Честный обзор Yamaha Tracer 900 GT
I travel a lot on different adventure bikes and this is a review of Yamaha Tracer 900 GT. This motorcycle surprised me, this rarely happens. Until 900, I drove a Tracer 700, which didn't really work for me. Wind protection is so-so, convenience so-so, not suitable for tall growth. By the way, 700 produced in France, 900 - in Japan, there is little in common between them. From the ordinary japanese bikes appearance of Tracer 900, expect typical problems of japanese bikes - lack of comfort and a wadded engine, on which my experience with Tracer 700 is superimposed.
It turned out that the 900 has none of this. Tracer's ground clearance is like a sportbike or a sport touring. If you dig around, you can find sports bikes with same suspension travel, although usually travel is slightly less. Classic tourists are gluttonous heavy motorcycles per liter and a half, sports touring are bent knees and a tilted, tense seat with clip-ons instead of a handlebar. And very shape of the windshield
obliges you to bend at high speed. Many who just wanted to travel on a moderately light and economical motorcycle in Europe - used to choose a adventure bike because of convenience of landing and good wind protection, despite fact that all this off-roading is not needed at all. In Europe, I constantly see travelers on the BMW GS and KTM, while motorcycles show that they have never moved off asphalt and are not going to. In Europe, there is little sense in an evil offroad-adventure - excellent asphalt is paved to most tourist places and there is no need to overcome something or ride on mud tires. There are also fans of sports touring, but sore knees or backs force to change class with understanding that there will be no more sharpness of riding. And it's not just a comfortable fit.
For example, with a high straight seating position, it is much more pleasant to drive around city, because it is easier to turn your head and observe everything from a height, visibility is much better than on semi-recumbent sports motorcycles - as a result, you get less tired. On an uneven road with joints or gravel on a sports touring, it is inconvenient, because a landing with an emphasis on hands and bumps are given to handlebar. With a straight landing with same suspension, it is tolerable to drive a section of a bad road for 50 kilometers, on low clip-ons - this is already a feat. As I said earlier, there will be fewer and fewer classic clip-on sports touring and this is a new class of sports touring.
Even if you look now - of the Japanese, only Kawasaki with sports touring remained. Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX has been featured as the most popular sports touring in Europe for several years, although it's easy when no one is around. In turn, Yamaha claims Tracer 900 is the best-selling sports touring in its class. In Europe, motorcycles are sold out
like cakes, as can be seen from various statistics. As an example, in Alicante there is a large motocenter with several halls of used motorcycles that have been on sale for a long time. Back in December, I noticed two Tracer 900 for sale - the other day I decided to go and take pictures of what fork looks like on base model, and all bikes have already been bought. Main reason for choosing a Tracer 900, and not a classic adventure or a regular SUV, is emotion with which you can ride this motorcycle on twisty roads.
Honestly, since I sold the CBR600RR about 9 years ago, I have never ridden a motorcycle with such a sense of sharpness. There are many fast winding roads in Spain and I often wish I had a bike like this. Still, on a adventure, shifting around corners is not so fervent. Unfortunately, I drove Tracer in the mountains in winter - humidity is quite high here, so almost every shadow is a wet slippery spot on cold asphalt.
I slipped a couple of times on Tracer 700 test, so I drove Tracer 900 very carefully. On such a motorcycle, you need to ride in warm dry weather in summer, and not in winter. Engine is three-cylinder. Main thing that makes it different from its competitors is absence of vibrations at any speed. Absolutely not tiring and
you can drive all day. Engine spins quickly and has sporty habits - it likes to ride at medium and high revs, quite smooth dynamics. My feelings do not coincide with those dyno charts that are on this engine. I only found one chart that reflects my feelings. According to my observations, there is a dip up to 3000 revs with a penny, only then it starts to go.
There is a delay at start, but it does not have time to annoy, so even in city driving with heavy traffic with traffic lights, everything is fine. Not like Tiger's acceleration from 0, but there is no stupidity when starting off, as on clean sports engines. But while driving at any speed, at least 40, at least 150, the revs are kept just in the range when all the potential is available. All charts have a distinct hole at five and a half thousand rpm - I don't feel it. Probably, it is just convenient to turn handle on this hole when you are driving in standard mode, so I did not like it right away - somehow it was completely sluggish, I traveled for half an hour and switched to Sport mode, there handle stroke is sharper and motorcycle rides fervently, as expected.
A good compromise between grassroots and high - revving engines. There are 3 riding modes: STD, A (sport) and B (rain). I don’t know why modes didn’t named as D, S and R - it was first bell. Sound of exhaust is nice, in a sporty way, but a bit loud for tourism, for my taste. Akrapovič can be used as an option. Official consumption is 5.5 liters per 100 km.
In mountains, with acceleration and deceleration every 200 meters in third-fourth gears, average consumption was kept at 4.6 liters, on an ordinary flat track it dropped to 4.5 liters. I admit that with traffic jams 6 liters can be obtained, but Yamaha is being modest. Manager at local Yamaha dealer, with whom I have a good relationship, drives a 2017 Tracer only in city - he has a consumption of 5.6 liters. In stock GT version, in basic version, a quick-shifter is available as an option.
I didn't like the implementation. Foot itself is very tight and shifting is same as shifting gears without a clutch on a regular motorcycle - very tight, and only after about 5000 rpm foot falls through. There is an opinion that this is a kind of sporty style of quickshifters and it should be so. Although BMW's XR series cosplays sport bikes with all their might, there is something of usual comfortable shifting, where electronics help. In city heavy traffic, sometimes you want to switch early without fully spinning engine and you have to forcefully push foot. It is more comfortable when pressure is always the same.
You can get used to it, not that minus of motorcycle, just quick-shifter looks rough in comparison with competitors. I think many people have doubts about comfort when looking at suspension travels. There is a stereotype that a comfortable suspension must have large travels. This myth is easily busted by simply looking at suspension of icons of comfortable tourists - Gold Wing, RT, GTL, etc. - all will have fewer travels than Tracer.
Apparently, this is not happiness. In my opinion, suspension is ideal for such a motorcycle - elastic, so that you can fly into turns in a sporty way, but there is enough comfort for travel. From early morning until late at night, I drove without long stops at medium settings - I didn't need more, I could have traveled for a month.
There were a couple of sections in mountains with bad asphalt, but no holes - motorcycle does not jump at joints as much as sport bikes with a furious suspension, but you feel unevenness with your hands. Driving around Europe - very thing, somewhere with broken asphalt - can clog your hands. It should be said that in Tracer 9 version, travel of fork and shock absorber is reduced, and also a semi-active fork in GT version has appeared . Shock absorber on Tracer has an almost horizontal position, typical of short wheelbases.
Previously, the wheelbase was 1440 mm, which is good for sport bike because bike becomes more agile and turns easier, but bad for tourist because stability at speed is lost. Many swore at wobbling, unmotivated detachment of rear wheel during braking, and so on. Same features as short wheelbase Kawasaki Versys 650. Latest generation has a
longer swingarm and a 1500 mm wheelbase - still the shortest in its class, but longer than classic sports touring and has no problems with past generations. In width, Tracer is the most compact of 900 and 1000 competitors at all points - but what is there, it is narrower on handlebar and hand protection than all motorcycles from previous reviews, it is excellent for riding through traffic jams. Standard seat is pretty basic - it looks quite comfortable, but I've only ridden the optional Comfort seat. Original comfortable seat can be purchased for both driver and passenger. For original, it costs sane money. There is also an optional heated driver's seat.
Comfort seat is very soft - either a gel inside or a foam similar in composition. Definitely worth money, not every custom seat is that well thought out. Ass was not tired at all, although I sat at handlebar for almost 14 hours a day. Any seat can be adjusted from 850 to 865 mm. Bike is great for tall people. With a height of 188 cm, I did not even begin to move seat to a high position, because everything was perfect anyway - knees were at a comfortable angle, handlebars were high, there was no need to stretch or bend over it, flawlessly.
