Say the word “touring” to a group of motorcyclists, and you’ll conjure up a whole bunch of different mental pictures. While it’s true that you can tour on anything you set your heart on—including, say, a Super Cub—some bikes are undoubtedly better suited to the task than others.
The next question, of course, is what kind of touring you’re doing. If you’re a rider who likes a good sport touring option, then you’ll probably want to learn more about the 2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT. It’s powered by a brand-new 890cc CP3 crossplane inline triple that’s been almost completely redesigned. That shouldn’t be a surprise, since the MT-09 only introduced this engine upgrade on October 27.
Speaking of the MT-09: as you’ve no doubt already noticed, the Tracer 9 GT looks quite a bit different than the MT-09. Since a lot of people seem less than enthusiastic about how the 2021 MT-09 hits them in the visual cortex, it’s worth noting that the Tracer 9 GT doesn’t have a big, bulbous headlight. In fact, if anything, the front-facing view gives a more narrow and graceful impression than the chunkiness and angularity of the Tracer 900 GT.
The Tracer 9 GT also boasts what Yamaha says are “the thinnest sections ever on a Yamaha die-cast aluminum frame.” Where the 2020 Tracer 900 GT’s frame was 3.5mm thick, the 2021 Tracer 9 GT’s frame is just 1.7mm thick. Does that mean the overall bike is lighter in weight, though? Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Weighing in with a curb weight of 485 pounds, the 2021 Tracer 9 GT is actually 11 pounds heavier than the 2020 Tracer 900 GT. It’s also worth noting that neither of those weights includes the side cases.
Fuel capacity increases from 4.8 gallons up to 5 gallons. Yamaha did not give an estimated fuel economy number for the Tracer 900 GT, but the new Tracer 9 GT allegedly manages a fairly tasty 49 mpg. Much like the 2021 MT-09, the Tracer 9 GT gets the benefit of a 6-Axis IMU, as well as LED lighting all around, and cornering lights. Other creature comfort upgrades to make you much happier when spending long hours in the saddle include standard heated grips and cruise control.
Gallery: 2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT
Other goodies include a KYB electronically controlled suspension that offers two modes, Sport and Comfort. Stopping power is enhanced with the addition of a Nissin radial front brake master cylinder for 2021. You also get a raft of additional electronic rider aids, including lean-angle-sensitive traction control, lift control, slide control, brake control with ABS, a quick shifter, and ride-by-wire throttle. Twin 3.5-inch full-color TFT displays make up your dash, and the Yamaha D-Mode riding mode system bumps up from three options to four for 2021.
What’s all this newness going to cost you? MSRP on the 2021 Tracer 9 GT is $14,899 for your choice of either the Liquid Metal or Redline colorways starting in April, 2021. That’s $1,900 more than the 2020 Tracer 900 GT. On paper, there are a lot of improvements to admire in the new bike—but as always, the true test will be in the hands of riders and how they feel about it.