2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 Gt Review (rider’s Motorcycle Of The Year)
We test the 2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT, which won Rider’s 2021 Motorcycle of the Year award. It’s a fully featured sport-tourer powered by an 890cc inline-Triple that makes 108 horsepower at 10,000 rpm and 63 lb-ft of torque at 7,200 rpm at the rear wheel. MSRP is $14,899.
Read our top 10 review here:
2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT | Top 10 Review
We first tested the bike that would evolve into the Tracer 9 GT when Yamaha introduced the FJ-09 for 2015. At its heart was the liquid-cooled 847cc CP3 Triple from the FZ-09 – an absolute ripper of a motor. It had an ADV-ish upright seating position and wind-blocking handguards but rolled on 17-inch wheels with sport-touring rubber, while its windscreen, centerstand, and optional 22-liter saddlebags added touring capability. The FJ-09 was light and fun to ride, but it was held back by fueling issues, poorly damped suspension, and weak brakes.
Yamaha did its homework and gave its middleweight sport-tourer an overhaul for 2019, renaming it the Tracer 900 GT in the process. Updates included better throttle response, a longer swingarm for more stability, higher-quality suspension, a new TFT color display, and a larger, one-hand-adjustable windscreen. The saddlebags were made standard as were other features, such as cruise control, heated grips, and a quickshifter.
Two years later, Yamaha went even further. For 2021, the new Tracer 9 GT gets the larger 890cc CP3 Triple from the MT-09, which is lighter, more fuel efficient, and more powerful. An all-new lightweight aluminum frame is made using a controlled-fill diecast process that reduces mass and increases rigidity. A new aluminum swingarm is longer and stronger, and a new steel subframe increases load capacity to 425 pounds and allows an accessory top trunk to be mounted along with the larger 30-liter saddlebags. New spinforged wheels reduce unsprung weight, and they’re shod with grippy Bridgestone Battlax T32 GT sport-touring tires.
In addition to updated throttle response modes and all-new KYB semi-active suspension, the Tracer 9 GT now has a 6-axis IMU that enables a suite of electronic rider aids adapted from the YZF-R1, including lean-angle-sensitive traction control, ABS, slide control, and lift control. It also has full LED lighting (including cornering lights) and a new dual-screen TFT display. The rider/passenger seats have been upgraded, and the rider’s ergonomics are adjustable.
We had an opportunity to test the Tracer 9 GT just before the Motorcycle of the Year polls closed, and it swept the field. Thanks to steady evolution and improvement over three generations, Yamaha has demonstrated just how good a modern sport-tourer can be, especially for riders who value agility over couch-like luxury. Performance, sophistication, comfort, versatility, load/luggage capacity – the Tracer checks all the right boxes and leaves nothing on the table.
Read our 2021 Motorcycle of the Year story here:
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2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT Specs
Base Price: $14,899
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse inline-Triple, DOHC w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Horsepower: 108 @ 10,000 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
Torque: 63 lb-ft @ 7,200 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
Bore x Stroke: 78.0mm x 62.1mm
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated slip/assist wet clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Wheelbase: 59.1 in.
Rake/Trail: 25 degrees/4.3 in.
Seat Height: 31.9/32.5 in.
Wet Weight: 503 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 5.0 gals.
Fuel Consumption: 48.7 mpg
Estimated Range: 243 miles
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