Based on the beloved Yamaha FZ-09, the FJ-09 has been a one of our favorite sport-tourers since it was first introduced in 2015. Now, Yamaha is giving it the Tracer moniker, as it is already known across the pond. More importantly, Yamaha is unveiling the Tracer 900 GT, a fully-loaded, up-spec version that’s ready for apex hunting from coast to coast.
The standard Tracer 900 gets updated bodywork and ergonomic refinements meant to improve two-up comfort and touring capabilities. Both rider and passenger seats are new; the rider’s seat can be adjusted 0.6 inch up and down. In addition to a taller windscreen and narrower adjustable handlebars up front, passenger accommodations get reshaped grab rails and more legroom. New side-case mounts are integrated into the tailsection. Yamaha also added a longer swingarm for improved rear grip.
Things get a bit more exciting with the Tracer 900 GT. In addition to the aforementioned updates, Yamaha rifled through the accessories catalog and pilfered some higher-spec components from other models. Finally, the lauded sport-tourer gets the fully adjustable front and rear suspension from the MT-09 it’s always deserved. Yes, we’re also taking the MT name from the Europeans. (Honda, if you’re listening, can we call the CBR1000RR the Fireblade now?)
The GT also gets a new TFT dash and heated grips to warm both the cockles (of one’s heart) and the digits. Further distancing it from the standard model, the GT comes stock with cruise control and a quickshifter (upshifts only). Integrated luggage is included on the GT and is available as an option on the standard Tracer.
Both bikes, of course, utilize the crossplane three-cylinder platform that has made the original so popular. We think this bike, especially in GT guise, fits a real niche. For riders looking to put some miles on the odometer but who aren’t keen on tall, dirt-capable ADV bikes or full-on touring rigs, the Tracer fits the bill. While its upright ergos are a nod in the ADV direction compared to sport-tourers of old, its road bias and sporting intentions are undiluted.
The Tracer 900 and 900 GT will be 2019 models, available in the second half of 2018. There’s no word yet on price.