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Kevin R

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  • Location
    San Jose, CA
  • Bike
    2019 Tracer 900 GT

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  1. On my old "07 FJR (with ABS), the rear brake pedal activated one of the 2 sets of pistons in one of the front brake calipers. The other 3 sets up front operated normally with the front brake lever. It was okay, I guess, for a big heavy bike like the feejer. Not sure how well LBS would work on our lighter Tracer/FJs, though. Glad it's not there.
  2. Then you're in for a very pleasant surprise!
  3. Following up on draco_1967's comments about the Adventuretech light bar fitment on newer Tracer 900. I just purchased the mount last week but before I did I asked Rick at Adventuretech if there had been any updates to the design to fit the newer bikes better (there haven't been any changes). At first I just bolted it on with no modification but could quickly see that it was going to be very close to, if not actually interfering with, part of the headlight adjusters on both sides, as draco_1967 mentioned in another thread. See the red circle in the photo below. With the light bar design as is, it's possible that if it is pushed up as high as it can go in the slot where it's mounted on the bike (see the thin, slotted subframe metal to the right and down a bit in the photo above) it might not touch the adjuster housing. But since the mount didn't fit my 2019 GT very well, sliding it up enough to [potentially] clear the interference wasn't an option. I didn't want to take a chance of the adjuster flange getting damaged or otherwise affecting the mechanism so I modified the light bar as shown below. After that I bolted it up but found that it was placing a LOT of pressure on the plastic under the headlight (and the subframe mount, too). Figuring that it might lead to stress cracking in the future, I modified the bend as draco_1967 did. See photo below which shows about a 10deg bend adjustment on the first of the two arms of the light bar. After bending the second one and re-installing, the fit was much better. I could choose how close to touching the plastic under the headlights to place it by sliding it up or down in the slotted hole on the submount (some touching will probably be helpful to minimize light bouncing, as keithu mentioned). Below are a couple photos showing the light bar on my bike before and after bending it. Pretty hard to see the difference at a glance but I'll rest better knowing that it is not putting too much stress on the plastic and the little subframe that it is mounted to behind the headlights. Adventuretech light bar installation before bending it to get better clearance around the plastic below the headlights. After bending the Adventuretech light bar. It is now just lightly touching the plastic under the headlights. I'll send feedback to Rick at Adventuretech and he can decide whether or not to update to make Tracer fitments better. As it stands now it's a little dodgy as delivered but still workable if folks don't mind spending time modifying it. Personally, for $50 I would like it better if it just fit out of the box.
  4. Got it! Next up: bike parked in front of a 20 story or higher building (try to get the whole building in the photo!).
  5. Unfortunately I can say that textile gear appears to work very well. I met Bambi about a year ago and hit the deck at about 50-60mph. I received a minor scrape on one forearm and that was about it. The jacket and pants (and gloves and boots) did their job. The jacket was just a run of the mill Tourmaster that gave its life to protect me. To be fair, though, it was 13yrs old, very sun bleached, and due for replacement anyway since I am sure the UV that faded the colors also degraded the material somewhat (apparently I slid a ways with my arm under my body at first and the textile fabric shredded). OTOH, the Fly Racing pants I was wearing are still kicking. They're less than 10yrs old and came away with a minor blemish on one knee but otherwise okay (no visible UV degradation to date either). YMMV
  6. The original Kawasaki three wheeler. Two stroke power on a barely stable platform - what could go wrong? 😁
  7. Kevin R

    Signs of life

    Took a ride through the Cali SCU fire burn scar a couple weeks ago: up frontside of Mt. Hamilton, through San Antonio valley, out the backside (east) to Patterson. Still amazed at the extent of the destruction; it's mile after mile after mile of crispy landscape. A little green fuzz evident on the hillsides in the distance. That's normal for this time of year as the grass regrows each rainy season - except for all of the dead everything else. One "benefit" of the fire's aftermath is being able to see stuff you couldn't before due to the [former] dense vegetation. 🤔 Sentinel. IDK...entrance to Narnia?
