Long term update: Tracer faces a hectic schedule

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The Yamaha MT-09 Tracer is already one of this year’s best-selling bikes and Yamaha UK are searching for another boat load to fulfil orders placed.

The first week of riding the Tracer has been fairly hectic with more than 600 miles notched up, the first service carried out at Webbs Yamaha near Peterborough and a clear idea forming of just how much fun this bike is going to be. I can see clearly why the Tracer has proved to be so popular thanks to the combination of fun, utility and the great value offered by the £8149 asking price.

The Tracer would appear to be a near-perfect match for my kind of riding too. I live 30 miles from the MCN office and most days choose one of around five different cross-country routes in an effort to avoid the hideous traffic and monotony of the A605; the Tracer is lapping it up and the power from the 115bhp triple cylinder motor works well.

I know I am going to have a good year on a bike when I am working out ways of riding it at any opportunity that fits around the normal house, kids and work life. Slotting in some extra miles on the way to work is a nice way of starting the day and the Tracer works perfectly. The adjustable screen, heated grips and decent tank range all make for a good, usable bike.

I’ve never run a three-cylinder bike of any kind as an MCN long-term test bike, and despite riding loads of different triples over the years for short periods of time, this will be my first longer-term experience. The immediate feeling is one of a characterful engine that seems supremely well-suited to the roads I ride on.

The first service was carried out at 600 miles and cost £99. The service consists of an oil and filter change, and Webbs also stripped the brakes to copaslip the back of the pads.

Looking forward to the rest of the year I definitely want to exploit the long-distance potential of the Tracer. The Yamaha pannier mounts are already fitted to this ex-show bike, which was used to show off the sundry accessory parts Yamaha has to offer, and they will no doubt prove useful when combined with the reasonably-sized panniers. The brackets and panniers just pop off the bike when not needed, giving a neater look.

My plan is to head to some of Europe’s little-known roads to discover something out of the ordinary, away from the tried and tested roads which are just clogged with tourist traffic for most of the year. Heading off to places like Slovenia and Croatia are part of my desire to find roads and destinations away from the most well-known of routes in the Italian, German and French Alps.

I’m also keen to install a satnav which I’m hoping the fitment of a 12v power socket right up near the dashboard will make easier. My first port of call will be to www.telferizer.com, which provides the most discreet RAM-mounts that use a replacement bolt for one of the handlebar clamp bolts. After that I am hoping to reuse a Twisty Ride iPhone mount (www.twistyride.com) that works with my iPhone for navigation and traffic warning duties. It worked well all of last year, but only has a direct-to-battery power source at the moment which is obviously more hassle than a 12v socket.

I hope to catch up with as many Tracer owners as possible throughout the year to see what they love and what they don’t like as much about Yamaha’s new bike on the block. The bike is selling by the boatload so I’m planning a meeting of minds. Watch this space for more details. 

Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter