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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/23/2020 in all areas

  1. 19 points
    After my last Tracer 900 GT ran away from home in late 2019 I had a short but unhappy dalliance with a BMW R9T, interrupted by the coronavirus shutdown. So that was gonna be IT as far as motorbiking was concerned, but try as I might the black hole-like gravitational pull of two wheels kept dragging me back in, so after much thought and research I lighted upon the Tracer's little brother, actually its predecessor, Yamaha's MT-09 SP. I very much enjoyed all my Tracers, and the GT was by far the nicest, but as I have aged rather rapidly in recent years I found the GT's 850 - 860 seat height to be an impossibility. The MT-09's 820mm is just about manageable, with only modest high-kicks being necessary, and my experience with the overall similarity with Tracers won the day. As did its modest price of $14,900 on the road, with a keenly-negotiated tail-tidy thrown in and installed free! It's a nice little bike, not made for touring IMHO (though one could cross Europe or America or Australia on a Vespa if one really wanted to!), but as long-distance touring is no longer in my plans that's OK. The seat may be the determining factor as far as longer outings are concerned - say a 500km day - but if necessary a new BAGSTER seat may feature. I may, slightly, miss the GT's cruise-control, and maybe the 18L tank (the SP has only 14L) but nothing else other than that. The bullet-proof CP3 engine and excellent gearbox are the same, seating position and ergonomics only marginally different, and overall I feel very comfortable on the bike. It's also a significant 30kg lighter than the late BMW R9T at only 193kg full versus 233kg full. And even the farkling will be pretty much identical! The SP appendix to MT-09 refers to the heavily-upgraded suspension over the standard MT-09, having fully adjustable KYB fork internals and an OHLINS rear shock. My GT was upgraded by me with an excellent full front and rear K-TECH installation by a suspension guru here, but it should definitely not be necessary on this SP. I hope I may still be welcome to use this Tracer Forum and continue to learn from others' experiences with these super Yamaha machines, and maybe to contribute some thoughts of my own from time to time.
  2. 11 points
    The small select and reset buttons just under the display screen are tiny, and the inset lettering on the black rubber buttons is almost impossible to read in almost any light. No big deal, as these buttons are not in frequent use, perhaps, but it bugged me a little. So I took a fine paintbrush and some white acrylic (water-based) paint, roughly filled the indented letters with the paint, then immediately ran a sharp blade across the surface. This neatly lifted all the paint except that which remained showing the letters. Cost - nil: time taken - about 20 seconds: satisfaction factor - high!
  3. 11 points
    Just sure if this has been shared previously-not my idea, came from FJR forum originally. If you put an extra “wrap” on the strap to the LH pannier lid, when you are on your side-stand and open the LH case the lid ends up about level instead of pointing at the ground...if something falls out onto the lid, is a lot less likely to end up on the ground. Really doesn’t limit access to the contents when on the center stand. Regards; Mark
  4. 10 points
    Just installed a Russell Sport Seat after waiting for 3 1/2 months. Test rode it for about 120 miles today and it just plain works. Excellent build quality, not cheap but definitely worth it! Ready for some serious miles now..
  5. 9 points
    Got back last night from the longest bike roadie I've done to date and loved every second of it. Only problem I had with bike was my power outlet crapped out on me day 1. Fortunately though I had run an sae plug out from the battery for my heated jacket if need be and a buddy had a sae to usb adapter he wasn't using so I was able to keep devices charged. Mc crusie control worked seemlessly and I'm happy as hell I installed it before the trip. Had some low back pain first few days but that's standard. I get low back pain from driving my truck or sitting at a desk for more than an hour..... but after the 2nd or 3rd day I don't know if the bagster seat broke into my arse or my body acclimated, but 300-400 mile days with no back pain whatsoever!! I upgraded suspension before the trip and that was also a good move! Side cases and top box loaded plus sleeping bag and tent bungied to backseat and she handled beautifully. My buddy who bought my multi 950 from me was on the trip with us and I didnt miss it all. Especially when he dropped it twice at a standstill.... 😂😂 I told him it was heavy! Day 1- santa rosa, ca to visalia, ca Day 2 - visalia, ca to death valley, ca Day 3 - death valley to hoover dam to zion national park, utah Day 4 - 400miles around zion, bryce canyon and etc Day 5 - zion to valley of fire, nv Day 6 - valley of fire, nv to bridgeport,ca Day 7 - bridgeport, ca to sonora via hwy 108 (amazing ride!!!) And back home to santa rosa Already planning the next one! And thanks to those of you that offered riding suggestions for zion area. That was some amazing riding and scenery.
