YAMAHA TRACER 900 (2018 - 2020) Review


  • A brilliant all-rounder, one of the very best
  • Engaging triple motor and handling
  • Reliable, built well and rewarding to own

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Annual servicing cost: £90
Power: 113 bhp
Seat height: Tall (33.5 in / 850 mm)
Weight: Medium (472 lbs / 214 kg)


New N/A
Used £5,700 - £8,200

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Ignore the ‘adventure sports’ tag attached by journalists with an unhealthy desire to pigeonhole. Also disregard any snooty view that it’s ‘only’ a middleweight sports tourer. Yamaha’s Tracer 900 is actually a proper, wholesome, old-fashioned all-rounder – a sensibly priced large-capacity bike with the performance, handling, comfort, manners and practicality to make a ruddy good fist of pretty much anything you ask. A machine worthy of the old UJM (universal Japanese motorcycle) tag.

The Tracer 900 lacks the tech and glitz of rivals such as the BMW F900XR and Ducati Multistrada 950, though in reality you don’t miss it (there’s a higher-spec Tracer 900GT if you really must have a few more extras). Instead, the 847cc triple impresses with its feel, dynamic and mechanical bits, rather than bolt-on gubbins, flashing lights and buttons.

I’m not bothered about being unable to select the highlight colours on the dash, or a lack of customisable riding modes that I’d never use anyway. The bits that should really matter on an all-round bike – engine, chassis, ride quality, comfort, weather protection, and crucially rider engagement – are all very good, if not excellent (and where the Yamaha does slip behind pricier rivals it’s close enough not to matter).

Yamaha Tracer 900 on the road.

The Tracer 900 also has a light-hearted air and feeling of fun that competition such as the serious Ducati, straightlaced BMW and mildly austere Triumph Tiger 900 don’t share. And bikes should be fun: it’s why most of us probably started riding.

The Tracer 900’s also great value. At less than ten grand on-the-road the spirited triple was up to £4000 cheaper than some direct rivals; now, with the introduction of a much-revised model for 2021, this version makes a sound used investment. What a remarkable all-round package.

This bike went off sale in 2020 and was replaced by the 2021 Yamaha Tracer 9.

Yamaha Tracer 900 rear three quarter

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

There’s a lightness to the way the Tracer 900 handles. It feels fun and somehow light-hearted in the sort of way the original Fazer 600 did. Only with better suspension.

Its chassis isn’t quite as nimble in town as the BMW F900XR and doesn’t have the floaty, sumptuous, semi-active ride of the Ducati Multistrada 950 S (but then it doesn’t have its price tag either). This doesn’t mean the Tracer’s flawed, though. Far from it. It turns readily and delivers easy, fluid, composed and almost sporty handling. Chassis balance is better than the naked MT-09 on which it’s based, too – it just seems to work well regardless of where you’re riding and what you’re cracking on with. And cracking on comes easily, the 900 giving great confidence, encouraging spirited use and feeling better the faster you go.

The rear shock can get a tad out of its depth when really tramping on, but you need to be riding like you’re Dean Harrison on a hot TT lap for it to be an issue. The only other slight blemish to the Tracer’s gloss is that slippery roads can make the chassis feel a bit loose. The standard tyres play a big part. Although fine in the dry they’re too easily overwhelmed by the triple’s torque in the damp; feel evaporates and confidence reduces.

Yamaha Tracer 900 action shot cornering at speed

You get a sense of sitting ‘on’ the Yamaha, not ‘in’. This makes the Tracer 900 feel more like a ‘normal’ road bike, rather than a dirt refugee as with more knobbly high-rise rivals. And comfort is very good.

No big-brand logos slapped on the calipers, and no black boxes allowing a big lever grab at full lean. However, there’s little to criticise about the brake set-up.


Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

It’s the three-cylinder motor that makes the biggest and longest-lasting impression. Grumbling, bubbling, whining, the 847cc triple is surely one of the finest road units ever created. Crisp to respond and grunty low-down, it surges in the midrange, snaps through gears like an overgrown enduro bike and soars to its top end. With a claimed 113bhp it’s on a par with opposing machines, but the Tracer feels fittest.

