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2021 GT Updates

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On 1/14/2021 at 4:10 PM, Ride365 said:

I said that same thing.......and here I am with another chain drive bike, just not many good options with a shaft unless you go Bavarian. ;)

Exactly.  How often do you have to mess with a chain?  I had Goldwings for 25 years and thought I'd get tired of oiling and adjusting the chain.  Nope, I may adjust it once between tire changes which is caused by the bike being so much fun to thrash in the twisties that I've yet to get 2,000 miles on a set of tires.  And, you can change gear ratios at the drop of a hat.  Obviously you know what you want and don't want.

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4 hours ago, fjray said:

Exactly.  How often do you have to mess with a chain?  I had Goldwings for 25 years and thought I'd get tired of oiling and adjusting the chain.  Nope...

Agreed. I sympathise with @Ride365 - long preferring shaft-drive whenever possible myself. Largely because of the presumed lower-maintenance factor. Coming originally from dirt-bikes myself, chain maintenance is obviously higher than a road bike so maybe I can blame that history for my proclivities?

But as we all know, shafties are hard to come by and the variants are few. Furthermore, I have to agree with @fjray as my chain-driven road bikes have similarly require very little maintenance. In fact the only chain failure I've ever had involved the rear wheel fully dropping into a wombat hole** while the engine was screaming at around 5-6,000rpm pulling me up a steep hill - an understandable failure in the circumstances.

So while my heart wishes the new sports/tourer Tracer came with a shaft, my brain knows that the chain-drive will do just fine and I'll never notice the difference.

**For those who don't know, a full sized wombat hole can readily swallow a motorbike wheel - as this one did.

wombat.thumb.jpg.99ce58e41ccaf466dbdafe639f68c0d9.jpg

 

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4 hours ago, fjray said:

And, you can change gear ratios at the drop of a hat. 

That is important to me, I have always ended up +2 on the rear sprockets.

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

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6 hours ago, fjray said:

Exactly.  How often do you have to mess with a chain?  I had Goldwings for 25 years and thought I'd get tired of oiling and adjusting the chain.  Nope, I may adjust it once between tire changes which is caused by the bike being so much fun to thrash in the twisties that I've yet to get 2,000 miles on a set of tires.  And, you can change gear ratios at the drop of a hat.  Obviously you know what you want and don't want.

I average 20k+ miles per year. A shaft driven bike will save me $200 per year, that doesn’t count cleaning materials and lube. I also wouldn’t be spending time adjusting, cleaning and oiling a chain in a parking lot in the middle of nowhere anymore. I don’t care about changing gear ratios. 

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I smell like the road...

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3 hours ago, micah2074 said:

I average 20k+ miles per year. A shaft driven bike will save me $200 per year, that doesn’t count cleaning materials and lube. I also wouldn’t be spending time adjusting, cleaning and oiling a chain in a parking lot in the middle of nowhere anymore. I don’t care about changing gear ratios. 

But at 20k+ a year, your so niche that no manufacture will would ever produce to that market, at least in 2021.

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36 minutes ago, roadwarrior said:

But at 20k+ a year, your so niche that no manufacture will would ever produce to that market, at least in 2021.

I don’t understand what you’re saying? Yamaha currently offers two bikes that cover what I want in my next motorcycle. The FJR and the Super tenere. Both are great at going to far away places. Both are shaft driven. 

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I smell like the road...

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5 hours ago, micah2074 said:

I don’t understand what you’re saying? Yamaha currently offers two bikes that cover what I want in my next motorcycle. The FJR and the Super tenere. Both are great at going to far away places. Both are shaft driven. 

Yeah, I had 2 Super Tens and I would have no problem at all going back to one, and may still one day.

I previously rode an ST1300 and I've never ridden and FJR but have sat on a few and the weight would be an issue with me.  I like something I can easily move around the garage or back up when I'm sitting on it if I accidentally park at a decline.

