Incoming: Yamaha Tracer 900 and 900GT launch test

We've sent the legend that is Lord MF to Spain to get wet on the 2018 Yamaha Tracers

Incoming: Yamaha Tracer 900 and 900GT launch test

If you’re pissed off about the weather at the moment, fear not, you’re not alone.

It’s blathering down with stair-rods here in single-digit-temperature-Spain too, where we’re all congregated like a bunch of shivering, drowned rats to ride the new Yamaha Tracer 900 and Tracer 900GT.

Having not yet ridden Yamaha’s widely acclaimed CP-3 motor yet, I reckon a selection of slippery Spanish tarmac could be the ideal proving ground, from what I’ve been hearing about this grunt-tastic engine. I’m looking forward to it.

So what’s new?

Put simply, Yamaha have responded to customer’s comments to titivate this now three year-old model. Yes, three years old. Where did that time go?

Special focus has been paid to rider and passenger comfort so there’s a new rear sub-frame (read - longer/wider) to accommodate a more spacious adjustable seat for both passenger and rider. The pillion footpeg hangers are altered to make the seating position less cramped. Bigger, easy to grasp grab handles are also a new feature. They’re massive.

Bearing in mind that most pillions probably play a 99.9 per cent part in the financial decision of acquiring a new bike, I reckon this focus on the better half is a masterstroke on Yamaha’s behalf. Not half.

Other stuff? Narrower handlebars, a longer swingarm and a one-hand adjustable screen (the old one needed both hands) are some other handy additions.

The new GT model offers a much needed trade-up position for existing Tracer owners offering stuff like a full colour TFT screen, adjustable heated grips, cruise control, fully adjustable front and rear suspension, a quick shifter, hard panniers and an extra paint hue, which is a sort of flat-matt metallic blue.

GT could also provide a useful trade down/up point for people pissed off with behemoth, unwieldy, knobbly-tyred adventure bikes. Naming no names.

Prices are £9,249 for the Tracer 900 and £10,469 for the Tracer 900 GT. Tracer 900 hits the UK showrooms the first week in May, the Tracer GT the last week in May, by which time the sun should be cracking flags and hosepipe bans will be in place. Possibly.

Today we’ve only had the chance to kick the tyres, drink double espressos and nose around the bike. The test ride for real starts tomorrow morning when, rain or shine, we’ll report back with our findings, expressed through the usual combination of interpretive modern dance routines, expressive mime, video, photographs and the good ol’ written word.

Now where’s me Gore-Tex…