Sport touring bikes have seen a recent surge on the road, as riders seek a sporty throttle feel, the capability to travel with a passenger, and all the gear they might need. Yamaha answers the call with the Tracer 9 GT, an all-new, ground-up rebuild adding to its lineage of sport-touring bikes. Its originator was the Yamaha FJ-09, a comfortable sport tourer in its own right. This latest offering is built on the base of the Yamaha MT-09. With more engine power, a bigger 5-gallon gas tank, ergonomic enhancements, hard saddlebags for storage, and lots of new techs, the Tracer 9 GT has all the comforts for hundreds of miles or a daily commute.
Yamaha invited us out on a 170-mile ride through Southern California’s Angeles Crest Highway to put the Tracer 9 GT through twists and turns, backroads, and beautiful scenic roads. This was the perfect terrain to test this beautiful machine. The power of the all-new 890cc liquid-cooled DOHC inline-triple CP3 engine was instantly notable in the straightaways. The new CP3 gives 6 percent more torque than its predecessor, and from the first twist of the throttle, you can feel it from take-off. The Tracer 9 GT offers 4 different drive modes, which allows you to easily map the engine to your riding style with Mode 1 being the most aggressive, and Mode 4 is the least. I found Mode 2 to be the sweet spot with a smooth throttle, but not too sensitive. The Tracer 9 GT uses the Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T®) to electronically govern the throttle valves and now features the Accelerator Position Sensor with Grip (APSG). The throttle response along with the clutchless up and down Quick Shifter System makes slicing through the curves of Angeles Crest an absolute Joy. It’s light, agile, and easy to handle in corners.
For long-distance rides, the ergonomics of a sport-touring bike can mean the difference between 150 mile riding days and 500 mile riding days. Yamaha takes this into consideration with the Tracer 9 GT’s adjustable riding position. The handlebars and footpegs can now be adjusted individually to two different positions, and the seat maintains its two levels of adjustment from the previous model allowing riders to set a riding position that gives them a feeling of comfort the moment they get on the bike. This bike sits up high, but the adjustable seat does give you a couple of inches where you need it most. I was able to put both feet down, but I was still on my toes. The new 5-gallon tank is well designed and not intrusive. Plus, you’ll enjoy 240 miles from full to empty, keeping in mind miles may vary based on weight and riding style.
The Tracer 9 GT also features two 3.5-inch full-color TFT screens aligned side-by-side, which allows the rider to select four different types of information or indicators, allowing more information to be displayed at once with greater readability.
Every good sport-touring bike has to consider storage, and the Tracer 9 GT covers this base pretty well. The hard saddlebags provide 30 liters of storage and are kept slim, which works well with the overall design. The width of the bike with the bags comes in at 38 inches wide, great for California commuters who love to lane share. I was able to fit my medium size backpack in one bag and a medium-full face Shoei Neotec helmet inside the second bag easily.
2021 Tracer 9 GT Key Features
Overall, the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT was a lot of fun to ride! It’s slim and agile, yet has all the power you need. It comes standard with all of the features you would expect from a Sport Tourer, with lots of great extras you would have never considered. The 2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT is now available at authorized Yamaha dealers in the Liquid Metal and Redline color schemes for $14,899. To learn more, visit https://www.yamahamotorsports.com/sport-touring/models/tracer-9-gt.