Having started its life as an MT-09 variant in 2015, the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT first saw the streets in 2018 (as the Tracer 900 GT), later entering its third generation in 2021 with a vast array of updates and improvements in hopes the Tracer series would become the pinnacle of sports touring – now, in 2023, Yamaha has thrown the proverbial ‘technology book’ at the 2023 Tracer 9 GT+, giving it radar assisted gadgetry and a new TFT screen (amongst other premium features).
I was lucky enough to be invited along to the 2021 UK launch of the Tracer 9 GT, and absolutely loved the ride over to Wales with an overnight stay at the Nick Sanders Expedition Centre – so it was fair to say I was genuinely ecstatic to be getting a morning ride on the 2023 version with additional features.
We head out to the lush new Potski Media office in the Peterborough area for a chance to swing a leg over a couple of the 2023 Yamaha range, starting on the Tracer 9 GT+, and then on the updated 2023 MT-07 – stay tuned for that review.
Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ | What is New for 2023?
First things first, what’s new for the Tracer 9 GT+ in 2023, and what is on the Plus model?
The stand-out features for 2023, to name but a few, include the new radar system (which provides adaptive cruise control and radar-linked unified braking), a new 7 inch colour TFT display with smartphone integration (to replace the twin-dash that looked like the old fella from the Disney movie UP), further refinements and adjustments to the ride ergonomics and riding modes, and a 3rd generation quickshifter.
This adds to the already serious spec on the ‘non-plus’ model, including semi-active KYB suspension, six-axis IMU with lean-sensitive rider aids, a ride-by-wire throttle, adjustable windscreen, grip heater, side cases with damping…
In short, the Tracer GT series has practically everything you could ever want and need on a touring motorcycle, if not more. If only I had more than just 2 hours in the morning on it!
2023 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ Price and Availability
Initially launched and available from January 2023 following its reveal at EICMA 2022, the 2023 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ is priced at £14,910 and comes in two colour options: Power Grey (as ridden), and the R1M-inspired Icon Performance.
If looking at the monthly options, a cash deposit of £3,000 with 4,000 miles p/a PCP’d over 36 months would be £179.43 per month – with an optional final payment of £8,437.50. This was generated on the Yamaha Finance site, so your final quote may vary.
Naturally, for an insurance quote on one of these, head to Lexham Insurance direct.
Against the rivals, including the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX Tourer (£13,499) or Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE Grand Tourer (£17,269), the Suzuki GSX-S 1000 GT+ (£13,765), KTM 890 SMT (£12,499) and BMW S 1000 XR (£15,740), and the Honda NT1100 (£12,499) - the tech-laden Tracer does sit near the top of the price scale, and there are plenty of options out there.
CP3 Power | Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ Engine
Now we get to the interesting part, the 890cc CrossPlane triple motor. It’s the same as found in the MT-09 (and various other models, proving its versatility), the torque-rich delivery is immaculate, it has a stunning midrange across all 6 gears, and is simply addicting to ride.
Power figures stand at 117 bhp and 93 Nm of torque, and it’s quick and light on its feet – handling the twistier countryside roads with ease. The 2023 updates bring a 3rd generation quickshifter into the mix too, which now allows you to upshift on a closed throttle or downshift on an open throttle for greater control when riding. Simply put, it makes shifting so easy in any circumstance that you practically never need to think of using the clutch or match revs. You simply shift around the gears whenever you fancy it, even without interrupting the cruise control – it’s just buttery smooth!
I’d say this handles like a true sports tourer should – it’s plenty lairy for backroad jaunts in ‘Sport’ mode, or set your own saveable custom configuration to do whatever you want by controlling the various electric rider-aids (all lean-sensitive). Rain mode noticeably limits the application of sudden power, opting for a gentle acceleration in comparison to sports mode – which is effectively balls to the wall thrills.
This CP3 is just pure riding joy, and matched with some serious tech it’s difficult to really fault in any way.
Radar Technology on the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+
We’ve seen radar technology creep its way into motorcycles over the past few years, and naturally, the sports touring segment is starting to see the inclusion of these rider aids in the pricier premium models.
First up is the adaptive cruise control, which is a helpful tool for maintaining a constant speed behind the vehicle in front. Fairly self-explanatory, you can fiddle about with the following distances via the TFT screen, and it’ll smartly utilise engine braking, and then apply braking power to halt progress if needed, or steadily apply the throttle when overtaking or noticing the vehicle in front accelerating back to the set speed.
It will also detect if the bike is cornering via the six-axis IMU, inhibiting speed increases, and detect if the indicators are on when overtaking to accelerate smoothly. Plus, it tells the suspension to adjust the damping force and reduce pitching on braking. It’s just brilliant, and helps reduce fatigue on long (boring) motorway stints. Though, it’s vital you keep your eyes on the road – it isn’t riding for you!
Next is the unified radar-linked brake system. If the radar detects a rapidly slowing vehicle (or you are approaching too fast), the brake system will auto-apply to stop your speed. I was wary of this when finding out about it, and naturally was eager to test it out on the bike in front when we set off.
With the ACC set on an open road behind the rider in front, I accelerated to see what happened – and was met with a full orange warning screen and gentle brake application. It slowed me down to a reasonable following speed, although keeping control in my hands. Instinctively I was thinking how this unified braking could negate my ability to dodge past a suddenly stopping car, but full control was still in my hands, and the bike cooperated if trying to adjust my lean angle a touch. Yamaha says the system will ‘intervene fully if it determines the rider’s braking inputs are not sufficient to prevent a collision’, and only if the Brake Control (BC) is turned on and you’re braking – further that it is not a collision avoidance system.
Overall, from a limited test, it was a success and an excellent safety feature that has no doubt undergone far more rigorous testing than me giving it a few minutes on the A47.
Frame, Suspension, Brakes
Fully adjustable KYB suspension is fitted to the Tracer 9 GT+, with semi-active electronic settings which will instantly adjust damping settings when out on the ride. Via the solenoid, it’s a smooth ride regardless of the load on the bike – and whilst you can adjust settings in the TFT to a sportier ‘A1’ or comfy ‘A2’ to firm or soften the ride accordingly. Packing the panniers with sandwiches and getting a pillion on the back won’t mean fiddling about with the menus too much. It practically glides along the road, leaving you to worry about your inputs as opposed to the dodgy road surface.
As with the ‘standard’ GT, the frame is a lightweight Deltabox frame with die-cast thin walls, and the wet weight is 223 kg. It feels light enough when riding along at low speed, and I noticed it was effortless to U-turn when going back and forth along the photo & video stop, with 17 inch front and rear wheels that spool up fast - thanks to the spin-forged construction as the 2021 model, and shod with Bridgestone T32s.
Brakes are top, with a twin 298 mm disc up front and 267 mm disc at the rear. Of course, there is cornering ABS, and the brakes apply really nicely to halt progress – the rear ABS only slightly intervening and chattering away if hammering on at high speed. Initial application has a nice bite, with good room for progression. I’ve mentioned the world’s first radar-assisted braking system, so I’d say the brakes are bang on as a package.
Overall, handling on the Tracer 9 GT + is superb, reactive and comfortable for longer rides.
Touring with Style
With a new seat featuring tweaked ergonomics, also adjustable between 820 mm and 835 mm, and I sat happily behind the one-hand adjustable screen for the morning on the bike. The Tracer is notorious for a windy screen that creates some buffeting at speed, but I felt like it did most of the job well. The riding position is classic tourer, perched on the bike and able to comfortably reach the bars with a tiny lean forward. I’m 6 ft 3 and it feels pretty much bang on size-wise for me – though shorter riders may be tip-toeing a tad.
You’re given an 18.7-litre tank which will supposedly return 100 km every 5 litres, or about 230 miles. We didn’t cover enough ground to test that, but on the spirited ride the average fuel consumption read 42.4 mpg.
The 7-inch TFT screen is a noticeable upgrade to the previous clocks which felt a bit dated (but certainly enough for a bike), and you’re now given a really clear and smart screen to operate the many features. Heated grips are a bit of a pain to switch on, hidden away in a menu, but once you know what you’re doing it takes a few seconds to get them to the right setting.
I’ll add that the switchgear is controlled with a little joystick, is well-built and is easy to get on with. You have a USB socket for additional power for your own gadgets, and the pannier system comes with a nifty damping system to keep your cargo balanced on your ride – plus fits a full face lid inside.
Lastly, as the touring weapon it is, you can also use the Yamaha MyRide app to access your smartphone through the TFT, as well as subscribe to the built-in Garmin Navigation service should you enjoy that bit of guidance on a trip.
2023 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ | Pros and Cons
- Fantastic CP3 motor, torque everywhere.
- Rewarding ride, great versatile all-round option.
- All the gadgetry you could ever need.
- Subjectively questionable style (I love the look of it).
- The screen always gets the focus of negative comments – realistically showing just how good it is.
Verdict on the 2023 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+
With some superb refinements to an already stellar motorcycle, the 2023 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ ticks all of the boxes for a versatile sports tourer – perhaps even some boxes that you didn’t think you need ticking.
The Tracer series has become a top seller in the UK, and the + steps up the offering by granting radar-assisted gadgetry, refinements and updates to an already superb ride (new seat, new quickshifter, new TFT dash). Some may argue that the £1,800 difference for the Plus (non-plus GT is £13,110), or £3,900 compared to the stock Tracer 9, is an expedition into the unnecessary.
I’d argue if you’ve got the money it’s well spent here – though the 2021 models may be worth a look if you’re not bothered about the radar and TFT screen, as that was still a stunning bike to ride.
It all comes together in a superb package, the torque-rich CP3 motor paired with a superb chassis and suspension setup underpinning the fundamentals of what every motorcyclist is after. You can cover serious distances on this and have a huge beaming smile ear-to-ear. Either because the radar tech will help you along the way, or perhaps because you’ve decided to take the long way home for the fifth time that week.
I’d seriously recommend the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+. Whilst we’re on recommendations, I’d also suggest trying Lexham for a quote on one of these!
Thanks to Yamaha for the invite, Potski Media for the hospitality and the event, and Too Fast Media for the photos and videos. Head to the Yamaha website to find out more on spec and any available deals.
2023 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ Specs
|Engine||890 cc, 3-cylinder (CP3), DOHC 4-valves, Liquid-cooled. 117 BHP (119 PS), 93 Nm Torque (69 lb-ft)|
|Brakes||Twin front 298 mm discs, Rear 267 mm disc. Cornering ABS, Radar-Unified Braking.|
|Seat height||820 - 835 mm|