Whether it’s gurgling and pulling cleanly in town, using its rich midrange for effortless open-road overtakes or purring smoothly on a motorway, the motor has the flexibility and performance to rival other bikes – and is always superb. It can behave like a subtle pussycat or fire out wheelies with equal ease. All the proof anyone could need that you really don’t need a 160bhp monster.

The Yamaha Tracer 900 engine.

There are three fuel maps to fiddle with. ‘Standard’ is the best, mind; flicking to ‘A’ makes the throttle a smidge too sharp (like the original snappy MT-09 was) and ‘B’ makes it a little too soft.

There are lighter clutches and slightly slicker gearboxes on newer machinery, however there’s nothing amiss with gear selection. Just remember to use the clutch as there’s no quickshifter (the pricier higher-spec GT version has one, but for up-shifts only).

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Yamaha really ramped up their quality and finish about 15 years ago, and the 900 is well made and presented. Though there are nicer details and finer components on more expensive rival bikes, the Tracer doesn’t have anything that screams ‘budget’ despite the attractive price tag.

It’s not just a great engine to use but also one that’s extremely reliable. There are examples that have done well over 100,000 miles without issue. Valve clearance checks are at 24,000 miles, so on an averagely used bike make sure it’s not being sold to avoid the looming cost.

Yamaha's Tracer 900 parked up.

Corrosion can bite its way into fasteners and a few bits of the running gear, and the exhaust soon looks scruffy. Some bits of the bodywork are a bit flimsy and can develop rattles with miles. Make sure the grab-and-adjust screen stays in position.

Our Yamaha Tracer 900 owners' reviews show positive comments apart from mirrors that don't stick out far enough, and wind noise from the standard screen. There are some reports of corrosion but this isn't unusual on any motorcycle.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Basic spec isn’t high – you don’t get heated grips, electric screen or other toys. There are more gizmos and widgets on a Triumph Tiger 800 XR or Multistrada 950 S.

You’ll also pay a lot more for the competition, though. The Tracer doesn’t have the flashiest spec, but it was very keenly priced when current and now great value used – for a given amount you get a newer and/or better Tracer than a rival. And let’s not forget that the core bike is excellent.

Getting cover for your Tracer 900 shouldn’t be too traumatic. It’s insurance group 13, which is the same as a BMW F900XR, and a group lower than a Triumph Tiger 800/900 or Ducati Multistrada 950.

The Yamaha Tracer 900 nose view.

Normal, fairly brisk, mixed-route use returns a 49mpg average. This is identical to rival machines and means nearly 195 miles from the 18-litre tank. Economy gets up towards 60mpg on long motorway rides. Major service interval with valve-clearance check is at 24,000 miles, and fairly easy engine access means it’s not as expensive as some bikes.

Tyres are the common 120/70 ZR17 front and 180/55 ZR17 rear, meaning lots of choice and fitments to suit all budgets. The triple isn’t too greedy with rubber and the bike feels best on sports-touring tyres, which should last well. Yes, the Tracer 900 is good value.


4 out of 5 (4/5)

Yamaha didn’t adorn the Tracer 900 with many fripperies. It has adjustable-yet-basic traction control and ABS, three fuel maps to choose from, and a screen that you have to grab and yank to adjust. Lovers of colour displays, light-up switchgear and umpteen-level traction control won’t be overwhelmed.

The Yamaha Tracer 900 tank view.

This doesn’t mean the Tracer isn’t well appointed, though. The dash (taken from the Super Ténéré) has ample information and is easy to read, and it’s controlled from multi-function switchgear (swiped from the FJR1300). The seat has two heights, pillions get a proper seat and solid well-placed handles, and there are integral mounts for accessory luggage. It has hand guards, a 12v power outlet and a centrestand as well, plus very good headlight and mirrors.


