What’s the best two-up? The rider’s view

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Tracer 700 Group Test - By Bruce Dunn by Maria Val­lahis

Of all the bikes here, the Suzuki V-strom 650 is the best for car­ry­ing a pas­sen­ger. It’s phys­i­cally quite big, so is comfortable and roomy with some­one on the back. The en­gine is smooth, strong and eas­ily pulls the ex­tra weight, but it’s not nec­es­sary the fastest. It’s very well balanced and there’s lit­tle pitch­ing back and forth from the sus­pen­sion on and off the throt­tle. The BMW runs it a close sec­ond, though, and these two are a long way clear of the Kawasaki and Yamaha for two-up rid­ing.

The Tracer 700 is fine when rid­ing solo. The en­gine is sporty and the steer­ing light, but the sus­pen­sion feels crude, cheap, un­re­fined and un­der-damped with a pas­sen­ger and there’s lit­tle easy ad­just­ment in it.

The Kawasaki’s en­gine is good and the sus­pen­sion has a bet­ter feel to it and sits be­tween the Yamaha and BMW for car­ry­ing a pas­sen­ger.

The Suzuki is ev­ery bit as comfy, but the BMW is just that bit smoother for a pil­lion.

The Tracer is my third choice. It’s small and low, so it’s easy to get on and off, but there’s not much to hold on to, just some weird horn­like han­dles. With so much wind buf­fet­ing you re­ally know about it at high speed and the seat doesn’t hold you re­as­sur­ingly into place.

I wasn’t keen on the Kawasaki at all, which is why I’ve put it last. The pil­lion seat perches you so high that it’s harder on your arms to hold on, and the shape of the sad­dle means you’re con­stantly slid­ing for­ward into the rider. There’s also a lot less rear legroom than the oth­ers and more vibes from the en­gine.

have a clock, or an ad­justable screen, but there are loads of of­fi­cial ac­ces­sories avail­able. It’s a smooth, solid per­former and de­serves re­spect.

In terms of en­gine con­fig­u­ra­tion, power and phys­i­cal size, the BMW F700GS is a good match for the other bikes here. And like the oth­ers it’s aimed at the newer rider, too. But

Ac­ces­sory heaven

Each man­u­fac­turer of­fers a full range of of­fi­cial tour­ing, sports and cos­metic ac­ces­sories. Here are our top picks from each mar­que:

Kawasaki £550 worth of free tour­ing ac­ces­sories when you buy a Versys 650 be­fore Septem­ber 5, 2016, com­pris­ing of pan­niers, in­te­rior bags and a tank pad.


Yamaha Quick-re­lease 11-litre tankbag:


£115.99 Padded com­fort seat with logo: £128.99 Wider/taller screen: £111.99

Suzuki Cen­tre­stand: £185 Heated grips: £225 Lower seat: £149


BMW Tyre pres­sure con­trol: £210 On-board com­puter: £160 Trac­tion con­trol: £310


‘The BMW F700GS looks big, but it’s ac­tu­ally sur­pris­ingly man­age­able’

The spa­cious BMW comes a close sec­ond Bud­get sus­pen­sion lets the Tracer down Ride qual­ity is bet­ter on the Versys 650

Light­weight BMW F700GS is ef­fort­less fun in the bends The Versys 650 is prov­ing very hard to beat in this seg­ment Beauty and the beast. Tracer trumps V-strom in the style stakes

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