  6. 9 points
    Just wanted to say hello to the members out there. I've sold my R1200GS and am going to give the Tracer a try! The Beemer looked great, and handled well on the road, but I wasn't a fan of a few things. First, I found that it always wanted to tip slightly left or right as I came to a stop. Perhaps it was the Michelin Annakees causing that, but not sure. Secondly, despite the engine creating a low center of gravity (supposedly!), I still felt quite a bit of weight up top, and I had some concerns about the biking leaning too much in emergency situations (two emergencies that I experienced!). I didn't like the engine too much, but it was okay in sport mode, and, as I say, the electronic suspension was good, but I only ever enjoyed riding it in the firmest setting, Dynamic Pro (the rest seemed way too spungy for the road). So I am interested in getting the Tracer out for an initial ride tomorrow. I've known the dealer for quite some time, and he's adamant that the Tracer, as a road-only adventure bike, which is what I requested, will be very enjoyable for me. I'm hoping for a smoother engine (almost guaranteed when you consider the Yamaha's triple versus the Boxxer twin!), a lighter, more manageable feeling at low speed, equal or better handling at highway speeds, especially on curvy roads, and hopefully as good as suspension. I have forgone the ability to adjust suspension on the fly, but I am hoping to have a good road setup that I can just leave in place. I will start with stock, but likely ease up on compression slightly. I will check the damping on a few known road sections as well. All in all, I thanked another dealer today for letting me test ride a Triumph and told him I went with the Tracer. He told me that he thought the Tracer was "built to a budget," and that the suspension on the bike was cheaper, and not as good as he is used to using, as he rides a bike with full Ohlins. Despite this, I am hoping that I can set the bike up very well, with only a few minor adjustments. I would really like to see this bike work out well, as I am a firm believer that me, as a mere mortal, can be equally at home on the stock suspension of the Tracer, as with the higher spec forks. I think there's some overselling on "good" suspension under normal, or even spirited road use, so we will see if my hypothesis holds true. Short ride happening tomorrow. Looking forward to meeting the Tracer Forum members.
  7. 9 points
    Hi everyone, this isn't my first post on here but I finally got a 2019 Tracer GT. I've been looking for the last few months after selling my Tiger 800 XCx to get the cash, and I finally found a used one in great condition (from jrubicon on this forum). I'm in California (Sacramento area) and I'm looking forward to lots of rides before it gets too cold. haha honestly I'll probably ride through winter, I usually do. Hit me up if you want to go ride some time, I'm almost always riding on the weekend even if it's last minute plans. A typical day ride for me is 150-250 miles but I'll do 900 in a weekend going to Crescent City at least once every year. If you find yourself in my area and need help or want some advice on good roads, I'm happy to be of service. I've been riding 10 years now, and have owned something like 15 bikes. I have probably around 60k total miles ridden with 36k on the Tiger. My biggest ride to date was a 2 week trip from home to Banff in Canada (with my wife on her own bike) totaling about 3600 miles. I've also been to around 50 trackdays, mostly on the Daytona that I sold a while back. Currently I have an R3 for trackdays, I was a back marker in AFM for a couple years on a Ninja 250. Despite my track riding (or because of it?) I'm not super fast on the streets. I'll see if I can get some pictures up tonight, but I plan to do a few things to the bike in the next few weeks/months depending on how busy I am. I love that blue color that the Euro tracers have and I'm going to try to replicate it with vinyl or plastidip. Edit: And here are some pictures. I had to get a Precision sticker on there somewhere... RIP Reno Fernley Raceway.
  8. 9 points
    Hello. After 17 years the itch to get a bike again has finally got a hold !! My last bike was a Honda CBR600FX sports bike but this this time I wanted a more 'tour' bike and relaxing position on the bike. Test rode a Tracer and the new BMW F900XR, I did not like the vibes of the parallel twin and the gearbox was terrible. I rode the tracer second and my mind was immediately made up, loved the smoothness of the triple and a more comfortable seat. So have just done a deal for the bike in the picture which I get delivered next month. Brand new and a 2020 70 plate My mate who reignited my desire for another bike has just got a new BMW S1000XR, not sure I will be able to keep up with him. !! I am from Stamford UK Malcolm
  9. 8 points
    Woke up and had to choose between watching the motogp qualifying and going out for a ride on the bike. After checking the weather forecast, meant to be wet all next week, so I thought, hmmm, might be an idea to go out and play on the bike for a wee while. I had great intentions of going for a good long ride, but just felt so chilled out and relaxed that I decided to go for the lovely single track road just a couple of miles from home. Had such a cool time, it was around 45-50f, with perfectly dry roads, and the new tyres and suspension made this wee road a delight to ride, whereas the last time I went along it was a wee bit nervy and bouncy and vague feeling. Stopped for some photos of the bike, and the changing leave colours (colors) , and a lady came over and offered to take my photo on the bike. I said nah, it's ok, the bike is all that matters, but for some bizarre reason she insisted. (what is it about this bike that attracts the ladies?) All good fun, hope you like the pictures...
  10. 8 points
    I used Duplicolor high performance bronze and Duplicolor matte clearcoat.
  11. 8 points
    I dismounted, stripped, sanded, primed, and repainted the rims bronze.
  12. 8 points
    Nice little 500K run today around South East Queensland, Australia. Pic at Gregors Creek.