  8. Had to make sure you got 'em home before they got cold I see! 😄
  9. chitown's info above is great. That hits a lot of CO & UT highlights. If you go that way you should definitely stop in Mesa Verde NP (really cool native american ruins there). UT is epic with Cedar Breaks, Bryce, and Zion in the west and Canyonlands and Arches in the east. Riding wise, rt12 is the shizzle along with many of the roads in the Cedar City, Parowan, Panguitch area. There's also pretty sweet stuff north of I-70 in the middle of the state. Not sure how much time you will have, or the time of year, but if you want to focus more on AZ then I have a few suggestions for you. I took a nice 5 day trip there in early May a few years ago (from SoCal). April/May is a decent time to visit AZ - it's warm but tolerable at low elevation and cool at high elevation. I camped a couple of nights on the Mogollon Rim (pronounced "muggy-own") area northeast of Phoenix and did day rides on the roads south and east of there. The rim is over 7000ft elevation so the nights were chilly but the scenery & riding were excellent. There are some big a$$ copper mines thereabouts - a sight to behold. Over near NM, 191 between Clifton and Alpine is a great ride: scenic and very remote - well worth the effort to go there. All easily reached from Mogollon Rim area. After a couple nights on the Mogollon Rim and riding some pretty sweet roads I moved my base to a campground in Navajo Nat'l Monument up near Kayenta, AZ. The Betatakin Ruins and Fir Canyon inside the Navajo monument are striking. On the way up I made it a point to stop in Petrified Forest Nat'l Park. That place is otherworldly and well worth a stop and a couple of short hikes. The roads up there are not mosickle roads per se (not so curvy) but have high scenic value and traverse wide open spaces - a big contrast to NH. 🙂 And, what trip to AZ would be complete without going to Four Corners and Monument Valley? chitown's route passes by there and I did a loop over there on one of the days. It's an easy way to ride in 4 states in an hour or so (depending on how long you linger at 4 corners)! Did not see Roadrunner or Wile E. in Monument Valley but I was looking! On the way back home I rode a stretch of old Rt66 through Oatman, AZ. That is a quaint and dusty little town with a couple watering holes near the CA/NV/AZ state lines, south of Vegas. Evidently the burros I saw wandering free around the streets there are a normal sight.
  10. What a bummer! I was heading to Quincy for a couple days and ride that highly recommended road in Nov 2019. Unfortunately Bambi got in the way and ended the trip abruptly before I even reached Quincy (that's bad!) - but not before I rode CA49 from Grass Valley to Sattley (that's good!). That road is spectacular and had me giggling in my helmet. I guess the other good part of the trip is that it resulted in me buying the Tracer 900GT which has been a great decision. Betoney, for the southern part of your Cali trip in '21, if you think you might head inland from Pismo on SR58 (I echo the earlier comment about this one being a top 5 road in USA) and consider going all the way to the Sierras, then a pass through the Kernville/Lake Isabella area won't disappoint. The ride up from Kernville through Johnsondale and Ponderosa is sweet and SR155 and 190 are lovely, serpentine ribbons of asphalt. 155 and 190 are like the Dragon back east with hundreds of 2nd and 3rd gear corners. It's been some years since I was last there so not sure what the pavement is like now, but at the time they were racetrack smooth. If you decide to head back north instead of inland from Pismo, then Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd to Hunter Liggett and then through San Lucas to pick up SR25 is pretty good. SR25 is curvy and scenic and runs past Needles Nat'l Park if you've a mind for that sort of thing on your trip.
  11. With Winter closing in and bringing road closures on some very pretty Sierra Passes, the time was right on Nov. 2 to get one last fix for the year. A late season warmup with temperatures that eventually reached the mid 80s (!) in the San Joaquin Valley promised very comfortable riding up at 9000ft. The day's ride included hitting three sierra passes - Sonora, Monitor, and Ebbetts - for a sublime 450mi day. A perfect day out from the Bay Area of California Duckie and I cruised out from San Jose early on a Monday. Even though I saw 46F on the thermometer for a while, I figured (hoped!) it wouldn't last for long (it didn't). Upon reaching the foothills, first up was Rt 108 eastbound up the western slope of the Sierras to Sonora Pass. We stopped at Donnell's Vista on the way up and were treated to a spectacular view north over Donnell Lake. The parking lot was actually closed for the season but there was enough room to squeeze around the gate on the bikes. Yet another reason to ditch the cage and ride a motorcycle! View from Donnell's Vista on Rt 108 From there it was a sublime ride on 108 the rest of the way up and over Sonora Pass. Duckie said the road had been repaved in 2019 and it showed. This thing was race track smooth and seriously fun. That, along with the stunning scenery, means that I will be back ASAP in 2021. Once over Sonora Pass it was down the eastern Sierra slope to pick up Rt. 395 north. A quick pitstop in Walker, and then on to 89 north and Monitor Pass. Busy downtown Walker, CA on a postcard perfect day This part of the route brought back many memories from years ago when I was leading COG rallies in the Fall. We used to blast up and around these passes every year from June Lake (CA). Over time I had forgotten how beautiful it was out there but I vowed then and there to never let so much time go by before I visit the area again. Heading up Rt. 89, the views east over the Antelope Valley and Walker River basin as you climb towards Monitor Pass are expansive and breathtaking. Finally, we turned west on Rt. 4 for the blast up the eastern slope of the Sierras to Ebbetts Pass. I had ridden this one back in August but there was a lot of smoke and limited visibility at that time. Now, with the smoke largely gone and almost no traffic, a small pull-out with a view on the side of the road turned into the perfect lunch spot. Eventually we had to return to reality and come down from this paradise but with miles of twisty asphalt along the way it wasn't so bad! Double Vision: You don't often see two 900GTs in one place at the same time! The weather on the day was absolutely perfect, especially for November: sunny with temperatures in the high 60s at 9000ft and no wind. With temperatures into the mid 80s while trudging back across the central valley, we saw a delta of 40 degrees on the day. All in all, though, it was a terrific end to the central Sierra riding season. Can't wait to get back there next Spring!
