The still quite young radar club has a new member: Yamaha has joined the illustrious circle, which already includes BMW, Ducati, Kawasaki and KTM, and now also uses radar technology from Bosch for new assistance systems. Unlike the brands mentioned, the Japanese integrate the electronics into an existing motorcycle without fundamentally revising it. And, unusually, they do so in the segment of less than a liter of displacement; elsewhere it's all about the big calibers.
Equipped with a nine-hundred-cylinder three-cylinder engine, the sleek, sleek Tourer Tracer 9 GT+ now features almost the entire high-tech arsenal of luxury tourer or adventure flagships from other manufacturers: radar-based adaptive cruise control (ACC), semi-active suspension, shift assistant, all other assistance systems such as cornering ABS, lean-angle traction control and slide control. On top of that, as a world first in the two-wheeler industry, there's also a brake assistant.
All this can be found in a compact tourer weighing only 230 kilograms, which is powered by the excellent three-cylinder engine known from the MT-09 and leaves nothing to be desired with 119 hp at 10,000 rpm per minute. The Plus variant of the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT represents the new top-of-the-range version of the agile Tracer family. It is – almost – fully equipped with a massive center stand, two 30-liter side cases and ten-stage heated handles. But 230 kilos plus a few extra kilos for the suitcases is not much. The price for the motorcycle, which will be available from June, is from 16,900 euros including ancillary costs. A lot for a nine-hundred, not too much for a fine tourer.
Lots of technology, little weight
In addition to the ACC, a striking difference to the Tracer 9 GT, which is still offered, is the large, clear and informative TFT display in the cockpit including map navigation and new, finally easy-to-use handlebar switches, which are even backlit at night. Can Yamaha's calculation of offering high-tech in a compact form work out?
She could. Compared to a BMW R 1250 RT, a KTM 1300 Super Adventure S or a Kawasaki H2 SX SE, the sporty tourer has a significant advantage: lower weight. This is a not insignificant point for the target group of such technically advanced multifunctional tools, as the buyers are often around 60 years old. Minder-Kilos are often perceived as a plus. Less (weight) is more (handling), without sacrificing equipment and comfort.
Impressive strengths despite small blemishes
And with her technology from the engine to the chassis, the sinewy, slim Japanese is excellently positioned. A third-generation quickshifter, which usually works very well, for changing the six gears without a clutch, is just as available as cornering ABS, lean-angle active traction control and now adaptive cruise control. At first glance, he does his job flawlessly and can be a useful thing. We were not yet able to adequately test the brake assistant on the test drive on the occasion of the new presentation of the vehicle. According to the manufacturer, there is a visual alarm in the cockpit and may also automatically increase the braking force if the radar module at the front expects a collision because the driver brakes too timidly.
The Tracer 9 GT+ cannot fulfil all wishes: not the one for a keyless start system, nor does it have an automatic turn signal reset. In addition, a few practical little things are missing: smartphone storage compartment, a button on the handlebars to switch on/off the standard heated grip or a blind spot warning are among them. In addition, tracer drivers must like the unusual lighting equipment. Only the right headlight sends low beam onto the road, the left one is only there for the high beam. Seen from the front, this division makes the Tracer 9 GT+ a "one-eye". You can accept that, but you don't have to like it. The cornering light, which switches on when leaning, radiates out of the "wrong" auxiliary headlight, i.e. lower when cornering.
Apart from small blemishes, the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ shows impressive strengths. She brings her crew to the chosen destination in a relaxed and comfortable way, but also dynamically. Preferably on winding routes over mountains and valleys.