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I’ve owned the Tracer 900GT for a wee while so thought I’d say what my impressions of the bike were.  Nothing technical, you can find all the technical data on Google, just my impressions as an all-seasons owner / rider.

 

I bought the Tracer as a bike to not only tour on but a bike that I could live with every day, commutes and runs to the shops, and it certainly ticked those boxes for me. I test rode several bikes, including a Triumph Tiger and a KTM before making my decision on this one.  so down to the nitty gritty.

 

THE GOOD:  The bike is a pleasure to ride; it’s forgiving and rarely puts a foot wrong. The 847cc, in line, three-cylinder engine provides very smooth power delivery in all gears, although the “fly by wire” throttle, at first anyway, can be a bit snatchy.  That was something I was used to with my MT10 though.  The bike has a lot of low-down torque and a very useable mid-range which is great for the quick overtakes. If you want to enjoy the sportier side of the bike then you can change the mode settings.  I was actually pretty impressed by how much difference, sticking it into sport mode made.  The bike comes with the usual array of onboard electronics that are useful and easy to use on the fly.  The fuel tank holds 18.17Litres and I get about 160 miles on a full tank, this however is subjective and depends on how you ride it.  All in all, I would say that it is a very capable sports tourer.

 

THE BAD:  Stock tyres, Dunlop’s, were, for me anyway, not brilliant.  The bike didn’t feel planted, it was jittery on white lines and rough roads, I didn’t like them in the wet, and the bike felt like it was “drifting” into bends rather than gripping the road and powering around them, which is what I was used to.  I was advised to try Michelin Road 5’s, which I did, and wow, what a difference a couple of rubber rings made, definitely money well spent, it totally transformed the way the bike handled and felt, both on wet and dry roads, and I would have no hesitation in recommending them.  My next minor niggle was the seat, firstly it was uncomfortable, especially for a bike aimed at a part touring rider, it also, when braking, had a tendency to push you forward into the tank.  I upgraded the seat for the comfort seat, which is more comfortable, however, there are better seats out there. I would recommend, potentially, looking at having the stock seat recovered with gel inserts added, this actually would have been a cheaper option.  The last thing I consider to be bad with the bike is the suspension.  If riding solo then the suspension is brilliant and I have no issues with it, however, go two up and fully laden with luggage and it’s bad.  Firstly, the maximum recommended laden weight for the bike is around 180kg, me and my wife, fully kitted, with the bike laden, puts us well in excess of that recommendation.  Whilst you can still ride safely you do need to adapt your riding style, I’ve ground the Centre stand on two occasions, once on a roundabout and again on a tight bend. Secondly, fully laden, trust me when I say, you feel every bump in the road!  I’ve looked into this further and may, at some stage (overtime dependent), change the rear shock for Nitron and upgrade the front springs, it isn’t a cheap mod though.  The snatchy throttle can take a bit of getting used to, it can be smoothed out by having a reflash done, however, I have heard some people who have had this done say it caused them other problems in the long run. TBF I don’t really find it a major issue, just something to be aware of.

 

THE UGLY:  For me, the only thing that fell into this category was the stock screen.  The wind noise and buffering, for me at 6’1”, was horrific, even with good quality ear plugs in, my ears would ring after a blast over the mountain road.  I changed the screen for an MRA touring screen with flip up visor, whilst this did improve things slightly it still was not good!  After chatting to a friend, I decided to opt for an MRA sports screen and this appears to have cured the issues I had.  The wind now hits me in the chest, and I can put up with that, no more deafening helmet roar, and although it’s a sports screen, I’m actually being buffeted around less than I was with the touring screen.

 

MODS: MRA sports screen, Akra exhaust, comfort seat, LED indicators, engine bars, Denali DRL’s, Lightech chain adjusters, pyramid fender extender and hugger extension, Michelin Road 5’s.

