YAMAHA TRACER 700 (2020 - on) Review

Highlights

  • A fantastic all-round sports tourer
  • Handling improved over previous model
  • Attainable thanks to reasonable finance deals

At a glance

Power: 72 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.9 in / 835 mm)
Weight: Medium (432 lbs / 196 kg)

Prices

New £7,799
Used £5,900 - £7,800

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

For the money the previous Yamaha Tracer 700 was always an impressive piece of kit, but now it’s even better – not by a huge amount, but it’s crisper on the throttle, more composed in the corners, comfier and still great value for money.

It still lacks the laugh-out-loud thrills of its terrier-like MT-07 sibling, despite its shorter gearing and there’s still a fair amount of wind buffeting at speed.

Larger riders and serious two-up travellers will be better off with something physically bigger, but as capable, lightweight, characterful, well made, great value sports tourers go, it’s a classy piece of kit.

This bike replaced the 2016 Yamaha Tracer 700.

Once you've read this review and our owners' reviews, you may want to join an online group to meet likeminded people. The Yamaha Tracer UK Owners' Group would be a great place to start.

Watch 2020 Yamaha Tracer 700 video review

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Yamaha have made new Tracer 700 more comfortable with a new 10mm thicker seat with more padding, making it kinder on your knees and bum. Arms are more relaxed, too, thanks to 34mm wider bars.  

Handling is improved thanks to new cartridge-type forks with rebound damping and preload adjustment for the first time. The rear shock also has rebound adjusters to play with, as well as preload.

Suspension is built down to a price, so it will never be the last word in refinement and the general set-up is soft, but the Yamaha is crisper in the corners than before, friendly, forgiving and never gets out of shape. Brakes are strong and new Michelin Pilot Road 4 sports touring rubber plies you with all-weather cornering confidence. A lighter battery, plastics and LEDs offsets the extra Euro5 pounds.

There’s also a new screen and simpler adjuster mechanism (65mm up/down range), but even fully extended it amplifies wind noise and doesn’t offer much in the way of weather protection.

Riding the Yamaha Tracer 700 with a pillion

For the smaller among us this may not be such a problem, but for the rest it’ll be an issue. A taller screen is available as an official Yamaha accessory and sleeker bodywork helps get your knees tucked in more (there are new handguards, too) but, generally, larger riders will feel and look big on the Tracer.

What's more, pillions now get an easier time, too. New grab handles are 'damped' and reshaped for their pleasure and with its extra suspension adjustment, your passenger will be bounced around less, too.

Despite this, the Tracer 700 is physically compact, as it would be, based on the little MT-07 roadster. So, if you’re a pair of small sporty tourers you won’t have a problem, but for medium-sized riders and above things are going to be cosy. For serious two-up work, something roomier, with a bit more power, suspension support and ground clearance to play with will make easier work of big miles.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Despite its cleaner, quieter new Euro5 exhaust, the power remains at 72bhp, but it’s now delivered 250rpm lower in the revs. This means the motor itself doesn’t feel too different from the old Tracer’s, but with its shorter new gearing (two teeth up on the rear sprocket) acceleration is given a small boost, but happily not at the expense of a buzzy top end.

The Yamaha Tracer 700 features a 689cc parallel-twin engine

At 70mph the Yamaha cruises at a relatively relaxed 5500rpm. The rumbling parallel twin has character and decent punch for its size but lacks the kind of playfulness oozing from the Tracer’s lighter, stubbier MT-07 brother.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

It might be budget, but the Yamaha is nicely put together and features extra new detail touches like a thermoformed and machined screen and anodised fork adjusters. 

We don't currently have any 2020 Yamaha Tracer 700 owners' reviews on the site: you can leave one here. However, the bike is very similar to the 2016 model, and you can read those owners' reviews here.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Quality sports tourers don’t get much cheaper to buy, run and insure than the Tracer 700. Yamaha’s PCP deals are particularly attractive, making it even more attainable.

A static view of the Yamaha Tracer 700

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Tracer 700 is free from rider aids, quickshifters and modes, which may be music to the ears of some, but still has ABS. You also get adjustable suspension, new white on black clocks, an extra (left) switchgear button to control dash functions, revised shaped handguards, new LED projector headlights, indicators and tail light.

Accessories are available by the bucket load, including mix and match Sports, Travel, Weekend and Urban packs. And the techy among us with enjoy the My Ride app and Yamaha’s accessories configurator.

Specs

Engine size 689cc
Engine type 8v parallel twin
Frame type Tubular steel diamond
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 835mm
Bike weight 196kg
Front suspension 41mm forks, adjustable for preload and rebound damping
Rear suspension Single shock, adjustable for preload and rebound damping
Front brake 2 x 282mm discs with four-piston calipers. ABS
Rear brake 245mm rear disc with single piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 54 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost -
New price £7,799
Used price £5,900 - £7,800
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 72 bhp
Max torque 50 ft-lb
Top speed 125 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 201 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2016 – Tracer 700 introduced. Sports touring version of the venerable MT-07, featuring the same frame and engine, but with new bodywork, a three litre bigger fuel tank (up to 17 litres), more relaxed ergonomics and a 60mm longer wheelbase.
  • 2020 – Euro5-friendly – power and weight unchanged. Engine tweaks, new styling, screen, handguards, seat, clocks, wider handlebars, uprated forks, shock and Michelin Pilot Road 4 tyres.

Other versions

There are currently no other versions of the Yamaha Tracer 700, but expect a GT version to be along soon. Despite this, there are multiple other bikes that share the same 689cc parrallel-twin engine platform. They are listed below:

  • Yamaha MT-07: Yamaha's answer to the Kawasaki Z650 and Suzuki's SV650 offers a well-priced, competent package, capable of tackling daily use and monster wheelies whenever the mood takes you.
  • Yamaha Tenere 700: Yamaha's middleweight adventure bike breaks the mould by coming in at just 205kg wet, producing 74bhp and offering no electronic aids apart from ABS, which can be switched off for off-road use.
  • Yamaha XSR700: Essentially the same bike as the MT-07, the XSR offers minimalist retro styling combined with a punchy modern powerplant. Also available as a special XTribute version.

Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA TRACER 700 (2020 - on)

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