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Everybody's copying the Tracer!

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On 11/29/2019 at 7:37 PM, daboo said:

You mentioned the curves.  I got a chuckle out of the BC riders.  They were on Kawasaki Concours C14s.  Wonderful bikes.  They are on the "sport" side of sport-touring, I suppose.  Those guys could fling their bikes through corners at speeds that amazed me.  But by lunch, it was no problem to reel them in.  Even if a heavy bike can take curves fast, it still takes a lot of effort.  At the end of the day, I was still ready for more riding.  And I think it has to do with the low weight of our bikes

This is a point I often try to make to my friends in the long distance/Iron Butt community. They question how I can handle touring on lighter motorcycles like the FJ-09 or my previous TT600. There is an assumption that a heavier bike (600-750lbs) is obviously more comfortable for long rides because of "stability" or something like that. But if the roads are curvy - you know, the kinds of roads we actually enjoy riding - the weight becomes a detriment and definitely contributes to fatigue after a while.

The FJ-09 (or F800GT) can be made comfortable on freeway drones with the simple addition of a windshield, seat, and cruise control. But nothing is going to turn a 700 pound land yacht into a flickable corner carver.

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As a member of the long distance community (9 SS1000, 1 BB1500, and 1 50CC in ‘19) I am one who believes there is no advantage to weight. In full disclosure I did most of my rides on my FJR and a couple on my Multistrada but am seriously considering using a TracerGT in the future. My FJ-09 with stock seat and CalSci windshield is as comfortable as the FJR, in fact it has more legroom and is easier on the knees. As far as comfort both the Multi and FJ-09 are tough to beat.  The FJR does have an advantage in range which is a big plus and shaft drive is nice but not a deal maker. Where the lighter bikes rule supreme is when riding at slower speeds and any time you stop after 15 hours on the bike.  It simply takes less effort and when fatigue is a factor that’s when it’s easy to make a mistake and drop a bike. Even the 100lbs difference between the Multistrada and FJR is huge at the end of the day.  Less effort saves energy for riding longer too.  I only have a 30” inseam and for me the FJ-09 is by far the easiest. While I’ve yet to do an official SS1000 on it I have done some long days and riding the smaller bike is no more fatiguing than a big bike if anything it’s less so.  A decent windshield and it’s good to go. I have no problem with the stock seat but if it were to become my go to LD bike I’d have KonTour redo it. There really is no argument for heavier bike other than they’re heavier😊.  

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3 hours ago, donk said:

As a member of the long distance community (9 SS1000, 1 BB1500, and 1 50CC in ‘19) I am one who believes there is no advantage to weight. In full disclosure I did most of my rides on my FJR and a couple on my Multistrada but am seriously considering using a TracerGT in the future. My FJ-09 with stock seat and CalSci windshield is as comfortable as the FJR, in fact it has more legroom and is easier on the knees. As far as comfort both the Multi and FJ-09 are tough to beat.  The FJR does have an advantage in range which is a big plus and shaft drive is nice but not a deal maker. Where the lighter bikes rule supreme is when riding at slower speeds and any time you stop after 15 hours on the bike.  It simply takes less effort and when fatigue is a factor that’s when it’s easy to make a mistake and drop a bike. Even the 100lbs difference between the Multistrada and FJR is huge at the end of the day.  Less effort saves energy for riding longer too.  I only have a 30” inseam and for me the FJ-09 is by far the easiest. While I’ve yet to do an official SS1000 on it I have done some long days and riding the smaller bike is no more fatiguing than a big bike if anything it’s less so.  A decent windshield and it’s good to go. I have no problem with the stock seat but if it were to become my go to LD bike I’d have KonTour redo it. There really is no argument for heavier bike other than they’re heavier😊.  

MY FJ is limited by the fact that it has no cruise. I didn't really buy it for that kind of riding though. Initially I bought the bike as an in-state sport tourer for the Driftless region (donk knows what I'm talking about) and sporting rides with friends locally. But the bike is so comfortable that I've pushed out further with rides to Iowa and Michigan for business. I've put 10 hours in the saddle and yeah, compared to my Harley Touring rig I get a little beat up. But the Harley is a minivan on 2 wheels and requires very little effort. I've done a number of runs to Denver in one day and I consider the bike ideal for that. The FJ compares very favorably to my GS though. With the right seat (working on that) and maybe cruise I could do much longer rides. I'm looking forward to some runs down to the Smokies and the Ozarks so I can tear it up more than when I'm on the minivan.

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The Driftless region is great riding. 

I use a Go Cruise throttle control on the FJ-09. While not cruise control it does give my right hand a brake. Cruise and a bigger tank would be the reason(excuse) to consider a Tracer GT. 

Edited by donk
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The FJ-09 is a solidly capable LD bike particularly with cruise control added and windscreen to taste.  I’ve done several IBA rides including a Bun Burner Gold and rallies as long as 65 hours and less range is the only glaring shortcoming v. bigger rides.  More fairing, technology and creature comforts would help I suppose but donk is spot on about weight.

 

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