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Author Topic: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While  (Read 416 times)

Offline Dan

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Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« on: November 30, 2017, 10:54:53 AM »

I just bought my Versys last year but I am completely drawn by the updated FJ-09, now called by it's Euro name, Tracer 900.  And in particular the Tracer 900 GT.





It has all the right updates and cosmetic tweaks to really get my attention.  Taller windscreen, better seat, narrower bars, a few updates to the plastics and a sexy TFT display.





Has a factory centerstand as standard and a nifty DC outlet and gear position indicator, same as last year.  Plus it has a whole lot more horses coming from a triple motor... nifty!


Negatives, it's sure to be pricey, $12k at least.  The luggage is still smaller than the Versys meaning it won't store a full face helmet.  Probably fuel range isn't as good as the Versys either.  The Versys is paid for and modified to suit me currently.  I'm sure thinking of how I can trade or sell my Ninja 650 and Versys for this refreshed Yamaha.


And because my eye tends to stray I'm also looking at the BMW R1200 R and new Kawasaki 900 RS... they would each need luggage and a windscreen for me.  The BMW has it factory luggage, the Kawi probably needs aftermarket cases or soft bags.


Stupid Yamaha.

Offline mollusc

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2017, 11:08:07 AM »
Stupid Royal Enfield, too.  Less than 5k for what looks like a fun little thumper:  https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/royal-enfield-himalayan-coming-to-us-for-2018
Seems like there's a lot of interesting things coming to the market -- at last!
made of meat

Offline Dan

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2017, 11:13:54 AM »
Stupid Royal Enfield, too.


I was visiting Milwaukee over the Thanksgiving holiday and was quite surprised to find a Royal Enfield boutique store/dealership in the downtown Third Ward district.  I really like their bikes and super cheap for new machines.

Offline DesignFlaw06

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2017, 02:36:27 PM »
Negatives, it's sure to be pricey, $12k at least.  The luggage is still smaller than the Versys meaning it won't store a full face helmet.  Probably fuel range isn't as good as the Versys either.  The Versys is paid for and modified to suit me currently.  I'm sure thinking of how I can trade or sell my Ninja 650 and Versys for this refreshed Yamaha.

The FJ-09 I think was  $11k, I doubt this will be much different.

I've said this before, but the FJ-09 was a huge letdown.  Not that I would ever be in the market for one, but I think they missed the mark with what this bike should be.  It was way too tall (taller than the FJR), no cruise, chain drive, no heated grips, next to nothing wind protection, adjustable nothing, etc.  The luggage was also weak.

They have made some improvements, but not enough.  I know everything can't be the FJR, but I think it still sits way too high.  The adjustable seat height is only 0.6 inches either way.  That still means the lowest setting is the same height as the highest FJR seat.  At least cruise control and ABS are standard.  This bike belongs more in the adventure touring than the sport touring.

I guess I don't speak for small people, but I would think you would want a bike you could be sure-footed on.  Something that's also not 4x your weight.   I would think you could still come under a 500 lb wet bike and the added features.  I guess I'm looking for a bike (not really looking) that my wife could ride and be able to keep pace with me.  The FJ-09 missed that mark and I don't the Tracer gets much closer to it.

Offline Dan

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2017, 07:09:44 PM »

The FJ-09 I think was  $11k, I doubt this will be much different...



I agree, DF, it would have been if they made a smaller displacement FJR. That’s what I was looking for originally. There are smaller weight options with full on touring packs. Honda Interceptor, BMW R1200 RS and the R1200 R, BMW F800GT, Kawasaki Ninja 1000.  You could even get an FZ6 or FZ6r and add hard luggage.


I don’t agree that it is an adventure tourer.  It’s tallish but the tires, rims, suspension and peg position are all street bike.


The GT version is quite a bit different, it comes with luggage, TFT display, heated grips, cruise control, quick shifter and upgraded suspension.


By the way, it’s easier to reach the ground on the Yamaha than it is on my Versys even though the seat height is approximately the same.






Offline Hog Dog

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2017, 07:18:29 PM »
So many great bikes to choose from now.  Yamaha has really given us some great bikes.  I really like the 1200r also, if I outlast my NH then a 1200r will be in my garage.
Lucky Lindy's evil twin

Offline Bajakirch

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2017, 02:12:16 PM »
I've been mildly interested in the FJ-09 since it hit the market. When I first sat on one I thought it was too high, but I have to admit that I've become much more comfortable with a taller bike since I've been riding the V-Strom. I now consider myself a master of the 'cheek-sneak' to get one foot down.

That being said, the FJ-09 and its 2018 descendant are both way out of my price range for now.

