Here, there, everywhere. That is the underlying motto of Sport Touring. In recent years, Yamaha has leaned on its middleweight Tracer family of motorcycles for precisely that, repurposing the lively triple-cylinder CP3 engine and frame of its spirited MT-09 lineup for touring duty, decked out with long-distance fixings—luggage, creature comforts, and helpful rider aids. It’s a tale of promises kept with the 2024 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+, where one of the best values in the segment sweetens the pot with high-tech features and refinements without breaking the bank.
A short list of goodies comes to the flagship Tracer 9 GT+ (hence the new “+”), but the Iwata factory took care too not to upset its core strengths of handling or performance; the engine, frame, and semi-active KYB suspension are untouched. 2024 is about slathering the Tracer in tech that was once exclusive to premium-priced touring machines, starting with a new radar unit that facilitates adaptive cruise control (ACC) and a first for the motorcycle industry—Radar-Linked Unified Braking. The up/down quckshifter’s programming is massaged and adjusted via a shiny TFT display, and a few other tweaks come into the fold.
We headed to Boise to sample the new Tracer 9 GT+ on winding Rocky Mountain roads, through a bit of daily-grind traffic, and took in a few highway slogs—you know, the type of stuff that any sport-tourer would do in a single day’s ride. Now, we’ll hit you with the Fast Facts.
- The 2024 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ is loaded to the gills with touring-friendly features. There’s a lot of crossover between the niceties that commuters and cross-country riders look for in their machines. Right off the showroom floor, the GT+ plus is equipped with 30-liter hard cases (my medium full-face helmet fits in just fine), a centerstand that makes maintenance easier, toasty heated grips for cold weather, and LED lighting with cornering headlights. Then we have aspects such as wind protection via the ample fairings and adjustable windscreen, which is buffeting-free while in the lowest setting—spot-on for my 5-foot-10 frame.
- All-day ergonomics can be fine-tuned. Every touchpoint on the Tracer 9 GT+ is adjustable in some capacity, and we wish manufacturers would embrace that direction. Starting at the front, the windscreen is easily adjusted with one hand, while the handlebar can be mounted in either of two positions. The seat follows suit with a standard height of 32.3 inches, but taller folks can raise it to 32.9 inches for increased legroom. On that note, the saddle is also redesigned with extra cushioning, though my backside still thinks there’s room for increased plushness. Meanwhile, the rearsets offer two positions, and the brake pedal is reshaped, providing more surface area and feel. Taken together, the Tracer 9 GT+ has a cozy cockpit with a neutral, upright riding position that begs for big miles, and it doesn’t feel cumbersome when you’ve got your elbows out in the canyons.
- The fun comes in threes—the 890cc CP3, to be exact. Armed with a dose of the punk-rock attitude born of the MT-09 machines, the 2024 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ is anything but vanilla, tapping into that sporty spit-and-vinegar via its shared engine. The bottom end is, admittedly, a tad soft, an attribute we noticed in its naked cousins. As the Tracer is dressed in touring garb (still the lightest in class, mind you), that characteristic is a little more prevalent, so get those pistons pumping. A triple-cylinder shriek encourages cracking the well-sorted ride-by-wire whip. The mill is happy to oblige, spinning up with enthusiasm and digging into welcoming midrange torque. It transitions smoothly to a top-end finish, underscoring this machine’s spunky DNA. What’s more, you’ll have a hoot while getting well above 40 mpg.
- Algorithmic massaging comes to the 3rd generation up/down quickshifter. It’s the same as ever for the six-speed, slipper-clutch-equipped gearbox. Shifting is athletic, though it can be notchy occasionally. Meanwhile, the revised quickshifter performs well across the entire rev range and offers new functionality. This year, riders can shift up or down while on or off the gas—anytime or in any direction. For example, a rider can hold the throttle steady or roll on, drop a gear, and accelerate out of a tricky situation. In the past, the throttle had to be opened to upshift and completely closed to downshift. While nifty, this update factors into adaptive cruise control and allows riders to shift even when cruise control is activated.
- A seven-inch TFT display joins the mix. The prior-generation Tracer 9 was outfitted with a quirky split-screen dash eerily reminiscent of Groucho Marx. A massive step forward is taken with the GT+, marrying the elegant feature-rich display with new joystick-equipped switchgear. Job done, there. Moreover, Yamaha provides mobile integration via its MyRide Link app, providing access to text, emails, calls, music, and more. Those who want GPS (which looks particularly slick) will need Garmin’s Motorize app (iOS and Android), which requires a subscription. Of course, a USB charger is available to keep your device topped off while touring. European brands should take note of this example and run with it.
- New naming conventions come to the ride modes and cover your electronic bases. Currently, we’re working with Sport, Street, Rain, and Custom that corral all your electronic settings (throttle map, semi-active suspension modes, cornering ABS modes, lean-sensitive traction control, slide control, and wheelie control). Sport is true to its name and quite athletic, with a twinge of abruptness during initial throttle openings. Street is the happy medium, while Rain cuts peak output by 18 percent.
