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.