Yamaha Tracer 9 and Tracer 9 GT motorcycle test


Cross-country sprinters

3 cylinders in line, 889 cm3, 119 hp and 93 Nm, 213 kg full made, from 11,499 euros

Road trail, sport-touring, road … the names overlap for models cut for the road. And in this context, the Tracer 9 – formerly Tracer 900 – is both the new and the only model to ride a lot and far, since the disappearance of the FJR 1300. Swift, demonstrative, stylish and efficient and a bit whimsical…. the Yamaha Tracer 9 is really the road version of the MT-09, benefiting from the same platform. Revisited in 2018 and available in a more equipped GT version, the model today confirms its success. It represents 21% of Yamaha sales in this segment, 44% of the targeted European market … Since its beginnings, 63,000 Tracer have found riders, including 15,000 in France, 2,300 again last year, making the machine the 5th best selling in France. And in these Tracer9, the GT accounts for 75% of the model’s sales.

As for the MT-09, 2021 heralds a new era for the road now named Plot 9. Aesthetic break, major chassis and electronics evolutions, optimized engine and equipment…. the novelty will be talked about. It comes with an even more accessorized GT version and above all equipped with piloted suspensions, much more expensive but with unparalleled performance, despite the price increase compared to the previous vintage. Justified? Enough to make our test of the two machines an exciting and inevitably dynamic getaway, along the enchanting roads of the Haut Var ….

Yamaha Tracer 9 reviewYamaha Tracer 9 review


Dynamic, the Tracer has been, since its inception, a stylish roadster with a strong personality. Its original front, but somewhat unstructured in 2015, was accompanied by remarkable aesthetic lines and gestures. The machine was made more homogeneous in 2018 and necessarily weaker. The 2021 novelty takes on a marked sportiness, draped with great elegance. Compact and swift GT, the Tracer 9 differs a lot from the roadster. It nevertheless takes back the tapered fires of…. the previous version! Entirely led, like all lighting, these optics are installed under a high bubble adjustable by 50 mm. The ensemble features a completely new look, based on that of the Tracer 7, itself inspired by the aesthetics of the sporty R1. Narrow fairing sides or very long scoop, the complex front surfaces frame radiators and high beams compose a high silhouette. The typical truncated shoulders of the tank disappear to accommodate, around the imposing 18-liter can, the new integrated forced air inlets. Their fluid, almost aeronautical lines give all the personality to the Tracer 9.

New styling makes the Tracer more elegantNew styling makes the Tracer more elegant

In the extension are supported the differentiated seats pilot and passenger. Welcoming, thick, they presage good comfort. The accompanying person benefits from strong grab handles. Note the thick suitcase support plates and space for an optional luggage rack and top case. This and the cases can now be mounted at the same time.

This set is based on a solid aluminum tubular rear buckle, specific to the Tracer 9 and bolted to the main frame of the same metal. The stern loses 1.3 kilograms. A variation of the roadster, the road then takes up the specifics set out on the MT-09, both in the chassis and in the engine.

The rear loop now allows you to install suitcases AND top caseThe rear buckle now allows to install suitcases AND top case

We therefore find an aluminum perimeter frame deltabox type, die-cast. Lightened by 2.3 kg, 50% more rigid on the side, the structure is imposing. Adapted to the new engine dimensions, this set stretches into solid arms with flexible and profiled shapes, supporting the famous Yamaha three-cylinder type CP3. Its explosive character increases this year with an increasing displacement of the stroke, now cubing 889 cm3 (78.0 × 62.1 mm). The mechanics evolve widely for an approval at mid-speeds. Thus, its longer stroke is a factor favoring availability. Double overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder, fractured-head connecting rods, forged pistons, the three-cylinder also combines quality details. And the “Crossplane” setting of its crankshaft at 120 ° (engine time 0 °, 240 ° and 480 °), gives the block a special life. Euro5 approved, 1.7 kg lighter, the tuning fork still has the luxury of being more efficient. It now develops 119 hp (+ 4) at 10,000 rpm and above all a torque of 93 Nm (+ 5) available 1,500 rpm lower, ie 7,000 revolutions. In addition, the inertia of the crankshaft increases by 15%. Indeed the master of Torque does not let go !

CP3 upgrades to 889cc for more power and torqueThe CP3 increases to 889 cm3 to gain power and torque

The mechanics are under the control of a Ride by Wire type gas control, now allowing 4 injection maps (D-Mode). These profiles make it possible to adjust the engine response to the driving conditions or the pilot’s wishes, while maintaining performance. From now on, sport, normal, soft and rain profiles modulate responsiveness and new assistance ….

Indeed, an important novelty of this vintage, a 3-axis, 6-direction inertial unit (IMU) manages the piloting aids according to the movements and inclinations of the machine. On the menu, three-mode traction control (TCS), glide (SCS), wheeling (LIF) and ABS (BC). What to play the bullies in complete safety.

Particularly virulent, the mechanics can get carried away without qualms with its assisted limited-slip clutch. Angled cams allow the pressure plate to slide out slightly, limiting rear wheel lockups when stacking gears. The box incorporates two first reports are longer. But on the standard Tracer 9, no quickshifter by default…. unlike the GT.

Limited slip clutch limits rear wheel lockupsLimited slip clutch limits rear wheel lockups

Captured by three-in-one collectors, the breath of the three-cylinder flows into a hyper-compact and lightweight catalyst-silencer assembly (-1.4 kg), placed under the engine. And now the exhausts spit directly towards the ground…. Enough to thrill the crew even more. This arrangement is made possible by the adoption of a horizontally placed Monocross suspension. The Kayaba shock absorber mounted on rods adjusts for preload and rebound via a wheel accessible through a hole in the frame, left side. It manages, over 130 mm, the movements of the semi-banana aluminum swing arm. Its new flat volumes associated with this sporty asymmetry elegantly energize the style of the machine. Point of importance, as in 2018, the arm is lengthened by 70 mm compared to the roadster, conferring a wheelbase of 1500 mm, to reinforce, largely, the stability. It is also the correction of a nasty defect noted on the 2015 model: high-speed darting..

The swingarm has been revised and associated with a horizontal shock absorberThe swingarm has been revised and associated with a horizontal shock absorber

The front axle is one of the biggest evolutions of the Tracer 9 2021. Indeed, the steering column is lowered by 30 mm! This greatly refines the sensations on the steering gear as we have noted on the MT roadster. The 41mm inverted fork is also 39 units shorter, but still debates 130mm. Adjustable for spring preload, a screw adjusts the hydraulic compression on the left sleeve, while the rebound is always on the right side.

The geometry of the Tracer 900 retains dimensions dedicated to liveliness, but with a column angle of 25 ° for the Tracer 9, against 24 for the roadster. And the hunt goes to 108 mm. Here again, Yamaha shows a willingness to come to terms with the whimsical behavior of its road machine..

The geometry is more open than on the TM, for a little more wisdomThe geometry is more open than on the TM, for a little more wisdom

As for the MT, one of the developments is based on the 17-inch rims…. Weighing 700g less than before, the new SpinForged aluminum components with five split-spokes reduce unsprung masses even further. And rear inertia would decrease by 11%. Bridgestone Battlax T32 tires, a brand new benchmark, fit them, sizes 120/70 and 180/55.

Tracer 9 receives Bridgestone Battlax T32 and new rimsTracer 9 receives Bridgestone Battlax T32 and new rims

To stop the roads, two calipers with four pistons and radial mounting attack the discs of 298 mm, controlled by a new master cylinder Nissin also radial. Single piston opposed retarder bites 245mm element..

Well equipped, the Tracer 9 is equipped with a center stand and cruise control. The suitcase support plates are integrated into the rear loop, hidden by screwed covers. Too bad, the "basic" model does not receive the quickshifter…. option at 200 euros.

The center stand is a standard itemThe center stand is a standard item

The general presentation of the Tracer 9 is very good, much more satisfactory than that of the too stripped MT-09 roadster. The surfaces of metallic elements are rewarding and neat, those of plastics sometimes less. In terms of the engine, we regret the rather sensitive presence of cables, hoses and other elements still too visible. The whole, however, makes up a still attractive machine with a more elegant style. Last remarkable point, the machines lose a little weight: a kilo. I.e. 213 kg for the standard, 220 for the GT without suitcases, 230 with.

Specificities Tracer 900 GT

The gearbox is fitted with the quickshifter now up AND down gear.

A remarkable novelty, Kayaba Actimatics electronic suspensions adjust the hydraulics in compression and rebound, driven by the six-axis inertial unit (IMU). The elements are preloaded by knobs, both on the fork and on the rear shock absorber. Two modes, Sport or Comfort adapt the damping which then continuously filters the unevenness of the road.

The GT opts for a shifter and a piloted forkThe GT opts for a shifter and a piloted fork

Adaptive cornering lighting illuminates your cornering. The brightness is automatically increased with the inclination.

The 30-liter cases each house a full-face helmet. They are mounted on a floating fixing system limiting movements at high speed. An optional 24-liter top case can now also be installed at the same time, unlike the old model which did not allow this. Finally, heated grips with 10 levels will prevent you from frostbite.

