No longer the Tracer 900
Yamaha can’t seem to figure out what they want to call their inline-3 powered sport touring bike. First introduced in 2015 as the FJ-09 in North America, Yamaha refreshed the bike in 2019 with new styling and performance components, and renamed it the Tracer 900. Two years later Yamaha has decided to drop the double zeros, now calling their machine the Tracer 9 GT.
Head on look
The 2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT gets an all new look and bodywork. From the front, it looks like a Ducati Multistrada and a Yamaha R1 had a baby. The front end lighting is definitely styled after the R1, but the front end comes to a beak like point that closely resembles the Multistrada. The new Tracer 9 GT will be available in two color schemes: a R1M inspired silver, black and blue, and a TFL lookalike red and black.
MT-09 shares its engine
Earlier this month Yamaha refreshed their MT-09 with an all new 890cc inline-three engine. Because of Euro5 emissions regulations, we speculated that Yamaha would drop this new engine into the tracer, and we were spot on. The extra displacement comes from 3mm more piston stroke. Yamaha claims more low end torque is also a result of this. Additionally, the engine is mounted at a different angle which should improve handling feel. A new chassis also helps provide better handling, and a new boxed swingarm gives the Tracer 9 GT a race inspired look while also keeping the front end down thanks to it being extended 60mm over the MT-09’s swingarm.
Lots of tech!
The new Tracer receives a new 6-axis IMU to back up all of its rider assistance tech. This unit is just like the IMU out of the R1, except it is 50% smaller and lighter. Paired with the ECU, the IMU helps control the traction control, slide control, wheel lift control, and brake control systems. The new brake control system has two modes, BC1 for straight line ABS, and BC2 for cornering ABS.
Also new on the Tracer 9 GT is a KYB Actimatic Damper System. Both the front forks and rear shock are electronically controlled; the front for rebound and compression damping, and rebound in the rear. There are two different suspension settings as well, A-1 for a sporty feel and A-2 for comfort.
The new dash looks very interesting. Yamaha chose a split screen setup with two 3.5″ TFT displays. The left display shows the most important information like the tach, speedometer, gear position indicator, etc. The right display can be cycled to display various different parameters.
A fourth riding mode has been added for 2021. The bike still has A-Mode (now called Mode 1), STD Mode, (now Mode 2) and B-Mode (now mode 3). The new Mode 4 is even more tame, now cutting engine power whereas previously all 3 modes allowed full power but changed how it was delivered
Sport touring comforts
The Tracer 9 GT comes standard with heated grips, a large adjustable windscreen, adjustable rider position, cruise control, and new LED cornering lights. A new quick shifter now supports auto-blipping, and new lightweight 17-inch wheels should make for a well-mannered bike, even if this new Tracer 9 GT is 11 pounds heavier than last years model. The side cases have also been redesigned and should now accommodate a full-face helmet, which the previous model was unable to do. The Tracer 9 GT is definitely set up to keep you comfortable on long journeys.
The 2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT will be available beginning in March 2021 for $14,899. That’s a significant increase from the outgoing Tracer 900 GT, which had an MSRP of $12,999. No word yet from Yamaha on whether there will be a lower cost entry level Tracer 9 for 2021. We’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, you can check out the full review of my former ride the 2019 Tracer 900. You can also catch the full scoop on the new Tracer 9 GT on the TFLbike YouTube Channel.