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clunkie66

New Owner here. Anyone tour in the winter?

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Hi all,

Collected my 'new' Tracer GT at the weekend - ex-demo with 800 miles on the clock, haven't had much chance to ride but loving it so far.

I bought it for touring and long weekends in the UK and Europe, having retired my trusty Fazer thou.

Does anyone else tour in the winter? I'm going for my fourth consecutive Dragon Rally in Snowdonia in three weeks time, so am excited to be putting some miles on the GT.

Does anyone have an opinion on the Givi or Puig touring handguards? They look pretty good but not sure how effective they'd be to keep the rain off. Up to now I have used Oxford muffs but absolutely hate em. I'm also considering a Yamaha top box too, and possibly a taller screen, but we'll see.

The other question is about keeping the bike looking nice and corrosion free - I have heard good things about XCP rust blocker, seems better rated than AC 50.

Cheers,

Colin

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In Canada we use a lot of salt on the roads in winter to melt the ice and keep the roads clear, so even if it's warm enough to ride, I never take my bike out while the roads are salted, and come spring, I wait for the a good rainfall to wash the salt away. 

There are a few windshield threads on this forum, some find the Puig almost perfect for touring, however it all depends on your size and your expectations. 

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1 hour ago, mingo said:

In Canada we use a lot of salt on the roads in winter to melt the ice and keep the roads clear, so even if it's warm enough to ride, I never take my bike out while the roads are salted, and come spring, I wait for the a good rainfall to wash the salt away. 

There are a few windshield threads on this forum, some find the Puig almost perfect for touring, however it all depends on your size and your expectations. 

Although the weather here is nowhere near as extreme as Canada, the roads are heavily gritted as well. I have always ridden in the winter and do like a few trips out as long as it's not torrential rain (too much!).

Thanks for the info, I'll have a look for the Puig comments.

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Hi clunkie66

I’m relatively new to the forum and just read your post. While the Tracer 900 GT has much to commend it, I have to mention that the bike has clearly been made to a price. Compared to its peers it’s incredible value but that is because there has been a lot of cost cutting. The worst is the finish.

As a lifelong lover of Hondas this was my first Yamaha and I can’t believe how terrible the rot is that has beset the finish of major components. I’ve only ridden it in winter a few times and the salt on British roads is ultra-corrosive,  but my Honda VTR1000 Firestorm which I owned for 17 years never succumbed like the GT. So please be diligent and continue to spray the bike with whatever corrosion inhibitors you can get your hands on. It’s shocking how my bike has simply rotted before my eyes. 

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On 6/1/2020 at 4:04 PM, Paddy01 said:

Hi clunkie66

I’m relatively new to the forum and just read your post. While the Tracer 900 GT has much to commend it, I have to mention that the bike has clearly been made to a price. Compared to its peers it’s incredible value but that is because there has been a lot of cost cutting. The worst is the finish.

As a lifelong lover of Hondas this was my first Yamaha and I can’t believe how terrible the rot is that has beset the finish of major components. I’ve only ridden it in winter a few times and the salt on British roads is ultra-corrosive,  but my Honda VTR1000 Firestorm which I owned for 17 years never succumbed like the GT. So please be diligent and continue to spray the bike with whatever corrosion inhibitors you can get your hands on. It’s shocking how my bike has simply rotted before my eyes. 

Curious.  I ride in Canadian winters - snow, slush, ice, etc - and it gets bathed in salt.  The only corrosion noticable is the whitish oxidation that happens to the shiny bolt heads, and it comes off with a light scrub and some WD40.  

Even so - in a situation so salty that I've literally had to scrape off salt buildup, and would clean and lube my chain a minimum of once a week, and there's no noticable rust or such.  My MT07 did just fine too. 

Maybe just the particulars of whatever compound is used over there?  

 

@clunkie66 If you're still around and looking for information this way, just let me know.  I've more than a few posts on kitting up for winter riding here, and regularly ride down to around -25C.  

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On 7/4/2020 at 7:35 PM, Wintersdark said:

Curious.  I ride in Canadian winters - snow, slush, ice, etc - and it gets bathed in salt.  The only corrosion noticable is the whitish oxidation that happens to the shiny bolt heads, and it comes off with a light scrub and some WD40.  

Even so - in a situation so salty that I've literally had to scrape off salt buildup, and would clean and lube my chain a minimum of once a week, and there's no noticable rust or such.  My MT07 did just fine too. 

Maybe just the particulars of whatever compound is used over there?  

 

@clunkie66 If you're still around and looking for information this way, just let me know.  I've more than a few posts on kitting up for winter riding here, and regularly ride down to around -25C.  

In Texas the winter is prime riding weather unless you like triple digit heat.

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Givi handguards definitely make a difference especially with heated grips.  They keep a lot of wind off your hands letting the grips work better.  Below 40, I still gradually get cold thumbs.  Below 30, I'm extremely uncomfortable after about 2 hours, and I like to stop briefly every hour or so for a few minutes.

Last winter I used spacers to move my Givi windscreen more upright.  I looked through the screen instead of over it.  Definitely helped keep me in a pocket of still air and let my heated jacket work better.

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On 1/14/2020 at 7:51 AM, clunkie66 said:

snippage for length not content

The other question is about keeping the bike looking nice and corrosion free - I have heard good things about XCP rust blocker, seems better rated than AC 50.

Cheers,

Colin

Hey Colin;

Haven’t hit the first winter on the GT I got a couple months ago.

