By John Burns
Time flies. Has it really been six months since I picked this bike up in Portland, Oregon? I guess it has been, according to my original First Ride report. I think what happened is, since Yamaha is in the process of moving part of its operation to Atlanta, they must’ve forgotten we had it. That or we told them we wanted to keep it around to do a comparison with a Ducati 950 Multistrada, but we finally gave up trying to pry that bike loose from Ducati.
I took delivery in Portland, Oregon, back in July.
It would’ve been a good comparison. The Tracer and its 847cc Triple isn’t going to make quite as much power as the Ducati’s 937cc Testastretta V-twin, but it is going to be close enough for most people, and you’re not going to get the Italian bike for $12,999 including hard bags and a centerstand. The other standard items that make the Tracer GT a viable lightweight sport-tourer include electronic cruise control, a rear shock with knob-adjustable rear preload and a 4.8-gallon gas tank that gives it plenty of range.
I regret to inform you, however, that in those six months I only put about 3000 miles on the thing (there were just too many other motorcycles to ride, dammit), and so stating the usual “during that time, I had no problems with the Tracer GT whatsoever,” really doesn’t mean much. But it’s true.
Most of those 3000 miles were probably less than 10 miles at a time, so easy is the lightweight (for a sport-tourer) GT to roll out of the garage and hop onto. When there was a choice between a new Gold Wing or Indian Chieftain …read more