Up the mountain pass, five bikes are coming towards us and it looks like they are chasing each other. Winding up the road, hairpin after hairpin, we see the bike in front is slowly taking distance from the others, flowing through the corners in a way that seems effortless. When it arrives at the top we hear its characteristic triple-engine sound. It’s the MT-09 Tracer during a development test with its competitors.
“We tested a lot in weekend trip conditions,” explains Oliver, “and paid a lot of attention to all the small practicalities that make your life on the road more enjoyable.”
The MT-09 Tracer offers a different riding position compared to MT-09, to spend long days in the saddle. It is slightly more upright and with a lot more space for a passenger.
And there is more: the rear frame allows for compact sidescases or a topcase for weekend or day trip necessities, and the bike is equipped with a main stand.
The protective fairing makes it easier to ride long distances, and the windscreen can be pre-set, without tools, in three positions.
The fuel tank has a generous 18 litres capacity, the modern engine has a low fuel consumption. The long-stroke suspensions handle any road condition with ease.
The seat is adjustable in 2 positions, the handlebar position can be moved 1 cm front or backwards and rotated as well to find your best fit.
The handle holder even has an empty M6 bolt thread, for an easy mount of accessories like a GPS. It comes with a 12V outlet as standard, and a second one is available as accessory.
The dashboard comes from the latest Super Ténéré and includes indications for gear position, outside temperature, fuel level, drive mode settings, traction control settings, accessory grip heater settings, and more.
Engine response system
The eager 3-cylinder engine character combines low-rpm torque with high-revving horsepower. It is more smooth than a twin, while it builds narrow for a good knee grip.
The 3 engine modes of the D-mode system can be set from a smooth engine response to an aggressive one.
“Touring doesn’t need to be done on boring bikes. It can be super fun too!”,
manager Naoki Koike joins in. “In the past, allround bikes or sports-touring bikes were a compromise. They did everything well but nothing perfect. With the Tracer we built a bike with no compromise. It does everything on a very high level.”
Design: an interesting mix
Tracer’s design combines influences from different categories. Developed by Yamaha’s R&D center in Italy, it expresses the two built-in characteristics of the bike: the sporty side and the versatile side.
What are the sporty elements?
- The front headlight with its R-series DNA.
- The minimalistic, function-driven build of the bike, as efficient as possible .
- The very sporty side cowling.
What are the versatile elements?
- The higher seat with upright riding position and good view over traffic.
- Adventure-style hand protectors.
- The functional tail design, with few parts, light and strong.
- The suspension setup with relatively long stroke to cope with all kinds of road conditions.
Features and specs
- Clever, well-though-out concept for a sporty bike that can handle longer trips with ease.
- Full aluminum chassis and swingarm.
- Beefy USD fork with tapered aluminum handlebar.
- 115 HP three-cylinder engine with lots of character.
- Ultra light weight construction with only 190 kg dry weight.
- YCC-T with D-mode and TCS to personalize your interaction with the engine.
- Digital dashboard with extensive functions and remote operation by a button on the left handlebar.
- Yamaha’s famous build quality and reliability.