For those who have a high bike, there is a set of bones lowering rear suspension by 15 mm, but in general motorcycle is suitable, most likely, from 170 and above. But in updated version of Tracer 9, seat height is already 810-825 mm. Windshield, apparently, stood tall - visually with a standard similar shape, only high one was slightly wider and slightly higher. With my height you can't go on highway without a visor in glasses , but everything is fine with a visor - it doesn't hit. For average height it will be optimal.
Motorcycle generally has good wind protection - there are no places where the wind is annoying. If you look closely at shapes, you can see which details take airflow from shoulders, which ones from knees. Even tank has an overlay that takes airflow off the crotch. Protection of hands is nicely implemented - there are no big guards as on adventure bikes, but wind effectively leaves fingers.
Without protection, hand warming does not work effectively on highway, at speed, fingers are freezing from wind anyway . If you look at BMW 900 XR - they have similar features in appearance with Tracer, BMW also looks as if someone thought of aerodynamics, but in fact you do not enjoy it, but fight with wind. Or, for example, Tracer has excellent ribbed side plastic for hip grip, and additional pads are placed in sports package, and no one thought about that on 900 XR. However, I have no questions for people who made a socket under knee. Only significant disadvantage of Tracer is brakes. Motorcycle has the smallest brake discs in class and all competitors have Brembo, and here is Nissin.
Judging by specs, Tracer 9 retains same brakes, although there were some complaints about brakes from very first versions. This is not to say that brakes are not enough, but they are soft and uninformative, for my taste, despite fact that there are four-piston in front - I personally lack sharpness that all competitors have in order to be in harmony with sharp engine and tense suspension. During whole test, I never got a feeling of how quickly motorcycle would stop, so even after 300 km of twisty roads I continued to slow down strongly in advance, and then stupidly roll. And this is when traveling alone without extra load. However, this is just my opinion and, perhaps, it was formed after test of all competitors whose brakes are sharper - I tested Tracer last in the group. I came across polar opinions from both sides.
Same Yamaha manager is enthusiastic about brakes, although he also tries different motorcycles. Before talking about equipment, need to tell about differences in versions, because on Yamaha website it is quite difficult to understand. So, differences between GT and basic version: side boxes, quickshifter, cruise control, color TFT screen, heated grips and suspension with large settings. Main question is about suspension. Suspension moves are identical for both versions. Both KYB forks do not differ externally,
except for color and customization options. Base fork is adjustable for preload on two legs and rebound on right leg. GT has a fully customizable fork. Same Ohlins cartridge kit fits both base model and GT. Also in official accessories catalog there are Ohlins springs with same part number for both forks. Accordingly, there is no reason to think that forks are somehow radically different.
In basic version, shock preload is adjustable with a wrench, GT preload is conveniently adjusted without tools, and there is also a rebound setting. In any case, it's not that much of a difference that simple version has a cheap rice suspension and GT has an expensive one. I carefully looked for opinions of people who tested both versions at same time - no one noticed any big differences, except for a slightly greater rigidity of base suspension in pits. I do not have a clear recommendation whether to take GT or basic version, because they have a significant difference of 2000 euros. For those 2000 euros, you can just buy tuning cartridges for fork and shock absorber, which will be better than GT. Quick shifter can be installed on basic version - it costs 300 euros. Hand warmer for any taste
and any wallet, you can also put original for 200 euros. Screen on basic version is definitely not worse than color one. Main disadvantage of GT configuration is 20-liter Barbie-size side boxes, which you don't want to pay for. Judging by price on website, this is almost half difference in price of bundles. These are cosmetic bags, I have only seen such bags on 100cc Indian motorcycles.
It doesn't include anything at all. I understand logic that with these boxes it is more or less comfortable to ride in city, but in conditions of Moscow, one top trunk is still more convenient . If you travel without a passenger and without extreme conditions, and also load something for fellow travelers, then you can try, but it is better to put cute boxes for sports touring from some Givi with twice capacity, and use standard ones like a soap dish.
