[Street] The future Yamaha Tracer 9 GT will be equipped with radar technology

A prototype of the Yamaha crossover, with what looked like a front radar, was spotted a few months ago, fitted with a protective plastic panel between the headlights that appeared to hide a radar sensor. This suggested the Tracer would become the cheapest motorcycle yet to get cruise control and radar-assisted safety systems. Now there’s confirmation that radar is precisely what Yamaha has been working on in an effort to develop a system that’s operationally impressive, well-protected and hidden from view.

Driver assistance systems are slowly but gradually appearing in motorcycle production. The use of radar technology to support aids such as adaptive cruise control and blind spot detection is already used on some BMW, Ducati, Kawasaki and KTM models. Generally on motorcycles dedicated to covering many kilometers and on the highway like the R1250RT, the Multistrada V4, the Ninja H2 SX or the 1290 Super Adventure S.

Back in July, footage of a Tracer 9 GT being tested in real-world conditions by a Yamaha test rider leaked. On the photographed model, a new housed component appeared, just at the base of the fairing and in the front position where the ideal location for a radar device is.

If before there was no absolute certainty that it was a radar, now the patent filed by Yamaha transforms the doubt into certainty. The motorcycle used to illustrate the mounting of the radar – which is the subject of the patent and not the solution itself – is a Tracer 9 GT.

Yamaha follows Kawasaki’s path, but where the H2 SX had to be restyled to make room for the radar and features a slightly odd, masked mouth under its headlight where the radar resides, the radar-equipped Tracer 9 GT has looks all but identical to the non-radar model currently in production. Yamaha’s new patents show how the radar sensor sits between the main headlights, under the nose of the bike. Yamaha’s challenge, and the goal of the patent itself, was to create a strong, vibration-isolated mounting system and mount the radar far enough forward to ensure a clear view of the road ahead. .

As the patent explains, a thin cover can then be installed in front of the radar sensor itself. Made of a material transparent to electromagnetic waves (polyethylene, polypropylene or ABS resins), it does not affect the efficiency of the sensor provided it has a smooth finish. As well as eliminating the last of the visual drawbacks of adopting radar, the cover is also meant to protect the sensor itself. The cover prevents mud, gravel, water or insects from directly reaching the radar sensor and should be easier to clean. In addition, if it is scratched or chipped by stones thrown from the road, it can be replaced quickly and inexpensively.

The presence of a rear radar is not indicated, essential for the control of blind spots, that would mean that it is not provided, or that it could be protected by another patent.

It is very likely that Yamaha trusted Bosch, which already equips other brands and above all already supplies motorcycle IMU, ride by wire and ABS systems which are extremely widespread and which integrate more easily with radar functions than in the case of the adaptive cruise control intervenes on the accelerator and the brakes. In addition, the experience in the automotive field and the production volumes contribute to reducing the cost of this technology which will gradually also arrive on less expensive motorcycles and which will gradually integrate other useful functions to increase driving safety.

It remains to be seen whether Yamaha will offer this equipment on the 2023 version of the Tracer 9 GT.

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