Tracer 9 GT+ | Staff Test Review
Russell Wouldn't Change A Thing
Daily commuting to the office, enjoying a spirited weekend ride through a favourite mountain pass, or embarking on a multi-day two-wheeled adventure, Yamaha's versatile Tracer 9 GT+ will deliver the performance and comfort required.
Waiting impatiently for the new model to arrive was our Senior Dealership Development Manager, Russell Jansz, and he was one of the first to take delivery of the new bike when it landed in Australia. The Tracer 9 GT+ is his fourth Yamaha Tracer 9 model. His shiny new pride and joy arrived just in time for his yearly ride to Phillip Island for the Australian MotoGP. The 3500km of twists and turns through Browns Mountain, Omeo and Bonang confirmed he had made the right decision.
Also keen to try the new machine was Corporate Communications Manager Chris Dobie. While Chris is a former owner of a Tracer 9 GT, he is more of an MT-10SP sort of guy. However, was keen to experience the new adaptive cruise control radar system debuting on the new Tracer 9GT+. Chris put 1000km on a new Tracer 9GT+, and while he won't be stepping off his daily ride MT-10SP any time soon, he's hopeful some of the Tracer's amazing tech will find its way to the four-cylinder Hyper Naked.
"The biggest thing that stood out to me over the last bike is that the bike does not dip down hard into a corner as much. I just feel more comfortable entering and exiting a corner. The new features are great, and comfort has gone to a new level. I didn't think that would be possible over the last bike - I love it."
"Standouts for me include the new dash, which looks amazing, the way the braking system works, and the quick shifter, which is now even smoother. However, the new joystick toggle switch system for the dashboard interface that's the real standout for me. The press button wheel on the previous model was good but a bit tricky to use, but the new system just feels intuitive. It's so easy to navigate through the menus and rider settings. During our recent ride to the MotoGP, we encountered all sorts of weather, from brilliant sunshine through to torrential rain. Switching between the riding modes to suit the conditions was quick and easy. I now find myself adjusting the wide range of settings and riding modes a lot more than I have done previously."
“I just feel more comfortable entering and exiting a corner”
"There’s so much to like to about the new Tracer 9GT+; looks, comfort, power, handling, it really is the ultimate Sports Touring machine for anyone who like their touring with a sporty edge. The 2023 Tracer 9 GT is a great evolution of the last model, the new dash is brilliant, the interface much more intuitive and the tweaks to the suspension are noticeable but stepping up to the Tracer 9 GT+ takes the bike to the next level. The headline act is the new radar system. It detects vehicles ahead and communicates with the bike via its six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMA) and electronics package to not only maintain a safe distance between itself and the car in front, it’s also ready to react should there be a need to take evasive action – and when that happen it does more than just throw on the brakes. The radar, Inertial Measurement Unit, multiple sensors and electronics package all work together in the blink of an eye to keep the rider safe and the bike upright. It really is futuristic stuff."
"During my time with the bike I experienced the system first hand. With the adaptive cruise control activated and set at freeway speed I was enjoying the comfort levels of the Tracer 9 GT+. Too busy checking out the features in the new dash, I didn’t notice that the traffic ahead had dramatically slowed due to a traffic jam. The bike detected the possible danger and closed the throttle while applying firm but steady brake pressure. The bike reacted with a level of stability that didn’t shock me, it was more like a slight nudge to say, hey knucklehead – look up."
How The Tracer 9GT+ Radar Works
The radar system emits a beam that detects moving vehicles in front of the bike, and then constantly evaluates the distance between the two and modulates the bike’s speed to maintain the gap. The size of the gap can be adjusted by the rider. The radar is linked to the electronics which is constantly monitoring speed, throttle position, and cornering angle. Should the bike begin to corner while cruise control is activated, the system will gently decrease speed based on information from the IMU and various sensors about lean angle and grip. The Semi-active suspension and ABS also use this information to adjust to the conditions.
Adding An Extra Level of Safety
While riding with cruise control activated, should the car in front begin to slow, the system will first close the throttle to employ engine braking. Should more decelerations be required, the brakes will automatically engage, and the system will begin to stiffen the suspension. If the radar detects something worth avoiding and determines that the rider is not braking hard enough to avoid a collision, the system will calculate how much additional brake pressure is required and will then apply both front and rear brakes.
If the system senses the rider is not using enough front or rear brake to maximise braking and balance, it will gently balance the front and rear brake pressure to achieve optimum stopping performance. The suspense will also adjust itself to stabilise the bike as it is slowing down.
While all these adjustments are happening multiple times per second, the electronics are also determining the lean angle of the bike and taking that into consideration. The way the system deals with braking and stabilisation in a straight line is vastly different to the way it will deal with a braking situation mid corner. This allows the bike to continue on its planned trajectory, ensuring no unexpected changes in direction for the rider.