I test rode a Tracer 900 GT yesterday and have a few thoughts and comparisons.
In my humble opinion:
The bike feels very much like my 650LT. The foot peg location is much further to the rear, like a sport bike, an issue for my old legs. I would have to have have highway pegs immediately. Lots of cool goodies like cruise, heated handgrips, rear rack, and center stand. It should for 13K. No self cancelling turn signals though and the left controls are very cluttered and I found it necessary to keep looking down to find the switch.
Driving it, I felt mostly at home coming off my Versys. Iím 6í0Ē and can flat foot the Tracer easily. Itís lower than a stock 650 and about the same as my lowered bike. The stock windscreen affords better protection then the stock Versys screen, but not as good as my Givi. I have lowered footpegs and risers and my Versys definitely feels less cramped compared to the Tracer, the Tracer actually feels smaller.
Didnít get a good chance to really push the bike hard as I would have liked to as they had us ride in an organized group. Suspension felt a little bit more compliant on stuff like tar strips, turns very much like the Versys. Very little effort and holds a line well. Brakes felt strong, less brake dive than the Versys. Seat shape is better than the Versys, but there is little wiggle room and it felt harder and could use better foam.
The motor on Tracer is itís shining glory. Yamaha has been fighting the on/off, acceleration/deceleration thing that we have been encountering on our V650 in their FZís for years and they have done a spectacular job of fixing it. Yes, the Tracer is powerful; itís a 900 Triple. No, it doesnít feel like it has twice the horsepower of my V, but it makes power everywhere; itís all in the power delivery. Iíve never ridden a bike that had such linear delivery of power. No on/off snatchy feel anywhere in itís very wide power band. You can lug it or rev it and itís happy. The clutch and transmission are great, no clunkiness at all. Vibration wise, itís very smooth to a point; felt some buzzing in the handlebars at 60 plus, none in the foot pegs. Still needs a 7th gear.
For a smaller, sportier rider (younger) with plenty of money, it might be a more enticing bike than the V650. If I upgrade, the V1K is still a better choice. I would like more room and the Tracer foot peg location is really a non starter for me.
Getting back on my Versys, the only thing I really missed was the power delivery of the Tracer. I really want to investigate the Power Commander now. I put one on my Vulcan 1600 and it felt like a different bike.