Long term update: Sorting the Tracer's suspension

1 of 3

The Yamaha MT-09 Tracer is one of the UK’s best-selling bikes of 2015 and criticisms are few and far between, but one element of the bike that needs improving is the suspension set-up.

My biggest issue is the harshness from both ends on the typically scabby back roads I spend much of my life riding. Changing the original Dunlop D222 tyres for some excellent Bridgestone T30 Evos helped with the situation a lot, but I felt the suspension was causing other problems.

I called in the experts at Stowmarket-based MCT Suspension, where former British Supersport 600 racer and boss Darren Wnukoski offered two options; both of which were aimed at keeping costs under control with the great-value price of the Tracer always in mind.

The first option is available to everyone and consists of setting up the standard suspension to suit the rider’s weight and type of riding but is obviously constrained by the amount of adjustment available. This service costs £115.

I tested the result on the local roads and the result went a long way to curing the way the Tracer skips and patters across sharp-edged road imperfections and, for a lot of owners, getting a bespoke set-up like this will be enough. Each bike can be different though and Darren sets-up the bike to match the rider.

The second option is more in-depth, costs £288 and consisted of fitting new linear springs instead of the dual rate standard springs which are too soft, new spacers, different fork oil and then setting it all up for me and the bike.

All of the work done is reversible. The result is simply sensational and this is the best, most comprehensive and best-value alteration to the Tracer I can recommend to any owner. 

Riding away for a test ride revealed to me how the bike just feels completely different thanks to a pair of linear springs to replace the dual rate ones, better quality fork oil and a reduced air gap. It was hard to get my head around this upgrade being done for less than £300 and the standard shock was still in place.

Every facet of the bike is different now. The handling is more pliant, the front feel is improved, high-speed stability is better, there’s less fatigue on long rides because of the reduced vibration and braking feels stronger too. I cannot recommend this work highly enough.

Contact MCT Suspension at 01449-777161 and www.mctsuspension.com 

Standard Tracer MCT Suspension set-up

Rebound: 1 ½ turns from fully in
Preload: Second softest setting
Result is 8mm of sag

Rebound: Eight clicks out from maximum
Preload: Increased to maximum

Front: 36psi
Rear: 36psi (reduced from 42psi)Keep to 42psi rear for two-up riding

Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter