As a seasoned motorcyclist the Yamaha Tracer 700 may seem a little small when it comes to entering the sports tourer market. That is until you thumb the starter on that motor and the 681cc twin jumps to life. Once again the good people at Yamaha have used their crossplane crank technology. This allows the engine to create an uneven firing sequence. As well as creating that all-important ‘character’ it also gives a stronger sense of acceleration. Marvellous!
Meanwhile the standard bike is dressed to impress as well as cover the miles. The tank holds 17 litres of juice. This gives the rider the assurance of being able to stay with the bigger machines on a long tour in terms of fuel stops. The seat is a one piece dual affair. If your not getting any cuddles from your pillion they have the option to hang on to the generous hand rails. The weather is kept at bay for the rider with a set of hand guards and even a height adjustable screen. We like the way the front indicators are built into those hand guards. Very stylish.
This good news continues with a bike chassis that matches its motor. It’s quite clear that while this is no R1, the same company made it. The curved swingarm shows its capabilities at a glance. To this end it goes where it’s pointed with ease. It feels light and it changes direction on demand. The fact that it does this two up and with luggage leaves us suitably impressed. Then again it does have a sibling in the new and rather wonderful T7. The main chassis is a made up of a lightweight backbone style frame. This uses the engine as a stressed member.
Between the motor and the chassis the bikes power to weight ration is one of, if not the, best in its class. The range of official accessories is long. As well as including stuff we’d expect such as panniers and inner bags there is a whole lot more on offer. There is a top-box available as well as a small but perfect handlebar bag. No touring bike would be complete without a set of heated grips and no sports bike without a set of billet levers. There are spotlights, very handy when you’re getting the tent up after dark, as well as engine protectors and a side stand extension kit.