YAMAHA TRACER 700 (2016 - 2019) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£170|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Tracer 700 ticks all the touring boxes.
- Related: 2020 Yamaha Tracer 700 revealed
Yet with its class-leading low weight, easy-to-use engine and agility, it’s the perfect fun bike too, and proves that sports-tourers don’t need to be big, bulky and expensive to put a smile on your face.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The pick-up from the Tracer’s cable-actuated throttle is perfect and the fuelling feels good too. Flicking from side to side requires zero effort as the new Yamaha strikes a brilliant balance of feeling extremely light between your knees without feeling flighty. Although the same can’t be said for the rear shock, which is impressive when it comes to isolating your spine from the road’s hardest bumps but can be easily upset by rough down-shifting. Likewise the ABS-assisted four-piston front calipers provide decent performance but lack a bit of initial bite, and scrubbing off speed hard into a downhill hairpin - knees gripping the two rubber pads on the sides of the tank to take the weight off the bars - sends the brake levers pumping as the ABS kicks in a little too prematurely.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The engine is identical to that of the naked MT-07, however the air intake and exhaust have been revised to meet Euro4 regs, but mechanically it’s the same character-packed 270° crank, twin cylinder motor generating the exact same performance: a usable 74bhp and punchy 51ft lb of torque. These figures may seem modest on paper, but down a twisty B road the Tracer’s output is ideal, making easy work of powering out of nadgery hairpins.
There are two different versions of the Tracer 700: a full power model and a 35kw A2 variant. In order to meet with anti-tampering regs, the restriction has been made via a different ECU and revised air-intake size and cannot be converted to full-power once a rider graduates to an A1 licence.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The build quality of the Tracer 700 and it's MT-07 sibling seems very high but this is a brand new parallel twin engine so only time will tell.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
It just goes to show that you don’t need a heavy and expensive touring bike to get out and have an adventure; true sports-touring should be lightweight and effortless, and the Tracer 700 follows this ethos to a tee. With a fully fuelled weight of just 196kg, the lightest bike in its class, the gutsy twin floats around the outside of a red-faced German and his passenger on their half-a-tonne fully loaded tourer as he levers his behemoth around a bend.
More than just an MT-07 with a fairing, the new Tracer features ergonomics that make it feel like a much larger bike. The footpegs remain in the same place as the MT-07 but a new rear subframe has raised the seat up by 35mm so there’s more legroom, meanwhile the bars have been raised and moved slightly backwards. These changes create a comfortable but commanding riding position, especially when combined with the cocooning effect generated by the new 17-litre fuel tank (three litres larger than the MT-07’s), and the subtle wind-cheating effects of the manually adjustable screen, small handguards and bikini fairing.
In the name of rider and passenger comfort, the Tracer’s bars are higher and further back than they are on the naked version. The vibe-dampening rubber-coated foot pegs remain in the same place, however as the Tracer’s seat is 30mm higher there’s more leg room.
|Engine type||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8v parallel twin|
|Frame type||Tubular steel with aluminium swingarm|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|Front suspension||41mm forks, non-adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Monoshock, adjustable spring preload|
|Front brake||2x282mm petal discs. Four-piston monobloc calipers|
|Rear brake||Hydraulic single disc, 245 mm|
|Front tyre size||120/70 R17|
|Rear tyre size||180/55 R17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||54 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£170|
|Used price||£4,300 - £7,000|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||74 bhp|
|Max torque||50.14 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||204 miles|
Model history & versions
2016: Model introduced
Tracer 700 A2 variant.
The 35kw power restriction is made via a different ECU and revised air-intake size. It cannot be converted to full-power once a rider graduates to an A1 licence.
Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA TRACER 700 (2016 - 2019)
9 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA TRACER 700 (2016 - 2019) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£170|
Annual servicing cost: £200
An excellent all round bike. Great for commuting and the odd tour
The seating position is more upright that sportsbikes, so less stress on the wrists and arms. Suspension suits my riding style.
Lots of torque and runs well with very little vibration. Averaged 70MPG (over the life of the bike) ridden 11 months of the year.
Generally well built, but I did have a problem with the starter switch which was replaced under warranty. Coolant pipes are prone to corrosion, however many of these bikes are ridden year round. People complain about the fuel gauge on these as there is plenty of fuel left with the gauge starts flashing to indicate low fuel, but I just fill up at 200 miles.
Lifetime average of 70MPG. Above cost is estimate as my wife pays for the services
I have a front fender extender - useful to keep the crap off the engine and pipes, a radiator guard to prevent stone damage, a pyramid rear fender extender colour matched, GivI/Kappa engine bars (upper and lower) and Givi/Kappa pannier and top boxes with rack. After 3 years the Givi/Kappa paintwork is blistering and corrosion is evident, so I have repainted these with smoothrite. The colour matched Pyramid rear fender has suffered stone damage and is chipped. The PR 4 tyres were great, but I changed to Road 5 when the needed replacement at 14K miles. The Road 5 tyres are great. Would recommend heatedgrips and bar muffs for winter use. Rad guard is essential.
Buying experience: I bought this new from a local dealer who has looked after me well for over 35 years.
Gearbox is a bit sticky for a yamaha. Standard screen is not that good at wind deflection
Buying experience: From Colin Appleyards experience is great. My 4th motorcycle from them.
Annual servicing cost: £300
Couldn't be better for a first big-bike! Torque in abundance with enough grunt to easily overtake a few cars at once, comfy with a decent tank range and doesn't look half bad when you get the right colour! (Black... all black and nothing else).
As standard, both ride quality and brakes are very average - depending what you're using the bike for. If you want to sit on a motorway for an hour or two, the ride is ideal. Suspension soaking up most of the bumps with very little vibe through the bars. The standard seat is comfortable enough to do a fair few hours in the saddle without worry (occasional stand up needed to stretch the legs). I can easily make it for the duration of the tank and then filling up is enough of a rest to get back on without wincing. Same could be said for commuting on it - it's got enough to it to suffice for average use. It will do it all very well without shouting about one particular part. If, however, you want a bike that's happy to do your weekend blat around the B roads, it leaves somewhat to desire. It's fine to keep up with your mates middle weight naked bikes, but any sports bike or adventure with WP set up or similar will leave you wanting more in the corners. After around 6 months on it, and as my riding starting to improve, I began to notice that the suspension is pretty soft. Tight corners can find you squirming a little and unsettled. Same deal with if you're wanting to do light off road - my sump (added after an accident of this type) often makes a nice clang noise on sharp speed bumps so wouldn't risk going on anything past a dirt track or grassy field. Having said that.. was incredibly manageable when I decided to try it. Compare it to the MT-07 though and it's planted and very confidence inspiring for someone learning their craft. Longer swing-arm and slightly more weight helps with this no doubt. It's still very light and flickable for a sports tourer/commuter though. Pillion is a breeze too.. plenty of space and comfy enough - the bike does need a bit of encouragement to get up to speed though. The brakes were the first thing I changed and decided that I'd do that on the test ride. Standard, they left a lot to desire. They will eventually stop the bike, but you will be worrying if you're going to hit whatever you're heading toward for the entire time you're wrenching on them. I upgraded to the EBC sintered pads and they make a substantial improvement.. still not going to rip your face off but at least you can trust them. The EBC pads also don't fade very much so make a vast improvement whilst trying to keep up with your mates Street Triple RS.
If it didn't have the torque, it would be very dull... BUT... it does. Although relatively low on power, it powers out of every corner and up to speed with ease meaning you can keep up with your mates, and sometimes surprise someone on a much faster bike. You do feel like you're working it to achieve the outcome but that's always quite satisfying. You can easily sit at 80-90mph on the motorway without it complaining or screaming it's nuts off. Sits around 5k revs at 75 so plenty to go up to the red line. It will definitely do over 130 "on closed roads officer" but is quite active shall we say so you wouldn't want to sit at that.
Reliability has been near on faultless on this so far. Bought as an ex-demo around 2k miles and racked up to nearly 24k miles in 1.5 years. It's been an all-season daily commuter (including snow) for the lion's share of that, with a 2.5k mile Scotland tour and the odd trip to the coast thrown in. Occasionally on cold morning's it takes a few seconds to kick into life but most day's it starts without a doubt. There is an overly annoying ticking cam-chain tensioner which Yamaha refuse to believe is a problem (that's probably dealer based issue though). It's documented on all 700's and 900's in the last few years (MT-07/MT-09/XSR's/Tracers) and It's been ticky for the last 15k miles so guess there's no real issue with it apart from annoying me. Quality is standard Yamaha - it's nice enough that it doesn't feel tacky or cheap, but still comes with the odd rattle and squeak. Maintain it properly and most of those go away. I wash it most weekends (250 miles of commuting a week + misc rides) and tend to give it a quick hose off after the grimey-est of days - I've also ACF-50'd it among other protective coatings just for ease of cleaning.
