RIDEFAST SEPTEMBER

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The MT09 Tracer:

The ‘C3’ triple is essentially

identical to that of the base

Yamaha MT09- but with slightly

revised and updated mapping to

the different mode settings. It has

a more upright seating position

and more fairings means better

wind protection. It also gets

a bigger tank which is a good

move. The fairing is comprised of

lots of different bits (rather than

a single unit) and incorporates a

variety of different, finishes. The

screen is manually adjustable

through 30mm via two tightening

knobs inside the fairing (plus

there are adventure bike-style

hand guards. It’s a well-specced,

well-finished machine.

You can never use the word

conservative – but compared

to the naked this bike is a bit

more chilled. It is enormous fun,

handles beautifully and looks

fantastic – but it lacks that

hooligan factor that the naked

delivers. Dare we say that the

Tracer is a more sensible bike?

Well yes, it definitely offers better

protection from the elements,

more rider comfort – and your

pillion will certainly be a lot

happier.

The Tracer 900GT:

We had this bike a few months

ago when we spent a full two

days touring about. It’s great

to ride a bike for its intended

purpose. But as an urban ride, we

also had a lot of fun on the GT.

Despite being essentially a halffaired

MT09- with a longer swingarm,

the Tracer GT is a built-forpurpose

all-rounder, designed to

be a perfect do-it-all bike. Fully

adjustable KYB suspension, with

130mm plus travel at both ends,

works well in a new frame with a

longer swingarm and a new subframe.

Once again, Yamaha has tamed

the engine somewhat making it

more suitable for long distance

touring – and everyday street use.

We appreciated the little touches

like the cruise control and heated

grips.

We do like the small display

a lot – it is easy to read and

informative – and switching

between riding modes is

pretty simple. Sports-oriented

performance and amenities

including advanced rider aids,

uprated suspension system,

a reshaped height-adjustable

windshield, newly refined

bodywork, an adjustable riding

position with new seats, 12v

electrical outlet, integrated

sidecase mounts, and a generous

18l fuel tank…This is a lot of bike

for your money.

Smooth, capable fast. Not huge

like some of the other tourers out

there, the GT is a very comfortable,

capable ride. Take the panniers

off and use her through the week

to get to and from the office. Pop

them back and hit the long roads

to carve the 22 on the weekends.

Fast, smooth, comfortable. The

MT09 Tracer GT.

Conclusions: The MT lineup has a

bike for everyone!

The MT09 is the hooligan of the

pack – especially with that SWEET

Yoshi pipe. It’s loud,

brash, in your face and sporty.

The Tracer is perhaps a bit more

conservative. Comfortable,

quick and a real world every

day motorcycle. The GT is

comfortable and user friendly

for day to day use – and on the

weekends you clip on those

panniers, pop your nearest and

dearest on the back and head for

the hills.

These ones came from Linex

Yamaha – (4000-251 )011

Or chat to your nearest Yamaha

dealer.

www.yamaha.co.za

Séan says …

As you wander through life you

have a friends that you just know

who is always just spoiling for a

fight. Not because they are

malicious or anything, it is just

the way they are wired or put

together. Then there is that buddy

who is up for the same, but

knows when to call it a day and

be sensible. And then you have

that mate who has the brawn,

but who uses tact and subtlety to

stay out of trouble…

The MT range has all of those

buddies lined up.

To be fair I spent most of this

test in the saddle of the MT09.

Because I liked it – and I did not

want to get off it.

The MT09 is the naughty buddy,

especially with a loud pipe,

performance filter and etc. It’s the

Oake who starts the fight and the

sees it through. The triple motor

revving into the stratosphere

issues all sorts of challenges

through a loud exhaust pipe and

induction system. The aggressive

styling, reminds me of that mate

in a vest with muscles bulging

and flexing while sparring with

someone. Just swinging a leg

over the saddle and twisting the

throttle gets your blood running

hot, rolling into the first corner

and feeling the nimbleness and

agility of the shorter chassis and

the mad acceleration from the

triple 900cc CP3 engine you just

know “Hier kom ‘n ding!” and

even though you are a little bit

nervous, you just know it is going

to be worth the fun.

I first rode the MT09 way back

when it was first launched at a

mates Yamaha dealership down

in Richards Bay. That particular

model had been fitted with an

Akarapovic exhaust and an

aftermarket air filter and that

at sea level. The performance

from that ‘little’ bike was mind

bending, the sound of her

snorting lungs full of air through

that performance filter and

bellowing out the loud pipe while

trying to point the front wheel at

the heavens and light up the back

wheel at the same time, quickly

had me in lust and fear all at the

same time, a very confusingly

satisfying feeling. I was terrified

that I might die, but I didn’t care

… I just wanted more and more

and more.

Fast forward to 2020 and I had

never forgotten that little fling

with the MT09 all those years

ago, so when we were told that

we would be testing the MT09

family from Linex Yamaha in

Randburg I was pretty interested.

The current rendition of the MT09

is a lot more refined, smoother

with all the latest technology

without losing any of its savage

mischief and sense of fun. The

MT09 is a very emotive bike, yes

it is technically excellent as a

corner carving, arm stretching,

butt clenching weapon of a

technical marvel, but for me

motorcycling has always been

about the emotion of riding, the

freedom from the daily bollocks

we have to deal with and about

standing out from the crowd.

And that is exactly what these

types of bikes do for me.

To me naked bikes and the MT09

in particular are proper riders

bikes. As a rider you get the

full freedom of your grin in the

wind, with a comfortable and

natural but still sporty sitting

position and all that with most

of the advantages of a proper

superbike. Like a powerful high

performance screamer engine, an

agile planted chassis, stable and

compliant suspension which is

always adjustable, quick shifter,

changeable and customiseable

fuel mapping, fat grippy wheels

and tyres, great electronic

packages and the whole works.

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