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Kevin R

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Kevin R last won the day on April 19

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

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  1. What he said! After my latest trip to into Oregon last month I had arrived at the same conclusion. Mt St. Helens was pretty well obscured the day I was there - plus it was 100F in and around Portland. I was hoping to avoid those things by going in early August. Guess I'll need to keep moto trips nearer the coast if mid- to late-summer travel is in the cards...
  2. I've got a few miles on dirt under my belt. I think the biggest limiting factor is going to be the tires. Riding on dirt/gravel on what are basically slicks will never be confidence inspiring. 😮 But since the bike is fairly light, for a sport tourer, it's not too bad if you take it easy and don't ask for too much traction!
  3. Great trip and nice photos, too. Kudos to you guys for undertaking a SW desert crossing in the middle of summer. 😉 Must have been a tad warm in spots. Also, as you said: Utah never disappoints. After riding there semi-regularly back in the late 90s and aughts, several years had gone by while I focused on Cali and pac NW. Then I made a couple of trips across UT (in a cage with mountain bikes) to Virgin a couple years ago and then Moab in May and - forgive me - had kinda forgotten how amazing it was.
  4. Haha, I believe he meant that the bike should not tip back on the c-stand causing the rear wheel to touch the ground. On my recent 9 day two-up trip to OR I had 71lbs spread amongst the stock bags (43lbs) and my Givi top case (28lbs). With that I could tip the bike back with one finger - on flat ground (parked on a slope one night and it tipped by itself). 😁
  5. I'm 150lbs and run 10 clicks preload in the rear (compression and rebound are also mid range). Less than that and the bike feels too mushy in the twisties. When two up I add 5 more clicks. In a few weeks I'll be two-up for a weeklong trip. With the added weight of the fully packed bags & top case I'll likely need to max out the preload.
  6. Great suggestions @betoneyand @keithu. Previously, I've stayed on 101 but with a slower pace this time will be looking forward to some of the side stuff. Especially the one near Coos Bay. I'd intended to do that one last time I was there. But I forgot to turn off until I was down the road a bit and then didn't want to turn around. We'll likely stay in Pacific City the first night out of Portlandia so will be checking out the Cape Meares area and the coast down from there, too.
  7. Been up to the pac NW a couple of times now solo and this time the wife will join me. It's been years since we did a longer trip together on the bike. But since our 3-day Memorial Day weekend romp through the Trinity Alps went well we decided to give it a go! Plan is to zip up in two days from the Bay Area, stay in Portland for three days, then 4 day dawdle back down the coast. Two-up this time so won't be able to do any of those killer 400+mi corner carving days. Already planning a day to Mt St Helens. Other two days are up in the air but will probably spend time in the Columbia River gorge on one of them. Any other suggestions from the OR/WA crew?
  8. I am heading down to the races on Sunday (tomorrow). If anybody wants to join up from San Jose area, I'll be leaving at around 8am. ...and, yes, King of the Baggers is on the schedule!
  9. Haha. I hear ya, re: color. My wife's first car was blue and she has tried to get d a blue car ever since but to no avail. Just couldn't find one when the time came a new one for her. Me, OTOH, don't really care except anything but black. Guess what color almost all of my cars have been? Blue. She hates me for that! 😆
  10. Riding again after many years away, I'd say what you experienced is to be expected. Along with the great responses already in this thread, I'll add an anecdote. First, I've been riding continuously for 40+yrs. At one point I lived for a couple years in a rural part of the country (western Illinois). Then I moved to southern California. Riding on the freeways was a big shock, which surprised me. It really did take a little while to get used to moving at freeway speeds with vehicles so close. However, I did get acclimated and it is no problem now. Keep at it. It will take a little time to knock the rust off, but I can already tell by your post that you have the right temperament to succeed. Soon you will be totally alert and much more comfortable. Oh, and do remember the ear plugs. I did a fair amount of riding before I discovered the benefits of reduced wind noise. It'll help a lot with your concentration - not to mention preserve your hearing.
  11. @betoney, ready to fly through those Sierra passes now!
  12. Sweet! Welcome to the group. Have to get out and meet at Alice's sometime.
  13. Not sure if it’s the color of the light from the bike’s headlight or if it’s just too dim on low beam but I thought it could use a boost. While there is a lot of info on the forum on many different auxiliary light installs, it seemed like the info I wanted was spread out over a number of different threads. I thought I’d take a shot at painting a complete picture in one place. For my bike some must haves were: Factory “stock” looking installation – no additional handlebar switches! On/off with ignition key Reduced brightness for always on/daytime conspicuity Full brightness via the bike’s high beam switch Small size (and modest light power as I don’t ride at night a lot) Discrete mounting (no crash bars, keep inside bike’s silhouette) After much reading on this forum and elsewhere I decided on the S2 Sport from Baja Designs. They combine small size and respectable light output at around $100 ea. The S2 Pro is brighter, but some test reviews seemed to indicate that the lumens drop as the light heats up during normal use. Didn’t think it was worth spending extra bucks for lumens that cannot be sustained. Also, I wasn’t looking for retina searing power, just looking for a little fill-in for the Tracer’s low beam as I find the high beam to be reasonable. The good thing about this install is that I can easily upgrade to more powerful lights in the future if needed. I bought