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Chicago area 2020 owner


sandman900
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I'm from the Chicago area, and I bought a leftover 2020 model this spring. This bike wasn't on my radar, but something caught my eye, and it looked better and better the more research I did. Reading owner's comments on this forum (and the euro based owners fb page) influenced my decision, and I made the right choice! A test ride of a used one sealed it- that motor really sold me. I wanted something different after riding inline four cylinders as a main ride since the mid 1970's. 

I've already added a SCR skid plate, Givi crash bars, hand shields, and top case, fender extender, rubber foot pegs. I like this bike enough to want to upgrade the seat and suspension later. Love having cruise control and heated grips and a comprehensive dash. I find the Tracer to be fun to ride every time, yet practical enough to go go grocery shopping on- love it.

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Welcome aboard!

There so far are 4 of us in a 60 mile radius of Chicago excluding you that I've ridden with at least once.

Yuriy, Andrei and David pipe up and meet up with our new brother in crime!

I'm unfortunately down for the count likely till next spring due to health issues but hope to get us all out on a relaxed spring put next spring but maybe we could meet up for dogs n suds before then pandemic permitting.

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I'm sorry to hear a fellow owner has to end his riding season so early. I'm in the north suburbs, and am surprised to notice that I have yet to see another Tracer on the road. Seems like area riders no longer meet up on Sunday mornings at the Full Moon restaurant on Rt. 41 in North Chicago, or is there another spot?

I agree with you, GTO Mike- it does bring back the riding fun. I nail full throttle at least once every time I ride. I did not do that on my previous CBR1100XX's- sometimes I never got over 4,000 rpm on a ride. This bike really is more fun, more of the time.

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Congrats!  I purchased a left over 2020 myself last March as well.  I am in Northwest, IN (Munster) so Chicago area native as well.  Would be cool to to do a meet up some day.  I have a Madstad screen on mine and a Seth Laam seat coming in a week or so.  Also ordered a black widow exhaust in anticipation of doing an Ivan's Performance ECU flash in September after I complete a 3 day trip with friends.

Its a fantastic bike!!

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Mine was the last 2020 my dealer had in March. The 2021 Tracer 9GT didn't do it for me, and I figured better to get the last year of a 7 year model run than first year of new gen. Didn't want electronic suspension.

How do you like the Madstad? More of cold weather screen-right? How was it in the heat? Have not heard of Seth Laam, will look into him. I was going to get the Yamaha comfort seat when available.

 

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2 hours ago, sandman900 said:

I'm sorry to hear a fellow owner has to end his riding season so early. I'm in the north suburbs, and am surprised to notice that I have yet to see another Tracer on the road. Seems like area riders no longer meet up on Sunday mornings at the Full Moon restaurant on Rt. 41 in North Chicago, or is there another spot?

Thanks.  Where north are you?  BTW, Full Moon is technically in Lake Bluff.  It became the Sunday morning meet up spot when  Highland House at 41 & 22 was demolished for a car dealership parking lot.  It often had huge attendance, upwards of 400 bikes until the Highland Park cops were forced to harass us by the local yuppie scum.  Kawasaki even had one of their Let The Good Times Roll ride in adds for Highland House but the pigley wigleys made them withdraw it!

I think the pandemic has neutered attendance at Full Moon but it had wained in recent years beforehand.  They've stayed open so it's still a viable meet up spot.

The FJ / Tracer is a wonderful all-rounder and it's engine encourages hooliganism but for me it comparatively is on the tame side.  I bought a new 15 in 16 because of my bad back. I knew going in it needed suspension tweaks, an ECU flash, a better saddle and screens (I run 3 different screens depending on the weather), a different handle bar and/or risers, tires, electronic cruise control, improved brakes (HH pads, SS lines, bigger rotors + a radial MC), fender and hugger extenders, Shad SH36 panniers & SH46 top case, Givi case guards & Evotech radiator guard, SW Mototech skid plate, slip/assist clutch but at least it had the nice OEM heated grips.

I look forward to riding with everyone by like to limit group rides to 3 or maybe 4.

During this winter we should try to meet up to get to know each other and plan some rides and tours.

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I was a Highland House visitor since 1982- I remember well the crowd sizes and met a few characters there that made it a fun Sunday morning meeting place. I thought the Full Moon was never as good, never got the turn out, it was just a better location (except for riders from the city).

You've personalized and upgraded your bike very well- I've already found there's decent aftermarket availability for them, and the platform just seems to respond really well to upgrades. Even the little things- I bonded with it by making my own delrin bar ends, and fabricated brackets to adapt an old FZR radiator guard I had. Seems to me to be one of those bikes you can take in any direction you like- I'm just late finding out, glad I moved on from my CBR Blackbird.

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Welcome, bought my 2020 last September in Sioux Falls SD.  Currently has a little over 11,000 miles on it and has been as far west as Idaho and Utah.  Headed out Tuesday to Michigan then across Wisconsin and Minnesota to Montana and back thru Idaho and Wyoming.  Fun all around bike.  Great for fun short rides but  does well motoring down the highway loaded.  Planning on stopping by Sioux Falls to say hi.  I've only seen a couple like ours.  Saw on in Greybull Wyoming back in June!  

Just replaced chain and sprockets which seemed vey early, didnt lube it frequently enough so it was premature failure.  Last trip was 5,000 miles and only lubed it a couple of times.  It may just be stiff from gunk building up and maybe could be cleaned but replaced it.  Sprockets even front did not look that worn so kept them the stuff as backups.  Just installed a Scottoiler so I won't have to worry so much about lubing the chain every night.

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I am in the outer Chicago suburbs……Waterloo, Illinois 62298 just south of St Louis, Mo.  I am 30 miles from the great Missouri roads in the Ozarks south of St Louis.  I did live in Oswego, Il in the late 70’s for two years.

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21 hours ago, sandman900 said:

Mine was the last 2020 my dealer had in March. The 2021 Tracer 9GT didn't do it for me, and I figured better to get the last year of a 7 year model run than first year of new gen. Didn't want electronic suspension.

How do you like the Madstad? More of cold weather screen-right? How was it in the heat? Have not heard of Seth Laam, will look into him. I was going to get the Yamaha comfort seat when available.

 

The Madstad is amazing and it does just fine in hot weather.  I wear a mesh jacket and it allows plenty of air flow.  Its calm and quiet and I can be helmet visor up even at 70 plus.  Its ugly but it works very very well..

GT1.jpg

GT2.jpg

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Check the OEM screen structural elements for cracks, the prior generation FJ shield supports were prone to crack under the stress and strain of large screens and required reinforcement along with modification of the height adjustment mechanism.

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14 hours ago, whisperquiet said:

I am in the outer Chicago suburbs……Waterloo, Illinois 62298 just south of St Louis, Mo.  I am 30 miles from the great Missouri roads in the Ozarks south of St Louis.  I did live in Oswego, Il in the late 70’s for two years.

Haha Oswego is now completely different. You won't recognized it anymore all the corn fields are now gone.

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