in tourism mode. An honorable average for an expressive twin, allowing daily stages of good duration, without fear of running out of fuel or taking out a subscription with an oil tanker.

Conclusion

For its entry-level model, Yamaha has brought most of the qualities that make up a road. Effective protection, correct ergonomics and dynamic performance. Cruising for a long time will not be a big challenge on board. Complete equipment, agile cycle part, but without excess and alert mechanics make the Tracer 700 an attractive little road. Its obviousness makes it a docile and sparkling frame when needed. Leaving its big sister its sporty absolute, the pocket road makes it easier on a daily basis. We regret, in the end, the absence of anti-skating. Available from July 2016 and priced at € 8,399, the Yamaha Tracer 700 is € 1,700 more expensive than the MT07 ABS, but offers much more versatility and equipment..

Yamaha Tracer 700 test - landscape conclusionEffective protection, correct ergonomics and dynamic performance. This is how to summarize this Tracer 700

Its opponents, many in the midsize segment, have many road trails or presented as such. They are, more often than not, roadsters-travelers. Thus, we find the Honda NC 750 X, 7,499 € and 8,299 € in DCT version; attractive and well finished, its mechanics do not offer the same pleasure. Another Japanese, the Kawasaki Versys 650 claims € 7,899. Very similar, Akashi’s road is more affordable, but its aesthetic less consensual. Finally, the Suzuki DL 650 V-Strom, € 7,999, claims more off-road outings with its 19-inch wheel. This is also the case of the only European, the BMW F 700 GS. Requiring € 9,605 in call price, it is the most expensive of the lot, but also the most dynamic and lively.

In this ball of contenders, the Yamaha Tracer 700 should impose its mark as its sister did before it, the latter even exceeding the roadster in sales figures. In its market, the tuning forks traveler will undoubtedly not equal this score, but her remarkable sporty style coupled with an undeniable road pleasure will give the "La" to fans of simple and efficient machines. Will you be able to vibrate at its own pace?

Strong points

  • Engine approval
  • Agility of the chassis
  • Comfort and stability
  • Finishes
  • Equipments

Weak points

  • Recessed liveliness
  • Bubble perfectible in mechanism and amplitude.
  • Suspensions too fair

The technical sheet of the Yamaha Tracer 700

Colors

  • Radical Red
  • Race Blue
  • Tech Black

Standard equipment

  • Hand guards
  • Adjustable screen
  • ABS braking
  • LED tail light

Main accessories

  • 12V socket
  • High windshield
  • Additional spotlights
  • Heated grips
  • Comfort saddle
  • Low saddle
  • Soft side cases
  • Polycarbonate cases
  • Top case 39 L
  • Tank bag
  • Akrapovic silencer
  • Crankcase guards
  • Levers adjustable in spacing

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4 thoughts on “Yamaha Tracer 700 test

  1. … fundamentally legal, no doubt.

    Very homogeneous motorcycle, especially not to be taken for a sports car.

    (neither does H2).

    Too bad it is so expensive in France, check out the Italian or US prices.

    Deserves an update of the front and rear axle more shock absorbers to ride without ulterior motives. Yes I know sacrilege.

  2. Hello

    A great machine! Very beautiful, well finished and equipped. The stupidity and the conservatism of the motorcyclist are destroying his career (electric starter, water cooling, no fins, drum brake starter). Original in more ways than one, the choice of a GT orientation rather than a sporty one for a 2-stroke engine was judicious, however, has confused. Ahead of its time Original Violine color. Powerful, torquey, flexible reliable and the icing on the cake surprisingly sober enough for a 2-stroke of 67 Cv in the end both in oil 0.750 L per 1000 km and currently from 6 to 9 L maximum !

    Very pleasant to ride There is only real chrome and very few plastic, a beautiful original Candy purple paint! I don’t see where you find fake chrome ?

    Today after making a few changes

    Conti Classic Attack radial tires, Hagon shock absorbers with softer spring setting and a 10 mm longer center distance allow road holding, comfort and ground clearance are greatly improved. To limit maintenance and make it even more reliable. by improving the enjoyment and reducing pollution by better combustion with better efficiency, a longevity of the spark plugs thanks to a quality electronic ignition .

    For info: I drive with it every day since 2012 to date 67,000 kms since its restoration I also have a Kawa 350 S2 so I confirm that the GT consumes significantly less on the same route and at the same pace as the 350 S2 around L less! What happiness!

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