2023 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ Review – First Ride

Astute readers are probably wondering why Motorcycle.com is publishing a First Ride of a bike that’s not coming to the States this model year. Our reasoning is that, thanks to the sleuthing of Dennis Chung, we suspect the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ will be coming to the U.S. in 2024. (Read about it here.) So, we thought our fellow MOrons might be as interested as we are in how well the new technology incorporated into the GT+ performs. We hope you enjoy this taste of what it has to offer. –EB

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Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ Finally Coming to US for 2024

Last November, Yamaha Motor Europe revealed a new Tracer 9 GT+ at EICMA, a new version of its Triple-powered sport tourer equipped with a 7-inch TFT display, adaptive cruise control, and a radar-linked unified braking system.

Yamaha Motor USA, however, remained quiet about it, and we later learned the Tracer 9 GT+ was not coming to the States for 2023. In fact, even the less techy regular Tracer 9 was left out of Yamaha Motor USA’s returning model announcements.

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2023 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT and Tracer 9 GT+ First Look

For 2023, Yamaha has gone crazy with the new Tracer 9 GT+ and thrown every bit of technology it could think of at the bike. Now sitting atop Yamaha’s sport-touring mountain as the flagship for the brand – taking the place of the dearly departed FJR1300, which has been out of production for a few years – the Tracer 9 GT+, with its multitude of electronic rider aids, will help make the sport-touring experience as stress-free as possible.

The new Tracer 9 GT+ integrates “cutting edge” electronics, says Yamaha, with the two big headliners being Adaptive Cruise Control and the radar-linked Unified Brake System – both of which utilize millimeter wave radar technology as well as an IMU.

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Best Sport-Touring Motorcycle of 2021

With the Ducati Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tour taking top honors of our sport-touring MOBO in 2020, it should come as no surprise that the 2021 Multistrada V4 S further cements the Italian’s dominance of the category. The new Multi V4 is basically better in every way, from its stonking new V4 that can play the part of mild tourer or wild canyon ripper, to its more versatile 19-inch front wheel and world-class electronics package that includes adaptive cruise control and blindspot monitoring as well as electronic Ducati Skyhook suspension. The new Multi continues to impress in a way that is surprising for a bike of its size.

As mentioned in our recent heavyweight naked bike shootout, Ducati has managed to tune its V4s – the Granturismo variant in this case – in a way that provides a dual-purpose characteristic making the 1158 cc motor easy to use around town or for touring while simultaneously offering blistering performance when you pull its tail. This, combined with variable ride modes, TC, ABS, and electronic suspension allows the user to fine tune the ride however he or she sees fit. Where the Granturismo also delivers for touring riders is its 36,000-mile service intervals thanks to Ducati ditching the Desmo valve-train for a more conventional spring system.

2021 Ducati Multistrada V4 Review – First Ride

The addition of the 19-inch front wheel vastly helps the new Multi’s off-road chops, where the previous model’s 17-inch wheel never felt very confidence-inspiring in loose terrain. This does come at the expense of some on-road flickability, but not enough to cause much concern. If sport-touring exclusively is your cup o’ tea, the Pikes Peak model uses 17-inch wheels and will guarantee an exhilarating ride. The larger front wheel doesn’t detract from performance enough to pull it away from this category, rather, it further adds to the Multi’s bag of tricks.

With a claimed 170 hp and 92 lb-ft of torque, top-shelf brakes are necessary and the Brembo Stylemas combined with the stable chassis keep the ride well-composed even when it shouldn’t be. Ergonomics also place the rider in a perfectly neutral position and passenger accommodations are plentiful as well. In our opinion, the Multistrada V4 S is a stellar touring machine that can provide performance that is unlikely to leave any motorcyclist wanting, and it should for $24,095.

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2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT First Ride - Video

The definition of a sport-touring motorcycle has gotten a bit blurred lately with adventure-touring bikes encroaching on the space. A good bike in either genre agrees that you need to be able to pound out miles and do it in relative comfort. The difference comes when one decides to pursue sport over adventure.

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2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT Review – First Ride

Remember sport-touring motorcycles? Maybe you don’t, thanks to the rise of adventure-touring bikes cross-pollinating the genre. Well, before the craze of wanting to explore both the paved and unpaved paths of the world, there was a subset of motorcyclists who felt the call for exploration without the need to play in the dirt. Asphalt touring was one ingredient necessary to satiate the exploration hunger, but being able to get from Point A to Point B via the longest, curviest path possible was the other. Having the ability to pack a co-pilot on the back and/or assorted gear in saddlebags was further accoutrement to make the dish even sweeter.

This has always been the essence of sport-touring, and while adventure-touring bikes can get very close to the sensation, something about those big front wheels and long-travel suspension just isn’t the same.

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2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT First Look

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.

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