the S2 Sports with the combined lenses (wide/spot). To mount, I picked up an Adventure Tech mounting plate. For dimming I settled on a Skene IQ-275 controller. I had spent some time looking at Denali and other solutions, but none of them could offer a solution to the high beam actuation that I was seeking. So, I stand on the shoulders of those who went before me with a Skene controller. Without further ado, here’s how it went. Adventure Tech light bar Didn’t quite fit my 2019 Tracer 900GT out of the box. It didn’t extend down far enough to comfortably clear the plastic bodywork under the headlight. Also, it was hitting the adjusters behind the headlights. Some simple mods made it work, though - a little bending and a little filing/grinding. (I did feedback this info to them so they can make it fit better for future Tracer owners!) Adventure Tech light bar installed This shows the first leg after bending approximately 10deg. Filed a millimeter or three so it will clear the headlight adjusters S2 Sport mounting The lights’ square shape as located using the pre-drilled holes in the Adventure Tech mounting plate resulted in an interference with the bike’s fairing. I didn’t want to drill another set of holes in the plate so instead I fashioned a small offset to drop the lights a little lower under the mounting plate. Using the pre-drilled holes in the Adventure Tech mounting plate meant dropping the lights a little to clear the fairing Skene wiring and high beam function The key here, again, was using the bike’s stock high beam switch to change the auxiliary lights from reduced power to full power on high beam. The Skene controller is designed to look for a steady 12V signal to go to full power. As folks know, on our bikes with LED lights there is no such signal available in the high beam circuit. It appears that the Yamaha headlight module employs a high Z / low Z circuit state to trigger the high beam. The high beam trigger wire is switched to a low impedance state (i.e. ground) via the handlebar switch. To make the Skene controller high beam function work, this low impedance/low voltage state needs to be translated into a 12V signal. This can be accomplished using a standard automotive relay. In this case I used a simple normally open 4-pin accessory relay purchased from my local auto parts store. It has a 12V, 30A rating – way more than needed (only need to switch a couple hundred mA at most). The schematic below shows all of the wiring connections for the lights including how to connect the relay to produce the high beam trigger for the Skene controller. The lights themselves draw slightly less than 1A ea. so I used a 5A fuse in the power line from the battery. Baja Designs S2 Sport + Skene IQ-275 + high beam control signal schematic I didn’t have a wiring diagram for my ’19 Tracer so it was a little trial and error to tap the correct wire on the OEM headlight controller. I tried the yellow w/white stripe wire first but that didn’t work. The solid yellow one did the trick. Two yellow wires control high beam on the '19 Tracer 900 GT - choose the solid yellow one to work with the Skene controller Positap connection in place Another consideration as I got into the installation is where to place the Skene controller and high beam inverter relay on the bike. I wanted to minimize the number of wires running from under the seat to the lights up front. I decided that keeping the Skene controller and relay up front was the best solution since everything is pretty small and fits in the space under the windscreen. With this, I needed to run only two wires from the front of the bike back to the battery under the seat. For 12V power to operate the Skene controller, I used one of the three switched accessory plugs located under the windscreen on our bikes (one is used from the factory for the cigarette plug on the dash + two extras). The Skene controller only needs a couple hundred mA so the accessory outlets, which are switched with the ignition key, are perfect for this. Switched 12V accessory outlets under the Tracer windshield I chose to use the one on the right to supply functional power to the Skene controller. Couldn't find the necessary crimp connections to mate with any of the connectors so I cut the one on the right off and installed my own blade connector. See below. I only needed the hot side so I left the ground connection (brown w/black stripe wire) unconnected. I tied all ground wires (two for the lights, one for the Skene controller) together and routed back to the battery negative terminal. See the schematic above. 12V connection to power the Skene low power circuits and the relay used for the high beam inverter signal Everything in place prior to buttoning up I wound up making a "custom" wiring harness using the one that came in the Baja Designs kit. The kit was intended for an automotive installation so the wires were super long! I cut them considerably shorter and did make four solder connections on it which would make removal a little messy. But If I ever get bored enough maybe I'll go in and replace with removable connectors - nah, probably not! 😁 The end result is pretty tidy, though. Wiring harness zip tied in place Final product How do they look? Pretty damn good IMHO! At first I kept all the mounting brackets and hardware in their natural stainless color. Later (after the photos were taken) I decided to paint them all black. See a few photos showing the lights' operation below. Initially, I left the non-highbeam output level at the Skene factory setting of 20% (Skene yellow wire unconnected). Daytime conspicuity was fine but they didn't seem to be contributing enough at night. So I changed it to 50% to get a little more. Still need more road testing to see if this is good enough while not annoying oncoming traffic.
  14. Ughh, back to reality, eh? Looks like a great trip, though. Thanks for sharing.
  15. Looks like a great ride, @knyte. I once had the opportunity to ride up in that area at a COG rally in Banff. I never did see the tops of the mountains because it was socked in the whole week we were there. The rides were great, though, and a short excursion out on the Athabasca glacier was excellent. I still remember the color of the water in the lakes and rivers. Even with minimal sunshine, it was extraordinary.