The af­ford­able one

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Road Test -

Yamaha Tracer 900

For less than nine grand and just over a hun­dred quid a month on PCP the Tracer 900 is a lot of bike for the money. It’s no won­der it’s been such a suc­cess since its re­lease in 2015.

Like the XR and MT-10 Tour­ing Edi­tion, the Yamaha is a sports tourer on stilts, with a high, com­mand­ing view over traf­fic, first class legroom and a natural bar po­si­tion.

The Yamaha’s rasp­ing 113bhp, 847cc three-cylin­der mo­tor is one of the most evoca­tive mo­tors in bik­ing. Clutch and gear­box are light, it purrs at mo­tor­way speeds and hits hard like a Scot­tish ham­mer-man out of cor­ners. Like its MT-10 sis­ter, looks are some­thing only a mother can love, but once you’re on­board the Yamaha bat­ters High­land high roads like a ra­bid su­per­moto.

It cruises com­fort­ably and is the best on fuel, but there’s a lot of buf­fet­ing from its nar­row screen and the seat be­comes a pain after 100 miles. It loves to scratch, but it’s wor­ry­ingly un­sta­ble at high speed in a straight line and through sweep­ers. The weave can’t be pow­ered through and you ei­ther have to slow down, or squeeze the tank with your knees and ride the back brake.

De­rived from the MT-09, the Tracer 900 is still blighted with a snatchy throt­tle re­sponse. Yamaha have soft­ened it with new ride-by-wire maps, but it’s still not per­fect.

As you’d ex­pect for the price the Yamaha is fairly ba­sic, but you get trac­tion con­trol, anti-wheelie, ABS, rid­ing modes and a de­cent level of fit and fin­ish.

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