#3 Yamaha Tracer 900

This perky triple can tour in fine style but there a few things to watch out for…


FEW BIKES MAKE more sense than a Tracer 900. An inspired recipe of fun and affordable MT-09 mixed with the extra practicali­ty of a half-fairing and roomier seat made the original a Europewide best seller. Successive updates (and renames) made it better still but dented its budget status. Here’s what you need to know…

1 The seat is pants

The 2015 version’s seat was widely criticised as uncomforta­ble, prompting a significan­t update on the 2018 model — although it’s still not great. Some replace with ‘Comfort’ options by the likes of Sargent, Bagster and Corbin. It’s also a little high, at 815mm, leading to the use of lowering linkages by companies such as Lust Racing.

How common? Very, but later versions are better and fixes well known.

2 Mechanical­s are OK but cosmetics less so

Brilliant CP3 triple is a gem with no major reliabilit­y concerns, although some owners report the ECU benefits from flashing to improve low-rpm response. However, exhaust headers, disc rotors and centrestan­d are particular­ly prone to corrosion and rust, especially if used year-round. Regular cleaning, protection and a Fendaexten­da plus hugger are recommende­d.

How common? Very; ACF-50 treatment and regular cleaning is vital.

3 Plenty of screen woes

The original’s screen was too low, impossible to raise on the move and, for some, also quite noisy. Its successor’s adjustment was improved a bit, but many owners fit taller screens. Yamaha’s own is expensive but there are plenty of options from MRA, Givi, Puig, Ermax, Powerbronz­e and so on…

How common? Noise depends on your height; replacemen­t on your taste.

4 Suspension is over-soft

The original Tracer suffered from overly-soft forks and shock. Although this could be mostly adjusted out (front and rear are both preload and rebound adjustable) and was improved on the second generation, it can still be an issue. The GT has more refined, more adjustable gold-finished KYB units.

How common? Many complaints on this issue but adjustment helps.

5 No two are the same

Being a budget tourer means the Tracer is also an accessory magnet — some may be desirable, some not, so be sure of what you want. Major plusses include Yamaha heated grips, Akrapovic exhausts (which retain the centrestan­d), tall screens, quality luggage, suspension upgrades, crash protection and comfort seats.

How common? Almost inevitable but some more than others.


Yes. The combinatio­n of performanc­e, practicali­ty, fun and value is compelling. But early bikes aren’t perfect, spec a bit basic and Gt/later versions add class but take it out of budget territory.

 ?? ??
 ?? ?? Budget for a suspension rebuild
Budget for a suspension rebuild

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom