Yamaha MT-07 Tracer – Middleweight Cruise Missile

The introduction of a Tracer version of Yamaha’s excellent 700cc parallel-engined middleweight, brings a whole new set of skills to this class. Naked motorcycles, whilst a lot of fun, are limited on the practicality scale. South Africa, with its long distances between major centres, is hard work, even at legal speeds on bikes with no wind protection. Enter the Tracer MT-07.

As with the MT-09 Tracer, Yamaha have fitted a decent frame mounted fairing with an adjustable windscreen and increased fuel tank capacity. Other minor tweaks have created a middleweight that can tour, do track days, or commute with aplomb. The MT-07 Tracer, with the same Transformer like styling as it’s larger sibling, is one handsome bike.

The medium rise handlebars have a trick looking stainless steel slotted brace and sport colour coded wind deflectors cum handguards. The front indicators are mounted unobtrusively below the handguards. The windshield is adjusted via two knurled knobs, which, once loosened, allow manual raising or lowering of the screen. Simple and effective.

Suspension features non-adjustable right side up front forks, which are firm yet supple. The rear shock is the familiar Yamaha lay down affair with 9 preload adjustments. Base settings are already firm which means there is plenty of adjustment to compensate for a passenger and luggage.

The motor hangs from the steel trellis frame as a stressed member. An aluminium swing arm, finished in a classy flat black, suspends a handsome black mag wheel. Once again, as with a number of their engines, Yamaha use a stacked gearbox tucked in behind the motor. The result is a lovely narrow motor and sleek motorcycle.

Bodywork, incorporating rubber knee pads, shroud the tank. Magnetic tank bags will therefore not work. A full 17 litre tank, allied to decent fuel consumption, will give you a decent touring or commuting range. The exhaust exits tidily behind the right foot peg. The bulk of the exhaust, necessary for Euro 4 compliance, is tucked away under and behind the engine.

Instrumentation is digital and comprehensive. Average and current consumption, fuel gauge, odo, trip meters, air and engine temperatures, gear indicator, the lot. Brakes are twin discs up front with a single rear. Suffice to say there is plenty of power and good feel. ABS lurks in the background for when your talent runs out.

Typical of a modern Yamaha, the little Tracer is a really polished package. It runs an indicated 200 kph in 5th gear on the redline, and cruises effortlessly at 160 – the motor is then spinning at 6,700 rpm. All this from a mere 700 cc! Impressive. Handling is excellent. Firm suspension and good frame geometry combine to give a thrilling ride. The MT is stable even over dodgy surfaces. Scratching down racer road may not quite put you in R6 territory, but the small Tracer, properly ridden, will punch way above it’s weight.

The Tracer treatment sits well on the MT-07. What we now have is a fun bike for all seasons. Two up touring may be a challenge over really long distances for the simple reason that the bike is quite small.  In every other respect, the MT-07 Tracer more than delivers. A truly excellent motorcycle offering value for money. The Tracer, ridden sensibly will not intimidate newbies, yet has the dynamic ability to still satisfy experienced riders. Once again we have a winner from the ‘Tuning fork factory’!


Type Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-stroke, 4-valves, 2-Cylinder
Displacement 689cc
Bore x Stroke 80.0 mm x 68.6 mm
Compression Ratio 11.5 : 1
Maximum Power 55.0 kW (74.8PS) @ 9,000 rpm
Maximum Torque 68.0 Nm (6.93 kg-m) @ 6,500 rpm
Lubrication System Wet sump
Clutch Type Wet, Multiple Disc
Fuel System Fuel Injection
Ignition System TCI
Starter System Electric
Transmission Constant Mesh, 6-speed
Final Transmission Chain
Fuel Consumption 4.3 l/100km
CO2 Emission 100 g/km
Frame Diamond
Front Suspension Telescopic Forks
Rear Suspension Swingarm, (link suspension)
Front Brake Hydraulic dual disc, Ø 282 mm
Rear Brake Hydraulic single disc, Ø 245 mm
Front Tyres 120/70 R17 M/C 58W (tubeless)
Rear Tyres 180/55 R17 M/C 73W (tubeless)
Overall Length 2,138 mm
Overall Width 806 mm
Overall Height 1,270 mm
Seat Height 835 mm
Wheelbase 1,450 mm
Min. Ground Clearance 140 mm
Wet Weight (including full oil and fuel tank) 196 kg
Fuel Capacity 17.0 L
Oil Capacity 3.0 L
My name is Dave Cilliers. I consider cars as four wheeled shopping baskets and only worth using as a last resort! For years bikes have been my primary transport. Racing, touring, commuting or just kicking up dust on African tracks, I have owned over 270 motorcycles and ridden millions of kilometres. I am happiest when sharing my passion for motorcycles with like minded people whilst traversing Africa in search of adventure.