Engine size 847cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 12v, inline triple
Frame type Diamond
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 850mm
Bike weight 214kg
Front suspension 41mm, KYB forks, adjustable preload and rebound damping
Rear suspension Single KYB rear shock, adjustable preload
Front brake Liquid-cooled, 12v, inline triple
Rear brake 2 x 298mm discs with four-piston radial caliper. ABS.
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 51 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £90
New price -
Used price £5,700 - £8,200
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 113 bhp
Max torque 64.6 ft-lb
Top speed 135 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 200 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2015: Upright all-round ‘Tracer’ version of the naked MT-09 launched. Half faired, it has stiffer suspension, a larger fuel tank, Super Ténéré dash, more upright riding position, revised fuelling, traction control, a power socket and a centrestand.
  • 2016: Name changed from MT-09 Tracer to Tracer 900.
  • 2017: New lighter slipper clutch, longer swingarm for improved stability, plus adjustable traction control.
  • 2018: Higher-spec Tracer 900 GT introduced alongside, with colour-matched hard luggage, colour TFT dash, cruise control, quickshifter and heated grips.
  • 2021: Tracer 900 (and GT) replaced by new Tracer 9, with completely new look, increased engine capacity, more power, larger fuel tank, cruise control and fancier dash. Tracer 9 GT has semi-active suspension, all-singing traction control and ABS, heated grips and cornering lights.

Yamaha's Tracer 900 was updated for 2018.

Other versions

Other versions of this motorbike include the Yamaha Tracer 900GT, which costs £10,792 and has a TFT dash, colour-matched panniers, heated grips, cruise control and upgraded suspension.

Owners' reviews for the YAMAHA TRACER 900 (2018 - 2020)

9 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA TRACER 900 (2018 - 2020) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your YAMAHA TRACER 900 (2018 - 2020)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Equipment: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £90
5 out of 5 Tracer 900
24 June 2024 by tracerowner

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £100

Triple engine copes with town and country roads in any gear

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Rear suspension feels challenged at times and the seat tips you forward into the tank. But the bike performs all it is asked to do.

Engine 5 out of 5

Pulls freely in every gear

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Owned it for 18 months always been reliable

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

Plenty of modifications so you can make the bike your own

Buying experience: Dealer

5 out of 5 A truly great all round bike that's hard to fault.
05 February 2024 by Duncan

Year: 2020

I bought mine blind via PX in place of my VFR1200X so simply didn't know what to expect. I hadn't rode a Tracer but needed something more manageable and lighter for use as a commuter and weekend ride. The positive reviews swayed me and I'm happy to say the initial toy like feeling of being aboard such a lightweight has melted away and I'm smitten with it now. The ride quality is excellent, the handling decent, it's comfortable and that little triple engine is just superb. Whereas I started to hate the big V4 I now look forward to getting on the Tracer. I'd say it's likely the best bike I've owned and I have had so many large capacity bikes I've lost count...It's a little gem.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Brakes are very strong, the rear really good, the fronts have plenty of bite and feel...not sure what pads are fitted but they work really well. Obviously being used to a bike being 65 kilo's heavier has it's upside! Ride quality is first class during my commute, the forks and shock have a nice supple action and I really can't fault it. Mine has the comfort seat fitted and while I felt very 'on' the bike to start with I've gotten used to this and it now feels just right. Not gone far enough to comment on long rides yet but it seems to fit me well at 5'10". Standard D222 Dunlop tyres are truly butt clenchingly horrid in wet/greasy conditions...Pirelli Angel GT's on order.

