There are a lot of motorcycles that, on paper, look perfect. Ride enough bikes and apply a little critical thinking and you can start to spot the things you like and the things you don’t in each offering. Eventually, you build up a list of the best aspects of each, mentally combining them into one bike that, if it existed, would have no peer. For me, that bike could well be the Yamaha Tracer 900 GT.
Years ago Triumph emailed existing Street Triple owners like myself a survey in an effort to discover what features and technologies we would prefer they focus on for future versions of our bikes. Many of the items they proposed in that survey made it into the current 765cc Street Triples, but one major variant never materialised. I’d always believed that my Street Triple would be perfect with a small half-fairing and hard luggage. Triumph teased that very idea in the survey, but it would appear that more power and gadgets were more interesting to other respondents.
Now that platform sharing has become the new normal, bikes like the Tracer series are inevitable. Developing, and crucially homologating a road engine is an expensive business, so manufacturers have joyfully embraced the opportunity to cheaply fill out their product lineup by reusing the same architectures. Take BMW as an example; there are Naked, Sport-Touring, and Adventure motorcycles based on their 1250cc boxer engine and associated running gear. The same is true for their 1000cc inline-four, which can be had in Supersport, Naked, or Adventure-Sports format.