Yamaha First impressions: 2018 Yamaha Tracer 900/GT

2018 Yamaha Tracer 900

Our man Mark Forsyth is just back from the Yamaha Tracer 900 launch.

Lord Forsyth has decanted from his personal Chinook rotorcraft, and is even as we speak being vigorously rubbed down by his personal corps of attendants. He's dictated some thoughts to his chief factotum however, and we shall peruse them while awaiting his full verdict at a later juncture.

"I've just got back from the European launch of Yamaha’s Tracer 900 and Tracer 900GT. It rained a lot - but on the plains of Spain, that’s what it does, according to legend. The writer and Lake District rambling pest, Alfred Wainright, once said something along the lines of ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.’ He obviously sported the same Held two piece Gortex suit that I’ve got. 

"Riding both versions of this new Yamaha on sun-polished, cold, wet roads taught me some important stuff.

"One: riding in the rain is one of the best things ever. You’ve just got to smooth-up everything you do. You feel every twitch and reaction with every part of your body, your inputs must be finely metered, delicate and progressive. Concentration levels increase exponentially and on a previously unseen road with varying grip levels you can never, ever be looking far enough ahead. And if you don’t push hard enough to generate at least some heat in your tyres, you’re caught in a vicious circle. The slower you go the less grip is available. It’s a fun game involving much psychology, developed confidence and precision.

"But to bring me on to my next and final point, it’s all only as good as the bike and tyres you’re sat on. It’s the first time I’d ever ridden a bike powered by Yamaha’s lauded CP-3 motor. Obviously, like you, I’ve read all the rave reviews of the three-cylinder MT series bikes but it wasn’t until I rode the Tracer that I finally got what all the fuss was about. I can tell you it was categorically the right bikes for the occasion. By some margin, too.

"Give me a while to digest it all and I’ll be back to tell you all about it."