Staff Bike: 2017 Yamaha MT-07 Tracer Final Update
As 2017 comes to an end so does our time with our Long Term Yamaha MT-07 Tracer, having proven a Bike Review favourite that always left a smile on our faces. Final wrap by Kris Hodgson
It’s been over seven months since we first picked up our Long Term 2017 Yamaha MT-07 Tracer from Yamaha HQ, and while a lot’s changed, mainly through fitment of Yamaha accessories and some help from Kenma Australia, the bike’s still the awesome all-rounder that we picked up day one. You can find all our content on the 2017 MT-07 Tracer here.
Yamaha’s MT-07 redefined the large LAMS capacity segment, and while the MT-07 Tracer, or Tracer 700 as it is known in some markets, is a bit more specialised and comes in at a more premium price-point, there’s no doubt that Yamaha have once again delivered a leading offering.
The specs on paper are impressive for a LAMS machine, while the bike itself is fun, comfortable and exciting, even as a fully licensed rider used to motorcycles with triple the power. That’s a pretty amazing achievement if you ask me.
The liquid-cooled inline-twin is torquey and the claimed 52hp was not far off the mark when we dyno’d the bike. The addition of a DNA airfilter and Stage 2 airbox lid gave a pleasant boost to performance, with no tuning, while the Akrapovic exhaust gives the bike real presence. It may be too loud for some, and the Tracer could now do with a tune to really fully benefit from the modifications, but it’s not really necessary.
The gearbox is clunky, but apart from that the Tracer offers exceptional fueling, and you can tell Yamaha tuned the bike to perfection for the LAMS market, rather than doing a hurried restriction. A slipper clutch would be a nice addition, not because it’s necessary, but just because they are appearing in the LAMS segment now and are one of those quality of life features, and would help justify the bike’s cost for those on the fence.
Like the MT-07 the Tracer also features exceptionally balanced suspension, which is important when there’s no or very limited adjustability. Everyone who’s ridden the bike has been impressed in this regard, and even doing plentiful two up rides, which put the ‘do-it-all’ setup to the test, the Tracer still delivers.
Dual four-piston calipers and 282mm rotors on the front ensure there’s plenty of stopping power, so there’s no real need for upgrades here, while Michelin Pilot Road 4s are an exceptional all-rounder as standard fitment.
Our Tracer has done basically everything, from unsealed roads and off-road excusions, to plenty of commuting, and the MotoGP pilgrimage, as well as all the weekend duties for whoever has nabbed the key.
The standard panniers meant there was always room for extra gear, or stuffing medium sized bags inside, giving plenty of flexibility at the expense of the ability to filter through the narrower sections of traffic, while Yamaha do offer a topbox luggage option.
I used to run a Yamaha 60L topbox on my FZ-06 and I’d seriously consider a similar setup if I owned the Tracer, as it was waterproof, secure and could fit a helmet and full gear. Yamaha don’t seem to offer that exact setup anymore, but it’s possible their rack and an aftermarket topbox would be an option.
While the DNA airfilter and Airbox lid are probably the MVPs as far as bang for buck, the other accessories we’ve fitted have also been great. The Australian-made Promoto Oggy Knobbs haven’t been put to the test, or the Promoto Oggy Knobbs engine guard, while the belly-pan fairing gives the bike a sportier aspect. The billet levers and oil cap are just cool, as are the LED indicators on the rear.
The comfort seat is probably the only mod we did that wasn’t a resounding success, as it looks great but doesn’t really offer a noticeably more comfortable experience. It seems like it could do with a softer insert or gel cushion to really justify the update, although Richard used it for a 3000km loop to Phillip Island and was happy.
The taller 835mm seat height may seem a little daunting for a LAMS machine, but keep in mind this is a full sports touring offering, while the 196kg wet weight is light for the touring and sports touring segments. For those of extremely short stature this may be a barrier, or for someone who really wants to start on this kind of machine but lacks any experience, however the MT-07 Tracer is about as manageable as it gets for a bike of this size and design.
Probably what stood out for me over the whole period of testing is just how flexible the MT-07 Tracer is, out shooting the new Multistrada 950 the Tracer proved formidable, easily keeping up in normal riding conditions and offering the kind of effortless performance and absolute confidence that is so noticeable when you test a different bike every week.
I guess at the end of the day, the question is who the MT-07 Tracer is ideal for, and it’s a long list realistically. Larger/taller beginner riders would be at home on the MT-07 Tracer, where the bike’s taller stature and higher centre of gravity won’t be noticed. Those after a real sports touring option without trading away too much performance on a restricted license will be well rewarded.
Another great prospective owner is someone who likes their sports-touring and general riding without a crazy 150+hp requirement, but may also be thinking of inducting a younger family member into the motorcycling fraternity. This would be the ideal machine to share once someone picks up their basic motorcycling skills.
Even an experienced rider could take away a lot from the Tracer, if they want something fun and easy to handle, while still featuring the typical sport touring ergonomics.
If I was doing some touring every weekend, one or two-up, this would be the machine I’d be comparing everything else against, and to be honest the MT-07 powerplant probably even edges out the MT-09’s triple in my mind. It’s the ideal one-bike-garage option with a strong focus on touring and definitely looks the business.
2017 Yamaha MT-07 Tracer (Tracer 700) LAMS Specifications
Price: $12,299 + ORC
Warranty: Two year/unlimited kilometre
Colours: Yamaha Blue, Radical Red, Tech Black
Claimed Power: 38.3Kw[52.1hp]@8000rpm
Claimed Torque: 57.5Nm[42.5ft-lbs]@4000rpm
Claimed Weight: 196kg wet
Fuel Capacity: 17L
Engine: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, inline-twin, four-stroke, four-valve, 78 x 68.6mm bore x stroke, 655cc, 11.0:1 compression, lightweight one-piece two-into-one exhaust
Gearbox: Six speed
Clutch: Wet, multiple disc
Chassis: Tubular steel diamond frame, asymmetrical aluminium swingarm
Suspension: 41mm front forks, 130mm travel, link-type Monocross rear shock
Brakes: Dual 282mm front wave rotors, four-piston calipers, single 245mm rear wave rotor, single-piston Nissin caliper
Wheels & Tyres: Lightweight cast aluminium 10-spoke, Michelin Pilot Road 4, 120/70-ZR17, 180/55-ZR17
Dimensions: Seat height: 835mm, Overall height: 1270mm, Overall length: 2138mm Wheelbase: 1450mm
Instruments: LED display, gear indicator