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Yamaha Tracer 9 GT getting radar cruise control

Has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including most of the world’s biggest bike titles, as well as dabbling in car and technology journalism.



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Radar technology is really hitting the mainstream in 2023 with Yamaha’s Tracer 9 GT expected to get its own forward-facing sensor in the near future.

Germany’s Motorrad magazine has snatched spy pictures of a prototype Tracer 9 GT with a slightly revised front bodywork that can only be intended to hide a radar unit. It’s a decent job, too. Unlike the rather incongruous radars on Ducati’s Multistrada V4 and KTM’s 1290 Adventure S, the Yamaha system takes its cues from Kawasaki’s far more subtle 2022 H2 SX, which hides its radars behind thin, black plastic panels. Radar waves can go through plastic and provided it’s smooth and not interrupted with creases it doesn’t impact the efficiency of the system.

The updated Tracer 9 GT tucks the radar into the arched section of bodywork above the front wheel, between the lower front lights, and while the change requires the black, inner bodywork section between those lights to be slightly reshaped it has no impact on the bike’s overall styling.


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As on other radar-equipped bikes the system is expected to allow the Tracer 9 GT to adopt adaptive cruise control, keeping a constant distance from the vehicle ahead, and to facilitate the fitting of a collision warning system that will aim to alert the rider if the vehicle in front is travelling much more slowly than expected or brakes heavily. That could be in the form of a warning display on the dash or even an auto-braking system.

There’s no indication of rear-facing radar, as used by some other bikes including the latest Ninja H2 SX and Triumph’s new-generation Tiger 1200, although rear radars are shorter range sensors and more easily hidden so the fact one isn’t visible on the spied prototype isn’t a guarantee that it won’t be fitted.

The fact that the Tracer was spotted testing in Germany strongly suggests that the radar being used is the same Bosch sensor that’s already been bought in by Ducati, BMW, KTM and Kawasaki. At the moment, only Triumph – using a Continental-made sensor – and Piaggio, which is fitting a rear-facing radar made by its own Piaggio Fast Forward division to the 2023 MP3 530, are bucking the Bosch-using trend (and both only use rear radars, not front ones with adaptive cruise control).

Since the current Tracer 9 GT starts at £12,700 in the UK, the bike is likely to be the cheapest machine yet to get a forward-facing radar with adaptive cruise control. On models like BMW’s R1250 RT, where the radar is optional, the kit adds around £500 to the price, so we can expect something similar when Yamaha brings its version of the idea to showrooms.

Given the close relationship between the Tracer and Yamaha’s MT-09 and XSR900 models, it’s also not a big stretch to imagine those machines getting similar tech in the future as well.


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