Ah, July. It’s the time of the year when OEMs usually start wheeling out the next year’s models, stoking the new-bike excitement in everyone who’s even the slightest bit interested in riding. It’s a time of great possibility, where we’re all simultaneously expectant and uncertain. Half-remembered rumored updates, credible (or sometimes incredible) leaks about upcoming models—all of it thickens into a sort of heady stew, simmering away.
The Yamaha Tracer 9 GT is a respectable mid-grade sport touring bike, which plenty of riders enjoy on a regular basis. Sure, it’s not as exciting as a Multistrada V4 S, but then again, it doesn’t want to be. Still, despite that fact, it seems that our colleagues at Motorrad have spotted one thing the two models might soon have in common. The German publication managed to snag spy shots of what appears to be the new T9 GT, testing on roads in southwestern Germany.
From all appearances, it looks from the photos like Yamaha plans to equip the next Tracer 9 GT evolution with radar-adaptive cruise control, at the very least. A little box tucked up in the headlight cluster seems to indicate that this could be the direction in which Team Blue is headed next. The magazine further extrapolates that, from its proximity to Bosch HQ, it’s likely a Bosch unit. We’ll include a link to Motorrad’s piece in our Sources so you can view the photos for yourself.
However, just as the front-facing radar box seems to be rather blatantly placed, placement of a rearward one isn’t quite as clear-cut. So far, rear units have typically been used for blind-spot detection, which would usually mean some type of signals in the side mirrors to alert riders. The fact that these don’t appear to be present in these photos, as well as the placement of all the luggage on this T9 GT (which would likely interfere with such a device if mounted on the back of the bike), make it seem like there’s no such technology in the back.
These photos are only one small glimpse into the possible-2023 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT’s development, though. Even though the rest of the bike looks very much like the T9 GT that riders already know and love, it’s not completely clear that this is the final, production-ready thing that Yamaha is getting ready to roll out. There could still be additional tests that the OEM wants to perform—some of which may even involve a rear-facing radar unit and blind spot detection.
Going merely by what’s in the photos, the front seems clear enough—but does that mean we should completely disregard the back? That’s not so clear. Then again, though the photos lend weight, it’s all speculation until Yamaha officially unveils the real thing. We don’t know for sure that it’s a 2023 model, although that’s what makes the most logical sense. One thing is clear: We’ll know for sure, one way or another, in the coming months.