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  1. It is significantly heavier than a tracer or Mt09 - so as you surmise you do have to park it carefully and think about how you will get it out. On the road the weight is less noticeable as the front end is so clever - a steep rake, small/light wheels and a hybrid of leaning and ackerman operation means all manouvers are the same as regular. I find on the road, the only time it has caught me out is pulling off dodgy overtakes, as it can take more effort to haul back if the overtake is short. Tyre choice is limited. Personally i hated the OEM tyres - A41s. I find they slide far too easy and are too hard - the rear spinning up all the time. I've put Pirelli Diablo Rossos on, which i havent had enough time to try lockdown/wet etc, but think they will be better as they are less stiff and are a superior compound. Considering the stunning engineering, as usual Yamaha (suzuki and kawa do the same) fit utter rubbish. It's difficult to know if tyre life is better or worse as everyone rides differently (even road surfaces affect wear) but it shredded the rear A41 in 3000 miles. It's worth noting that the extra tyre means more cost to change - also if one of the fronts gets a puncture and is wrecked then both need replacement. Factor that as a cost. I have my own tyre changer (well a share in one) and so dont have to worry about this. The Pirellis cost £240 for the set (about $330us), tyres are slightly cheaper here in the UK i think.
  2. Agree totally - if i did use the OEM Yamaha-Motech rack with metal panniers id be adding reinforcement; this would probably be a cross brace from one frame to the other. I really dont think they'd support metal boxes with loads, as they are.
  3. A friend of mine has a 2019 V Strom 1000. This comes with SW Motech panniers like this: Suzuki DL1000X AL8 V-STROM 2018 right luggage pannier (3896) Suzuki DL1000X AL8 V-STROM 2018 (3896). Right luggage pannier. It... SW MOTECH SUZUKI V STROM DL DL1000 panniers ALUMINIUM BLACK adventure NEW,./, GENUINE SUZUKI V STROM DL DL1000 SIDE CASE SET ALUMINIUM... We compared and these will fit the motech rack that is on my Niken GT. So if you reference pannier then you should be able to get a set of these and fit them to a GT rack. You would need to be certain. To be fair the frames on the Strom are beefier, so if was fitting metal cases to a GT rack i'd put a cross bar in to provide some reinforcement. Givi also do a PLXR rack Plxr2143-givi portavaligie Side v35 v37 monokey yamaha niken 900 (2019) Portavaligie laterale a rimozione rapida specifico per valigie V35 v37... These are of interest to me, as i have V35 cases (which ive been using for years and are covered in stickers) - but as far as i know Givi do not make a metal case for these racks. As with all these things, do not take my advice as gospel - I'm pretty certain Metal Motech cases (with the correct interface) will fit the GT rack, but please double check before you spend any money.
  4. This is an issue that happens a lot. I have some givi keys on for panniers and topbox. They are L-shaped. On my FZ1 they regularly got trapped and would have to be wiggled out. Eventually they contributed to the lock becoming faulty. On my Daily NC700 they often catch and bind up, but are easier to release. Keys and motorcycles can be a real pain in the arse.
  5. That's Tintern Abbey and the bridge is across the River Wye at Brockweir (a couple of miles upstream from the Abbey). I rode further north and into England, but the conditions were crap so took no more photos.
  6. Went for an Xmas day ride - first dry day in 3 weeks. After severe flooding the roads were pretty insane. 2 impassable, still deep flooding; loads more where the hills and fields had been washed into the road. Still enjoyed it though. The Niken was flawless even on icy roads on the plateaus where grip was at a premium.
  7. The roads round here are flooded again. A lot of rain until early this morning. Today some sun, but the flooding will take a few days to clear. Might get out for an hour on the bike tomorrow though.
  8. I've ground the blob off on the offside. Havent had enough riding timing to do the nearside one. Also had the outer wheel come off of the tarmac on a very large roundabout whilst leaning right over - the bike had a shimmy, it didnt approve of my actions! edit - looking at the photos I do wonder if the tyre did come off the road, perhaps it just lost traction momentarily. I'll push it much harder once ive fitted the new tyres (which havent done due to a shoulder injury and now a hard lockdown).
  9. While the effects of a reflash, and an altered fuel/spark map, can never be ruled out, it has to be said that most make the engine run richer (because emissions regs set fuelling towards 14.7:1) which gives smoothness and more power. Broadly speaking exhaust gases are significantly hotter with a leaner burn (it's why exhaust gas temperature can be monitored using an EGT probe and used to tune fuelling) and this is much more likely to burn an exhaust valve out. I'd still be inclined to think that someone hasn't got the maths right and has put the wrong shim in and not done the double check. The valve has then not been seated during combustion events and got burned to buggery.
  10. Lots of complete cylinder heads on ebay. I'd keep the engine, and just swap in a replacement cylinder head. Not too expensive, not too complex. I've had loads of yams, but always done the valves myself and not had issues. I think, as said above, it can be human error and it's maybe been done wrong. It needs an organised mind, a technician under pressure could balls it up.
  11. Agree. They do save quite a bit on keeping the same tooling and on probably close to zero R&D with the 850, so any reduction in profitability due to the higher manufacturing %age may be offset by reduction in set-up costs. I'm sure the brakes will be poor compared to the premium model, but will be satisfactory in isolation. They also brought out the Trident 660, which is a in a similar vein, and a similar low price point (£7300), so this appears to be part of their strategy for the time being.
  12. Regarding the weak 850, Triumph's model differs slightly from the Japs. Whilst they release multiple models with the same powerplant but with different target market (think MT09, Street Tracker, XSR9), Triumph do a thing where they make a base model with lower spec kit and reduced power output, a middle model (maybe with cruise etc) and a top model with most power and the most exotic cycle parts. They sell the cheapest one as a 'loss leader' (although it isnt, but does allow a low RRP to be advertised) and to entice to the dealership. I actually think the low power 850 makes loads of sense as it comes in just below £10k which is a physiological barrier for many people price wise - given how skint people are due to the pandemic it makes lots of sense. I really like it - a lot of more expensive Triumphs are too chinzy. Sadly they are poorly made. A good friend of mine was a Triumph aficionado, but had a Tiger 800 [2014] that had a rusty chassi and wouldnt start and then a 1200 Explorer [2018] which blew it's clutch - he wont touch them now. The lower power/low cost model goes back a long way in the UK. My car is the gutless, low spec version and cost very little compared to the better speced model.
  13. i just follow some on twitter - i use the translate function to read about their travails and stuff. I tried joining a french niken forum, but it would let me (my french too poor, translate not sophisticated enough on the registration security page).
  14. I follow a few Japanese Niken riders on twitter. It seems to be massive over there. Custom paint jobs, mods galore and a huge following. The japs sure know how to do cult vehicles. Wish some of the niken stuff would disseminate to the rest of us.
  15. In the UK Yamaha have registered about 100 Nikens and 100 GTs. I doubt they've broke even given the marketing costs etc.