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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As requested by Shackman, I thought it was time to write down a few of my thoughts now that I've been riding my 2019 Tracer for a few miles. First, just to get it out of the way, and save you reading further if you have a short attention span, I love it.

On the FJ/Tracer forums, people moan about the stock suspension and how it should be the first thing upgraded (gosh, that sounds familiar...) but right out of the box, the bike is a far better handler and rides much nicer than my XR did after spending large amounts of money to upgrade the suspension. I haven't so much as adjusted the sag yet, as the bike has just seemed really nicely set up right from the get-go. I'm sure it can be improved further for my weight and riding style via the onboard adjustments, but I just haven't been motivated to try. The bike's steering is light, the cornering capability is confidence-inspiring, and it is flat out much easier to ride fast than my XR was, at least for me. I am taking several "benchmark" corners around my home at significantly higher speeds than I did on the XR, without trying very hard. Can't wait to get this thing into the mountains in the fall. I have no plans to upgrade the suspension in the near future.

Seat. Sucks. Better than the stock XR saddle, but needs upgrading. First thing on the list. Probably a Corbin in the near future.

Windscreen: Not great on it's own, with quite a bit of buffeting (which is another favourite gripe on the forums). I put a cheap aftermarket deflector/extender on mine, which has improved things a lot. As a result, I don't think I will be changing the screen this season. We'll see later on. MRA makes a great looking screen that people report works very well, and isn't too expensive, so that is a likely candidate if I get annoyed with my current setup.

Engine. Oh, dear lord, I am in love. The CP3 triple is just wonderful. It just doesn't care what rpm you're turning; you crank your wrist and you go faster right now, seemingly in any gear at any speed. The power is incredibly linear, as one forum member described it when I introduced myself. I very rarely feel the need to go over about 7-8k rpm, as I get all the thrust I want very easily by then, but a few WOT runs through redline show that life gets even more exciting above that, all the way to the 11k redline. Today I did a nice little run from a dead stop, using the lovely speed shifter up through the gears. I quit at 175/110, and that was accomplished very, very quickly. All that and I'm getting an overall 5.1 l/100 km (55 mpg imperial, 46 mpg US), and I'm still breaking it in. Today I was cruising at 135-140 kph (85 mph) and was seeing 4.6 l/100 km (61 mpg imperial, 51 mpg US). Considering my riding so far has been mostly shorter blasts with backroads (no cops) high-speed highway riding, and lots of experimenting with the engine to enjoy the blasts of power, I have no doubt that on a longer highway trip at closer to legal speeds I will see numbers I have never got on a motorcycle before. I think back to my old 1980 Yamaha XS850 triple, which displaced almost exactly the same (847 for the Tracer, 826 for the old 850) and the difference 40 years makes is incredible. On that bike, I got 40-45 mpg imperial on the highway with quite literally half the horsepower. Gotta love progress.

Doodads: This machine is very well-equipped with electronic gadgets: Cruise control (works great, love it), 3 riding modes/engine maps, 3 traction control modes, grip heaters (you need a tech school degree to figure out how to turn them on and off to start with, but they work great), ABS, and the aforementioned speed shifter, which works fantastic in my experience and makes acceleration runs feel like one long (well, not long at all, actually) rush of power.

Summary: Very happy with the bike, and looking forward to getting it out for some longer, multi-day rides. We plan to do 2 weeks in the Okanagan Valley in BC ins Sept/Oct, and I am really looking forward to carving some mountain roads on some day trips without having to carry luggage. Does it have all the personality and character of the XR? Well, no, but it is quite frankly a vastly superior machine in every way, looking at things objectively. Someone on this forum (I will probably remember who as soon as I submit this) has in their signature that the only meaningful measure of a motorcycle is how it makes you feel, and nothing else really matters. The XR always made me grin. This machine always makes me grin too with it's impressive and flexible power and light, confident handling, but beyond that I feel I can take it anywhere and do anything with it that can be done with a two-wheeled conveyance on asphalt, with no reservations whatsoever. For all it's charm, that is one thing that I couldn't really say about the XR.
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Thanks for the review. In so many ways with motorcycles and other technology, these are "the good old days".

But please tell me, is the Tracer leaking oil and the XR not? That would bust quite a few myths. ;)
 

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You hit the nail right on the head, with your review of the XR to the 900GT. The GT is a much easier bike to ride and more forgiving than the XR, Different tools for different rides.
I’m running the MRA sport touring screen with the adjustable lip at present, better than stock. Also think about the stainless brake lines and even the 320mm rotors if you get bored, I have a spare set of spacer. The only problem I had is the stock chain was bad from the get go and was toast at 9000mi O rings started falling apart at 2500mi. Enjoy that cruise control🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the review. In so many ways with motorcycles and other technology, these are "the good old days".