  12. Oh, I'll agree that Oregon is great but have to disagree with that assertion. :-) I've ridden most of the lower 48 (and southern Canadian provinces) and while Oregon is primo, there is none better than California. From top to bottom and east to west there is an amazing quantity and quality of motorcycling roads. But then, I guess that topic is kinda like tire wars or endless oil threads!
  13. Haha, I know what you mean. We tend to get de-sensitized to the great riding we have in our own backyards. It's like the pasture's always greener on the other side of the fence. The trip was great and I'm glad to have had the chance to explore a big chunk of the state.
  14. <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!
  15. <part 2> The winner of this day, though, was probably the 95 miles of the Blue Mountains Scenic Byway from Heppner to Granite. The route travels through some very remote back country and while the pavement was a little worn in places, it was generally very good and the scenery more than made up for it. Blue Mountains Scenic Byway southeast of Ukiah But wait, there’s more! The cherry on top was the 20 miles that followed after reaching Granite. From there to Sumpter was a world class stretch of road with miles and miles of sick twisties on perfect pavement. Woohoo! Day 4 in Oregon featured a visit to Hell’s Canyon. I had earmarked this as one of the must see places on this trip and it definitely did not disappoint! Day 4 in Oregon – Hell’s Canyon and Wallowa Mountains But first there was a crossing of paths with the real Oregon Trail outside of Baker City. The plaque tells the story of Lone Tree, a singular and very large tree that lived out in the Baker Valley about 3 miles distant which served as a guidepost for travelers, probably for centuries. However, in 1843 the tree was cut down by “some inconsiderate emigrant axe” for firewood. Of course it didn’t serve the fool’s immediate need for fuel since it wouldn’t burn, because it was green. Nice. The ride along route 86 from Baker City to Oxbow was alternately scenic and fun to ride but the side trip into Hell’s Canyon on the Idaho side to the namesake dam was gorgeous – and a terrific motorcycle road. Hell's Canyon Hell's Canyon Dam Scenic beauty and twisty asphalt – what’s not to like? The ride into the canyon was slow going due to the overwhelming beauty of the place but the 23 mile trip back out was pure joy. As amazing as the trip into and back out of the canyon was, the 35 mile ride up Hell’s Canyon Scenic Byway to the overlook 4000 feet above the river was also spectacular. The first 15 miles up the byway once it leaves route 86 was legendary with wide smooth tarmac and endless 2nd-3rd gear twisties with good sight lines (and no traffic). It literally felt like my own private track day! The overlook – great place for a lunch break Day 4 in Oregon ended in Umatilla, which is completely forgettable except as a place to sleep before heading west on Day 5 to get to the Columbia River gorge. J I shunned the interstate (of course!) and rode instead on route 14 on the Washington side of the river. Day 5 in Oregon was Columbia River day This route took a meandering path along the river past wine country and wind farms before the riverbanks began rising to create the gorge. It has been a while since I saw a river this big (stretching back to my days living on the Mississippi). Entering the Columbia River gorge – Mt Hood looming in the distance Up close with Mt Hood The Historic Columbia River Highway (AKA route 30) is a beautiful 20 mile ride from Troutdale to Dodson on the Oregon side of the river, east of Portland. It winds through the trees from high up on the lip of the gorge down to and along the river bottom. It comes complete with interesting old bridges and abutments (quite an engineering feat 100yrs ago) and several pretty waterfalls. <see next part>
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