All-new from the ground up with an all-new engine and upgraded electronics, all in a spankin’-new frame.

LISTEN 09:45

It’s out with the old and in with the new for Yamaha’s Tracer model that saw a ground-up rebuild ahead of MY2021. That’s right, Yamaha went for the trifecta with an all-new engine and upgraded electronics, all in a spankin’-new frame. This newest Tracer replaces the previous version, the Tracer 900 GT, and represents a natural evolution of Yamaha’s sport-touring design philosophy.

  • 2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-3
  • Displacement:
    890 cc
  • Price:
    14899
  • Price:

2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT Design

  • Second generation Tracer styling
  • Full LED lighting with cornering lights
  • Adjustable windscreen
  • Heated grips
  • Dual 3.5-inch full-color TFT displays
2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
- image 959023
2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
- image 959025

Any bike that comes billed as a Gran Turismo has some pretty high expectations to meet, and toward that end, Yamaha really buffed up the Tracer’s looks along with its mechanicals and electronics. The changes are apparent right out of the gate in the newly-designed front fender that now carries a drip-edge feature at the trailing side. This year there’s all-around LED lighting that ensures two-way visibility with the rest of the world through smaller dual headlight projectors and new-for-2021 cornering headlights that’ll illuminate the actual curve where you need it most. Cornering sensitivity works through info from the inertial measurement unit that responds dynamically to changing lean angles. Thankfully, the new styling included moving the turn signals up high on the fairing and made them look like they grew there as opposed to the afterthought-class blinkers on the outgoing model.

Additionally, the new headlight projectors are made to give oncoming traffic a bit of a break while maintaining full lumens through the rest of the field to increases your own safety at night. A revised, adjustable, rally-style windscreen splits the wind for the rider’s comfort, and like its predecessor, it comes well vented to prevent the wearisome head-buffet effect to a minimum.

Aesthetic revisions continue into the stock handguards with a different look though the handlebar and its risers look to be the same so you can count on the same sort of relaxed, upright riding posture as the previous model. Plus the heated grips made the jump to 2021 for you intrepid cold-weather riders out there.

The newly reupholstered seat comes with a variable height and can be set at 32.5 inches tall or lowered to 31.9 inches off the deck if you prefer, plus the handlebar and footpegs can both be moved so you can control the shape of the rider’s triangle. A lofted pillion pad comes with a beefy J.C. handle that doubles as a handy place to hook your bungee net for some extra cargo capacity.

Stock, hard-side panniers provide secure, dry storage with a new look this year, and they join a new taillight, turn signals, and fender to finish out the gear in the rear.

2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT Chassis

  • New lightweight aluminum frame
  • KYB Electronically Controlled Suspension
  • Sporty handling
  • Adjustable ergonomics
  • Two suspension modes and ABS
2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
- image 959031
2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
- image 959020
2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
- image 959027

The aluminum frame on the Tracer 9 GT also received a fairly significant update, as well. It benefits from Yamaha’s Controlled Filling casting process to produce the thinnest walls of any frame to date, and naturally, that has an impact on the overall weight that weighs in at 485 pounds wet but with no bags installed.

A box-section swingarm articulates for the rear wheel to finish the lower frame while a tubular-steel subframe lends its rigidity up top. The steering head sets a sporty 25-degree rake angle with a short 4.3 inches of trail for a willingness to dive into the curves, even with its luggage installed.

Spin-forged, 17-inch aluminum wheels round out the rolling chassis with weight savings of their own. Lighter wheels equal less gyroscopic forces under way, and this adds more yet to the overall maneuverability with a 120/70 hoop up front followed by a 180/55, all in the 149 mph-and-up speed rating. Plenty fast enough to get the folks down at the office excited, that’s for sure.

Things get interesting indeed in the suspension system that sports KYB components with an electronic adjustment feature that uses data from the six-axis IMU, ECU, Hydraulic Unit, and Suspension Control unit to deliver a dynamic riding experience. The above work through the adjustable rebound- and compression-damping up front and the rebound damping out back. Additionally, you can choose between two suspension modes – Sport and Comfort – for quick chassis personality changes.

A Nissin front master cylinder pressurizes dual front calipers that bite 298 mm discs ahead of a 245 mm disc with front and rear ABS as a stock feature.

Suspension, Front/ Travel: KYB 41 mm inverted fork, electronically adjustable with preload adjustability/ 5.1 inches
Suspension, Rear/ Travel: KYB single shock, electronically adjustable with remote preload adjustability/ 5.4 inches
Rake (Caster Angle): 25.0°
Trail: 4.3 in
Brakes, Front: Dual 298 mm hydraulic disc; ABS
Brakes, Rear: 245 mm hydraulic disc; ABS
Tire, Front: 120/70ZR17
Tire, Rear: 180/55ZR17

2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT Drivetrain

  • All-new 890 cc liquid-cooled inline-triple engine
  • Lean-angle sensitive Traction control
  • Lift control and MotoGP®-developed slide control
  • Quick shifter and Assist and slipper clutch
  • Ride modes and cruise control
2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
- image 959034
2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
- image 959019
2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
- image 959037

The new Tracer 9 GT shares its engine with the new MT-09. A 114.9-horsepower, 890 cc triple, the mill contains new pistons on new fracture-split con-rods and a new crankshaft that, collectively, lengthened the stroke by a generous 3 mm. The dual over-head cams also sports a fresh grind, and it all comes packed in a new set of cases. Bore and stroke mic out at 78 mm and 62.1 mm respectively to land on an 11.5-to-1 compression ratio that’ll demand top-hook pusholine to prevent knock/ping/run-on and the bores come with ceramic-composite plating that eliminate the need for sleeves.

Yamaha’s ride-by-wire and Accelerator Position Sensor Grip transmits rider demand to the ECU where it washes through a number of systems before actuating the throttle body. This brings us to yet another change, the injectors are mounted in the intake tract rather than operating as direct-injectors through the head to improve atomization and combustion. Seems like it worked since the factory reports a 9-point increase in combustion efficiency with a 49 MPG economy rating. A slip-and-assist clutch couples engine power to the six-speed transmixxer for one final layer of safety.

The IMU augments a number of the other ride-quality electronic features. It serves to enable a three-way adjustable, corner-sensitive traction control system and Slide Control system, plus it feeds the anti front-wheel-lift feature with the info it needs to anticipate a potential moonshot and intervene in time. Over it all, the YCC-T system smooths out the difference between rider demand and engine capability for seamless transitions and stumble-free launches and the D-Mode feature delivers four separate power-delivery profiles that let you tune the mill down or up as you please. Cruise control finishes out the electronics suite.

Engine: 890 cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder; 4 valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 78.0 mm x 62.1 mm
Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection with YCC-T
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: 6-speed; multiplate assist and slipper clutch
Final Drive: Chain

2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT Price

2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
- image 959045
2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
- image 959021
2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
- image 959022

The new Tracer 9 GT rolls for $14,899 in a choice between the Liquid Metal package and Redline finish. This is up from last year’s model that fetched $12,999, but is justified given the extent of the revision.

Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
Color: Liquid Metal, Redline
Price: $14,899

2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT Competitors

2020 Triumph Tiger 900 GT / GT Pro
- image 877417
2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
- image 959033

Yamaha’s newest Tracer brings a lot to the table, it’s true, but I’ve got another bike from another island country that may be a match, the Tiger 900 GT from Triumph.

Triumph Tiger 900 GT

2020 Triumph Tiger 900 GT / GT Pro
- image 877475

In the looks department these two bikes strike slightly different tones. The Tracer is more of a sport-tourer while the Tiger is a street-centric adventure bike, but both are made for the same purpose more or less, so they share design elements.

Goggle-like LED headlights ride in a bird’s-beak fairing on the Trumpet with a rally-style screen, heated handgrips, and stock handguards for pilot comfort. The Tiger slips a bit in standing when faced with the Tracer’s fancy electronic suspension, but the Marzocchi components deliver manually-adjustable damping and preload that are top shelf by any other standard.

Large, 320 mm front discs provide perhaps a bit more braking leverage than the 298 mm discs on the Yamaha, but stock, corner-optimized ABS and traction control are constants across the board. A quartet of Riding Modes wrap up the Tiger’s electronics suite to leave the Tracer with a significant electronic edge.

Triumph powers its entry with an 888 cc triple-banger that cranks out 93.9 horsepower to fall a bit behind the 114.9-horsepower Tracer. The Tiger rolls for $14,300, but at the end of the day that extra cash for the Tracer gets you more bike.

Read our full review of the Triumph Tiger 900 GT.

He Said

“Gotta’ give the factory its props. This was a rather extensive rebuild that went far beyond the usual nickel-and-dime changes. Yamaha bills it as a sport-tourer, but I submit that its real strength is most likely as a commuter. The little panniers won’t really support proper touring by themselves, not in the American sense of the word, but I’m thinking a student or urban professional might find a thrilling ride to work to be right up their alley. As for touring, do yourself a favor and spring for the top case.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “You know, this is a really nice update for the Tracer. The new 890 cc engine carries a whole host of internal improvements and the electronic suspension will give a superior ride. The ’cornering’ and lean-angle’ electronics are showing up lower and lower in the price points and here you get a really nice electronics package for under $15k.

2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 890 cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, inline 3-cylinder; 4 valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 78.0 mm x 62.1 mm
Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection with YCC-T
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Transmission: 6-speed; multiplate assist and slipper clutch
Final Drive: Chain
Chassis:
Suspension, Front/ Travel: KYB 41 mm inverted fork, electronically adjustable with preload adjustability/ 5.1 inches
Suspension, Rear/ Travel: KYB single shock, electronically adjustable with remote preload adjustability/ 5.4 inches
Rake (Caster Angle): 25.0°
Trail: 4.3 in
Brakes, Front: Dual 298 mm hydraulic disc; ABS
Brakes, Rear: 245 mm hydraulic disc; ABS
Tire, Front: 120/70ZR17
Tire, Rear: 180/55ZR17
Dimensions & Capacities:
L x W x H: 85.6 in x 34.8 in x 56.3 in - 57.9 in
Seat Height: 31.9 in or 32.5 in
Wheelbase: 59.1 in
Maximum Ground Clearance: 5.3 in
Fuel Capacity: 5.0 gal
Fuel Economy: 49 MPG
Wet Weight: 485 lb (does not include side cases)
Details:
Warranty: 1 Year (Limited Factory Warranty)
Color: Liquid Metal, Redline
Price: $14,899

Further Reading

Yamaha

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- image 788830

Read more Yamaha news.

TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
About the author

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: yamahamotorsports.com, triumphmotorcycles.com

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