Do have years of experience with corrosion protection on various aluminum alloys from inspecting and maintaining things with wings...

Very familiar ACF 50. Is a totally different product than XCP. ACF 50 is not really designed to “fight the elements” is not really a physically protecting film. Is more designed to prevent oxidation from exposure to air and the moisture/corrosive products in air. It dissipates by design, and in typical aviation applications (atomized and applied to essentially bare aluminum inside wings, fuselages, & control surfaces with no real exposure to anything other than “air”) is recommended to be re-applied at least every 24 months. 

Guessing that XCP works more like Boeshield or LPS3 which I am also familiar with. Only issue I can see in your application is that if the corrosive elements get “under” the coating you will still experience corrosion.

Will occasionally need removal, thorough cleaning and re-application.

Most of my winter experience is with an FJR, where all the stuff up front is enclosed/protected. The relay arm and dog bones got pretty ugly appearance-wise, but never experienced any severe pitting/material loss. Just left the center section of the exhaust get ugly also.

Contemplating getting the Tracer exhaust ceramic coated. Haven’t really come up with a firm plan yet for all the lower exposed parts/hardware on the engine...

Only way I can see ACF 50 working is if you thoroughly wash (and dry) and reapply after any real exposure to the “elements”. Will be good sitting in “the shed”.

Will definitely be following this thread for ideas/other experiences.

Hope this helps.

Regards;

Mark

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I ride all year, the only thing that ever bothers me is the thought of hitting black ice. I just lathered the bike in ACF50, and it is parked outside all year round (under a cover) , so I'll report back on how it goes. A little goes a long way, I sprayed it onto a microfibre cloth and wiped everywhere on the bike except the discs and the brake calipers.
Oh, and wear gloves if you are putting it on, it is nigh on impossible to wash your hands afterwards :)

 

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4 hours ago, Stew said:

I ride all year, the only thing that ever bothers me is the thought of hitting black ice. I just lathered the bike in ACF50, and it is parked outside all year round (under a cover) , so I'll report back on how it goes. A little goes a long way, I sprayed it onto a microfibre cloth and wiped everywhere on the bike except the discs and the brake calipers.
Oh, and wear gloves if you are putting it on, it is nigh on impossible to wash your hands afterwards :)

 

Make sure to treat the oil cooler on the front of the engine really well.  There have been reports of them deteriorating badly from long exposure to road treatments.

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

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I ride in the winter, but "tour" might be a stretch.  I use all Gerbins heated gear, top to bottom, so I stay toasty.  


’70 Yamaha 125 Enduro; ’75 Honda CB360T; ’81 Yamaha XS650SH; ’82 Honda GL650 Silver Wing Interstate; ’82 Suzuki GS650L; ’87 Yamaha Virago 535; ’87 Yamaha FJ1200; ’96 Honda ST1100; ’99 Yamaha V-Star Classic; ’00 Suzuki SV650; ’07 BMW K1200GT; ’12 Suzuki DR200; ’15 Yamaha FJ-09.  Bold = current

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I ride on occasion in the winter but living near the mountains means frost and snow at upper elevations, so its limited to quick day-rides.  Living in the Pacific Northwest means WET winters, I'm sorry but riding in a downpour @ 38-42F just isn't fun.  Dark and gloomy, limited visibility, constantly wiping rain from your visor, I don't see the point. 

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

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3 hours ago, betoney said:

I ride on occasion in the winter but living near the mountains means frost and snow at upper elevations, so its limited to quick day-rides.  Living in the Pacific Northwest means WET winters, I'm sorry but riding in a downpour @ 38-42F just isn't fun.  Dark and gloomy, limited visibility, constantly wiping rain from your visor, I don't see the point. 

Yeah.  Cold, frost and light snow aren't a problem with the right tires, but wet winter conditions are different.  It's extremely difficult to keep yourself dry, and if you're not dry, you're not going to be warm, and that just wrecks stuff.  Fortunately for me, winter is bitingly cold here and as such is significantly drier.  I'm from Vancouver Island in BC, and while I rode year round there too, it sucked a lot more despite being 20C warmer and virtually never icy or snowy.  Riding in rain that's just above freezing is horrible.

And even if you've actually found legitimately good rain gear, yeah, you're still constantly wiping at your visor and having trouble seeing, etc.  It's just not good.  I dislike riding when anything is falling from the sky, really.  I'll ride in rain, but only if I need to (going to work, coming home from a trip, etc) never for fun.  Same with snow: If it's actively snowing, the impacts on visibility are a problem.

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19 hours ago, Coop said:

In Texas the winter is prime riding weather unless you like triple digit heat.

In all honesty, I'd far rather ride in temps way below freezing than anything above body temp.  Mostly because once you get into those (for F) triple digit temps, the air doesn't cool you anymore, and there's no good personal cooling options.  In -25C, I just bump my heated gear up to full and despite wearing a summer textile jacket, sweatshirt and heated liner I'm still toasty warm and not even bulky.  It's what stops my road trips from going much further south of the border.

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3 hours ago, Wintersdark said:

In -25C, I just bump my heated gear up to full and despite wearing a summer textile jacket, sweatshirt and heated liner I'm still toasty warm and not even bulky.

LOL...you make it sound so casual. Good for you bud... 👍

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canada.gif.22c5f8bdb95643b878d06c336f5fe29f.gif - IBA #66956 - 2015 Yamaha FJ-09

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