Engine 5 out of 5

What a great engine this is...plenty of character, torque, drive etc. and sounds fabulous. I'm not sure how Yamaha have managed to make such a wonderful engine that can be both exciting and soft natured in one. I'm often surprised how tractable the unit is, trundling along and pulling cleanly from low revs without lugging. The flip side being that great rush of power higher in the rev range, it's a quick bike and plenty fast enough. I think the fuelling is fine.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Long time owner of Honda's, last two being the VFR12X and a Blackbird covering 14 years...nothing will ever come close to the quality, fit and finish of the BB in my opinion but I've been happy with the Tracer so far. I've more or less dismantled the front end to re-route hot grips wiring, fit rad' guard etc. Removed the seat latch to access a power source, fit a quick shifter, adjusted shock/chain and all fasteners, nuts and bolts have been corrosion free and everything fits back/mates together well. It looks and feels like a quality bike and using copaslip and ACF50 should keep it decent.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Mine needs nothing for a while and having approx. 6000 miles won't need anything major for a while, the original chain looks good, the tyres are still original fitment and it's up to date service wise. I can't see it being expensive at all to keep on top of service wise. I've noticed already the Tracer is a lot less thirsty than the big V4 by approx. 10mpg during my commute...I guess that'll improve in time as the bike gets used for longer runs.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Adjustable screen, (arguably the bikes weak point), power socket, accessory sockets front and rear, centre stand, decent displays, very bright headlights, suspension adjustable for pre-load/rebound front and rear, decent power modes and TC. Yes, the GT would be nicer with the extra kit but for me the standard Tracer is all I'll ever need.

5 out of 5 Triple Howl
04 October 2023 by Lou

Year: 2019

A great all around motorcycle. Can't think of any negatives.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

I am still learning about the suspension adjustments. Brakes are top notch. Two fingers in 98% of situations.

Engine 5 out of 5

The smooth running triple make very linear power from down low, building into an impressive top end rush. Plenty of low end torque too.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

So far, I'm thrilled with the base Tracer 900. Previously, I owned a 2013 Triumph Tiger 800xc purchased new in 2019. An excellent all-rounder, but I prefer the Yamaha because of the cast 17" wheels, the upgraded electronics, and long service interval. I came off a '22 Royal Enfield Interceptor which is a good around town ride, but for anything over 100 miles, not comfortable for me. The Tracer will willingly travel cross country as well as burn up the two lane twisties. The first week I owned it, 5 of us took off for a 3 hour trip to welcome the Cannonball riders to Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The only addition I've made was to install a KAOKO throttle lock. Helps me with my old wrists.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

24,000 mile service interval for valve adjustment!!!

Equipment 4 out of 5

I'm not sure if the premium price paid for the GT is worth it, that is unless you ride 10,000+ miles a year in all sorts of weather.

Buying experience: I purchased this used from a BMW dealer. I paid $7500. Thankfully, on of the mechanics owns one, so I was able to get some 'inside' help. He and I went over the Yamaha before I bought it.

5 out of 5
27 March 2023 by Peter

Year: 2019

Had many bikes in past 20 years, done track days, touring etc. I love the Tracer! If you can have just one bike which can do pretty much everything and well then definitely the Tracer is the bike! It’s a fun, scraping pegs, popping wheelies, going on tours. And commute to work every day in any weather and if you’re sensible you can easily get 60mpg!

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Brakes feel little wooden but once you get used to them there’s no problem and works well in any situation. Suspension in my opinion are good enough, even when pushed hard they let you know that you reaching the limits, and that a good thing.

Engine 5 out of 5

Oh oh oh the engine is just fun and the sound from the triple is addictive! But if you want to ride sensibly the engine is smooth and let you cruise with ease.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

10000 miles in a year mostly used for getting to work. Always outside 24/7 never garaged, no issues just little rust which is expected. Definitely holding better then my last Honda!

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Would give a 5 star but the cost of buying a bike this days is just crazy expensive!

Equipment 4 out of 5

For me ABS and traction control and 3 ride modes, heated grips are enough. I don’t need tft display and trillions options or quick shifter. But wouldn’t mind cornering ABS and Tractions in future.

5 out of 5 The best all round bike I have owned so far... And it's a triple!
06 January 2023 by Tracer Mark 900

Year: 2018

Annual servicing cost: £100

The best real world bike I have ever owned, feels stable, turns in great, brill midrange and a fun factor, I love to ride this bike

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

A little snatchy at times, especially on riding mode A, but I don't like my bikes to be too sanitised, I like to feel they have a spirit and this bike does. Pillion feedback is very good, decent sized seats and peg reach and good grab handles

Engine 5 out of 5

I like triples and this doesn't disappoint, has a soul especially over 5k revs when it comes alive, nice and grunty midrange for easy riding and then punchy when pressing on. One of the best engines I have had on a bike

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Some light exhaust corrosion and some corrosion on brake disc fasteners but that's all on a four and a half year old bike with 19k miles

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Not serviced it yet but expect it to be very reasonable compared to rivals

Equipment 4 out of 5

Clear dash with digital speed readout which is good and easy to access controls. Mine had aftermarket heated grips which are nice. Standard screen is awful, I have fitted a puig touring screen plus extra wind deflector to cope with my 6'2'' height and its great.

