Having derived the MT-09 in 900 Tracer allowed Yamaha not only to increase the success of its fiery roadster but also to lay its groundwork in a segment which is gaining in vitality: Sport Touring. The Sport-GT has lived, is eclipsed, and somewhere is reborn with sporty road cars.
But let’s come back to the Tracer, which is getting a makeover in 2018. We tell ourselves that as it is, there was no need to change much, as the bike offered to the user. Well equipped, fun, road, playful, punchy, and of a most enthusiastic character, this crossover was a winner everywhere, even on the price. A winter toilet allows him to calmly see the next spring.
The Tracer is first and foremost a very special silhouette that immediately hit the mark. A clever mix of streamlined roadster and trail with a good pinch of aggressiveness, the cocktail immediately hit. When you hold success like that, a nice dose of caution guides the designer when he has to retouch the lines. The sanction of the style is not a slap from the boss but the grumbling public. This will not be the case. The 900 Tracer II is a great continuity. A little delicacy for the lines of the body, a knob of butter to soften the look, more simplicity on the plastics and less aggressiveness in the hand guards. La Tracer is no longer a young lady but a young woman. And that suits her pretty well, even if she loses her impertinence.
Yamaha wanted to capitalize on the strengths. And tackled an improvement in protection. Originally, the first 900 Tracer was fitted with an adjustable screen. Attention very laudable but far from being without flaws. The said bubble could only be adjusted when stationary and its shape, its height, generated in many users the noise of sails flapping in the wind – a painful limit. Someone in the know has looked into the matter and is doing the best. Much better: the bubble adjustment system is much more accessible, manipulable with one hand (a little grip is needed anyway) and can be done at any time. The plastic window itself is also revised, wider and a guarantee of better protection..
We take the measure, we settle in, we rediscover, we are surprised. The previous version instantly put you in a certain atmosphere, curious and stimulating. Its large handlebars immediately made you feel like you were in control of a separate machine, with that feeling of dominating both the front end and the road itself. Singular change on the new version. The handlebars are narrower, and you can feel it very clearly. So much so that the driving position has become more natural, more … like the others. Yamaha stuck more road DNA from him, right down to the guts of the chassis.
Because a Tracer, it twirls and it is lively. The new swingarm and a wheelbase increased by 60 mm will give it more stability. The rear shock absorber benefits from new parameters to optimize performance. But don’t expect a miracle. It is not the settings but the shock absorber that must be changed. Like the MT-09 roadster, a 900 Tracer, it wiggles when you attack. Even if TM has made a lot of progress in its latest version.
Let’s try to relieve the guilt of the rear suspension, which must contain the assaults of the bubbling 3-cylinder 847 cm3. A treat that this engine. A bit grumpy at low revs, punchy on demand and enjoyable to whip, the CP3 combines qualities. It is assisted by 3 specific injection maps (A for attack, Standard, and B for dragging the b …) and a traction control at 3 levels.
Always ready for playful or even muscular trips, this girlfriend at all times can without hesitation tackle a large daily mileage. Yesterday there were just two problems. 1 – the saddle was as tender as the character of my English teacher. 2 – The rear part was provided with an anchoring system for the suitcases …. totally useless because Yam did not sell the additional plate to hang the luggage (in the USA on the other hand, everything was planned for). It was necessary to move towards a kit of flexible suitcases less pleasant.
But some must have received the right pair of slaps because everything has been reviewed. The anchor points for the bags are now integrated and the rear can comfortably accommodate the rigid removable bunkers (the GT version can attest to this). More elegant with their topstitching, the saddles have been revised for comfort. That of the pilot is always adjustable on two heights, with 5 mm more for each vertex. Passenger side, it also benefits from redesigned handles and footrests.
Except its swingarm, the chassis remains. A beautiful and efficient aluminum perimeter frame featuring a 41mm inverted fork, 4-piston radial brake calipers surrounding 298mm discs, rear braking consisting of a 245mm track with single-piston caliper, and ‘ABS reinforcement. We always appreciate the little extras like the 12V socket, its particularly complete adventurer-style dashboard, the 18 liters of the tank to make a big slice of the road, and the central stand – all that as standard..
This last sentence could have been the conclusion. Let’s be more verbose with an obvious statement. The Yamaha 900 Tracer is a hell of a good bike, which Yamaha has just put the finishing touches to. The series of improvements enhances its road potential while the exterior is more refined. Only shadows on the board, a weight increase of 4 kilos and only a few corrections for the shock absorber. For sporty backpackers with a premium trend, it is doubled with a richer GT version, with suitcases, color TFT screen, more comfort and electronics.
M.B- manufacturer photos
What you must remember
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900 Tracer 2018
Model marketed in
220 km / h
The technical aspect
2019 Yamaha 900 Tracer
- Tank: 18 liters
- Width: 850mm
- Height: 1375 mm
- Wheelbase: 1,500 mm
- Dry weight: 194 kg
- Weight in running order: 214 kg
- Train before
- secondary by chain
- Rear axle
(78 x 59.1 mm)
at 10,000 rpm
at 8,500 rpm