Now, as to Royal Enfield, I was excited when I heard they were opening their US office a little more than an hour away from me. Since I've been job search for the last year, I had a dream plan of going to work for a MC company. Not wholly unrealistic in my neck of the woods, as HD and, until recently, EBR & Victory, were all within what I'd consider 'remote employee' distance. But I have heard nothing but lousy reviews on their last US offering, the Continental GT. I know of around 4 people that purchased them because they were so affordable and appealed to the retro crowd. Every person sold theirs off, citing poor build quality in most cases.

I'd sure like to see RE make a go of it here in the US, but I think they have a long way to go to be a real player in our market.
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Offline hppants

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2017, 07:46:29 AM »
The saddle bags for the tracer are entirely too small.  We believe the FJR bags would fit the tracer mounts, but who want's to spend another $1K on saddle bags for a bike that comes with saddle bags?  And then there is the color issue.  Also, the fuel capacity of the tracer is increased, but still a bit short for the seasoned sport tourer.  This is a bigger deal than it might appear.  The issue is not that your butt can't outride your fuel tank.  The issue is that when you really get off the beaten concrete laden slab path, the fuel stations get much farther apart.  This is especially important west of the Mississippi River.  I wouldn't buy a bike without an ACTUAL 250 mile range.

I think trying to find the "do it all" bike is a mistake.  In one's quest for the perfect compromise, he/she ends up with mediocrity all around.

Now, if the goal is to pick a market that you want to ride, and then really drill down what is MOST important to you, and finally be willing to compromise on what that bike comes up short on, then ANY bike is in play for ANY one.

Dan, in your case, the FJ-09 motor will be a huge power improvement from the Versys.  And the ergos, while slightly more sporty, won't break your neck coming from the versys.

If ergonomics is an issue, then consider the Versys 1000LT.  One of my closest riding buddies has that bike, moved to it from the FJR.  The big versys is an incredibly deceptive bike.  Very neutral ergonomics.  De-tuned Ninga 1000 motor that is bullet proof.  The wind protection on that bike is truly unbelievable considering what it looks like.  29 liter saddle bags.  And it's cheap - you can get a leftover '16 for no more than $10K, likely $9,500.00.  But no electronics.  No grip heaters.  Just ABS.

Offline Dan

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2017, 11:06:37 AM »

The saddle bags for the tracer are entirely too small...

Those are good points, Pants.  I could live with the smaller cases though I do appreciate the larger cases on the Versys.  The old FJ09's could use the FJR bags and fortunately for those models they used the same color schemes as the FJR, not certain about the Tracer and agree, paying more for a replacement part on an up-spec bike is a bad deal.  In theory you could sell the Tracer bags to an FJ09 or base Tracer owner to help offset the cost if it were important enough.


Range is important to me as well even though on the east coast there are few places where it is critical.  My Nighthawk 650 would get around 150 on a good day using reserve, my Ninja 650's best was around 192 miles but 175 was more typical and the Versys to date gets around 220 with lots left in the tank.  The fuel gauge on the Versys is the work of the Devil, constantly changing after the first bar goes down.  Theoretically the Versys 650 has a 300+ mile range.  Having said all that, I'm okay with 200 miles.



I don't necessarily agree that a do-it-all bike equates to mediocrity.  I would not call the FJ09 or the new Tracer mediocre compared to other modern bikes.


I think the Versys 1000LT is a fine bike and know a few riders who own them.  My biggest turn off for the the big Versys is it's size, in particular the longer wheelbase and to some degree the weight.  The new Tracer has the same overall size and weight to the Versys 650 and that appeals to me more.  A similar bike that I do like is the Multistrada 950, rode one last year on a very spirited test ride.


The good thing, Yamaha is usually around the New England area three times a year with factory test rides.  I'll give one a go and see if it is agreeable.  I remember when I rode the FJ09 I never loved it.  Could not quite pin it down, it just didn't feel right in the saddle.  I gave it about three different test rides and while I liked it more each time it never won me over the way the Versys 650 has.

Offline DesignFlaw06

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2017, 01:20:51 PM »
I don't necessarily agree that a do-it-all bike equates to mediocrity.

Do-it-all is a relative term.  For me, the FJR is a do-it-all bike because of how I ride and I certainly don't think it is mediocre.  I don't feel the need to run the FJR without luggage even.  I don't have the slightest desire for a second or different bike. 

I'd go demo one of these.  My perceptions could be all wrong.  I'd like to take the new Goldwing out for a spin too.



Offline Dan

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2017, 10:52:04 AM »
Do-it-all is a relative term.  For me, the FJR is a do-it-all bike because of how I ride and I certainly don't think it is mediocre.  I don't feel the need to run the FJR without luggage even.  I don't have the slightest desire for a second or different bike. 