  13. 7 points
    So I'm at about 350 miles now and my first impressions of my 2019 900 are just Wow. That engine is so incredibly smooth at low rpm's and I can easily cruise around the neighborhood in 1st gear and the engine doesn't bog down. It's smooth at 10mph, without herky jerky or lurchy murchy. Then when you get going the engine spins up so fast it just takes off, again smoothly. I know it doesn't have the HP of my past Connie or FJR, but I don't notice of miss them because the 900 is so satisfying in the way it gets you going. And when I'm on the freeway cruising along at 75mph I can give it the gas and pass anyone quickly and when I look down I'm instantly at 100. I now see what so many others have said, that this bike is just so much fun, so satisfying, that I don't miss my other, bigger, heavier, "faster" bikes. I can't get over how smooth and yet throaty that engine is. I'm busy doing all kinds of farkles and adjustments for my size, and all of it just makes the engine and frame that much better for my needs. I've gone on several long rides, and now with bar risers I find the stock seat the most comfortable I've ever had. I've ridden for two hours straight and my ass doesn't hurt. Could never say that about the Connie or FJR. What an engine, what a bike!
  14. 7 points
    My buddy has a 2017 Africa Twin, base model with manual transmission. He has been eyeing the Tracer GT for quite some time as a 2nd bike, he says he will never sell the AT and he actually uses it for its intended purpose and has many thousands of offroad miles on the bike. I told him I would meet him for a ride and we could switch bikes for the day. When I met my buddy yesterday morning, we swapped bikes and I told him he could ride it for as long as he wanted and we could go anywhere he wanted. We didn’t have a plan, we just winged it and rode whatever roads came up but all of them were quality 2-lane rural winding farmland roads - ALL day long. 😎👍 We would ride for an hour and then stop and B.S. for awhile and he was just gushing over my FJ, he couldn’t stop heaping it praises, he LOVED the motor!! The AT was a little larger in every dimension but not over bearing and the 21” wheel wasn’t a detractor in any way except for the front feeling slightly tall and a few degrees more rake, so not quite as quick steering. I’m glad it wasn’t just a 20-30 minute test ride because I would have really disliked the bike, it takes awhile to adapt to the parallel twin especially with the stock gearing, most of the day I stayed in 3rd gear, sometimes 4th and very seldom 5th – never tried 6th. 3rd was comfortable to over 60, 4th was good to 70-80 and 5th got me into triple digits, though there were plenty of times I was in 4th up to around 90, 8k rpm redline and no issues running in the upper end of the rev range, I rode it like my FJ, keeping the rpms mostly well over 5k, it really could use a larger rear sprocket, it reminded me of the Aprillia Tuono gearing. The motor seems to rev a bit slower (ignition timing and heavier crank or parallel twin characteristic in general?) but different gearing would really wake it up nicely and make the transmission overall more usable. He was hauling ass on my bike, we were tearing through the farmland roads and I was holding 90 and he was pulling away fast on my FJ. (and continuously let me know how much he loved doing so). The AT had stock suspension but it was set up perfectly, the long travel really soaked up bumps nicely but it held a positive line and tracked true through a corner with no wallow, considering it was stock including springs, I was very impressed. He had a custom Russell Day-Long saddle and it fit like a glove - VERY comfortable, there was never a time I felt like stopping except to get gas, I can totally understand how he can ride 700-800 miles a day, the bike was very comfortable but his ’17 didn’t come with cruise control like the newer models. So we ended up doing all day test rides on each other’s bikes, I was actually impressed with how much I liked the bike, different gearing, cruise control and personalized ergonomics and it would definitely be a road-trip worthy machine. If I was ever going to get an adventure-type bike, I would want something a little smaller/ lighter, there is absolutely no need for 500-600 lbs and 1000/ 1100/ 1200cc for riding off road trails or gravel/ dirt roads.
  15. 7 points
    This is my wife and I on Saturday at the first biker get-together since the start of lockdown.
  16. 6 points
    I traded it in on this. Going to play in the Dirt now, nothing too serious though. Thanks for the hospitality, its been a great stay.
  17. 6 points
    It was time to replace my four year old Scorpion EXO-GT3000 modular helmet. It was starting to deteriorate with cracking trim pieces and other issues. My biggest issue with the Scorpion was the faceshield that leaked badly in rain, and we're coming up on rainy season. Time to go shopping. I wore Shoei RF-series full face helmets for 15+ years, but when I decided to go modular I found that the original Neotec didn't fit me well. So I wore an HJC Symax for a while, and then had the Scorpion. But I was told that the Neotec 2 had a revised shape, and when I tried it on it fit perfectly. $700 is a lot of scratch, but the quality seemed good so I had the local shop order me an XL in red. My previous Shoei helmets had excellent fit and finish, and this Neotec 2 is no exception. The rich metallic red paint is almost too beautiful to wear. It's not a hue or lightness match for my red 2015 FJ-09, which sort of bothers me because I'm a color specialist at work. Oh well, I'll get over it. I've been on a couple of rides now and here are my observations: The liner feels plush, and I can easily don the helmet even with the chinbar closed. This is something I couldn't do on the Scorpion, which seemed to squeeze in too much at the bottom. Closing the Neotec chinbar is a little difficult with the chin curtain in place, and the chinbar doesn't seem to lock closed as positively as the Scorpion did. The first ride was in 55F (12C) with occasional rain sprinkles. The helmet comes