The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 4.4
The Tracer 700 was already a brilliant, lively, affordable all-rounder due to its MT-07 underpinnings boosted by a practical screen and larger seat and tank. This GT accessorized version, complete with panniers, comfort seat and tall screen, add to that for not much more money.
Reasons to buy
- GT accessories turn hugely versatile Tracer 700 into mini-tourer
- Brilliant MT-07 base means it’s entertaining and accessible for all
- Panniers, comfort seat and touring screen add just £600
At a glance
If the standard Tracer 700 was a brilliant example of making a great bike better still then Yamaha have ratcheted things up further still with this new ‘GT’ version. Following the example of 2018’s Tracer 900 GT, Yamaha have taken the versatile, well-priced Tracer 700 (itself based on the lively MT-07) – and added to it. Admittedly it’s not as thorough this time, gaining merely panniers, tall screen and comfort seat where the 900 version also gained special badging, TFT screen, heated grips and quick-shifter, but it is a welcome improvement and makes it a bargain middleweight tourer.
There wasn’t much wrong with the stock Tracer 700 in being more roomy, upright and weather-protected than the MT-07 roadster thanks to a bigger tank (14-17 litres), roomier seat and higher bars protected by a top fairing – but the GT does improve things further, especially for taller rider, due to its plusher ‘Comfort’ seat and taller touring screen. The old Tracer was a great, lightweight all-rounder. This is the same but now with genuine long distance touring ability.
The standard Tracer was already fully deserving of our 5/5 for Practicality, being easy and unintimidating to ride, great around town and yet also a half-decent tourer. In fact, our only recommendation was to ‘fit some luggage and it’s a bargain-priced, do-it-all machine’. Well, Yamaha have now done exactly that with this GT version – and more besides. The new Tracer 700 GT is truly a great-value, do-it-all machine.
Performance & braking
All of Yamaha’s new ‘MT’ family have been lauded for their accessible punch and light, entertaining handling, right back to the original MT-09 115bhp triple in 2013 and they’ve kept getting better. The 700s use a twin cylinder, 689cc, 74bhp version of that engine in an even lighter, more nimble chassis and the result is an absolute whippet of a bike. The longer, bigger-tanked, faired Tracer is a touch more subdued and sensible but is still brilliant fun with a grunty, flexible delivery happily retarded by beefy twin disc front brakes. None of that’s changed with this GT.
Ride & handling
Engine apart, one of the other shining lights about the MT-07, on which this Tracer 700 GT is based, is its astonishingly nimble, yet easy and intuitive handling, thanks to reasonable suspension, fat tyres and a decent chassis. In Tracer form it’s calmed slightly thanks to its longer swingarm and generally larger proportions and its forks are still slightly on the over-soft side. But that’s being picky. Yes, it’s a touch on the budget side but the GT extras go some way to make up for that and it’s still a great fun ride.
Conceived from the outset as affordable machines – that one of the reasons for their modular approach, after all – Yamaha’s MT family, and particularly their 700 twins, are among the most affordable middleweights around thanks to their low purchase price, light weight and frugal consumption of consumables. Of course, that’s very slightly less true of the larger Tracer and, arguably even more so in this GT trim, but at the end of the day, with 50mpg+ and a sub-£8K initial purchase price, there’s no getting away from the fact that you get an awful lot of motorcycle for your money – and one that’s impressively cheap to run.
The GT may be a new model but it’s basically an accessorized Tracer 700 (which came out in 2016) which, in turn, was derived from the MT-07, as launched in 2014. Neither of those siblings have thrown up any scare stories so far nor have had any mechanical problems. Being a budget machine means you do need to keep an eye on metal finishes, fasteners and so on, but if looked after there should be no problems with this new GT version, either.
Warranty & servicing
Like all bigger Yamahas, the new Tracer 700 GT benefits from the Japanese manufacturer’s standard two year/unlimited mileage warranty, which covers parts and labour and is typical of the major motorcycle brands. This new GT version, meanwhile, being mostly a spec-upgrade, has the same service schedule as the standard Tracer 700, in having its first oil and filter service due at 500 miles followed by regular minor services every 6000miles and valve checks every 12K.
One of the areas where the GT makes a difference – although it’s not perhaps by as much as was the case with 2018’s 900 version. Although a great, versatile, fun all-rounder, one of the few criticisms of budget-orientated Tracer 700 was its fairly Spartan spec. That’s improved here. The adjustable screen, 12V socket etc all remain, but the GT adds to that with a taller, touring screen, comfort seat and panniers. It may lack quite the near-luxury of the 900GT, which features new TFT clocks, quickshifter, heated grips and more, but it’s still an improvement.
The original, standard Tracer 700 introduced in 2016 was already one the best and most affordable middleweight all-rounders you could buy – something reflected by its huge popular success Europe-wide. But this GT version adds an extra layer of comfort, practicality and long-distance touring ability for, at the time of launch, just £600 more. Yes, Kawasaki’s Versys 650 and Suzuki’s VStrom 650 are great, budget-priced all-rounder twins, too, but neither has quite the pizazz and punch of the Tracer.