 

Generally, I love the bike, it’s very easy to live with, reliable and ticks all the boxes.  Due to covid I haven’t been on any long tours yet but hopefully that will soon change and I’ll get to stretch its legs, first trip possibly around Kerry in the South of Ireland.  I would recommend the bike to anyone who wants a capable, dual purpose bike, that you can also use as the daily run around.  It’s easy to ride and very forgiving and would be ideal for a newb wanting to upgrade to a larger capacity bike.  If you’re going to use it as a tourer, especially two up, laden weight is a consideration, upgrading the suspension is an option, however, it is expensive!

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That's a pretty spot on assessment of the 900gt, Ive had mine 2yrs and over 10k on it now if it wasn't for lockdown it would be more like 16k. Agree with the suspensions, seat and screen niggles but I do love the engine. The menu selector wheel is the only other pain can be a bit annoying. Those tyres I wasn't a fan of either I opted for Avon spirits and like you say make it a new bike. Mine is used for everything too and has been great. I've chopped it in for an Honda AT  adventure sports es plus doing a lot more 2 up touring and this will do everything I need plus it's been a really shitty year for my wife and I and I thought I'd do something positive to make me smile!

 

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13 hours ago, MikeHorton said:

That's a pretty spot on assessment of the 900gt, Ive had mine 2yrs and over 10k on it now if it wasn't for lockdown it would be more like 16k. Agree with the suspensions, seat and screen niggles but I do love the engine. The menu selector wheel is the only other pain can be a bit annoying. Those tyres I wasn't a fan of either I opted for Avon spirits and like you say make it a new bike. Mine is used for everything too and has been great. I've chopped it in for an Honda AT  adventure sports es plus doing a lot more 2 up touring and this will do everything I need plus it's been a really shitty year for my wife and I and I thought I'd do something positive to make me smile!

 

You're right, the menu selector can be fiddly, especially with gloves on.  All in all though the bike was a pretty good choice for my needs, once you sort the niggles out it's brilliant.  How are you getting on with the Africa Twin?  I've heard a lot of good reports about those bikes....

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7 hours ago, manxie49 said:

You're right, the menu selector can be fiddly, especially with gloves on.  All in all though the bike was a pretty good choice for my needs, once you sort the niggles out it's brilliant.  How are you getting on with the Africa Twin?  I've heard a lot of good reports about those bikes....

It should arrive next week, I'm guessing I'll miss that silky smooth flexible triple but I'm just hoping it will be better for the touring. I'll post an update on here when we have done our first 2 up distance ride. I have a decent phone sat nav mount for the tracer which you can have if you need it. It fits into the screen adjuster it's been great

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18 minutes ago, MikeHorton said:

It should arrive next week, I'm guessing I'll miss that silky smooth flexible triple but I'm just hoping it will be better for the touring. I'll post an update on here when we have done our first 2 up distance ride. I have a decent phone sat nav mount for the tracer which you can have if you need it. It fits into the screen adjuster it's been great

I've got a satnav mount on it thanks Mike,  good luck with the Honda 👍

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16 minutes ago, Bender said:

I thought the GT was supposed to have the better suspension, I think you've just put me off them 😂 

I think it does compared to a standard Tracer although never ridden one in standard version.  The big issue I have is two up riding,  on my own it's perfect,  two up with luggage and it definitely isn't that good .... Now that's either because my Missus packs to much stuff or I'm just a fat t--t! 😄

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I was looking at the tracer which has the not so good suspension it would be 2 up as well so back to the drawing board me thinks. 

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5 hours ago, Bender said:

I was looking at the tracer which has the not so good suspension it would be 2 up as well so back to the drawing board me thinks. 

 Not sure what improvement the tracer 9 is with the semi active suspension and that takes more weight too. But if your doing a lot of 2 up I think it's not quite good enough 

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16 hours ago, MikeHorton said:

 Not sure what improvement the tracer 9 is with the semi active suspension and that takes more weight too. But if your doing a lot of 2 up I think it's not quite good enough 

Tracer 9 has a 193kg Load carrying capacity, still not brilliant but I suppose it depends on how often you go two up.  Like I say, in stock form,  it's still doable on the Tracer 900GT, you have to adapt your riding style a bit though.

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