The 30-liter suitcases equip the GT as standardThe 30-liter suitcases equip the GT as standard

The Tracer 9 GT is also offered in an exclusive Yamaha Icon Performance colourway, evoking the nuances of the R1M and at no extra cost..

In the saddle

Narrow at the crotch, the Tracer 9’s always contrast their saddle with a mover’s shoulder tank. The new models benefit from pilot seats adjustable in height to 25 mm, ie 810 and 825 mm. A real difference with the 2018 models (850-865 mm)! In fact, the roads cross easily and provide good support on the ground … for the 1.80m pilot. On the other hand, the 1.70m pilot will barely put his tiptoes on the ground. But the pilot lacks perspective.

The saddle is adjustable in height and above all more accessible than on the old versionThe saddle is adjustable in height and above all more accessible than on the old version

Atypical, the machine gives the pilot a very natural position. Reasonably bent, the legs are supported on slightly set back footrests that can be adjusted horizontally and vertically over 4 mm. However, the general loss of altitude still affects ease and, as we will see, ground clearance..

The bust therefore remains almost straight when the hands grip a large handlebars of variable diameter. This is adjustable by pivoting in its fixings. With a lowered column, the extensions supporting the hanger seem disproportionate, but the Tracer retains this appreciable specific ergonomics..

The instrumentation is based on two 3.5-inch TFT screensThe instrumentation is based on two 3.5-inch TFT screens

Another notable development: the instruments are made up of two 3.5-inch color TFT screens. We would have liked larger slabs, but, if the one on the left displays the same data as that of the MT-09, the one on the right allows you to read 4 machine parameters of your choice: odometer, two partials, instantaneous or average consumption, engine temperature. and exterior. The dial on the right stalk controls these functions. The screen on the left is controlled by the appropriate stalk and incorporates bargraph tachometer, gear indicator, clock and of course tachometer. The adjustment of the D-Mode and anti-slip (TCS) values ​​and, for the GT, the 2 damping modes go in the same way. Finally, the brake lever is adjustable in spacing, but not the clutch. And these orders seem economical.

In the city

With their asphalt-grazing tailpipes, the Tracers resonate with the sporting pulses of their three-cylinder block. The low growl contributes to the overall seductive effect. You can quickly see the optimization of the Yamaha chassis. Their handling is intuitive and the machines can be viewed in the traffic. Flexible, the mechanics easily accept low revs, even on the highest ratios under 2000 rpm. Calm down, the injection hardly affects go-arounds, especially in mode 3 or 4. The whole is supported by a precise and smooth gearbox which ensures smooth urban evolutions. The GT is already showing off its quickshifter that is as precise as it is fast. But on the standard Tracer 9, the clutch is very smooth and the lever barely resists.

The shifter is a real asset for urban developmentsThe shifter is a real asset for urban developments

Clear and wide, the mirrors convey a crisp image and even the turning radius of roadways is acceptable. But the clutch point is quite far away, making certain maneuvers difficult. No need to worry, our frames are very accommodating for everyday city use. However, these urbanities leave them cramped and their horses prance impatiently…. Let go of the reins to enter Very High Velocity mode.

Motorway and expressways

Although towing more weight, the three-cylinder does not need to train the crew. The two shoots at 145 km / h…. and the Tracer 9s aim for the sky until third. On the switchboard, we pass gears on the fly without dragging. It’s obviously even cleaner on the GT handlebars. Well hidden behind the bubble, we would adopt a cruising speed close to 200 km / h. But we must keep it right.

The CP3 easily reaches 200 km / h at cruising speed, but the protection is limitedThe CP3 easily reaches 200 km / h at cruising speed, but the protection is limited

In addition, the protection can be improved. Legs, top of the helmet and shoulders remain relatively exposed. The Yamaha sisters are more sporty than GT…. and their narrow covering limits deflection. Legally, the comfort remains very correct, especially in seat and cushioning. Even more considerate, the GT suspensions pleasantly filter the vagaries of surfacing. Engage the governor and the Tracers shoot out towards the horizon, the boiler chirping at 5,000 rpm 6 legal and 7,000 rpm at 170 km / h. Regardless of the pace, the course is flawless. The cases logically increase the drag, but are hardly felt at very high speed, unless you also have a top case which can cause a little flutter above 150 km / h. And their floating mount maintains a healthy behavior. So we keep the pace to aim for the exit and take the Yams to draw curves.