with a Pinlock anti-fog insert, and the guy at the shop where I bought the helmet was kind enough to install it for me. The Pinlock shield seems to work well, but the edges of the shield and my glasses fogged badly at anything less than highway speeds. Opening the faceshield in town helped, but clearly this wasn't going to work. I don't think this is a helmet defect, it's just me. When I'm riding in a car with other people, the windows around me always fog up first. For the second ride I removed the chin curtain and the fogging issues went away completely. Weather conditions were a little different (60F/15C and dry) but this is normal for me. I've never been able to use a chin curtain on any helmet due to fogging. The chin bar is a lot easier to open and close with the chin curtain removed. The Neotec is significantly quieter than the Scorpion. The only time I notice significant wind noise is with cross winds, which does cause a bit of a roar. I will probably continue to wear earplugs on long rides in case of cross winds, but I no longer feel they are necessary for daily commuting. Removing the chin curtain let in a bit more motorcycle noise, but overall it's still quite tolerable. In typical Shoei fashion, the vents make almost no discernible difference. Open or close the chin or forehead vents and nothing feels different. I think I could just barely feel a slightly cooler spot on the top of my head with the forehead vent open, but it wasn't a huge difference. This was my experience with the RF-series helmets, too. Optical clarity of the main shield, Pinlock insert, and drop down sun visor is excellent. The Scorpion sun visor was laughably bad, but the Shoei visor has the clarity of premium-quality sunglasses. The Neotec is a bit heavier at 196 grams compared to 166 grams for the Scorpion, according to my kitchen scale. I don't notice the weight while riding. I guess this is the price to pay for less noise. Despite the greater overall weight, the Neotec chinbar feels lighter and it's easy to ride with the face open. I haven't ridden in heavy rain yet, so I don't know if the faceshield is adequately sealed. But it can't be as bad as the Scorpion, in 30 years I've never had another helmet that leaked like it did. I think I paid $350 for the Scorpion in 2016, and I just paid $700 for the Shoei. Is the Neotec twice the helmet of the EXO-GT3000? No, of course not. But the optical clarity and noise reduction make the Shoei a far more pleasant bucket in which to shove my head while riding.
  18. 6 points
    Cutting it in half is the way to go. It fits in the recycling bin a lot better.
  19. 6 points
    I found this explanation on another forum and it explains it well. I’ve edited it slightly for clarity. ”motorcycle clutches use multiple plates, which do not free completely from their adjacent plate as they are contained in an oil bath. Consequently, there will still be some spinning of the input shaft when you pull the clutch lever in. Even if you held the clutch in for a long time you may find that although the plates have now stopped, the gear won’t engage smoothly as the dogs on the shafts may not be fully aligned with the mating slots. This effect can also be seen in reverse if you coast to a stop and then struggle to find neutral. The effect is bigger for first gear as the speed difference between this gear and the engine has its biggest ratio. The sliding dog has to engage with a slot that has the biggest speed difference. As you go up the gears, the speed difference decreases and gear changes get smoother.“
  20. 6 points
    New 900 GT owner here with a grand total of 40 miles on the odometer! Been out of motorcycling for 20 years and circumstances favored me getting a new bike so I jumped on it...and glad that I did too. This bike is great! My last bike was an `87 Kawasaki ZL1000 which I loved and stupidly got rid of. Think of a cruiser with a Ninja engine. Once those revs were up you`d better hang on (grin) I`m a bit older (63) and I`d like to think wiser now and, boy, have bikes ever changed! Traction control, different modes, heated grips and even cruise control...seriously? Who`d have ever "thunk" it? I was dumbfounded by these advances. Somehow, got the wife to agree to the purchase and have got to say, she`s a keeper (and so`s the bike)! You`ll probably see me around here on occasion and if I ask a stupid question, please bear with me, shake your head and steer me in the right direction...
  21. 6 points
    I broke the front fender and replaced it with a carbon fiber one from Moto Composites. 💸
  22. 6 points
    Having ridden an FJR I can understand why someone who travels often on two wheels would want one. It's a brilliant sport tourer. But for me the weight is a deal breaker. Even though it handled surprisingly well for it's size, my preference is for something that can get the job done while being a light as possible.
  23. 6 points
    The number one question I'm asked about my Tracer is "how many apples can you get in that 39L top case". Turns out the answer is a heaping bushel along with two pears. Cortland Apples from Bayfield WI. The Cortland Apple is known for it's crisp, juicy, sweet-tart flavor.
  24. 6 points
    Hello, thanks for the add. Riding motorcycles for 30+ years and my first ever new bike is a 2020 Tracer 900GT. Put 50 miles on it from the dealer, in the rain, and I love it. It does need some upgrades, definitely suspension. Looking forward to make it my own and put on a lot of miles!
  25. 6 points
    The only way to fix this issue is to ride the bike. Stuff like that disappears when you're going down the road.
  26. 6 points
    Ol' Number 225. At it's retirement in 1961, #225 had hauled 44 million tons of iron ore from the Iron Range of Northern MN, traveling almost 800,000 miles. I hope you all appreciate this picture, because when I left this morning the temp was 38F. However temps quickly warmed up to a balmy 45F, so I did a little ride around town to take in some of the fall colors. This leads to the next challenge. Number 225 Steam powered Locomotive. Proctor MN.
  27. 6 points
    You may be over thinking it.
