Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900

23 photos

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

1/23
The famous Yamaha triple attracts customers with four, with the standard tracer even five models.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

2/23
Despite the evil eye, the Neuner-MT is basically a very sociable being with a high fun factor.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

3/23
The information in the standard MT is presented in black and white.

Outside temperature included.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

4/23
The simple suspension strut quickly reaches its limits when driving quickly on bumpy terrain.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

5/23
With the Standart-MT-09 the compression stage is adjustable on the left fork leg and the rebound stage on the right fork leg.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

6/23
Timo, tell amol, you like to ride? Hajo. Well, go up from your bench to my bench.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

7/23
This is what driving fun looks like! Timo feels right at home on the SP and mills quickly and with a clean line through the Winkelwerk.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

8/23
The information content is the same, but the SP presents it with white numbers on a black background. Nice too.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

9/23
The pressure level can be set separately in low and high speed. Good for professionals, but the risk of getting bogged down is great.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

10/23
Fine, also fully adjustable goods from Öhlins ensure significantly more quiet at the rear than in the basic version.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

11/23
Regardless of the label on the station wagon, such maneuvers are not a knife-edge ride.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

12/23
Not quite as bustling as her three sisters, but the Tracer is very confident.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

13/23
Color TFT displays are slowly gaining acceptance. All information and settings can be called up from the handlebars.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

14/23
The right thumb guides you through the various menus.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

15/23
The left thumb also operates cruise control and traction control.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

16/23
Tracy, your long nipples scare me! The footrest supports are identical to those of the MTs.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

17/23
Upright, lofty and also very comfortably accommodated for two, it is easy to travel on the Tracer.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

18/23
Thumbs up! Those who like it pure and crispy will find the right companion for road trips in the XSR.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

19/23
Looks like accessories, but is original. Small cockpit with moderate clarity, but high information density.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

20/23
Crisp butt with digital red light and a short fender made of real aluminum.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

21/23
As you can see, you see nothing. The XSR is the only one that does without adjustable compression damping at the front.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

22/23
A tiny touch of steampunk wafts around both the bull-eyed object and the XSR.

Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900
Jacek Bilski

23/23
Four different characters despite the identical drive, frame and a number of add-on parts.

MT-09, SP, Tracer GT and XSR 900 in the test

Yamaha three-cylinder models

If you want to drive the famous Yamaha three-cylinder, you are spoiled for choice: Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer, Tracer GT or XSR 900? Our test shows which motorcycle is best for whom.

Yamaha MT-09 family

D.he four test candidates and members of the family (the standard tracer was excused for making this comparison) are driven just as powerfully as reliably by the element that connects them, the still inspiring 847 cm³ three-cylinder with 115 hp. Already just above idle the triplet hangs willingly on the gas, tenses the muscles from 3,000 rpm, and then angrily pushes forward from 6,000 rpm up to the limiter at 11,000 rpm. In everyday life, however, you usually move on this side of the six on the moderately legible bar graphs of the different cockpits.

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Yamaha MT-09, SP, Tracer GT, XSR 900

MT-09, SP, Tracer GT and XSR 900 in the test
Yamaha three-cylinder models

Yamaha MT-09 for 8,995 euros

Nevertheless, you are brisk and can make ends meet with between 5 and 6 liters. For the 2017 model year, the original MT-09 with its evil-looking LED lamp mask and more aggressive lines was optically brushed for riot. The switch to Euro 4 was used to give the triple an automatic gearshift and an anti-hopping clutch along with modified engine mappings. Which then largely silenced the criticism of the harsh throttle response, the sometimes somewhat clumsy gear actuation. The most important change, of course, was the significantly tighter and fully adjustable upside-down fork. That helped the driving behavior significantly on the jumps.


Jacek Bilski

Despite the evil eye, the Neuner-MT is basically a very sociable being with a high fun factor.