Fast travelers, the Tracer 9 has a high performance heart, a lethal weapon of seduction. Beyond 4000 revolutions, the mechanics already clearly energize the evolutions on the intermediates. And the three-cylinder draw is breathtaking, always seeming to keep horses in reserve in its mechanical stud. But more than pure performance, it is the pleasure of this full engine everywhere that we appreciate in these road cars. Its new availability, its maximum force accessible 1,500 laps lower, increases the pleasure of piloting these Japanese women tenfold. Ideally crossed, the power and torque curves make it possible to benefit from the full dynamic potential of the machines. This increased availability is an asset in duo and charged. Another advantage of this more available force is that it is quite possible to maintain a higher gear in turns and to extract without dragging. We therefore play less of the selector. Especially since the shifter and a fast and precise gearbox contribute to the enjoyment of sustained driving on the GT. It’s less fun leveraging the standard, but no less efficient.

The three-cylinder now delivers 119 hp and 93 NmThe three-cylinder now delivers 119 hp and 93 Nm

The airbox with musically worked conduits participates in the pleasure of evolutions. After 5,000 laps, the vocalizations resonate under the tank. After 7000 revolutions it is like a bewitching war song: "accelerate again …." "stronger…." “Gaaaaaaz! "Yes, it’s not very poetic, but it’s a Japanese song and I didn’t do Japanese as a first language…. Controlled by a more precise injection, this mechanism is controlled on a curve of gas. As a result, the raises are millimeter and seem to increase the acceleration tenfold with each degree of rotation of the handle. The only concern is that the ground clearance limit is quickly reached, reached faster than before. Lowered, the Tracer 9 quickly scratch the asphalt of the lugs of their footrests. Raising the turntables becomes almost obligatory if you set the pace.

The footrests quickly scratch the asphaltThe footrests quickly scratch the asphalt

By 8 ° C, barely 5 km will have been enough to get there. The Bridg ’T32 therefore take the fast gymkhana with ease and participate in another remarkable quality of the Tracer: agility. Although more open, the geometry of the Tracer 9 does not limit their responsiveness. With their stiffer frame and lighter rims, the road bikes move from angle to angle effortlessly. Very responsive to the handlebars and footrests, they are carried away instinctively, leaving full latitude to correct the trajectory. The wide hanger also gives great ease in dynamics. With its lower column, the front axle is more neutral and precise, bringing appreciable rigor to fast and tight sequences. It transmits more information and allows excellent entry speed into a corner. And the ergonomic position is maintained thanks to the long saddles supporting the handlebars. Finally, lightened rims and reduced masses appreciably optimize the fast piloting in the winding one. In short, we go from one angle to another instinctively and effortlessly, looking.

The Tracer 9s remain very lively and agileThe Tracer 9s remain very lively and agile

The changes also benefit from the monitoring of the inertial unit, in particular when the brakes are applied in bends. Of course, we stack up gears shamelessly, the anti-dribble clutch swallowing everything without flinching. Master cylinder and radial calipers work remarkably and the grip of the lever in curves hardly stiffens the direction. The front calipers deliver a very appreciable power, but also an excellent control of the deceleration. The GT’s IMU-driven suspensions better regulate mass transfers. The difference is significant on this point between the two machines. Likewise, the compressions are more contained and the comfort of the crew superior with the electronics. The standard version surprises however pleasantly by the homogeneous adjustment of its conventional suspensions. Much nicer than those of the roadster, its elements very well absorb the defects of the bitumen. Although plunging quickly, the fork then honestly brakes the stroke of the sleeves. But the general comfort is logically behind vis-a-vis the declination GT. At a slower pace, the Tracer 9 delivers excellent pleasure. Natural, easy to take, engine performance and chassis quality boost their evolutions.

In general, the Tracer offer excellent pleasureIn general, the Tracers offer excellent pleasure.


A stiffer frame and lower column give the Tracer 9 better front end control. Damping is fairly gradual on both machines. We will be more heckled on the frippe with the standard version, but the machine remains healthy and the hydraulic adjustments guarantee comfort and dynamic efficiency. The GT clearly increases the serenity on the handlebars over long distances. At a higher rate, the feel of the machine is also better and takes advantage of the inertial unit..

Front axle offers better controlFront axle offers better control


The equipment lives up to the exuberance of the long-term sisters. The new radial master cylinder brings better control to the power of the decelerations. The rear clamp is excellent and also provides an appreciable control of its implementation..

The front brake consists of two 298mm discs, 4-piston calipers and a Nissin radial master cylinderThe front brake consists of two 298 mm discs, 4 piston calipers and a Nissin radial master cylinder

Comfort / Duo

The general position is one of the great qualities of these machines. Natural, it offers control and ease on long journeys, in fast or relaxed piloting. We would have liked more wind protection. Cushioning and saddles contribute to the comfort of the crew. The wide grab handles could, however, offer a more ergonomic profile to the passenger..

