YAMAHA TRACER 700 (2020 - on) Review
At a glance
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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.
- Related: 2020 Yamaha Tracer 700 revealed
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.
Today’s toys pic.twitter.com/NxI4pEcuMN— Michael Neeves (@Neevesy33) February 26, 2020
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
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 qualityNext up: Value
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. Our online owner reviews for the outgoing model are all glowing, so Tracer 700 ownership should be trouble free.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||8v parallel twin|
|Frame type||Tubular steel diamond|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|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||-|
|Used price||£6,000 - £7,800|
How much to insure?
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
- 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.
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)
No owners have yet reviewed the YAMAHA TRACER 700 (2020 - on).