Want a budget-minded touring bike? Yamaha’s got what you want, with the Tracer 7 GT, but sadly, it’s not available in Canada.
Mid-November, we told you about the updated-for-2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT. The three-cylinder sport tourer took a big technological step forward, but unfortunately, so did the MSRP.
What’s a touring enthusiast to do? If you’re in Europe, and you’re low on funds, you can always opt for the Tracer 7 GT.
As the name implies, this machine is built around Yamaha’s MT-07 platform, with liquid-cooled crossplane 689cc parallel twin engine. That engine was just updated to meet Euro5 emissions, and when that happened, Yamaha didn’t mention claimed horsepower. However, we’re told the updated engine has smoother, more linear power delivery (it probably makes 72ish horsepower and about 49 pound-feet of torque).
The MT-07 is a naked bike, built in Yamaha’s “Dark Side Of Japan” aesthetic. The Tracer 7 GT has a sensible fairing. It’s just big enough to cut through the wind while allowing for easy access to much of the mechanical bits for maintenance.
Yamaha also included a set of 20-litre panniers with mounting rack, a very important point. Manufacturers have a frustrating habit of building “sport tourers” and then not including a factory luggage set, sometimes not even offering one as an add-on expense. This Tracer 7 GT will be travel-friendly from the factory.
Yamaha also included a “Comfort Seat” on the Tracer 7 GT, and a 17-litre fuel tank (the MT-07 has a 14-litre fuel tank). The windscreen is single-hand-adjustable, and the front and rear suspension are also adjustable.
However, the Tracer 7 GT does not have the comprehensive electronics package that the Tracer 9 GT has. Instead of a TFT screen, it gets LCD gauges.
Yamaha’s sold a Tracer 700 for a while, but this is the first GT version. Don’t expect it to come to Canada, just like the original didn’t; Yamaha’s likely to focus on selling the Tenere 700 for the foreseeable future.