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getting back in the saddle after any years and need help making a decision !


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Hello all !   I've decided to get a Bike after a long hiatus ( 30 years ) and need some help. I'm 60 years old and have been looking at adventure bikes due to there upright riding position and relative comfort , bikes like the vstrom 650, triumph  tiger sport 660 and the  versa 650 . i've looked at them in person and alot of youtube videos and they seem like some good options. 

I also have been asking some questions on a local forum and some of the riders suggested the tracer 900 might be a good fit for me. The type of riding i will be doing will be  mostly short day trips and weekend rides, no big milers maybe 300-500 km's max on rare occasion I'm guessing I might do 5- 6000 km a year. I visited a local dealer in Toronto Canada where I'm from and they has a 2015 candy apple red fj09 with 2300 km on it , so i sat on it and it seemed pretty comfortable and looked in great shape!            they also had a 2020 tracer 900 (non gt) with only 8800 km on it also about 2000$ more.

My main question is , considering the kind of riding ill be doing would the fj09 be a better choice over the 2020 tracer 900 as the 2015 fj09  its a fair bit cheaper than 900. From what I've read from 2015 on to i think 2019 not much has changed year to year but I'm sure you guys out will know better than me. There are a few gt's out there for sale near me but obviously more money but I think the extra features I wouldn't need anyway ( not to many bikes in 1985 with heated grips and cruise control LOL) I really like the red fj09 though ! 

Any thoughts or input would be much appreciated!!

 

 

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Hello Kyle. What were you riding 30 years ago? Are you a "sporty" rider or do you prefer to chill more? The FJ/Tracer is quite a bit punchier than the other bikes you mentioned. This might appeal to you... or maybe not. The 2015 FJ is certainly not without issues (like most bikes). The 2020 Tracer fixes some of them, but if you're a heavier rider... you might still find yourself wanting to upgrade the suspension. Some upgrades may become inevitable, regardless of bike... seat, windscreen etc. Would you do your own work, or would you rely on the shop for upgrades etc?

Could be that the stock FJ works for you just fine. I am sure some on here will attest to that. Ride these bikes if you can and see which one feels most natural to you. If you can't ride them... tough call indeed (YouTube reviews). Good luck. 🙂

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I'M 6'2 195 lbs , I rode a 81 cb650 and an 84 honda 750 nighthawk s. I'm pretty a pretty chill rider never really was a speed demon even back in the day. im looking for something comfortable, I know the fj/mt is pretty fast I,m happy cruising at 65 mph but cant see myself going much faster than 75-80  other than the odd blast to clean out the carbon. Just looking for something to get me out of the house on the weekends exploring small towns etc for a few hours maybe the odd trip up north to muskoa but mostly local a couple hr's out of Toronto .

I'll be doing any basic mods ,oil changes etc myself I was also thinking as I ease into retirement it would be nice to have something to work on. I've been in the trades my whole working life. the main contenders ive been looking at are around 8k the max budget for me I'd like to keep around 10 grand including the tax man. I Was originally looking at the cb500x but I think I might be a little cramped on that. 

What Issues are you referring to with the fj over the tracer?  anyways I very much appreciate your input. and any other bike suggestions would be great 

Cheers .

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Hands down go get the 900 GT . The FJ is a shorter wheel base wheely machine . You will need to change the seat & install set back bar mounts . That electronic cruse control is better than sliced bread ! I am 6'1 200 pounds , I too had a Night hawk in the 80's blue & black now a classic .  

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1 hour ago, kyle J said:

 I'm pretty a pretty chill rider never really was a speed demon even back in the day. im looking for something comfortable, I know the fj/mt is pretty fast I,m happy cruising at 65 mph but cant see myself going much faster than 75-80  other than the odd blast to clean out the carbon.

I Was originally looking at the cb500x but I think I might be a little cramped on that.

The FJ or Tracer will definitely meet your needs and can be extremely versatile as a comfortable long distance ride as well as a very sporty machine, in fact I could argue that for just cruising around at 65-70mph it could be considered overkill as you can achieve the same relaxed ride on a smaller displacement, more economical bike.  The CB500X you mentioned can get 60+mpg at freeway speeds and 70-80+mpg cruising back roads.

***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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Have you looked into Honda's NC750X? 

Less power and speed than the Tracer but larger than the CB500X. Very tame ride with 70+ mpg, and a modest redline. The gas tank is located under the seat which means you get a front-trunk for storage where a normal gas tank would be.

I owned an NC700X for a few years before I bought my 2015 FJ09, phenomenal bike and the newer updated NC750X seems worth a look.

