2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT First Look

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

More power, better electronics, and a new profile

Yamaha has updated the Tracer 900 GT, renaming it the Tracer 9 GT and giving it similar updates to the new MT-09 including the larger 890cc three-cylinder engine, new frame and six-axis IMU.

Visually, the Tracer 9 GT looks a little less aggressive than the 900, with a flatter face and a longer fairing. The longer bodywork is matched with a longer, adjustable windscreen, which produces what Yamaha describes as an arrow-shaped silhouette with the reshaped fuel tank cover. The full LED headlights are smaller than on the previous model, and they are supplemented by new LED cornering lights that illuminate based on the IMU-measured lean angle.

The new 890cc displacement was achieved by increasing the piston stroke by 3 mm. Yamaha didn’t provide any performance figures for the U.S.-spec Tracer 9 GT, only touting an increase in low-rpm torque. Yamaha Motor Europe, however, claims a 7% increase in torque output to 68.6 lb-ft. at 7000 rpm and a 4 hp increase to 117 hp at 10,000 rpm.

Yamaha Motor USA claims an improvement in engine efficiency, claiming improved fuel economy to 49 mpg. With a full 5.0 gallon fuel tank (0.2 larger than the Tracer 900’s tank), that works out to a range of 245 miles between refills.

The Tracer 9 GT is also equipped with an updated assist and slipper clutch and a quick shift for clutchless up and down shifting.

The six-axis IMU helps run the Tracer 9 GT’s electronics. In addition to the cornering lighting, the IMU is responsible for governing the lean-sensitive traction control, slide control, front wheel lift control and brake control systems. The IMU also helps control the Tracer 9’s semi-active suspension, adjusting the rebound and compression damping for the fork and rebound damping of the rear shock as needed to suit ride conditions. Other electronic features include four engine modes and cruise control.

The brake control system works with the ABS control unit to independently control brake pressure. The system offers two selectable levels of intervention: BC1 is a standard ABS mode that prevents wheel lock-up under hard, straight-line braking, and BC2 which offers more intervention and works while cornering.

The dual 298mm front and 245mm rear disc brakes are similar to the 2020 Tracer 900’s, but the new Tracer 9 GT receives an R1-type front brake radial master cylinder from Nissin that claims a more linear brake feel.

The Yamaha Tracer 9 GT claims a wet weight of 485 pounds, not including side cases. That’s an 11-pound increase over the 2020 Tracer 900, though some of that is from a slightly larger fuel tank.

Along with the new engine comes a new aluminum frame, which differs slightly from the frame on the updated MT-09. For the Tracer 9, Yamaha used thicker engine mounts to better handle the added stress of carrying the standard hard cases and a passenger.

The steel rear subframe is also new, with Yamaha claiming improved straight line stability and cornering ability. The new subframe also reduced the adjustable seat’s height to 31.9 inches or 32.5 inches from the previous 33.5 inches or 34.1 inches.

Yamaha says the new hard cases can each fit a full-face helmet. The cases attach to the subframe via a fully floating carrier system that Yamaha says will absorb any wind or surface-induced chatter.

The shorter saddle height plus the choice of two heights help to accommodate different riders, as do the Tracer 9’s adjustable handlebars and foot pegs. The footpeg mounts can be raised 14mm higher and 4 mm rearward. The handlebars clamps can be rotated 10mm forward, which moves the bar position 9mm forward and 4mm higher. For improved comfort in cooler weather, the Tracer 9 GT comes standard with heated grips.

The Tracer 9 comes with not one but two 3.5-inch full color TFT screens. The left screen displays a bar-type tachometer, fuel gauge, mileage indicator, and a gear indicator. The right screen can be configured to show other additional information. The setup looks a little odd, especially with the gap between the screens. It certainly looks less elegant than the large 10.25-inch Bosch display BMW recently introduced on the 2021 R150RT.

The 2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT will arrive in showrooms in March with a choice of Liquid Metal or Redline colors. U.S. pricing is set at $14,899, which is a substantial increase from the 2020 Tracer 900 GT’s $12,999 MSRP.

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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2 of 25 comments
  • Allworld Allworld on Nov 18, 2020

    Yamaha has put together a really nice bike at a very competitive price.
    getting rid of the their typical big yellow lollipop directionals is worth the price increase alone.

  • T L T L on Nov 18, 2020

    Looks like a nice overall package. Maybe that split TFT display looks better in person?