But the basic setting of the Yamaha MT-09 is still quite soft. Especially at high speeds, heavy riders and poor surfaces, unrest quickly occurs. The shock absorber also announces the end of its possibilities with a powerful pump. As a couple, the end of the flagpole is reached earlier, but a passenger only feels comfortable on short trips anyway. The one-piece upholstery cut too tight, the footrests too high. So the pace was reduced, which also correlates well with the somewhat passive-looking sitting position. It has a passive effect because the ergonomics of the MT-09 differ only slightly from those of the XSR 900 from the pure measured values. The height distance between seat and handlebars is identical at 250 mm, as is the shape and position of the footrests. Only her tank is cut a little narrower and the seat is less padded. This is probably why the sitting posture on the XSR, which will be discussed later, appears much more active.

Nevertheless, the classic Yamaha MT-09 is a versatile fun-maker for people who are mostly alone and not necessarily on the last groove, which is also attractively priced at 8,995 euros.

Yamaha MT-09 SP for 10,195 euros

It is well known that the better of the good is the enemy. And since the revised chassis was not able to completely inspire the fast-forward faction, Yamaha pushed the SP version in February 2018. For a surcharge of 1,200 euros, the sports driver gets an exclusive color scheme, black instead of silver add-on parts such as handlebars and levers, as well as a bench with pretty blue stitching that will keep the pilot Poppes watering for a long time after wet nights outdoors.


Jacek Bilski

This is what driving fun looks like! Timo feels right at home on the SP and mills quickly and with a clean line through the Winkelwerk.

That’s it? No, because the golden instead of black fork outer tubes, which, by the way, are identical in shape and dimensions in all four models, give it away: At the front, Kayaba goods that can be adjusted separately in the compression stage ensure wheel guidance, driving comfort and feedback , also fully adjustable goods from Öhlins at the back. The basic setting is inherently rather tight, and it took a few trips on the selective MOTORRAD test track before the various setting options for the forehand led to a better result than with the standard fork. Note: If a lot has to be adjusted, a lot has to be adjusted. Results see photo show.

The situation is completely different with the shock absorber: where the simple damper of the basic version is already wedging wildly due to a lack of damping reserves, the Öhlins-equipped Yamaha MT-09 SP still largely smooths out the carelessness of the road builders. But she too will find her master, as will be shown shortly. Except for the points mentioned, both MT-09 variants are completely identical in construction. That means that here, too, as with all four, there is a speed limit at 210 km / h that is unnecessary from a MOTORCYCLE point of view, an automatic gearshift, anti-hopping clutch and an adjustable brake lever. The smooth-running brother on the other side of the butted aluminum handlebar, which acts on a Bowden cable, is what it is. The SP is the right companion for all those who, on the one hand, want to turn to the upper range of the rev range while sitting comfortably, on the other hand, are ready to familiarize themselves with the theory of the correct setup. The surcharge for what is offered may be considered a snap.

The general rule is that the setups developed in this test are not values ​​set in stone, valid for all time, but represent the best compromise from a MOTORCYCLE point of view under the existing conditions (driver weight, temperature, road surface, speed). Different views are permitted.

Yamaha Tracer 900 GT for 12,195 euros

Now it is the case that not every motorcyclist is eager to constantly set new records on his home route. Quite a few also want to look beyond the end of the day with the best companion. This requires space, both for the crew and their luggage. The Tracer, offered since 2015 and revised for 2018, which competes here in the GT version, offers both. 12,195 euros are called for them, which is 1,600 euros more than for the basic version that is still offered. For the money there is not only heated grips, cruise control, TFT color display and shift assistant, but also a spring strut with hydraulic spring preload and cases painted in the vehicle color. No serious helmet fits into this, but let’s be honest: When you’re out and about, the suitcases are loaded, the helmet is on your head. Accepted.


Jacek Bilski

Not quite as bustling as her three sisters, but the Tracer is very confident.

Thanks to the half-shell and the lens that can be adjusted by 50 mm with one hand, there is adequate wind and weather protection. From the author’s point of view, the colored and very informative TFT display, which can be operated completely from the handlebars, as well as the spring preload at the rear, which can be adjusted by handwheel, are worth the extra charge. But the reality is different: From January 2017 until today, Yamaha was able to bring 1,794 Tracer 900 to the travel-savvy people. But there were only 202 GT models.

But the GT is convincing. Especially on said test track. Despite the outwardly identical fork, the touristic character is already evident in the first few meters. The almost 20 kilograms more weight compared to its siblings, due to the four-liter larger tank as well as the cladding and suitcases, manifest themselves in a somewhat slower handling in tight spaces. But that can just as easily be sold as serenity or sovereignty. At speeds, where the MT-09 and more pronounced the XSR 900 shake the rider violently, the Yamaha Tracer 900 GT stoically pulls its course with only two fingers on the handlebars, which are also butted, but which are pulled significantly higher, if necessary.

That changes on the autobahn. The elaborately cast aluminum frame is identical in all models. In principle, this also applies to the swingarm, only the two tracers are 60 millimeters longer than those of the siblings. Nevertheless, the straight-line stability at high speeds on German expressways is not entirely convincing. From around 160 km / h, the tracer tends to oscillate. A little more or less, depending on the driver’s weight and luggage load. It never takes on dubious forms, but it is there. But as soon as you have commuted to speed-limited foreign countries, everything is fine. Ultimately, the target group for the Tracer 900 is everyone who likes to watch television. Live, on site and in color. For lovers of enjoyable driving, it is a comfortable alternative to the two MTs, and for two travelers it is even the first choice.

Yamaha XSR 900 for 9,995 euros

That leaves the Yamaha XSR 900. It is a good illustration of the advantages and disadvantages of the modular system. On the one hand, Yamaha has succeeded in creating a new model with very little effort, but on the other hand you can also see it. The already mentioned optically dominant cast aluminum frame can only be combined with the retro look to a limited extent. The brushed aluminum tank looks very appetizing, but it looks a bit like a foreign body. As a result, the lights in the front and back as well as the small cockpit look like they were added by chance. But it is precisely this somewhat unfinished look that has its charm, and “in real” the XSR comes across much better than in the photos.


Jacek Bilski

Those who like it pure and crispy will find the right companion for road trips in the XSR.

Lamp holder, various covers and the rear fender are made of aluminum, the front counterpart and the headlight pot are unfortunately just plain plastic. At 9,995 euros, the XSR is only 200 euros below the SP, which is significantly better equipped in terms of chassis technology. The test bike with the optional Akrapovic titanium complete system for 1,739.50 euros including catalytic converter is even significantly higher. In return, the noble pipe work underlines the hoarse, biting sound of the triple without being louder. And as a delicacy, there is a small increase in performance from 6,500 rpm. That fits very well with the shirt-sleeved character of the Yamaha XSR 900. The spring elements front and rear, which can only be adjusted in terms of spring preload and rebound damping, are of the tight type and, together with the equally tight seat bench, which, by the way, is not the case with pillion riders, ensure a real driving experience.

In order to keep up with the Tracer 900 GT, which is floating above it unmoved, on the rough road, it takes increased driving effort and the pilots to be able to take on. If the XSR 900 were a car, it would be a gnarled English roadster à la Morgan +8 or Austin Healey. As the only one of this quartet, she also has to do without the automatic switch, which suits her very well. Traction control and the three driving modes are on board. The XSR is definitely the least pleasing bike in this field, but the most emotional.

Conclusion

Peter Klein about the Yamaha MT-09: Even the standard MT-09 drives well, is universally applicable and has a high fun factor. I don’t need the better chassis of the SP and the ample equipment of the Tracer. Not to mention the style of the XSR. After all, I have enough style myself.

Timo Morbitzer about the Yamaha MT-09 SP: On the MT-09 SP, I really liked the robust engine with a lot of torque from the lower speed range. With its basically stiff chassis, it can be moved quickly and precisely on the home route. Too aggressive throttle response in A mode, I like B much better.

Sebastian Schmidt about the Yamaha Tracer 900: You immediately feel at home on the Tracer. It looks chic, the ergonomics fit, the performance starts in a controlled manner and there is plenty of equipment. Very weird fellows should, however, factor in putting on the main stand in their driving style.

Stefan Glück about the Yamaha XSR 900: The XSR is either terrible or very tempting. As an everyday mule, the MT is more sociable, but anyone who likes honest, earthy types with rough edges can be happy with it. And no, you don’t need tattoos to look good with her.

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