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ya ive considered at the nc 750 x and its very compelling just wish it had a litttle more power, the fj/tracer just looks like alot more fun to ride.  but i'm sure I'd be happy with any of the bikes I've looked at, 

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Get the bike you want IMHO, even if you have to pay a bit more. I would "at minimum" get a 900GT year model, like a 19/20 if you can find one, the changes made up from the FJ is worth it. On another note, the Suzuki V-Stroms are some of the best all around motorcycles that are out there and with a rabid following, I have previously owned 3 of them. The available accessories are unparalleled, and they are dead nuts reliable and easy to ride as well. Good luck with whatever you end up doing. :) 

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I have been retired since 56 and am now 62 years old, six foot one inch tall and weigh 180 pounds.  I bought a 2019 Tracer GT as a retirement gift to myself and am completely happy with the bike.  I had to do a custom seat as the stock one was a poor fit for my backside.  I could only go about 100 miles before it became very uncomfortable.  Otherwise, I am totally happy with the bike.  It fits me very well.  I take it on trips for days at a time and use it like a sport bike on local rides.  For me, it really does it all.  I did some suspension upgrades, not that they were necessary, but I did feel the stock suspension was a bit soft for my liking, particularly the rear shock.

The earlier Yamaha triples had some fueling issues.  The throttle response could be a bit abrupt.  These were slowly ironed out with subsequent models.  However a good ECU flash fixes this.

In the end, you have to find the bike that best fits you, but I don't think you can go wrong with the Tracer.  Good luck in your search.

Edited by johnmark101
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There is nothing like spending a day riding with friends in the grip of a shared obsession.

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Here is a nice Tracer for sale with the seat already upgraded.  Who knows, you might decide you want to do an overnight trip or two and the bags will come in handy!

 

 

There is nothing like spending a day riding with friends in the grip of a shared obsession.

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I still have an '83 Nighthawk 550SC, all black.  It's a head turner :)

I'll vote for the 2015 FJ because, well, I'm biased.  Also, I prefer the simplicity, but that's subjective.

Yes, the wheelbase is slightly shorter, which I prefer for city handling.  So far it hasn't affected highway riding.  Bang for buck, it's a tremendous value.

2015 FJ-09 / FJR touring bags / oil plug mod / Evotech rad guard / SW Motech bash plate / VStream touring windshield / Seat Concepts:  Sport Touring / Vcyclenut ABS rings (speedo correction) / Cosmo RAM mount

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30 years away is a long time but the rust should get knocked off pretty quickly.  I'm partial to the Tracer 900GT and the 9GT.  Biggest advantage of newer bikes is ABS and right behind that is traction control.  ABS is the feature you hope to never use but nice to have.  Traction control on the Tracer will not only limit wheel spin but will also keep the front wheel on the ground.  Launched hard the Tracer 900 is a quick bike and 0-60MPH in 2.9 seconds.  Prior to the Tracer I had a 2012 CBR600RR and a 2014 Kawasaki Ninja ZX6R 636.  Up to about 70 or 80 the Tracer was just as quick but not as much noise.  

For your riding style there are many great bike out there.  I don't know about your area but where I live the traffic has gotten faster and more aggressive in the past several years.  Certainly want something that can get you out of harms way.

Low speed handling.  Any bike can be ridden well but some are easier than others to balance and control at parking lot speeds.  My sport bikes could be a real handful at low speeds - after all they were designed to go fast on a track.  Even though my Tracer was taller it was easier to handle at low speeds.  Even loaded with a full 58 liter duffle on the rear seat and full sidecases and an overfilled tank bag it still handled well on gravel roads in campgrounds with low speed limits.  

Bikes like the Royal Enfield 650s might be a good choice, again ABS is important and traction control is desirable but they are very hard to get to wheelie.  My CBR600RR would walk the front wheel up under hard acceleration unless I was working very hard (leaning forward a lot) to keep it down.  

Get some good gear.  Today there are lots of choices in good gear and good does not have to be expensive.  I do recommend an airbag vest or jacket.  I bought my first Diane's airbag vest 4 years ago and have ridden with it in all kinds of weather and temperatures up to 106F - for hours.  

The Tracer 900GT is amazing in another respect in that it does not put heat on the rider or cook their feet.  I've had bikes that would put a lot of heat back on the rider but the Tracer did not.   If stopped and the fan kicks on you will feel that but in motion it is a very cool bike - important for someone in the south.

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One of my concerns is I've seen alot of comments regarding vibration in the bars and footpegs ,

how bad is it and what ways have you guys been able to reduce them ? should I even worry about it ?

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