I also had a couple GL1800s and boy, that reverse gear is a dream, you just don't know until you have one... especially for us short guys.  The wings also had a lower center of gravity being flat 6s vs inline or twins so getting on one and getting off the side stand was almost like it was a 300 lbs bike... the ST1300 and even Super Tens had more effort and reminded you you didn't want to drop one.  Love the new wings and the DCT but boy... that price would be a tough pill to swallow but once you did you'd be ridding high.. lol  One thing I didn't like about the wings is they were so smooth and calm when touring that I would get drowsy during interstate runs.. not good.. I found out a bike with less wind protection that wasn't as smooth allowed me to stay alert longer.

If I did 20k / year... I'd either pull the trigger on a Wing or go with the Super Ten.  If they upgrade the super ten again, I had the 2012 version and then the 2014.... I might still get another one.

You will miss the light weight of the Tracer and that engine... wow... nothing compares that I've ridden, or can afford, so far.

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I was close to buying a Super Ten over the Tracer GT, but was ready for a change away from ADV machines. Yamaha really needs to bring the weight down on it more like a 1250GS, and that engine is capable of more HP and torque for sure.

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Mellow, nice, clean bikes, and scenery...

The only shafty I've had was a vintage 60s BMW with a funky Earles front end but it was light but slow and boring but relatively dependable for the age. 

Chain is cheap, very efficient and light.  With a decent X-ring chain and sprockets they're good for 20~24,000 miles.  And yes while it is a PITA to maintain and $200~250 to replace them, I can do so in an hour or so if I didn't always spend an equal amount of time taking advantage of cleaning the rear with the wheel off, and greasing the bearings etc..

A used BMW may be an option but still not as fun or light as the Fudge 9

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20 hours ago, micah2074 said:

I average 20k+ miles per year. A shaft driven bike will save me $200 per year

That's less than 1cent per mile which is likely less than what you pay in additional fuel for shaft-drive inefficiencies and extra weight compared to a chain. I think the only real argument is lower maintenance.

Even then at 20K+ per year you must be doing multiple oil-filter and tire replacements annually so doing a chain service during these down-times seems like the maintenance impact and inconvenience is close to zero.

Don't get me wrong, I like shafties, but if they had more than niche applicability most manufacturers would have moved over to them long ago.

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Big benefit of my shaft drive ST was it was QUIET at speed.  FJ chain, sprocket and xmission noise not good!

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1968 Triumph Bonneville 650
1971 Norton Commando Roadster
2002 Harley 1200 Sportster
2003 Honda ST 1300
2016 FJ 09

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A belt drive is quiet also.  Mine lasted me 53K.

Chris

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4 hours ago, nhchris said:

Big benefit of my shaft drive ST was it was QUIET at speed.

Ok, apart from the wines, the canals, the aqueducts, the schools, the roads and public health what have the Romans even done for us...

I don't really want to subvert this topic into a chains vs shaft discussion which has been done to death a thousand times before, so I'll say again that I am a shaft fan boy, but we fan boys have to acknowledge that their appeal is limited, much as we might wish otherwise. And yes, the belt-drive fan boys have even more of a niche issue than us shafties do!

To the topic at hand, my biggest fear wrt the 2021 Tracer 9 is that Mr Yamaha might decide not to sell it in my region. There were very few Tracer GTs sold here and the only ones on the second-hand market are left-over demos from dealers. I cannot find a single GT up for private sale, which suggests to me that either existing owners love them or there are very few existing owners. Methinks the latter.

Anyway, I guess I'll have to wait until at least the April release date to find out. Here's hoping!

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Newby's first post here. What's the latest info as to when the 2021 T9 is supposed to hit dealer showrooms? 

EDIT: Just saw the last sentence of the post above saying April. Disappointing.

Edited by Sligo

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On 1/23/2021 at 6:09 PM, nhchris said:

Big benefit of my shaft drive ST was it was QUIET at speed.  FJ chain, sprocket and xmission noise not good!

Wear earplugs.

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