Service int's are every 6k - minor, mid, minor, major and so on, Depending on the dealer, the minors are around £200, mids are between £250-300 depending what needs doing. The 24k Major is valve clearances which I've got around the corner.. heard this can be a good £500+. I'm racking up over 15k a year easily so to make this cheaper I do most of the service myself - I think the 18k was only oil, oil/air filters, tyre pressures and a general health check so paying £200 odd for the privilege of a dealer doing that seems crazy! Using official Yamaha parts which aren't expensive (for warranty), means that service cost is more than halved and takes all of an hour or two if you know your way around. MPG for those that are interested.. My commute consists of about 15miles sat on a motorway around 75, then followed by another 10 miles of worming my way through London traffic, stopping starting and pinning it to get through traffic lights before they go red for what seems like a life time. I average around 62mpg most weeks which gives me about 190 miles before reserve light flashes, then you can push another 20-30 miles out of the tank. Normally fill up around 210miles. On a motorway run sat around 70, you can easily hit 70mpg which will give maybe a 230-240 mile range.. the most I've ever achieve was 81mpg which was up to Scotland loaded with full panniers, top box, tent and roll bag.. getting to the pumps at 259miles (reserve light had been flashing for near enough 60 miles) so was risky enough pushing it that far. Insurance for me being 2nd year on a full license, doing 15,000 miles a year commuting into London is high (around £600) but you compare that to anything else in the class (Vstrom 650, Versys 650, NC750 etc), it's the same if not cheaper.
Not amazing as standard - mine came spec'd with heated grips, a 12V socket and a set of hard panniers (ABS standard - non switchable) but if you want rider modes, traction control and adjustable suspension, look elsewhere. I've added aftermarket fog lights, better heated grips (the Yam ones aren't that hot), and a few other bits which were pretty simple. Taking the bike apart and putting back together is very easy too bar the odd snapped clip. Adding a topbox with standard panniers was a pain in the rear-end... really... it was a bodge job to get the rack to fit on with the panniers but cable ties hold a hell of a lot nowadays. I've run it with both Michelin Pilot Road 4's and Road 5's - both great tyres and grip regardless of the weather.. although prefer the slightly noisier 5's for grip and feel.
Buying experience: Choose your Yamaha dealer right and you will be fine. I've found a few can be your usual pushy salesman who don't actually know a lot about bikes. Talk to them a lot first and if they seem to know their thing.. crack on. Not sure if you can plug on this but TheMotorbikeShop in Farnborough, Guildford UK have been absolute gold!
Annual servicing cost: £150
I bought my Tracer 700 new in August 2016 and have now ridden approximately 10,500 miles. If I had my time again and was in the market for a middle weight Sports Tourer, I would buy another Tracer 700.
Yamaha offer a host of accessories to aid comfort including a comfort and a heated seat. Brakes are adequate. I have fitted a Hagon rear shock built for my weight. The oe Pilot Road 4 tyres are very well suited to the Tracer 700.
The MT-07 / Cross Plane 2 engine is a best seller. What more needs to be set. The engine is very efficient, torquey and fun. I believe the 0-60mph time is 3.4 seconds.
100% reliable as you’d expect from a Yamaha. The only aspect letting the Tracer 700 down is the finish on certain parts such as the coolant pipes, but these can be replaced under warranty. The Tracer 700 replaced my FZS600S Fazer, which was an excellent bike, again the finish on some FZS600S parts was poor.
The 6000 mile service was £150 without the brake caliper cleaning. Fuel economy can be incredible if you potter around ~35mph (~95mpg) if you have to ride through a lot of built up areas. I average 67 - 70mpg. The worst I have achieved is 46mpg keeping the revs mostly above 7000rpm.
For the basic price the Tracer 700 represents good value. Yamaha have offered a Touring Pack and Winter Pack over the years to offer accessories at good value. I spent almost £1000 on accessories when I purchased my Tracer because they were well made and offered good value I felt.
Buying experience: The Tracer 700 had only recently arrived in the UK dealers, so I paid list price (£6299). However the new price now is £7199.
