Following my motorcycle accident on my previous Suzuki GSX650F, I was on the search for another motorcycle. The Suzuki was a write off, so it sort of forced my hand, to search for another motorcycle. In February 2020, I purchased the Yamaha Tracer 900 and here is my long term review
I chose the Yamaha Tracer 900 for a number of reasons: It had to be cost effective; it had to be a sports/tourer and it had to still put a smile on my face. The Tracer 900 fits all these needs and more. Yamaha’s Tracer 900 looks like it should fit into the ‘adventure’ market, but actually on closer inspection, what you have with the Tracer is actually an old-fashioned all-rounder with a sensible price tag. Check out my Video here for my first impressions
The performance is outstanding and the 847cc Liquid cooled, inline triple CP3 engine is a true gem. There is bags of midrange torque which pulls to just short of redline. Even with the stock exhaust on, it makes fantastic sounds that I just can’t get enough of. There are 3 riding modes: A mode, STD mode and B mode. I use STD mode for every day riding and sometimes use B mode if i’m riding in a downpour on unfamiliar roads. A mode is an absolute animal and i rarely use it. The snatchy throttle caused by lean fuelling and Euro 4 regulations make for a jolty head shake of a ride.
The handling was very rigid for my liking and the harshness of the ride was not that comfortable. A trip to SSR Suspension in Telford was necessary to get the bike’s suspension set up to my build and it transformed the bike immediately. It helped with braking and comfort over the bumpy roads of Shropshire but also helped the Tracer hold the line more through the bends. The wide bars mean that counter-steering is a doddle and being sat ‘on’ the bike instead of ‘in’ the bike means you have a great view of the road ahead.
The first thing to be ‘ditched’ on the Tracer was the god awful standard screen. It was noisy and caused too much turbulence, especially on the motorway. There is a 3 way adjuster for the screen, but that was a pointless feat. Instead I opted to purchase the MRA sports screen using the old age proverb ‘less is more’. The smaller screen is mounted at a different angle and it makes for a more comfortable ride, being able to hear yourself think.
The next thing to go were the absolute nightmare standard tyres the D222 from Dunlop. Slow speeds and cold wet road surfaces are a challenge for most motorcycle tyres but for the D222’s it’s a recipe for disaster. A wet and cold ride back from Buxton over the Cat and Fiddle road meant the bike was sketchy and it felt like riding with a puncture. An immediate change for the Metzler Roadtech 01’s have helped transform the bike’s handling…especially in the wet!
The Tracer came with the Yamaha factory fitted heated grips. Since then i’ve added a GPS Tom Tom rider, which has been hard wired in. I’ve also added SHAD luggage and turned the Tracer into a very capable tourer. I’ve since put 10,000 miles on bike and i’ve not looked back. It’s a great bike especially now i’ve put the Scorpion stainless steel full system on the bike. Filtering has now become a whole lot easier, now the cagers can hear me coming.
Now to address that seat……