After its initial market launch on 2015, the Yamaha Tracer 900 has received a makeover, becoming the 2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 and joined by the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT. As a sports-touring motorcycle in Yamaha’s catalogue, the Tracer 9 is now in its third design generation after the release of the Euro 4 engined Tracer 900 in 2018.
Biggest change for the Tracer 9 is the installation of the new Yamaha Crossplane 3 engine, first seen recently in the 2021 Yamaha MT-09. Displacing 890 cc, the Euro 5 compliant inline three-cylinder puts out 117 hp at 10,000 rpm and 93 Nm of torque at 7,000 rpm, identical numbers to the naked sports MT-09.
Compared to the previous generation 847 cc Tracer 900 which put out 113 hp at 10,000 rpm and 87.5 Nm of torque at 8,500 rpm, the Tracer 9 has a 7% increase in torque which comes in 1,500 rpm lower. The power plant for the Tracer 9 also weighs 1.7 kg less than the outgoing 847 cc Crossplane 3 and comes with new twin exhaust setup that saves 1.4 kg over the previous system.
Power goes through a six-speed gearbox equipped with an assist and slipper clutch, the clutch having a revised cam angle for a lighter pull at the lever. First and second gear ratios have been revised to match the increase in torque at lower engine rpm with smoother gear changes courtesy of a redesigned shift fork.
Another major revision is the die-cast Deltabox chassis which mounts the engine at a slightly more upright angle, 52.3 versus 47.5 degrees, serving to improve fore-aft balance as well as increasing feedback from the front end. This is combined with a redesigned aluminium alloy swingarm which is longer by 60 mm without changing the wheelbase which remains at 1,500 mm.
New in this category for Yamaha is a six-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU), which was originally developed for the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike. The IMU, going through design revisions, is now 50% smaller and 40% lighter than the unit used in the 2015 R1 and controls the Tracer 9’s suite of riding aids.
These include four ride modes ranging from Mode 1 being the most aggressive, Mode 2 for all-round riding, Mode 3 for a softer power delivery and Mode 4 for wet weather work, complemented by cruise control. Other riding aids include three-level traction control, switchable three-level slide control, switchable three-level wheelie control, giving a possible 48 combinations with a manual setting option for the rider’s preference.
Braking is done with twin 198 mm diameter discs on the front wheel, controlled by a radial brake master cylinder, a first for Yamaha in this market segment. Two-mode ABS is standard, with the mode one preventing wheel lockup during hard braking while mode two increases the level of intervention by the ABS computer during situations such as sudden mid-corner braking.
A twin-screen full-colour TFT-LCD display is used in the Tracer 9 with information on speed, engine speed, fuel gauge and gear position shown on the left while the right screen is split into four segments showing ancillary information such as odometer, dual trip meters, temperature and so on. LED lighting is used throughout with LED DRLs and the LED tail light comes with a three-dimensional effect with the use of specially cut lens elements.
Seat height is now 15 mm lower and the seat is able to be set in one of two position without the use of tools while the foot rests are adjustable vertically by 15 mm, along with a reversible handlebar clamp that gives the rider one of two hand positions. The Tracer 9 uses 17-inch, lightweight spin-forged 10-spoke alloy wheels shod with 120/70 front and 180/55 rear Bridgestone Battleax T32 Sport Touring tyres.
Suspension is with 41 mm diameter fully-adjustable KYB upside-down forks, 30 mm shorter than before while the rear uses an adjustable KYB monoshock. For the Tracer 9 GT, mechanical fitout is similar to the Tracer 9 save for the use of KYB electronic suspension that comes with two modes, an up-and-down quick shifter, LED cornering lights and heated grips, along with dedicated hard luggage.
Colour choices for the Tracer 9 include Redline and Tech Kamo while the Tracer 9 GT comes in the aforementioned colours but adds a model specific colour scheme called Yamaha Icon Performance, inspired by the Yamaha YZF-R1M superbike. The 2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 and Tracer 9 GT are expected to arrive in Yamaha Europe dealer showrooms in March next year.
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