  28. 6 points
    Hey everyone. I posted about my oil pan breakdown ad nauseum on this forum over the last week (there is a link to that write up in the link below), but I wanted to share something that could help others in the bigger picture for trip planning. I am a Sr Trip Leader for the Colorado Mountain Club for backpacking and have a good bit of training on trip planning and emergency preparedness for things going to shit. I use that knowledge a lot in my motorcycle adventures, and figure this kind of method and way to look at planning and dealing with an emergency while on the road could help others: Surviving being stranded : Lessons from the desert. – Interwebs of Joe I wanted to catalog the various lessons, and thoughts I’ve had... I know many people see issues others have and it concerns them or scares them from taking big fun trips, or going off the beaten path. I hope this can help folks realize with some basic planning and a clear head these situations aren't as dire as they may seem.
  29. 6 points
    My stupid. Battery is in correctly, but the bike connection was left off. Hooked up the horn and the SAE conns but left the bike conn sitting out of sight. I found it when I went out to check polarity. Thanks for all the help.
  30. 6 points
    There are a few reasons why I personally find the Tiger to be more touring oriented. The main reason is the riding position. With a more upright position and a bigger leg/knee angle it is just more comfortable to ride for longer periods. The second reason is the comfort the seat provides. I find there’s less tendency to slide forward on the seat and it’s more supportive than the stock Tracer seat. Of course, when riding long enough one starts experiencing some saddle pain (not sure if that term translates well from Dutch), but for me I was able to ride for several hours (5+) before I was getting a bit of a numb behind. Another reason is the fact that the Tiger has a torque characteristic that is a bit less sporty than the Tracer. The Tracer really comes to life from 5000 rpm and up. And from 5000 to 10000 rpm the Tracer is so much fun to ride. But I’m not a big fan of high revs for prolonged riding. The Tiger behaves more like a big twin, inviting the driver to relaxed riding by providing torque from low revs. It’s just a personal preference, but for me I like to drive rather more relaxed than I like to ride sporty. The final reason (again a personal one) is the fact that the Tiger has a very different frame and wheelbase geometry when compared to the Tracer, resulting in very different cornering behavior. Yes, it does take more effort to let the Tiger “fall” into a corner than a Tracer. But the Tiger is tends to be more steady in corners. It follows exactly the line you planned for it to follow. It does hav a drawback though: the Tracer allows you to “throw” it from one corner into another very easily. It’s steering is more agile and great for very tight turning. That being said, the Tiger is not slow in cornering either, but just not as sporty and agile like the Tracer. I can think of a lot of comparisons to express the difference between the Tiger and the Tracer. But if they were dogs, the Tiger would be a Labrador: friendly, calm, willing to play but at the end of the day just a relaxed dog that wants to serve you. Where as the Tracer would be more like a Husky: full of energy, challenging you to push it to the max and with more attitude. I’m more the Labrador owner. Why I choose the Rally Pro over the GT Pro? I did like the riding position of the Rally Pro better. It’s higher and the steering bar is wider and more forward resulting in a better position for my back. Another reason was the fact that I found the suspension better. It has a longer travel. The GT Pro has electric rear suspension but I had to put its preload into at least “ rider + luggage” mode and the damping into sporty. Otherwise I would hit the end of the travel when riding over speed bumps at moderate speeds. And I’m not too heavy (83 kilo). To be honest, the steering bar of the Rally Pro is a bit far away from your body. It is meant to be, as it should also be in a good position when standing upright during off-road riding. But after a riding it for a whole day I do tend to feel a bit of a burning spot between the shoulders. I will be putting 2” risers on the bike anytime soon as I think that would solve this.
  31. 5 points
    <Please excuse the multi-part post but photos make it real and we can only upload so many at once...> So, we’re stuck in the 2020 Pandemic and a guy gets stir crazy, so what can he do? Well, touring by motorcycle is a pretty good way to get out while staying socially distanced. Late last year my trusty old FJR was “taken” from me by Bambi (or one of its relatives) up near Truckee, CA. A 2019 Tracer900GT became its replacement and has been a great joy to ride. It was terrific on several long day rides but to really find out how good it is I needed a significant road trip, but where to go…? Enter Oregon. Not too far away but, based on previous cage trips to parts of the state, it seemed likely to offer enough riding possibilities to spend several days there. Thanks to the [now defunct] AMA Great Roads list and some great suggestions from folks on Tracer900.net, I was indeed able to pull together more than enough material for a week long jaunt through the state. August seemed like a good time to go but the summer COVID-19 spike kinda put a damper on that. Then, early September after Labor Day seemed like a good time to go but Oregon went up in flames and most of the roads through the Cascades were closed. Hmmm, is this thing going to happen this year? Finally, at the end of September the time was right and off I went on an 8 day, 3000 mile exploration of the finest twisty tarmac and scenic glory that Oregon had to offer (6 days in Oregon plus one day on either end getting to and from Cali). Starting in San Jose, CA my original plan was to motor into Oregon via California’s glorious Klamath and Shasta-Trinity back roads. But of course yet another heat wave struck Cali and whipped up the already blazing wildfires and brought road closures or threats of closure (route 36, 96, and others). Sheesh! So I stuck near the coast and made my way north to Crescent City via the 101 highway and Avenue of the Giants. It was a little toasty along the way between Healdsburg and Willits but eventually the temps moderated and became bearable – just as the road became more interesting. Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt County is always worth the diversion. It was still quite smoky, but riding through the ancient trees tended to mask it a lot. From Crescent City the first of 6 days in Oregon began with a run from there to Bend. Day 1 in Oregon with a wiggly, scenic route to Bend Rt 199 out of Crescent City is a very entertaining road for the first 20 miles or so as it winds through a redwood forest. After that it straightens out and heads into Grants Pass. Along the way I passed through reconstruction work on the road as it had been impacted by the Slater fire. Waiting for roadwork on highway 199 in the aftermath of the Slater fire. From Grants Pass, a quick blast up the 5 to Glendale put me on a 35 mile side trip on Cow Creek Road. Nice, twisty ribbon of asphalt in a pretty remote area with virtually no traffic. Worth it! Old burn scar on Cow Creek Road along with some inspiring scenery. After that it was up to Roseburg and across the recently re-opened route 138. Communities along this road had taken a big hit from the Archie Creek fire. There was complete devastation along this route for nearly 20 miles. And, as wildfires are wont to do, there were instances of structures that escaped damage standing right next to others that burned to the ground. My heart goes out to those who will be rebuilding after this tragedy. As far as riding goes, the first 15-20 miles on the west slope of 138 are pretty nice but the remainder of the route across is not very exciting. It’s mostly a straight[ish] road cut through thick forest with limited or no scenic vistas. There are some interesting views once you get up and over around Mt Thielsen but other than that it’s just a way to get from one side to the other in the southern Cascades. Overnighted for two days in Bend and came away super impressed with this area. I had passed through in a cage back in 2017 on the way to and from Smith Rock SP to see the solar eclipse, but now having spent more time there my affinity for the place has really grown. Bend is an outdoors mega playground with lakes, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, oh my! My first day of riding out of Bend didn’t actually keep me in the area, though, as I traveled west up and over the Cascades all the way to the coast and then back again. I had hoped to ride route 242 and 126 but they remained closed due to the Holiday Farm fire. So it was route 20 over and back – which I would be happy to ride again and again. Day 2 in Oregon featured a run to the coast and back In Lebanon I picked up route 34 to Waldport. Route 34 west of Corvalis is nice, with a few fun stretches here and there, including one twisty bit where a nutty guy absolutely hammered a full size Lexus to stay in front of me, but mostly it is best for easy cruising with New England-like scenery (low mountains, forests, and pretty farmhouses). I took route 36 back from the coast and thought that was a much more enjoyable motorcycling road. But either way, it was route 20 that won the prize for “Road of the Day”. The 20+mi stretch from around Foster on up the western slope through Tombstone Pass to the Cascade crest is awesome! Then, once up there the scenic beauty impresses as the road passes by the famous [to me] Black Butte (namesake for Deschutes Brewery’s fine porter!), Mt Washington, and the Three Sisters. Yours truly waiting on the sunset near Sisters, OR Sunset didn’t disappoint over the Three Sisters. Still a bit of smoke in the sky, probably from the Cali fires. The next day it was time to leave Bend and head east to Baker City. I crammed as much curvy road as possible into the route while still having some time to get off the bike for a hike and eat lunch. Day 3 in Oregon with a zig zag route across the middle of the state. All in all it was a terrific day that started with a short drone up to the route 293 turn off north of Willowdale. It was nothing but curvy roads after that. Highlights of the day included the sublime 218 east out of Antelope and then 207 north out of Spray up and over the summit in Umatilla National Forest. Pit stop along route 218 at John Day Fossil Beds N.M. A nice little hiking diversion on an otherwise stellar motorcycling day. Along the way I came across the National Motorcycle Riders Memorial on route 19 near Butte Creek Pass. I’d never heard of it before but caught a small sign for it out of the corner of my eye as I was buzzing along route 19 south of Fossil. I hooked a u-turn, went back and bounced down a short stretch of dirt road to find a quite peaceful roadside memorial within a place called Shelton Park. There was another mile or so of groomed dirt road with “rest” areas and benches for strolling and contemplation. The monument included a logbook for visitors to sign although I hope Karma finds the fools who chose to use it as a place for a political statement. Kudos to the thoughtful person(s) who created the NMRM as a place to reflect on our fallen brothers and sisters. National Motorcycle Riders Memorial [see next part]
  32. 5 points
    Stopped by the dealer the other day and there I saw a 2020 red Tracer GT, just like the one I bought there last June. Made me think about wrapping or painting my red panels. So I did a mock-up on Photoshop with black panels and I liked it. Took the four panels off and brought them to two wrap shops, but both thought it looked pretty difficult. Huh, what do I know. One guy suggested Plasti-dipping it. I'm not too much into the Plasti-dip thing, but I thought I'd try it since the panels were already off and prepped. Sprayed on five coats yesterday. Now that it's dry and back together, I'm happy with it. If it doesn't hold up, I think I'll pull it off and paint the panels black.