But please tell me, is the Tracer leaking oil and the XR not? That would bust quite a few myths. ;)
No, lol. That pic was taken in my hangar (soon to be my ex-hangar) and those oil spots are courtesy of a Pitts Special that boarded there for 5 years, when it's owner wasn't flying upside down a couple of feet off the ground at airshows. The inverted oil system installed on that machine had a drain tube back near the tail, and it would usually drip after a flight. My buddy ended up putting an empty coke bottle over the tube to catch it, but there were spills regularly; hence the spots on the floor. I never made too much of an effort to clean it up (the plane's owner did, but those things are stubborn) because I liked the reminder of having that plane and pilot as my tenants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You hit the nail right on the head, with your review of the XR to the 900GT. The GT is a much easier bike to ride and more forgiving than the XR, Different tools for different rides.
I’m running the MRA sport touring screen with the adjustable lip at present, better than stock. Also think about the stainless brake lines and even the 320mm rotors if you get bored, I have a spare set of spacer. The only problem I had is the stock chain was bad from the get go and was toast at 9000mi O rings started falling apart at 2500mi. Enjoy that cruise control🙂
That's the screen I would get. Not too unhappy with the aftermarket lip on the stock screen so far though. The MRA definitely looks better; I think it's the best looking screen on the market for that bike. Looks like the screen it should have come with in the first place. I have seen a few people complain about the brakes and talk about upgrades. No complaints from me so far, although I admit they are not the most powerful stoppers I've had on a bike. Seem perfectly adequate for street use to me, though.
 

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My buddy has that bike! I remember riding it and thinking the riding position is like sitting on my living room couch, and 1st gear is amazing on that triple!
 

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As an owner of the first-gen Tracer (2015 FJ-09) Everything @gerrychuck has said is spot on. While the stock suspension can be too harsh or way to soft. Still not completely happy with it. It performs pretty well out of the box. Well enough for me anyway. The seat sucks. The windscreen is worthless for my 6'1" frame.
That engine though! Excellent Linear power in any gear at almost any speed. Power wheelies? Not a problem. 55+ mpg while toddling around? No problem. Other than a front brake master cylinder failure. (it is used on several different Yamaha's and was a supplier issue, so I heard) It has given me no problems. 58,000+ miles
 

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Thanks a bundle Gerry, for the informative review. I must concede my interest has been piqued. The Tracer 900 GT seems to be the beneficiary of much more advanced combustion technology than the XR and possibly even the new HD 1250 Sportster S. I'll keep an eye out for them here, although I think that model is rare locally. I have seen a number of the regular 700's and 900 triples around and noticed the 900's with a pipe make a pleasant growl.
Cheers, mate.

J.
 

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I have one too!!

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update: Home after two weeks and 850 km of windy roads in and around the south Okanagan Valley in BC. The Tracer was just a sweetheart; lots of thrust, light, confidence-inspiring handling, and fantastic fuel economy. I averaged a little over 4 l/100km on the trip (windy roads, with lots of 70-90 kph, and not much above 110). That's around 58 mpg US, or 70 mpg Imperial. Wow. My overall fuel economy is now 4.6 l/100km since new (51 US, 61 Imp). Again, wow. Combine that with the 19 litre tank, and the range worry we all know and "love" on the XR is simply gone.

Before the trip I upgraded to an MRA Touring windscreen with adjustable spoiler (see jb_supermoto's photo above; same screen) after the adjusting/mounting hardware on my cheapie spoiler failed on the road. Had a Corbin seat on order as well, which unfortunately didn't arrive until I got home from the trip, so my butt had to put up with the stocker. I guess the upside is that after that experience I know I really did need to spend the bucks on that nice new Corbin!

It was really interesting riding the Tracer over roads that I have covered extensively on the XR; the Yamaha was far easier to ride fast on those roads, and much less fatiguing. Except for my numb butt, I would get off after 4-5 hrs feeling pretty fresh, without stiff knees and ankles, or fingers seized up from the cold on the chillier fall mornings (standard grip heaters and hand guards ftw). The new windscreen worked very well; lots of air hitting my helmet, but it is smooth, clean airflow, unlike the turbulent battering that came off the stock shield. Very happy with that change.

The XR certainly was superior at starting conversations and drawing double takes, but I'm okay with having a more generic looking bike that works really well.

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