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autiger

New North Georgia Member with New Tracer 900

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Hello everyone,

I've been very curious about the FJ/Tracer 900 since its introduction in 2015. My current rides are a 2006 FZ1 with Ivan ECU reflash and a 2006 FJR1300 which I have taken to the west coast three times. Part of my curiosity was a desire to replace the FJR1300 with a lighter machine capable of touring with the possibility of an occasional dirt road for remote camping sites.

After convincing myself that I was serious, I started monitoring CycleTrader for pricing. I was pleasantly surprised to see very good deals for new standard Tracer900 and was thinking seriously of pulling the trigger when an add appeared that was $1000 less than the lowest I had found. I called the dealer and he confirmed the price was real. I immediately paid a $500 deposit to secure the deal and started looking for a shipper to transport the bike from St Charles, Mo to my north Atlanta suburb.

After thinking about it, I became suspicious that the deal might be too good to be true and was concerned about wiring the money to the dealer and having it shipped by a third party. That's two unknown entities where the deal could go south. That being the case, I decided to  take some cash and go and get it myself. I got lucky as Enterprise had a special for their cargo vans with unlimited mileage and only $59 per day. That pretty much finalized my decision, so I departed early Friday morning on a brand new Dodge ProMaster van with 26 miles on the odometer and headed to St Charles, Mo.

My concerns about the dealer were unfounded and they turned out to be awesome. So after 24 hours and lots of driving through rain and wind -- the Dodge ProMaster is a beast to drive in those conditions --, I pulled into my driveway Saturday morning at 6:00AM with a brand new 2019 Tracer 900 strapped into the back of a Dodge van with no idea how I was going to get it out before I had to return the van before noon. I was worn out, so I decided to take a rest and worry about unloading after a nap.

When I woke up about four hours later, I got my wife to help unload the bike. Fortunately, I had been doing some work on my porch stairs and had a 2x12x8 sawed in half which made for a perfect ramp with a walkway. It took about ten minutes to unload the bike, even though it started raining while we unloaded and I was concerned about my footing on the wet 2x12. After storing the bike in the garage, I took the van back and relaxed for the rest of the day.

The next day, the weather was unbelievable and I took advantage for a good long ride on the new Tracer. I took the bike up to the Georgia mountains north on GA129/blood mountain and back through highway 384 and Helen, Ga. I didn't push it too hard given the new tires and the roads were a little dirty due to random debris from the recent hard rains.

Overall, I was pleased after my ride on the Tracer. It performed well on the mountain roads and was stable on the Interstate riding up to the mountains. I had never ridden a tracer before, so I was a little surprised about some things since I had read/watched every review on the bike that I could find. I was particularly surprised and relieved regarding highway stability. That was the major area of concern for me given reports of instability and the spindly looking longer forks. I did notice the bike seems to be a bit more susceptible to wind regarding the front end stability, but not to the point of major concern. The biggest surprise was the vibration, particularly under hard acceleration. I don't know if I glossed over that when reading reviews or maybe I'm just comparing it to my well-sorted FZ1, but it's not insignificant. For touring I don't think it will be a major issue, but I was a little disappointed.

From reading all the reviews, I definitely wanted the GT version. With the discount I got on my Tracer, that made no sense. The GTs weren't discounted very much, so the difference in price would have been almost $5k considering the deal I got. That being said, the GT only had two things I really desired and those are the cruise control and suspension upgrade. I can add cruise control for about $500 and I was pleasantly surprised with the competence of the standard suspension on my ride though the mountains. For my purposes, I think the standard setup will do just fine.

Anyway, I hope my introduction wasn't too long. I appreciate this forum for all the timely information and advice and hope to contribute in the future. Here's a picture of my new steed with 175 miles -- my ride yesterday - on the odometer.

IMG_3570.jpg

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I grew up in that area. It’s beautiful. Should swing by just north of Blue Ridge and stop at Tank Town. Maybe drive a tank and shoot a machine gun. Then stop at Copperhead lodge for some good food.

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@autiger - welcome and congrats on the new bike.  From your introduction, it sounds like you are aware of the MCCruise, it works GREAT!  I would also suggest a radiator guard, the fins can be easily bent and you wouldn't want a rock to fly up and end your day.

Since you already have an FJR, you already have fully compatible side bags, you will just need the bottom mount brackets.

Enjoy the new ride.


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

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Welcome! I also moved from an FJR to the Tracer. I wanted something a bit (around 200 lbs!) lighter that could still tour well.

I have the MCCruise on the way from OZ. I had one on the FJR, and I won't have a touring bike without it. Fortunately, the Tracer install is sooo much easier with throttle-by-wire -- no vacuum system or servos to worry about. I am debating on changing the color with some vinyl, because I am not in love with the grey. When I'm riding, the color doesn't bother me at all!

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@autiger Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new Tracer. Don't worry about the vibration on hard acceleration, that's just the engine telling you thanks. 

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He who dies with the most toys wins.

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Welcome and congrats on the new bike.  Mine seemed to get smoother after a few thousand miles.  Then I sent the ECU off to Ivan for a reflash and now I rarely ever notice any vibration.  

Jealous of your location.  I get down that way a few times each year.  Going up Blood Mountain is so much fun!!


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

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17 hours ago, johnmark101 said:

Welcome and congrats on the new bike.  Mine seemed to get smoother after a few thousand miles.  Then I sent the ECU off to Ivan for a reflash and now I rarely ever notice any vibration.  

Jealous of your location.  I get down that way a few times each year.  Going up Blood Mountain is so much fun!!

Thanks!

That's encouraging to hear about the miles and Ivan's ECU reflash. My FZ1 was a different machine after the Ivan ECU reflash including less vibration, so I was hoping that might be the same for the Tracer. I don't know how long I will ride the bike stock, but I was surprised the fueling on the Tracer is not that bad. I can probably live with it while under warranty.

Yes, the north Georgia mountains are pretty awesome. I currently split time in the Atlanta suburbs and the mountains. I prefer the mountains. 🙂

Edited by autiger
Correcting autocomplete

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17 hours ago, betoney said:

@autiger - welcome and congrats on the new bike.  From your introduction, it sounds like you are aware of the MCCruise, it works GREAT!  I would also suggest a radiator guard, the fins can be easily bent and you wouldn't want a rock to fly up and end your day.

Since you already have an FJR, you already have fully compatible side bags, you will just need the bottom mount brackets.

Enjoy the new ride.

Thanks for the welcome.

I may wait a bit on the cruise control, but I'll for sure get the mount brackets and a radiator guard ASAP. I learned about radiator guards the hard way when a rock off the interstate drained my FZ1 radiator.

Handy tip for radiator repair BTW: "Blue Magic 16402 QuikSteel Aluminum Repair Aluminum Reinforced Epoxy Putty" plugged the rather sizable hole on the FZ1 radiator and it's still holding since 2016. Amazing stuff.

Cheers

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Welcome to the club!

I lived in Woodstock for 15 years.

Spent a zillion miles in TN, N GA, NC mountains.

Much miss the area.

See ya

bill

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