Big-sell­ing MT- 07 fam­ily gets a new mem­ber as Yamaha un­leash bud­get sports-tourer

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Andy Downes

This is the all-new Tracer 700, which Yamaha hope will of­fer an ex­tra dose of prac­ti­cal­ity to the al­ready hugely pop­u­lar MT-07 range. The new Tracer is a near-per­fect car­bon copy of the ex­ist­ing three-cylin­der 900cc MT-09 Tracer (now re­named Tracer 900), fol­low­ing the same path of adding a more up­right rid­ing po­si­tion, top fair­ing and re­vised me­chan­i­cals to cre­ate a bike with greater dis­tance abil­ity than the naked MT-07.

The fam­ily re­sem­blance be­tween the 700cc and 900cc bikes is clear to see, although they can be dis­tin­guished by the dif­fer­ences around the front lights and fair­ing – and by count­ing the num­ber of ex­haust head­ers.

One change that will come as a re­lief to taller rid­ers is the ex­tra 40mm of seat height built into the Tracer 700 over the MT-07, which was a bit cramped for any­one over 5ft 10in. That sits the Tracer at 845mm – com­pared to the MT’S 805mm – while a low­er­ing kit is al­most cer­tainly go­ing to be part of the op­tional equip­ment list.

The UK price has al­ready been set at a very com­pet­i­tive £6299, with bikes ex­pected to be in deal­ers by mid-july. That po­si­tions the 700 £2000 cheaper than the Tracer 900 which fea­tures the 115bhp, three-cylin­der, 847cc mo­tor from the MT-09, and around £1000 more than the naked MT-07. While the price is marginally higher than the Kawasaki’s ER6F, the MT-07 en­gine is a lot more char­ac­ter­ful and the bike has a much more mod­ern feel than the dated Kawasaki.

The 689cc, 75bhp twin-cylin­der MT-07 en­gine with its 270 de­gree fir­ing or­der re­mains un­changed but the Tracer boasts a 50mm longer swingarm to give a wheel­base of 1450mm. This will en­hance sta­bil­ity when tour­ing with a pil­lion and lug­gage. There are also changes to the sus­pen­sion to match the al­tered chas­sis geom­e­try, while there is also a larger 17-litre fuel tank com­pared to the 14-litre tank on the naked MT-07. It’s all in the name of adding long-dis­tance ca­pa­bil­ity.

Like the Tracer 900 the 700cc ver­sion gets a man­u­ally-ad­justable wind­screen which, thanks to a pair of eas­ily ad­justed roller wheels, sim­ply moves to the de­sired height. The hand­guards also have built-in in­di­ca­tors as a neat de­sign touch. One of the most im­por­tant fac­tors for this mid­dleweight sport­s­tourer is the kerb weight, which is a rel­a­tively lithe 196kg. As with all new bikes over 125cc, ABS is now stan­dard as part of Euro4 reg­u­la­tions.

Yamaha are of­fer­ing three colour op­tions of red, blue and black and there will be a large list of of­fi­cial ac­ces­sories in­clud­ing pan­niers, a top­box, tankbag and taller screens.

The new Tracer 700 joins an ev­er­ex­pand­ing range of bikes in MT range, which has de­liv­ered com­bined sales of over 70,000 units since the MT-09 road­ster ar­rived in 2013 – and there seems to be now slow­ing down in the pace of new mod­els ar­riv­ing.

Only last week MCN’S spy pho­tog­ra­pher caught a new Ténéré 700 de­riv­a­tive us­ing the same en­gine but in a much more off-road ori­en­tated chas­sis with proper spoked wheels for rough ter­rain. With the four-cylin­der 160bhp Yamaha MT-10 be­ing launched in just a few week’s time there will soon be a range from 125cc through to 999cc.

The UK price has al­ready been set at £6299, with bikes ex­pected in July

On sale by mid-july the Tracer 700 is a lot of mo­tor­cy­cle for £6299 Sit­ting com­fort­ably A stepped twin seat unit of­fers a more com­fort­able perch for both rider and pil­lion (the MT-07’S pil­lion seat is tiny). The seat unit is also mounted on a new re­in­forced sub­frame, built to take ex­tra stresses of reg­u­larly car­ry­ing lug­gage and a pil­lion.

Bright ideas The full LED head­lights from the Tracer 900 have been swapped for con­ven­tional head­lights, although LEDS are still used for side­lights. Go­ing the dis­tance The MT-07 has a 14-litre tank which is good for 160 miles be­tween fill-ups if rid­den gen­tly. But to give the sport-tour­ing Tracer 700 more range, Yamaha have added three litres more ca­pac­ity. Great lengths While Yamaha have tried to re­tain as many parts as pos­si­ble in or­der to keep devel­op­ment costs down, the search for in­creased sta­bil­ity and com­fort while loaded up has meant a 50mm longer swingarm which is now made from alu­minium rather than steel. Tracer’s new clothes The fam­ily re­sem­blance to the Tracer 900 is clear to see but there are enough dif­fer­ences in the fair­ing and head­lamp de­sign to sep­a­rate the Tracer 700 from the ex­ist­ing 900. The most ob­vi­ous vis­ual clue is the num­ber of header pipes!

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