Yamaha Tracer 9 is one of the best-selling motorcycles in Europe, and it is the best selling road-focused motorcycle in the Yamaha lineup. This motorcycle was a successor of the legendary and ultra-popular MT-09. The difference is that Tracer is more suited for long-distance touring. This is the third generation of this motorcycle, and so far the most refined. Yamaha has been pioneering the sport-touring segment for a long time and has always stayed within it, even when there was a rise in adventure travel. Over the years, many manufacturers forgot about that segment. Still, in recent years, we can see that the “big four” are returning with new sport-tourers, such as Honda NT1100, Suzuki GSX-S1000GX, and Kawasaki Versys 1000. But Yamaha is still managing the best combination of function/value. This can be your motorcycle if you want to travel long distances, commute, or use it for weekend gateways.
Yamaha Tracer Lineup
The Tracer platform is highly reliable, and here in Europe, we have 3 different options – Tracer 9, Tracer 9 GT, and the newly added Tracer 9 GT Plus. Having ridden Yamaha motorcycles for a while and spending a lot of time with the latest generation, I want to share the main differences and give you an idea of which one can be best for you. Before we start, I want to share that all three variants offer you a lot out of the package. They are all the same in the most essential features, and they all can be upgraded to the level you want, with some minor limitations. They all have the same engine power output, but the significant difference is in comfort features and tech. So, let’s outline the same starting from the base trim of the Tracer lineup.
Tracer 9 Base Trim
Tracer 9 is a base trim of this lineup. The bike offers all the essential features you need from the motorcycle, and you can build what you need. This variant features a CP3 engine, adjustable seat, adjustable windscreen, manually adjustable suspension, adjustable foot pegs, and centre stand. It features a 6-axis IMU system. Heated grips, a heated seat, and a complete luggage set are optional. This trim is aimed to give you as much flexibility as you need to modify your bike to your needs. Whether you want to convert it to a road-focused touring machine or a dual-purpose travel motorcycle, you have all the options.
Tracer 9 GT
Tracer 9 GT is the box ready-to-go touring solution. It features all the same base elements as a tracer 9. But on top of that, you have semi-active electronic suspension, heated grips, QSS and panniers that come as a standard with this motorcycle. You can opt-out for a comfortable seat (or heated comfort seat) and a top box. The main concern about this variant is that electronic suspension is not that soft. If with the base trim you have a wider range of adjustability, with the GT you have to consider staying on paved roads, as otherwise, it can be a bit stiffer.
Tracer 9 GT Plus
Tracer 9 GT Plus is the latest addition to the legendary Tracer lineup. This motorcycle is packed with the latest technology and high-end materials. The new addition to this motorcycle is a single TFT dash with Garmin GPS, improved handlebar ergonomics, backlit buttons, next-generation QSS, linked brakes and adaptive cruise control. At first glance, it might not look like much, but believe me, each of those additions is the latest and greatest of what the motorcycle industry has.
Let’s start with the TFT dash. It is a considerable step forward compared to the split screen introduced in the 2021 model year. It now has new controls and is integrated with Garmin GPS. You don’t need to buy a separate device for navigation. Just use what is there. New Quick-Shift assist has three ways of working: on upshift, downshift, and downshift on acceleration. This technology was first tested on Yamaha racing models, such as R1. Adaptive cruise control is not something new, as it has already been used on some Ducati motorcycles, and I want to focus on something other than that. I want to outline how it is integrated with linked brakes and semi-active suspension. If other manufacturers use that as separate elements, in Yamaha case, that all connected. The radar measures the distance, “communicates” to a linked braking system, and estimates how hard you should brake in every situation. It also “communicates” to suspension and decides how stiff or soft it should be before your actions.
Which one to choose?
Thinking of which bike you want to choose, I’d group them as Tracer and Tracer 9 GT as one group. And Tracer 9 GT Plus is a separate choice. Even though they look like one platform, Tracer 9 GT Plus is far superior in technology compared to its siblings. The semi-active suspension is the main difference between Tracer 9 and Tracer 9 GT. Still, both bikes have adjustable suspension and can be upgraded with similar options for the same level of comfort and riding performance. Below, I put a comparison chart to see what is similar and different for every model in this lineup. You can also see my YouTube video for a complete extended comparison.