- The 2024 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ displays true chassis parity with its semi-active suspension. During the last major MT-09 update, we witnessed a significantly stiffer chassis hit the scene, and the GT+ enjoys those benefits, too, wielding KYB semi-active with two preset damping modes. A-1 mode is sportier, firming up when moving deeper into the stroke, keeping the chassis more neutral to the apex and beyond. In comparison, A-2 is the comfort setting and softer overall, allowing for slightly more conventional dynamics. Together, they both do a solid job of hiding the rough stuff and keeping the Tracer tracking steadily. It’s a canyon quickstepper in either setting, delivering the sensation of a lighter, more petite motorcycle when railing through corners with pure confidence. Say goodbye to the peg feelers, folks, because much like the engine, the Tracer 9 GT+ chassis begs to be ridden hard.
- The addition of radar allows full integration of rider aids. Adaptive cruise control is a relatively new addition to the two-wheeled world, though commonplace in the automotive space. When activated, ACC allows system-wide communication between the IMU, radar, semi-active suspension, and linked braking/ABS. Set your following distance, and ACC will adjust accordingly, using engine compression and then brakes. Importantly, it never smashes the binders and blows through the fork damping because, remember, all the electronics are beeping and booping together, including the semi-active suspension. Sure, it can get a little confused when riding in close formation, but so do most systems in the market. By and large, it works as intended.
- Yamaha is clear—its ACC system should not be considered an emergency braking system. Emergency braking is very much a thing in automotive circles, but bikes haven’t gotten there yet. However, the Tracer 9 GT+’s system does not—repeat does not—act as a collision avoidance system, ultimately relying on rider input. If radar determines the following distance is too close, or an object is approaching too rapidly, the computer will flash a huge warning on the dash indicating that the rider needs to apply brakes and avoid an incident. What the radar-informed linked-braking system will do, once the brakes are applied, is use radar to measure distance and offer braking assistance. If the system determines that it can apply additional braking pressure beyond what the rider has input, it will do so to slow down in time.
- It’s all or nothing regarding rider aids on the 2024 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+. So, here’s the thing. All the systems have different levels, but if you turn off slide control (SC), you disable all the nannies—traction, wheelie, and slide controls—in one fell swoop. Likewise, switching between the more advanced ABS mode 2 (BC2) and basic ABS mode 1 (BC1) removes cornering support, ACC, and linked braking. All of the aids are interdependent. In a sport-touring context, not being to disable specific features individually isn’t crucial, as it’s tough to argue against disabling any of them, unless you feel like horking wheelies. So, we’ll go with a resounding “meh” on this bit, but it’s worth noting.
- Braking tweaks join the party. As far as hard parts go, it’s the same four-piston Advics calipers clamping onto 298mm rotors, while a sizable 267mm rotor and single-piston caliper take care of things in the back. Feel at the lever is muted, though pressure power is nothing to be scoffed at, especially with the linked-braking system in play. Trailing deep into corners is done with poise while lean angle and pressure are evaluated. And as we know, adding a sniff of the rear brake can often settle the bike, which is one of the many reasons the Tracer 9 GT+ is so sure-footed through the twisty bits. That and the Bridgestone Battlax Sport Touring T32 tires perfectly match this steed.
- The 2024 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ hits the Sport-Touring sweet spot. This year’s Tracer commands a $1600 premium over last year’s model. For that coin, we can see advancements such as ACC and a boatload of other electronic improvements on what was already an excellent value. Typically, those features are only seen on bikes comfortably living in the $20k+ realm or beyond. There is an argument that liter-class machines are more suitable for two-up long-hauls, but the 890cc triple has puff-a-plenty for those of the solo persuasion, and it’s one hell of a dance partner in the canyons. It’s got spunk, as the youths say. As it stands, the minor quibbles seen in the Sport map, gearbox, and seat don’t dissuade this take: Yamaha’s Tracer 9 GT+ kept what we loved about the GT and added more, making it a great value and top performer in the category.
- Helmet: Shoei RF-1400
- Jacket: Alpinestars Montiera
- Gloves: Alpinestars Morph Street
- Pants: Alpinestars Raider V2 Drystar
- Boots: Alpinestars Radon Drystar
2024 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ Specs
- Type: Inline-3
- Displacement: 890cc
- Bore x stroke: 78.0 x 62.1mm
- Compression ratio: 11.5:1
- Valvetrain: DOHC, 4vpc
- Transmission: 6-speed
- Clutch: Wet multiplate w/ assist and slipper functions
- Final drive: Chain
- Frame: Controlled-fill die-cast aluminum w/ subframe
- Front suspension; travel: Fully adjustable, semi-active KYB 41mm inverted fork; 5.1 inches
- Rear suspension; travel: Semi-active rebound-damping and spring-preload horizontal KYB shock; 5.4 inches
Tires: Dunlop Sportmax GPR-100
- Front tire: 120/70 x 17
- Rear tire: 180/55 x 17
- Front brakes: 298mm discs w/ 4-piston Nissin calipers
- Rear brake: 267mm disc w/ single-piston Nissin caliper
- ABS: Cornering aware w/ linked braking
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 59.1 inches
- Rake: 25.0 degrees
- Trail: 4.3 inches
- Seat height: 32.3 or 32.9 inches
- Fuel capacity: 5.0 gallons
- Estimated fuel consumption: 49 mpg
- Curb weight: 492 pounds (sans side cases)
- Color: Storm Gray
2024 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ Price: $16,499 MSRP