Annual servicing cost: £180
It's a really good reliable and strong bike, the worst point is the horn switch is not in reach of my thumb and the rear abs activates too easy, but still an really good fun bike, would definitely recommend it
The rear abs activates too easy and the horn is too hard to reach when it is needed
Engine bars work really well, got hit by a car that pulled into oncoming traffic and stopped both me and the bike getting a scratch, can't recomend them enough
I have owned a V-Strom 650 and I now ride a XT1200ZE 500 miles a week and have had the 700 Tracer while my bike is in for a service and believe a previous reviewer to be mistaken in suggesting the Tracer is in some way a better bike than the XT. The V-Strom and the XT are far superior to the Tracer IMHO. Pros: Good looking bike Good torque range Riders seat is a good shape Cons: Screen is next to useless and vibrates too much when extended Puny instrument display Passenger seat is not suitable for longer distances Wind noise is excessive
Handlebar switches look cheap Reliability - its a Yamaha so no worries
Annual servicing cost: £200
Everything I want in a bike!
Can only go about an hour withou needing a break, could do with a touch more padding in the seat.
I still can't get used to the sound, but then I've never ridden a twin before.
Would have given it 5* if my wing-mirrors would stay in position!
Fantastic running costs - I'm getting 60mpg.
Bike comes as standard with Michelin Pilot 4's, which are faultless. Could do with a little more space under the seat. The standard Yamaha luggage needs some alteration to fit, which is a pain - but very nice once on.
Annual servicing cost: £1
Having had a 1200 Super Tenere before and wondering what Yamaha thought they were up to creating such a lump at 267KG and £13k+, I was very surprised by the Tracer 700. Stylish, light [196kg], very well priced [I'm an owner of 4 previous Vstrom 650s and its £500 less than them]. Yamaha must have revised the brief completely and possibly fired the old team because this one is a beaut.
The seat is ok - quite hard but room to move around to relieve pressure on different parts. Pillion seat is quite small but I'm told is comfortable enough. Brakes are quite adequate for road touring. I will going to the Alps on it later this year and don't expect dramas. I bought the touring screen as I'm 6'1" and the standard screen meant my shoulders were being buffeted at 70-80mph. Hence the 4/5. Also, the bike is light and carries the weight very low down so it feels completely manageable during low speed manouevres - someting the Superten was a nightmare with and to a much lesser extent the Vstrom.
It's a cracker - good fuelling and no stuttering at any revs
Actually, don't know yet as I've had it 2 months but Yamaha are normally very good on this and, actually, I couldn't fault the SuperTen on this either.
Don't know the cost so put £1 above so the field would accept it. Once a year or 7,000 miles so twice the interval of the Vstrom 650. A year is perfect as I need the bike checked out for safety etc at the end of a year. I don't imagine the cost will be any greater than my previous 3,500 mile services and there will be half the number of them!
Good display info with 2 trips, mpg, ave mpg, ambient temp, engine temp - 4/5 because you don't select options on the handlebar as per, say the Vstrom, but you have to lean forward and press the button under the display to toggle the options. It's a bit too budget for the bike but I can live with it. Accessories ordered for touring - Givi Racks for side panniers which can be easily removed - brilliant. Centre stand from SW Motech - vital in my view. Heated grips - Yamaha and very effective. Buzzer for indicators so you get an audible warning when you've left them on - could save you from a car pulling out one day! 12v socket. Crash mushrooms.
Buying experience: I bought from P&H in Crawley from whom I've bought 5 bikes - a great experience as always!
A great bike for even a tall rider like me. The wind protection is very impressive as is the ride comfort. But it feels very light and nimble for a bigger tourer and is the most fun having owned similar bikes in the class.
Great fun and much more nimble feeling that other bikes in the class.
Gutsy and has quite a poke for a 700cc
seems good so far. Not had a chance to put to many miles on it but as a budget ended spectrum bike the equipment all seems ok. The indicator switch is a little fiddly.
seems good so far. as a new bike had not had to service it yet but its average Yamaha service costs and it seems very frugal on the juice as well. Got a great deal with all the touring kit for free as a demo unit with 300 miles on it. well pleased.
great tyres and lovely dash with everything you need or would expect.
Buying experience: Bought from a dealer and got a great deal for the demo unit. Would certainly use the main dealer again.