  33. 5 points
    <part 3 of 3> The view looking east from Vista House on the Historic Columbia River Highway Bridal Veil falls After meeting friends for dinner on the riverbank in Vancouver, WA the day ended back on the coast in Newport. Day 6 in Oregon: time to head south for home in California. This was an easy ride down the coast with periodic stretches of twisty tarmac and beautiful scenery. The Oregon coast is very nice with some truly impressive long beaches flanked by big sand dunes. Would love to come back and rent a dune buggy or ATV for some real beach fun! Central Oregon coast By the time I reached Gold Beach in southern Oregon at 3pm the marine layer had packed in and I could no longer see anything more than the road and the trees immediately alongside the rest of the way to Fortuna, CA. But that’s okay because I’d had a brain overload of scenic eye candy for the past week! Last day of the trip included another jaunt over to the California coast at Leggett (after, of course, another pass through the Avenue of the Giants). The 15 mile stretch of route 1 from Leggett to the coast is always a terrific ride with endless 2nd gear corner carving through dense forest. Then the coastal highway itself is equal parts scenic and fun (read: sea stacks, crashing surf, and twisty pavement). There were even a couple of 10 mile stretches north of Fort Bragg which were freshly paved and added to the fun even more. This was good since the marine layer hung around dampening the best viewing of my favorite stretch of California coastline, the Mendocino coast. I expected the same grey weather all the way down to San Francisco, but was happy and surprised when it became sunny and warm as soon as I passed into Sonoma county. This area is arguably the second best stretch of California coastline (read: scenic with unrelenting twisty pavement for, like, a hundred miles). Lunch break along the Sonoma coast on the last day Pulling into San Jose at the end of the trip, I was glad to be home but also wished I could keep going for another 8 days. The motorcycle performed that well and was very comfortable. I think it’s a keeper!
  34. 5 points
    Sold a 2002 BMW K1200RS (628#) after tipping it over in the freakin driveway. Decided to get something lighter as I grow more and more decrepit. Looked around and found the FJ weighs 462# and doesn't have a fatal flaw ABS like the BMW. I owned a 2000 Triumph Thunderbird 900 Triple a while back and the FJ seems like a modern version of that. Picking it up this weekend and looking forward to scooting around south Louisiana this fall. This will be bike #31 for me (one at a time) over the past 50 years or so. Laissez le bon temps rouler!
  35. 5 points
    We over here in Aus feel your pain. It's heatbreaking to see the destruction and hear the harrowing stories of those who have lost everything including, in some cases, the lives of loved ones. It will come back. It's just a matter of time. It otherwise looks like another beautiful spot in the world.
  36. 5 points
    I took advantage of Demo Day at the local BMW dealer and hopped on a 2020 F 900 R last week. I thought some of you might be interested in what I found. Note that I am comparing it to my 2016 FJ 09, which I love,. Tracer 900 GT owners might have a different response to the F 900 than I. Engine and Trans The 900 twin is a very nice power plant. It revs freely to redline around 8,500 RPM and produces a flat torque curve from around 3,500 RPM to redline. It’s got plenty of power (for me) and that power is accessible anytime on demand. It seemed less snatchy than my (un-flashed) FJ and slightly less thrilling than the CP3 motor’s response to wide open throttle. But, the intake roar is wonderful to hear and is a lot louder than the exhaust note. There are three ride modes: Road, Rain and Dynamic. I used Road and Dynamic and am not sure what the difference was/is. Both produced big acceleration and good power. The six-speed trans seemed quite refined and easy to up-and down-shift. No false Neutrals and a positive feel. Clutch-less upshifts were easy and engine braking on downshifts was about the same as my FJ. But, overall drive train noise was significantly less than the FJ. In fact, when I rode home from the demo my FJ sounded like a bucket of bolts in comparison! The demo bike was low mileage, granted, but it had been ridden hard. The Batlax OEM tires had NO chicken strips and were worn right to the edge of the usage surface. It also showed evidence of as low-side on the expansive muffler. All right, let’s flog that demo! Handling and Braking Our squired ride did not allow much hooliganism, sad to say. Saturday traffic and a sedate ride leader kept us well with speed limits. But I was able to rubber-band a bit and got some good lean angles going once the group got ahead and out of sight around shaper curves. The little F 900 was stable and predictable in corners and turned in quickly. It did require more counter steer force than the FJ but that might be due to the narrow bars. The F 900 sports a pair of Brembo mono block calipers up from and they work. They produce a ton of braking force and a nicely predictable feel when paired with the BMW master cylinder. But, rubber brake lines seem out of place in a brake system of this caliber. The rear brake worked OK too. The F 900 has been criticized for its non-adjustable front forks. I’m not sure how you set sag for your weigh, but you will not be doing any doing twiddling up front. On my ride I did notice fork dive under heavy braking, What to do??? The rear shock provides preset and damping via external cartridge. Ergos The F 900 R I rode did not even have a fly screen. (The XR model i believe does provide one.) It also did not have a center stand (WTF BMW?) which makes chain adjustment a PIA. The plastic was minimal and would provide no protection from any nasty weather. It also had the “low” seat option which had my knees near my elbows with my feet on its high pegs. VERY uncomfortable for this six footer. Oddly, the reach to ground was not much different than my FJ. So I’m not sure what the lower seat buys you. The seat padding was minimal compared to my Comfort Seat and after 30 minutes mybutt hurt. Summary The F 900 will make a great platform for a mid-weight touring bike to compete with the Tracer GT. But it ain’t there yet. It needs more protective plastic, hard bags, better ergos, better seat and a price reduction to compete with the Tracer GT. Now, if I could get that BMW sales guy to STOP EMAILING ME! Bare Naked but Not Ready to Tour Colors are Cool
  37. 5 points
    Last covered bridge in MN.
  38. 5 points
  39. 5 points
    Say what you want but given redline is over 11,250 and if you study the HP and lb/ft curves you'll see that the CP3 is actually a sport engine in sheep's clothing, and by staying at or below 4.5k in 6th or even 5th is actually detrimental to longevity. Numbers don't lie and your rationale is flawed on both counts and based on skewed false economies. The CP3 doesn't even come on the pipe until +6k and only starts to jet over 8. If you want to ride a bike like that, I suggest you instead get nice Honda NC750X...should be perfect for you and it gets great mileage to boot. 2020 NC750X OVERVIEW - Honda 2020 NC750X OVERVIEW - Honda Twisty roads. Open highways. City...
  40. 5 points
    If it suits your riding style and doesn't cause any mechanical concerns, all good. Other's are possibly concerned you could be stressing the motor or clutch. For riding on twisties, I run bike in mid 6/7 ish range so rolling off throttle gives a very controlled braking for next corners. Others also rightly suggest these cp3 motors do enjoy high revs, redline 11k ish. So, what I'm getting at is, maybe the cp3 engine isn't ideally suited to your riding style or intentions. But if you're happy, that's all that matters. It's a cracking do it all bike. 👍
  41. 5 points
    I installed the Spiegler set, which are nice because you can swivel the banjos. Tank yes, air box is helpful but after vacuuming out the fluid, Make your life easier and cut out the front line on the left between the frame and engine cuz getting to the fitting is almost impossible without scratching things up. Then after bleeding, find some low friction spot to cram on the brakes to activate the ABS pump F & R.
  42. 5 points
    I don't think its as much "unrealistic expectations" as it is "knowing what is possible". If you have ever ridden a bike with premium suspension, then you know what is possible and how sublime a bike can ride. The difference is immediately noticeable. I have bought suspension from Traxxion Dynamics and would gladly do it for every bike I will own in the future. I have bought upgraded suspension for every bike I have owned, street and dirt, for the past 30 years and consider it the first (and by far the most important) mod in setting up any bike, ALWAYS. I don't know one person who has ever said "I wish I hadn't bought improved suspension", most people usually use words like "OMG" and "Holy Crap" or "Amazing" and "drastic improvement". 🤷‍♀️
  43. 5 points
    Bliss. MIchelin Road Pilot 5's. Just back from putting 50 gentle miles on them to get them 'scrubbed in'. First impressions, much more feel than the Dunlop Sportsmax, smoother and lighter turn in, more grip under hard front braking. Lovely.
  44. 5 points
    100%!! Just got back from a few hours through wine country back roads that aren't on fire and my favorite twisties. Ho Lee Fuk, what a difference. Amazing. Honestly was a little skeptical shelling out that much cash but it is well worth it. If you're debating it, do it!!
  45. 5 points
    Today upgraded suspension. Ktech razor rear shock and k tech fork cartridges. Went for a quick ride today and it's night and day. Can't wait to go for a longer ride tomorrow and really dial it in. Last 6 weeks Tires Fender eliminator and rear blinkers Mc cruise cruise control Givi top box rack Beak - I know some people hate this but I feel like the front end was missing something Tires - conti trail attack 3 (love conti, highly recommend. They are a road tore. Don't let the "trail" fool you) Oil and filter change Side bag mounts Chain tension adjustment coming after this weekend. Love this bike. Leaving for a 1500 mile trip with some buddies Thurs afternoon, camping along the way. Can't wait.
  46. 5 points
    If you don't ride in the rain don't bother, only time anything falls out is when the ground is wet or muddy
  47. 5 points
    Texas has its flaws, but artificially low speed limits usually isn’t one of them: Pertaining to the issue your coworker is facing, a traffic ticket specialist lawyer that knows your area would be very valuable. They deal with this stuff all day, everyday...
  48. 5 points
    Keep in mind, this is the same kind that I just used that crumpled like wet cardboard on a rock. After buying the real-deal SW-Motec protector, these are NOTHING a like other than shape. Also the black one I purchased didn't fit that well... took some tweaking to get on. The SW Motec fit perfectly. You get what you pay for in this case it seems. I saved ~ $100 on the cheaper black Ebay guard plate... but it cost me $1300 in damages, towing, rental truck to get home. Note these are all made of aluminum, no steel options in this design that I could find.
  49. 5 points
    It cost me about $3 to drive to the dealer for 3 quarts of oil and a filter and I did the work myself, so maybe $45? I didn't want to pay a technician $90-$100 an hour to check the chain tension, clutch lever free play and tighten any possible loose bolts. By the time I booked an appointment and took it to the dealer I could have the job finished.
  50. 5 points
    Went for a wee ride down to the seaside, as my sister and her hubby were there with their camper van (rv) Lovely warm day, about 55f, perfect dry roads. Just a chilled out ride there on the bike, and then a blast home again, so around 2.5 hours riding. The last photo, if you look in the distance you can see mountains. That is the Isle of Man , home of the craziest motorcycle race on planet earth.

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