New Yamaha Tracer 9 on the radar: Fresh spy shots reveal radar guided cruise control and more conventional TFT dash

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Despite receiving a full update in 2020 to meet stringent Euro5, Yamaha’s popular Tracer 9 GT looks set to undergo another refresh for 2023, with new spy shots showing a bike in the works fitted with radar cruise control and a more conventional TFT colour dash. 

Papped in early July in an undisclosed European location, the Japanese three-cylinder test mule looks almost identical to the bike already on sale – with a closer examination of the pictures revealing the subtle updates. 

Most noticeable is a new black box hanging above the front 17-in wheel, which is made more prominent by the exposed wiring positioned between the front riding lights and beneath the main headlights and air intake. 

Yamaha Tracer 9 GT from back

Not seen on the current production model, it strongly suggests the adoption of the increasingly common radar-controlled cruise control – something already featuring on some BMWs, Ducatis, KTMs and Kawasakis, but no Yamaha models. 

What’s more, the rear-on shot gives a glimpse of the test bike’s instruments, which clearly now comprise a new, large, single-screen TFT display. This differs from the current bike’s gimmicky split TFT, which looks an awful lot like the old man from the film ‘Up’ and has been criticised for being hard to read. We can’t tell from the pictures if the switchgear has been updated, too. 

The otherwise unchanged, ‘finished’ state of the test bike suggests the machine is almost production-ready and likely to be officially unveiled at Eicma in November – if not earlier – before going on sale in early 2023. 

A side view of the 2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT

The updates come in a bid to keep the Tracer 9 GT competitive in an increasingly popular budget sports-tourer category, with even MV Agusta promising a road-focused version of their incoming Lucky Explorer 9.5 adventure bike, equipped with radar cruise. 

That said, with no rear sensor evident in these images, it’s likely the Yamaha system is a slightly more ‘wallet-friendly’ offering, in keeping with Tracer’s ‘affordable’ brand values. 

Elsewhere, the new Tracer 9 GT appears unchanged, which is no bad thing. Even the colours, in this case, the silver/black/blue option, look to have been carried over to the new bike. That said, some tweaks to the tall front screen would’ve been welcome, which has been widely criticised for buffeting and wind noise. 

Phil West

By Phil West

MCN Contributor and bike tester.