The Tracer is relatively comfortable, although better wind protection would have been desirable.The Tracer is relatively comfortable, although better wind protection would have been desirable.


With 6.7 liters on average when driving a little hard, the 250 km of autonomy is easily achievable. In discovery mode, the computer guaranteed nearly 300 km, so ideal for driving far away.

Update info: on a roadtrip of 2,500 km, we made an average of 5.3 l / 100. Consumption rises to 6 l./100 at legal motorway speed. And at a cool pace, what it allows, it can go under 5 liters per hundred.

In dynamic driving, the Tracer consumes 6.7 l / 100 kmIn dynamic driving, the Tracer consumes 6.7 l / 100 km

Yamaha Tracer 9 and Tracer 9 GT video test


A true evolution, the third iteration of the Yamaha Tracer 9 offers this model increased versatility and remarkable dynamic efficiency. More rigid, more agile, offering better control of changes and in particular of the front axle, the fast road vehicles are also fitted with welcome electronics. Faced with sales figures, Yamaha favors the GT, even refusing the standard the standard quickshifter…. Pity. Because the simple Tracer 9 sees its price increase by € 900, now standing at € 11,499. Sure, there’s a lot better on board, but inflation is pretty blunt. Ditto for the GT version, € 2,500 more expensive than its sister and € 1,700 more expensive than in 2018 ….

The Yamaha Tracer 9 and Tracer 9 GTThe Yamaha Tracer 9 and Tracer 9 GT

We will oppose them the BMW F900 XR, "from 8 870 €", less powerful in power, but with almost similar torque, but with a much less demonstrative engine and mechanics that did not leave me with a seductive memory. Another European, the Triumph Tiger 900 GT, € 13,500, displays a remarkable finish and better equipment as standard. The Pro version is 15,300, but more equipped than the Tracer 9 GT.

More attractive mechanically and dynamically, the Yamaha Tracer 900 are between these two competitors. True sport-GT of character, they are changing this year to offer the best of their philosophy: to trace quickly and far.

Strong points

  • Strong aesthetics
  • Explosive nature and engine availability
  • Lively part-cycle
  • quickshifter up & down
  • Fork adjustable in any direction
  • Homogeneous suspensions
  • Electronic assistance
  • Powerful and flexible braking

Weak points

  • Non-tilting TFT screen
  • Ground clearance too low
  • Protection a little tight
  • Left TFT indications a little small

The technical sheet of the Yamaha Tracer 9

Test conditions

  • Itinerary: winding roads with variable surfaces, dry.
  • Weather forecast: sunny, 5 ° to 9 ° C
  • Motorcycle mileage: 180 km road
  • Problem encountered: ras

Test equipment

  • Full face helmet Nishua NXR-1 Carbon
  • Vanucci Okavango II jacket pants set
  • Vanucci VC-3 Gloves
  • Vanucci VTB 20 Boots

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10 thoughts on “Yamaha Tracer 9 and Tracer 9 GT motorcycle test

  1. Good article with good remarks. You wrote it to us … "remains to be seen in our beautiful small roads of France, Auvergne, Morvan, Provence …."

    Thank you and good Taf ✌️

  2. some will say that it is outdated, it is useless, nobody will exploit this potential etc .

    no matter, these motorcycles make him dream. much more than a 750 nx or a trail (except the ktm and ducati) and it’s good to dream in this world .

    So hats off and thank you to Kawasaki or ktm and ducati for these extreme motorcycles.

    even if this kind of dream is from another era!

  3. Good article with good remarks. You wrote it to us … "remains to be seen in our beautiful small roads of France, Auvergne, Morvan, Provence …."

    Thank you and good Taf ✌️

  4. You are right answer below me fortunately some motorcycles make us dream, duty free …, And this kawa will make many people dream, bravo.

  5. Interesting this article !

    Just to tease:

    "the steel tube trellis becomes, from the H2 then the Z 900, one of the Kawasaki signatures "

    It’s less glorious, but I would say "since the ER-6" angel.

  6. Bug that it is ugly ……. Between a huge pot, a radiator which is just as much and not integrated and the rest cut with a cutter, personally it makes me nightmare such a thing.

  7. The pot will delight props. Damn he’s ugly!

    And summon Guy Debord in an article on an H2, that’s heavy … Hats off.

  8. Kawa you are good we all know it, but please stop the bullshit to confidential distribution, and release a compressed 600 or 750 150hp weighing 210kg max with the full equipped with a fairing like H2.

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