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Seric

Tracer 900 for long rides

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Hello! 

MY first time here on The forum. I am looking into buying a tracer 900 and I wounder, how valid is it for long rides (maybe like 2500km trip around europe). I am a pretty tal guy and I Will ride with a passenger, so is The tracer a valid recomendation by you? 

 

Best regards

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I've taken mine on half a dozen or so 1000km day trips, and am really quite happy with it.  Sadly, COVID has gotten in the way of my beloved trips south of the border this year, so I haven't done a weekend trip yet. 

The seat isn't great (but it's not terrible either) - but the bike itself in terms of ergonomics is quite good.  There's a fair amount of customizability - you can change the seat height, you can flip the handlebar risers to move them forward or backwards an inch or so.  I certainly enjoy my bigger rides, and feel good afterwards, but I *am* eventually going to do something about that seat.

The windshield is hot garbage.  I don't care about this, and just leave it in it's lower position (upper position causes a lot of head buffeting) but if wind is a problem for  you, you'll probably want to look into a larger aftermarket windscreen.  There's a *LOT* of talk about windscreens in the forums here, so I'll leave you with a recommendation to search if they're important to you.

The stock suspension is decent, but pretty undersprung.  I'd say it's sprung for someone in the 65kg/140lb range, realistically.  For me, this is a problem (I've got upgraded springs coming - turns out $200 gets you fork springs and a rear shock spring), but it really depends on what you weight obviously.  The forks are fully adjustable, and the rear has preload and rebound adjustments.  

I'm 193cm, 136kg (6'4" 300lb).  

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I love the bike. But to be honest, it evolved from a funbike and that's still a bit in its DNA. 

One the one side, that is a plus as it is really fun to ride and both the engine and the handling make it a great bike.

On the other side, for me the bike has its shortcomings when it comes to long trips. It is just more a sporty fun bike than it is a tour bike.

Look at it this way: I love to go touring in the Alps. It will take about 900km for me to get there. I would much rather have a bike like a Versus 1000 or a 1200 GS to get me there, but once I'm there I would definitely want my Tracer.

But opinions are what they are: just opinions. So don't take my word for it.

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Ok thx for answers, The gs is a bit out of my pricerange... So Will it be more viable with another seat? Or is its *touring limitations* in its chassi, Michiel?

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The chassis will not be the limiting factor. I think the biggest gain for the Tracer to become more touring oriented would be a different seat and screen. 

If you change those, it will be a good allrounder.

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In aggrement with comments above, I have been running My tracer for a year now and would recomend it for its comfort for long distance work. Mine came to me with the Yamaha comfort seat and I fitted a Puig touring screen.(standard screen on early models hopeless) I am in the early planning stages for a visit to My brother in Basel 2 off 450 mile days and hopefully a few mountain passes and return and have no second thoughts about using the Tracer. Can't comment on pillion comfort but If you are considering a used bike bear in mind that the newer Tracer 900 has a longer swing arm length and may be more  comfortable for a passenger. I discounted the GT model when I bought mine because I felt the standard side cases at 22 litres were too small for my requirements but this might not be an issue for you. Good luck with your intended purchase.

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Do u get bigger swingarm and cases with The gt? Or does The newer modells Come with öonger swingarm? 

 

Thx! 

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I Will be taking The bike maybe once or twice out on a BIG trip. So think it suits me well... 

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29 minutes ago, Seric said:

Do u get bigger swingarm and cases with The gt? Or does The newer modells Come with öonger swingarm? 

 

Thx! 

Yes, the cases come with the GT model. The longer swingarm is standard on both the GT and the non-GT version (since model 2018).

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It's a fantastic long-distance bike with a seat and suspension change - both rather minor changes. If you are taking a passenger you will be much happier with a the larger FJR panniers, too. 

 

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Thx everyone, Will be geting one then! Have tried to sit on one with passenger! 

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I bought mine (2015 FJ-09 model) used last year about this time and it is a fabulous all around bike.  Previous owner had done a lot of mods to it including a Madstad windscreen and front and rear suspension so I can't comment on the stock stuff.  He also put a Corbin seat on it which I took off after I got home.  I'm short at 5'8" with 30" inseam and went with a Yamaha lower seat and it has been great for me but many people complain about stock seats.  It works great for me.  Previous owner also installed a Yamaha top case and Givi Trekker Outback side cases and they work well for my trips.  They are not cheap to add on though.

I live in one of (if not the) best areas of the US for riding and have only taken the bike on two long trips and it did great on both.  I had planned more long distance riding but a consulting gig and the COVID got in the way of that.

All that being said this is probably the best bike I have ever owned.  I sold a Kawasaki Concours right before i bought the FJ-09 and it was great for touring but was a heavy bike that I never felt comfortable riding around here in the mountains.  The FJ-09 can do it all and do it well.

 

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Look at it this way: The Tracer has about the same riding position as a BMW R1250RT, and it's actually slightly more open and upright than a FJR1300. The riding position on any bike is usually expensive and difficult to modify, so that makes the Tracer an excellent starting point. All it really needs is a better windscreen and seat, and those are readily available. 

As you can see I've gone off the deep end with modifications for long distance riding. I have a custom seat, Madstad's largest windshield, 40L saddlebags, auxiliary lights, auxiliary fuel, and various other mods. I've done 1000+ mile days in comfort. And even with all my insane mods and a full load of 30L of fuel it still weighs less than 550lbs (250kg). 

2020_0703_08180700.jpg

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8 hours ago, Michiel900GT said:

I love the bike. But to be honest, it evolved from a funbike and that's still a bit in its DNA. 

One the one side, that is a plus as it is really fun to ride and both the engine and the handling make it a great bike.

On the other side, for me the bike has its shortcomings when it comes to long trips. It is just more a sporty fun bike than it is a tour bike.

Look at it this way: I love to go touring in the Alps. It will take about 900km for me to get there. I would much rather have a bike like a Versus 1000 or a 1200 GS to get me there, but once I'm there I would definitely want my Tracer.

But opinions are what they are: just opinions. So don't take my word for it.

@Seric -  I agree with this reply alot.  The nice thing about the FJ/Tracer is its versatility, you can adapt it to meet your needs and it works great, within reason. 

I use mine for both sporty mountain pass rides as well as multi-state road trips, the longest being 10 days/4,100 miles.  Solo riding is fantastic, if I was riding long days with a passenger, personally, I might look at a larger bike with a longer wheelbase and seating area for more space to move around. 

@Michiel900GT - made a great point - "I love to go touring in the Alps. It will take about 900km for me to get there. I would much rather have a bike like a Versus 1000 or a 1200 GS to get me there, but once I'm there I would definitely want my Tracer." - When I test rode the FJ09 my immediate thoughts were "This is a fun little sporty bike that would be a blast in the mountains" and when I test rode the Versys 1000, my immediate thought was "This bike is extremely smooth and comfortable and I want to ride it to California right NOW".


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

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Posted (edited)

Wont be using it for many long trips. Mainly one or two so in regard by your comments i think i can handle then by geting seat, suspension, windshield.. 

 

Thx! 

Edited by Seric
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