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Collected the new bike today...

Guest lawrenceofsuburbia

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Guest lawrenceofsuburbia
Picked up the new Tracer today, and rode 108km home via a fairly hilly, twisty (tortuous in parts) route through the Gold Coast hinterland, on mixed roads chosen so I’d be able to give the engine, gearbox, and brakes a good (but controlled) workout over the first critical hundred or so kilometres of the bike’s life.
Strangely, the new bike – gearbox mods fixed - felt a lot smoother, accelerated quicker, made a more pleasing sound, and handled even better than the demo bike I took out several days ago – then I realised it was because mine is the Matte Grey version, whereas I’d ridden the red variant on that test outing!
I must say that when I first saw pix of the bikes I had planned on choosing the red variant, if I were to proceed, but seeing both in the flesh for the first time the Matte Grey really, [em]really [/em]appealed, Stealth-look and all! It was a touch of class to use a matte paint finish on the tank and elsewhere, as opposed to gloss, and it makes it look quite special. Reminds me somewhat of the stonking 1673cc Yamaha MT-01 I had some time back, which always attracted lots of attention, even from non-riders.
And as with my first road-test a few days ago, I am mighty impressed with just how turbine-smooth the engine is, whether accelerating through the gears (gently!) or cruising at 80 to 100kph today. With custom ear-plugs the dentist’s-drill engine whine is quite muted at highway speeds too.
So, second impressions overall – very pleasing. The value-for-money is exceptional – even without the panniers it would be good value, but including them in the <AUD$16,000 price is a stroke of genius on the part of Yamaha Australia.
The question of seat comfort was uppermost in my thoughts today. The ride home was only about half the length and duration of my recent test-ride (see my recent [em]‘First Impressions’[/em] post).
I was not too uncomfortable today (and wouldn’t have expected to be after a relatively short hour-and-a half on the road) but on reflection I don’t think I’ll be rushing into getting the seat modified just yet. It might just be that over time – but not too much time! - the bike’s seat and mine may adapt to each other. I plan on doing my favourite ~440km day-ride within the next week, which will tell the tale [em](for Oz members – home in outer SE Brisbane to Warwick to Toowoomba to home).
The seat was not at all ‘wobbly’, just able to be wiggled up-and-down a bit at the rear, but nothing to cause alarm.
On the way home I stopped briefly to adjust the screen from the high position, just to see if I could detect a difference. I could, but the higher setting seems to suit me best (at 177cm, 5’9” and-a-bit) so I will just Loctite the moulded plastic nuts - which seem to want to fall off! – to secure them, and leave the screen as-is. I find that the fore-and-aft ‘rocking’ of the top of the screen is a bit off-putting, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it and eventually won’t even notice it over time.
Next jobs: install the 136Db Stebel Magnum horn when it arrives in a day or two – should be a quick and easy fix, and now I’ll be heard!
I’ll make up and install a rad guard, more for the sake of avoiding unsightly chipping of the large rad itself than for any other reason. A piece of black extruded aluminium mesh from the local auto store will do that job for under $30.
I’ll look into making up an extension to the embryonic rear hugger, to make it more effective over a greater part of the tyre. I’ve a fair bit of experience with epoxy and fibreglass, so will probably attempt to fabricate something myself initially.
And as suggested here, I’ll install some sort of protective sleeve or cover over the exposed rear spring.
I would also really like some sort of protective front mini-fairing/ belly-pan that would wrap around the lower part of the exhaust pipes just behind the front wheel. I can envisage the pipes getting very grimy in short order, so a fitting to cover them and tidy-up that area visually would be useful, but I think I’ll have to buy a ready-made unit for this purpose, if it exists yet. That might be a slightly longer-term fit.
Next, and hopefully a final task, might be to fit some front riding lights of the sort written about by others here – the CREE lights, f’rinstance – to add to the half-on front headlight: visibility is all on the road.
And then, the only bit of ‘bling’ – some silver 'Tracer' decals for the sides of the panniers, to match those at the front of the bike. I have a graphic-designer friend who makes such things very nicely and very quickly too…
I’ve already installed reflectors into the small recesses that are moulded into the lids, and these tasty decals will give another visual ‘lift’ to the otherwise rather plain grey panniers, and will add a final grace-note to the rear of the bike.
I’ll likely most often leave the panniers on for most of the time, as I think the bike does look better balanced with panniers attached, and they are not so wide as to make traffic-filtering a trial.
I’ve now had the opportunity to crawl all over the bike and study every external detail, and I have to say that apart from the non-adjustable clutch lever (the opposite front brake lever [em]is[/em] adjustable) there’s no evidence anywhere of any shortcuts having been taken, despite its keen pricing. Case in point – there is some cabling secured to either side of the ‘bars, and even there the cable-ties used are of a much better quality – thick, chunky and wide – than one might expect.
But I do expect the bike to be a bugger to clean!
Now to ride…!
Lawrence of Suburbia [em] (’39 model)
2015 Matte Grey Tracer – now at 109 km.
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Hey L of S. Glad to hear you got your bike. I also live on the Sth side of Bris. I also do the Warick,Towwomba, Bris, ride! Normally by myself. I would love to have a riding partner if you are interested. I just do the speed limits, no silly stuff , just enjoy riding. I ride my just finished brand knew 33 year old Honda Super boldor. It has taken me 2 years of rebuilding the old girl to actually say it's reliable now. Not sure how we can get in touch with each other, can we private message through this forum. I'll try and post a picture here of the old girl. Hope all the Yamaha purists don't mind.
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Good for you Lawrence!
I'm satisfied your purchase & riding home experience went smoothly.
I'm also aware that the Australian & I also think Japanese fitted bags don't have red reflector pads in the recesses of the hard bags! Strange I think. Since without the bags, I think the bike comes with rear red side reflectors!
I too will add some with auto double sided tape. I'm sure an Autobarn will stock them?
I knew you would like the Matt Grey!
Keep us informed!
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Guest lawrenceofsuburbia
The reflectors are on already, Steve - about $8 per pair from Supercheap Auto - I'm sure all the others will have them. They came with super-strength tape already on.
It's a bit odd, isn't it, that cases in some markets have them already fitted ex-factory, others (us!) not!
The round reflectors that [strong][em]are[/em][/strong] fitted (to the tail unit) are orange, so I kept to that.   But it's a minor point...  I'll post a pic of the lids when the decals I mention are in-place.
One small but useful point - unlike on my last bike (R1200 R), when I couldn't avoid kicking and therefore scuffing the top of the rhs pannier, I can easily clear the (narrower) panniers on this bike.  Lookin' good!
L of S
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