Suit­able Part­ners Yamaha Tracer 900GT

Yamaha Tracer 900GT

Old Bike Australasia - - CONTENTS -

So what’s not to like? Not much, but the sus­pen­sion is a bit ba­sic and the rear shock in par­tic­u­lar cops some flack. So not sur­pris­ingly, see­ing that they have sold 30,000 Tracer 900s in just over three years, Yamaha has ad­dressed that short­com­ing in the new Tracer 900GT. The stan­dard model is still avail­able, and $1500 cheaper, but the GT brings quite a bit more to the ta­ble. The swing­ing arm is 60mm longer, which is de­signed to make the bike more sta­ble, es­pe­cially when loaded with gear and maybe a pil­lion. A pair of 22-litre pan­niers is stan­dard on the GT, and now an op­tion on the base model. There’s a larger screen with more (50mm) of ad­just­ment which is done man­u­ally, and the fair­ing it­self is sub­tly restyled, along with slightly nar­rower han­dle­bars and mir­rors that sit taller so you can see some­thing other than your own el­bows. The seat on my Tracer is some­where be­tween a rock and a hard place, so the GT has more pad­ding and is slightly wider, and can be ad­justed be­tween 850-865mm. Heated grips are stan­dard, and there’s an op­tional heated seat for $595.00. The big­gest change on the GT is in the sus­pen­sion de­part­ment, with a KYB front fork that is ad­justable for com­pres­sion and re­bound damp­ing, and a new KYB rear shock that has ad­just­ment for re­bound damp­ing as well as the usual spring preload. The rear ad­just­ments can now be achieved via an ex­ter­nal knob, rather than re­sort­ing to the tool kit. You re­ally only

I’ve owned a Tracer 900 for 2 years and I love it; a bike that is light and ma­noeu­vrable around town and is also com­fort­able cruis­ing the high­ways, should you need to do so. The 850 triple en­gine is an ab­so­lute gem; smooth, fast and with stacks of mid-range grunt.

no­tice these im­prove­ments with a de­cent load, push­ing through nice sweepy cor­ners, where the old model would get a bit droopy in the rear end. No more wal­low­ing, and with the longer swing arm, a more planted feel. There’s a new, full colour dash­board that’s eas­ier to read, with the var­i­ous func­tions and set­tings now eas­ily achieved via a thumb wheel on the right han­dle­bar switch. Al­though the en­gine spec­i­fi­ca­tions on the stan­dard Tracer and the GT are sup­pos­edly iden­ti­cal, this new GT feels quicker and smoother to me, es­pe­cially in the mid range. That could be to do with the EFI set­tings and the ex­haust sys­tem com­bi­na­tion, but there’s no of­fi­cial men­tion of such. There’s an op­tional Akrapovic ti­ta­nium ex­haust sys­tem if you feel you need to part with an ad­di­tional $1496.00, but the stan­dard sys­tem works, and sounds, just fine. Also stan­dard on the GT is a quick-shifter that works only for up­ward changes, but on a bike cat­e­gorised as a sports/tourer, is it re­ally nec­es­sary? Which begs the ques­tion, is the ex­tra $1500 for the GT worth it? For my money, def­i­nitely yes. As well as the new sus­pen­sion, dash, quick­shifter, pan­niers and heated grips, you also get cruise con­trol, which is handy on long trips. And at $16,999 plus ORC, the GT is still a very at­trac­tively priced mo­tor­cy­cle, with stacks of op­tions should you wish to jazz it up even fur­ther. All in all, the GT is an im­mensely prac­ti­cal up­grade of a mo­tor­cy­cle that was, and still is, a stand­out in its class.

22 litre pan­niers are stan­dard, with larger ones avail­able as an op­tion. Rear sus­pen­sion ad­just­ment is now at your finger­tips.

ABOVE Ren­nie Scaysbrook giv­ing the new Tracer GT a work­out in Cal­i­for­nia. No more twitch­ing! RIGHT New colour screen is smaller, but sim­pli­fied in op­er­a­tion.

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