Buying experience: Bought used from yamaha main dealer, excellent experience

5 out of 5
24 July 2021 by Joely

Year: 2020

Annual servicing cost: £160

Very pleased with the bike. I have done 4000 miles so far problem free. The longride I have done was 318 miles so far. Only passed my test 9 months ago and I test rode a couple of other bikes before buying this one.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: Bought it from Raceways at Fleetwood and it was a no hassle very easy sale. They are such a plesure to deal with

5 out of 5 Fantastic undercover sportbike.
31 May 2021 by The Pilot

Version: 900 GT

Year: 2020

Wonderful do it all sportbike hidden in an adventure-ish costume.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Ride quality is very good, but it is sprung for a rather small human. Brakes are also good, they are old R1 brakes. I swapped to HH pads and braided lines and now it stops like a proper sportbike.

Engine 5 out of 5

I wish I could give this thing more stars than 5... the CP3 engine is a true gem. Gobs of midrange torque and a wonderful top end rush to just short of redline. Even in stock form it makes fantastic sounds that I just can’t get enough of, this engine truly makes this bike and for that matter this whole series of bikes. It’s just as happy putting down the motorway as it is thrashing it on a backroad.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

The only complaint I have is they put the absolute lowest quality chain they could find on this thing. Cleaned and lubed regularly and links are starting to stick and stretch is getting excessive at only 10k miles.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Very long valve check interval and the CP3 motor is nearly bulletproof.

Equipment 5 out of 5

GT version is very well equipped, heated grips work fantastic. I never tire of looking at the TFT dash... I honestly think it looks even better than the new Tracer 9 dual dash set up. Yamaha accessory heated seat is very welcome on cold mornings. 12V power outlet right in front of the bars is great for charging my phone on the way home. The factory saddle bags are a little tight as they won’t fit a full face helmet, but the narrow width makes squeezing through traffic much easier. Only huge negative with this bike is the windscreen, if you are shorter it may not be an issue, I’m 6’5” and it seems to direct all the turbulent air directly at my head no matter the screen position. Switched to a sport screen for the summer and problem is solved... still working out a winter option.

Buying experience: Bought from a dealer in New Jersey near Atlantic City... they are scumbags, but I was able to get it for $12,000 Freedom units out the door.

5 out of 5 Love Me Tracer
23 April 2021 by Flabdog

Year: 2019

Best feature for me is the engine very closely followed by leg room. Only bad feature is the screen.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Finally a bike I can ride for a long time without the old knees playing up. 35" inside leg and one of a few bikes that is actually comfy for a tall, fat bloke. The screen however is pure dung and that is my only fault regards this bike.

Engine 5 out of 5

Great engine. End of !

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

60 mpg easily acheivable.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Buying experience: 8895, paid 8195 very easy dealer purchase for a change

4 out of 5
27 June 2019 by Russ Barrack

Year: 2018

Annual servicing cost: £1

With the additional improvements this model is bar far a better bike than the previous generation. As far as preload only on the back. If MCN would've opened their eyes they would have noticed there's rebound on the rear shock aswell........ The suspension is perfectly fine unless you are going for it then you notice it needs better damping in the front/rear but I've kept up with most with out issues. My only two real gripes are firstly the mirrors. They need to stick out more and the nut to tighten the stock is an odd size and none of my sockets will fit. Second gripe is the stock windscreen is a joke. It make takes all the road noise and funnels as right to your ears. I've solved this my buying a puig sport racing screen. I'd certainly recommend a tracer for sure and in would happily buy one again

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
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