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2023 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT+ brings radar cruise to the masses

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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We’ve already scooped Yamaha’s plan to join the radar revolution and now it’s been confirmed with the launch of the Tracer 9 GT+. It’s likely to be the most affordable bike on the market with radar-assisted cruise control and safety systems when it reaches dealers in May 2023.

In the past we’ve said that the Tracer 9 GT comes close to being the ideal motorcycle if you want a single bike that can do a bit of everything. Its 117bhp (87.5kW) power is close to what you’d have got from a first-gen Fireblade (and from a characterful three-cylinder engine). It’s got electronic semi-active suspension that helps eliminate compromise between comfort and handling. There’s an adjustable screen, heated grips, and LED cornering lights as standard. An IMU means the traction control and ABS work in corners as well as on the straights. The high-rise riding position even gives some of the appeal of an adventure bike, but on a machine that can handle track days as well as continent-crossing tours. And for 2023 the addition of a radar system and a host of other revisions makes the Tracer even more tempting.


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Radars are starting to look like the next must-have tech, filtering down from high-end exotics like the Multistrada V4 S to more mainstream machines. Yamaha’s application of the same Bosch technology featured in other radar-equipped bikes might bring it to a new market, but it doesn’t eliminate any of the appeal. In fact, Yamaha has even added some features.

The most obvious day-to-day benefit of the system is Adaptive Cruise Control. While standard cruise controls are pretty useless on many of Britain’s busy roads because constantly changing traffic speeds mean you’re forever tweaking your pace, ACC takes that job on, using the radar to measure the distance to the vehicle ahead and operating the ride-by-wire throttle and the Tracer’s new radar-linked Unified Brake System to maintain a consistent distance from it.

Yamaha’s take on the system operates anywhere between 18mph to 100mph and can be engaged in any gear, with the speed adjustable in 1km/h or 10km/h increments via a bar-mounted adjustment switch. As with a conventional cruise control, braking manually disengages the system, but unlike those systems the ACC can brake gently on its own to slow you down. Unlike most cruise controls, you can also change gear without disabling the ACC, as Yamaha has added an up/down quickshifter to allow clutchless shifts.



While the level of braking that the system applies with the ACC turned on is limited to make sure it doesn’t take the rider by surprise, the system will trigger a warning if the vehicle ahead starts to slow more rapidly so you can intervene and brake harder.

The Tracer also has a switchable ‘Brake Control’ function, which activates its radar-assisted Unified Brake System. This operates when the ACC is disengaged, using the radar to monitor what’s ahead, and stepping in to help if you’re not braking hard enough to prevent a collision. It’s not a collision avoidance system, as you need to be braking manually for it to work, but it can apply pressure to both the front and rear brakes to help you slow down faster.

The Unified Brake System also helps out while cornering, adjusting the rider’s brake forces front and rear to help prevent slippage, and it’s tied in with the radar to automatically adjust the semi-active electronic suspension to maintain stability.



All this extra tech means the rider needs more information, and that comes via a new 7-inch colour TFT dashboard with three display formats, all tailored to show the ACC features and warnings. The system also adds smartphone connectivity via the Yamaha MyRide app, via USB, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth, to give access to calls, emails, texts, and notifications on the dash. Add a Bluetooth headset and you also get to make calls and listen to music on the go. The new dash adds navigation, too, via a smartphone and the Garmin Motorise app, opening a full-screen nav window on the instruments and including real-time traffic and weather info and alternate routes to avoid hold-ups, and even indicating which lane to use at junctions.



Finally, the 2023 Tracer 9 GT+ gets tweaks to its ergonomics, with new bar-mounted switch clusters (including a joystick on the left bar) as well as an updated, height-adjustable rider’s seat. The rear brake is enlarged for 2023, rising to 267mm in diameter, and other alterations include the addition of a USB port, a revised instrument bracket and new windscreen supports.

How much? That remains to be seen, with prices expected to be announced in December.


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