I'd go demo one of these.  My perceptions could be all wrong.  I'd like to take the new Goldwing out for a spin too.


Tim, I can't even picture you on a different bike, to me it's like Yamaha called you up one day and asked exactly what you would want and they built the bike to your specs.


While the FJR may be a do-it-all for you it is definitely a sport touring bike in the classic sense.  Not some odd combination of like the Tracer or even the Versys.

Offline Bajakirch

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2017, 03:30:37 PM »
Quote
De-tuned Ninga 1000 motor that is bullet proof.


Hmmm...where have I heard that before?  hmmmm2


Oh yeah -- on the Concours. Only one of the most successful marques in Kawasaki's history. I like the Versys 1000LT suggestion.
Get on your bikes and ride!

Offline hppants

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2017, 04:08:55 PM »
I guess mediocrity was a strong term.  But I've seen one extreme, and the other.  The GS1200 is an excellent bike, but it is most assuredly NOT a dual sport motorcycle.  Putting 80/20 tires on that bike is taking a chance, big time.

I think it all depends on what anyone wants in the bike.  Like Tim, the FJR is close enough to perfect for me.  When I'm riding cross country, sometimes on 500+ mile days, I wish for a little more leg room and a little less forward hand controls.  But on the twisties days, it's all worth it and after a cold beer in the evening, I usually forget about that anyway.    whoohoo1

Offline Dan

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2017, 07:56:22 AM »
I guess mediocrity was a strong term. 


You know though, I think I know what you meant just a little internet chatting on my part.  Rather than mediocrity I think a better word to use is compromise.  Do-it-all bikes tend to make more compromises to get a wider appeal.  We'll give you power but it won't be as blistering as a superbike, it will be more comfortable but not cush like a GoldWing or laid back as a cruiser, great handling but not as precise as a sportbike, long travel suspension but not really an adventure bike.  That to me is a Tracer.

Offline Larry Fine

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2017, 01:20:44 AM »
I still feel that my NH is the best bang for the buck, especially when the buck has priority.  bkr3

Offline Rubo

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2017, 07:13:33 AM »
I still feel that my NH is the best bang for the buck, especially when the buck has priority.  bkr3
life is short and there are so many toys to play with...MY list is growing want to own
Ducati
Guzzi
Kawasaki new retro 900
Goldwing naked
Honda Valkyrie
BMW R9T
BMW R1100S
Ural with sidecar

I am sure there are more but that's my short list bikes I like to own before I die

Offline DesertDragon

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2017, 09:41:08 AM »
I still feel that my NH is the best bang for the buck, especially when the buck has priority.  bkr3
I agree Larry, especially when it comes to AFTER you buy the bike.
On the 'Hawk...
Cam chain adjust .. Nope.
Timing adjustment - Nope.
Valve adjustment - Nope.
Anyone with minimal skills can easily keep a NH750 maintained, and there isn't much to do.
Compare the never need to adjust 16 valve hydros to a 16 valve bucket and shim dealer adjustment option.
Over time, maintenance costs add up.
If you buy a cleanable oil filter, that means a filter clean, oil change and chain adjustments.



Keep the Rubber on the Bottom!

DD

Offline Larry Fine

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2017, 02:52:58 PM »
Plus the occasional brake friction-material change, cable lube, and tire pressure top-off.

Offline DesertDragon

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2017, 10:51:49 AM »
Plus the occasional brake friction-material change, cable lube, and tire pressure top-off.
..trying to highlight the differences... tire pressure and wear parts are ubiquitous.. oem control cables with teflon lining don't need lube..
Keep the Rubber on the Bottom!

DD

Offline Larry Fine

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2017, 12:10:57 PM »
. oem control cables with teflon lining don't need lube..

Are you saying that this applies to the NH750 cables? I haven't lubed mine in years. They still operate easily, now I know why. They're stock as far as I know.

My clutch is harder to pull in than most other bikes I've tried (but not a problem for my hands), and I attribute it to stiff clutch springs. It moves back out freely.

If one decided to lube Teflon-lined cables anyway, would standard cable lube be adequate, or is there a preferred lube for such cables?

Offline DesertDragon

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Re: Stupid Yamaha, Thought I Was Done Bike Shopping for a While
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2017, 07:58:58 AM »
According to Clymer for the 91+ NightHawk 750 series, the "later" versions of the cables are teflon lined and don't need lube.
They say don't lube them.  My bike is 21 years old, and I still have original cables that work fine, and I've never lubricated them.
Some say that when you think you need lube, you need a new cable. I would think a teflon lube would be okay in a teflon lined cable, but...
I did replace my speedometer cable, but that one isn't lined and needs grease.


 
Keep the Rubber on the Bottom!

DD

 

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