Spend a lot of time in the company ute? Rush hour traffic grinding you down? Need a break from the nine to five? The last thing you’ll want to do is get back into the tin box to head out on a road trip.
SURE, the scenery might change, but you’re still sitting behind the same wheel looking out of the same window – cut off from the senses that make moto touring such a fun vibe.
SEE ALSO: Tradie Tough Tests
Motorcyclists will tell you that the best way to see our big brown land is on two wheels. The sense of freedom you get out in the open is something you can’t replicate on four wheels. Sure, you might have to leave the esky at home but that’s what pubs are for…
Once you’ve made the decision to open up your horizons and ride, you’ll need to think about which tool is best for the job. If you like a bit of rock crawling and river crossing, leave the 4WD at home and check out the range of adventure bikes on the market. If tarmac is your jam, then there’s an impressive range of sports tourers that will carry you and your gear in comfort and style.
YOU WANT IT, IT’S GOT IT
As an example of what’s out there, consider these three recently released long distance machines from Yamaha – Tracer 7, Tracer 9 GT+ and Ténéré World Raid. Each is designed to appeal to a different type of rider and each will offer you that soul moving sensation not available on four wheels.
Tracer 7 is powered by Yamaha’s legendary 689cc parallel twin motor. The same High Output stone reliable donk found in MT-07, YZF-R7 and Ténéré models. When an engine is used in such a wide range of applications, then you know it’s a winner. Linear power delivery, light weight, economy and dependability are its hallmarks. Sure, you can ride more powerful touring machines, but there are very few that can match the agility of Tracer 7 – which eats corners for breakfast.
Aim for the twisties and see how many can keep up… The new Tracer 7 comes in three colours – red, blue or black – with a large touring screen that marks it out as a mile muncher. Panniers can be purchased as an optional extra for those weekend getaways or leave them off for the working week commute.
Tipping the scales at just 197kg fully fuelled and with a low seat height means Tracer 7 has the versatility to be ridden around town as well as on the open road. Because whether your tipping into the esses or moving it around the car park, less bulk means less sulk. And if you are on a tight budget, check it out at $15,999 inc GST ride away.
At the other end of the spectrum from the versatile twin cylinder Tracer 7 sits Yamaha’s new flagship sports tourer, Tracer 9 GT+. This glass smooth and powerful triple cylinder machine shares its engine with the popular MT-09 sports bike. But what sets this bike apart from the MT-09 – and its touring peers – is the amount of new tech that Yamaha engineers have introduced with this model.
Technology like the onboard radar that allows Adoptive Cruise Control, whereby the bike will automatically cruise a set distance behind the vehicle in front. The rider selects one of four distances, which the bike maintains with throttle and braking taken care of for an even more relaxing ride experience. The radar can also calculate the speed of the bike in relation to vehicles in front and assist with braking – giving further peace of mind.
In addition to these futuristic features, Tracer 9 GT+ has a range of cutting-edge benefits that you would expect from a top-of-the range sports tourer. Like electronic KYB suspension that automatically adjusts to road conditions.
A big TFT screen allows smartphone connectivity and navigation, plus long-distance riders will enjoy the new comfort seat, cruise control, new quick shifter and of course a hard luggage set that’s colour matched to the premium Performance Icon finish.
Tracer 9 GT+ is available now at Yamaha dealers priced $27,599 inc GST ride away.
WORLD AT YOUR FEET
While both Tracers are essentially road bikes, they can certainly handle the odd Aussie-spec dirt road. But if you want to head further off the beaten track – then check out Yamaha’s Ténéré 700 and in particular the World Raid model. The Ténéré name has been around since the first large-tanked model hit the dirt in 1983 – so now celebrating 40 years of bossing Dakar and primo adventuring.
The Ténéré 700 twin arrived in Australia in 2019 and established itself as the no-nonsense adventurer with that reliable, linearpower 689cc powerplant, KYB long travel suspension, rugged Dakar styling and few bells and whistles – meaning less to go wrong when you are out past the Black Stump. Now the World Raid has arrived, a model designed to take you closer to your next horizon.
The first thing you’ll notice is the twin fillers of the bigger 23-litre fuel tank that now gives a range of around 500kms. The additional weight is carried noticeably low either side of the bike and the tank is slim where you need it to be slim – between your knees. In front of the dual tank sits an Öhlins steering damper and new TFT dash that allows connectivity and three mode switchable ABS – on, off or rear wheel off only. These options are a big bonus off-road for the many riders that like to stay in control.
Start riding and you’ll notice the premium KYB suspension has been beefed up over the standard model with longer travel, slightly stiffer springs and now with preload adjustment on the front. Pegs are also wider for a more secure off-road platform. Like the standard model, the World Raid does exactly what it says on the tin. Which in this case means going harder and longer for an even bigger adventure – just the ticket when planning a big trip such as a lap of Oz.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
So next time you are sitting in the ute in rush hour traffic contemplating where to go on your next holiday, think about leaving the 4WD in the garage and loading up a Yamaha tourer.
The tuning fork folk have you covered for a weekend getaway with Tracer 7, a longer road trip on the full fruit Tracer 9 GT+ or a full blown off-road adventure on the Ténéré 700 Word Raid. Simply choose your course and select your horse.