As a result, only thing that significantly distinguishes versions is cruise control. I love cruise control - it makes boring trips on highways not so tiring, but Tracer's target audience is still not people who are ready to watch number 110 for 5 hours monotonously, so decide for yourself. It is a rare case when we can say that color screen of top version is worse than basic monochrome one. Monochrome version is interesting - it is visually divided into two parts. The same is put on Super Tenere. By the way, this bifurcation feature was emphasized even more in Tracer 9.
On right side there are 3 user lines. You can preset 3 options for displaying any information and switch between screens. You want, any tripcounters, you want, consumption rate, air or coolant temperature. Perfect solution. Everything is contrasting and you can
adjust brightness of screen, large, perfectly readable, with stylish Yamaha fonts, backlight does not hit your eyes . Below is a self - explanatory block of indicators. Now color TFT screen. It is immediately striking that only half of dashboard area is used for display itself - it resembles a food sample on a huge plate in a Michelin restaurant. Secondly, design of screen itself is rather strange.
It looks like a Windows 3.1 interface or a browser with an open QS tab. Everything is small, clumsy, a bunch of different fonts, dragging each other's accent, and instead of three custom lines, you can show only two. Color coding is lost. For some reason, blue filling of fuel level is of the same shade as high beam icon, orange color, which is usually used only to indicate important warnings and in KTM sect, is stupidly used here to indicate level of hand warming - because of it, you may not notice indicator in time engine errors of same shade, which is in same lower right corner. How can you screw up like that? On basic version, emergency button is under right hand, while on left side in same place there is just a dedicated place where this button would perfectly fit .
But on GT version, emergency button is under left hand. Information screens change and parameters are configured in different ways. There are no questions about basic version , there is a normal two-position switch on left side with a separate confirmation button, traction control setting is placed on button next to screen, engine mode setting is on right hand.
There are no buttons near screen on GT, so on left side, instead of menu buttons, there is a joystick for traction control, below is a cruise control unit, and on right remote control, engine mode setting has been removed and an innovative wheel has been added. Not only that, right hand adjustment wheel cannot be used normally on the road - for example, to change hand warming mode, but ok. This wheel rotates easily. There are tangible steps, but gloves do not have necessary resistance while driving, so when you press wheel to confirm operation, position is regularly skipped again and wrong one is confirmed, or it is skipped 2 values forward at once. Most unpleasant thing is that wheel is very light and with short steps, and scrolling in any direction flips through screens with information. Literally, the breeze blew
or accidentally touched the wheel - you have already flipped through screen. For example, BMW does not have this problem, because wheel is largest and every step is long. Perhaps this is a local problem on test bike, but it had a range of less than 5000 km and it is unlikely to kill a wheel in such a period. Then I got tired and I configured same set of displayed data on all screens and stopped paying attention to random scrolling.
But cruise control is perfectly implemented - everything I like. It turns on without problems, you can hold down the + or - button, and it will smoothly gain or decrease speed, while the decrease and increase in speed is implemented smoothly - without feeling weightlessness and you will exactly get to speed you wanted. When you change speed with buttons, it is immediately saved to memory. There is a 12 Volt socket to left of the screen and a symmetrically free spce on right for installing a USB socket.
It is inconvenient to fold side stand on a motorcycle - hook itself is unsuccessful, but base already has a central stand on all versions. Nobody does that now. It would be nice to put an extension cord on front fender, otherwise radiator will spray well. Results. Despite small shoals, I really liked Tracer.
For traveling around Europe, especially in mountains, or in central part of Russia, more is not needed, in the city due to its dimensions it is incomparable. If we talk about the class, so to speak, neo-sports-touring with a direct landing, for me it is leader, and it costs less than competitors, while Yamaha is synonymous with engine reliability, while closest competitor in price and spirit, BMW 900XR , there is a forced Chinese motor. We can say that there is also a BMW S 1000 XR, but it already costs money, for which you can buy a big tourer, and it is extremely difficult to change from heavy motorcycles to something else. I, as always, will make some kind of mistake, I recommend that you go to the comments and at least read the pinned post in which I indicate the amendments. Further there will be reviews of other SUVs and adventurers.
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