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2022 Tracer 9 GT Semi-Active Suspension Questions


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So, I'm three months and about 6,000 miles into ownership of a new 2022 Tracer 9 GT.  Great bike, except for the suspension, IMHO.

First a short pre-amble:  I've been riding for more than 55 years, raced both on and off road, instructed professionally with a race school for almost 30 years, have owned more than 50 bikes, including brand new in the last few years a KTM 690 Duke, a Ducati Multistrada V2S and a BMW F900XR before getting this Yamaha.  My annual average is about 15,000 miles.  So, I'm far from a rookie motorcyclist.

The Tracer 9 GT is a really nice bike, except for the suspension, specifically the dampening.  Compression dampening is much too stiff, very harsh in fact, and rebound dampening is too soft, front and rear for both.  Perhaps this is specific to my bike because I read many reviews about how wonderful the semi-active suspension is - not so in my opinion.  Spring rates are fine, changing the electronic settings accomplishes no discernible difference.

I've talked with the service personnel at my local dealer.  They are nice folks but understand next to nothing about suspension technology.  Contacted the Yamaha corporate office in California, same response.  Contacted KYB USA, nobody there claim to have any idea of this semi-active technology and referred me to KYB's Japanese web site, good luck trying to find anything of use there.

So, I have a few questions:

1.  Does anybody else have similar experiences with the KYB semi-active suspension?  Or is everybody happy and thrilled with the semi-active technology?

2.  Does anybody know anything about possible re-booting the suspension ECU?  Or how to make adjustments to the suspension ECU, which is located behind the left fairing panel?

3.  Has anybody converted their KYB semi-active suspension to conventional RaceTech Gold Valve or Ohlins suspensions?

In closing, this is a big enough issue for me that if I can't fix it, the bike will be gone.  My 1976 Moto Guzzi and my 11 year old Triumph Tiger with Ohlins are both more comfortable than this Yamaha.

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You have an option in the GT+ at least, to recalibrate the suspension.

I only used min in street mode and 1 or 2 up with or without luggage seems to be comfortable enough.

I did the 1000kms in 3 days and at first I felt the same but after the break-in period which I can't specify it got more plush. It's either that or it learned about the terrain as I ride. I do feel when I enter less smooth roads it's not as harsh anymore.

Never tried sport more than 10m but it was harder and only suited to smoother tarmac. But it is not needed for most situations.

Same with the brake lever. There are reviews about the wood feel. It does get a lot better with time and though it is like hugging a tree at start, fact.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Wandering Dane,

I felt the same. I picked up my 2021 this spring and thought the suspension was terrible. Major shoulder and wrist jarring over small bumps even on the 'street' suspension mode. I checked the preload settings and they were at the recommended start or 'normal' position per the manual.

So in blatant disregard for the recommendations I backed the front preload off to 1.5 turns from the 7 recommended and the rear off a couple of clicks (I don't remember the number).

It transformed the bike. It's great on our less than perfect roads now and still performs really well out in the twisty turnies. I might but another click back in the rear (top box and bags), but if anything I might take bit more out of the front preload nuts. I wonder if there's an issue in assembly that leads to this. There could be 'built in' assembly preload on some forks. Anyway, backing it off made the world of difference on my T9GT.

Like you I've been around the block, riding since '67, eight years in vintage racing (VRRA), too many old bikes in the shed and 350K+ on my last sport touring bike (2000 R100RT).

Now I think it's a really nice bike. A Madstaat screen took care of the buffeting and wind blast and I'm a happy camper.

Cheers,

Brock

 

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Hi Brock,

Thank you very much for your note.

Actually, I have backed off the preload front and back a bit but not noticing any real difference.  I just got a shop manual, will check the recommended settings to see where the settings on my bike are now and then follow your suggestions for softening the preload.

BTW, the shop manual does not offer any useful information on troubleshooting without the factory tools, except for the level of fluid in the forks.  Doesn't even identify the fork oil viscosity, just recommends Yamaha's fork oil product.

I mounted a little deflector on top of the stock windscreen and am happy with its effectiveness, it removed the buffeting.

Again, thanks for your suggestions and comments.

Lars

 

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