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Old 02-08-19, 08:43 PM   #1
Adam Ef
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Default First world problems and bike dilemmas

Hi all.
After a bit of input.


A few recent trips on the MT09 Tracer recently have got me wondering if it's the bike for me. All first world problems as it is really an amazing bike, but quite a few things aren't adding up to make it be the bike I expected it to be.


From a physical point of view I have had the usual problems that all owners seem to go through trying to work out how to get rid of the buffeting from the screen. I'm now on my third one and have improved it slightly by going the counter-intuitive route and fitting a short screen. Which means it has little of the protection for the elements that I believed it would when I was looking to buy one for longer trips. Essentially motorway and dual carriageway speeds have been difficult and tiring, due to the very upright position and low screen. Higher screen options seem to direct buffeting wind straight into your head, making it feel like you're being punched repeatedly. Plus I really don't like viewing the scenery through a screen, prefering to be looking just over it. Also a bit of (clean) airflow is really necessary in the heat we're having at the moment. I nearly passed out in traffic a few times with the taller screen fitted on sunny days.


Then there's the seat. The upright position means you're sitting with all your weight straight down on the seat. I have the expensive Yamaha "comfort" seat fitted that came with it and find it really painful after a couple of hours. Strangely I was fine with the seat on my SV that so many people seem to hate.


It has built in Yamaha heated grips. No amount of changing the settings stops the right one from being burning hot and the left being luke warm. A known quirk apparently.


The decel cut snatchyness is present even with the special KEVxtx mod fitted to the O2 sensor. Next stage would be an ECU flash.


The bars are wide. Very wide. Filtering into the city for work has become very limited. I spend more time sitting there as if I was in a car. The bars are also very upright... see the higher speeds comment above about having to cling on at motorway speeds, leading to fatigue and sore back, neck, shoulders. I liked my SV how I had it, with the bar conversion done, but with low bars, so I had an inbetween position from the usual riser bar uprightness and low clip-ons. I'd found a really good middle position on my SV that suited me well.



Fuel economy.. I was hoping for better than 45-50mpg at best. I even ride fairly sensibly and can't see how people claim to get 70mpg out of them without really boring motorway journeys doing 60mph constantly for a few hours. I find it hard to run a bike just for me that has slightly worse fuel economy than our 12 year old family car that carries 4 of us, a dog and luggage! (Edit: If it was something I loved and was really fun and right for me then I could probably see past this point though).


I won't list any more negative issues as there's lots of aesthetic things I don't like and there's plenty I do love about it too. The engine is the main one. I love the triple engine. The grab when you want it but smooth and subtle when you want too. I even liked the stock exhaust sound. I've fitted an aftermarket system and may change it back as it's lost some of it's tone that I liked stock. I love the practicality of the centrestand, but have an Abba stand that I used for my SV, so it's nice to have but not essential.


So I'm at a point where I bought a bike I thought would be a good all rounder off the peg and am now deciding if I need to start spending on more screen trials... an after market expensive seat.. possibly suspension upgrades... (it is comfy over the bad british roads, but at the expense of being slightly bouncy!), investing in an ECU flash etc. Or if I should be thinking about something else? My insurance runs out beginning of September so the cheaper time to change bike if I do is approaching. I got fleeced changing insurance from my SV to the Tracer a couple of months ago and would like to avoid that again if possible


I realise I should really like this bike and am extremely lucky to own it. But I am also currently struggling to feel any connection with it. I did really love and feel connected to my SV. But then I had it a few years and made it mine doing a lot of work on it. I was at the end of doing what I could with it though and could take it no further to get it performing how I wanted to unfortunately. The Tracer feels almost like I'm borrowing someone else's bike.


So I'd love some input from the org. Possible suggestions of other bikes to try too if anyone thinks I should?


I have some other ideas but I'll leave it at that for the moment, other than to say I do really like the triple engine (a great mix of power / torque, just enough engine breaking and enough power low down) and I felt very at home behind the half faring on my SV.. one aspect of it that I do miss behind the broken up dash of the Tracer.
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Last edited by Adam Ef; 02-08-19 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 02-08-19, 09:37 PM   #2
daktulos
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Default Re: First world problems and bike dilemas

I can't help much with an answer, I'm afraid, but do you think the problems are with the Tracer specifically, or the change to an adventure-style bike? If you had gone with a Tiger 800, do you think you'd have the same issues?
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Old 02-08-19, 10:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: First world problems and bike dilemas

I think if you're asking the question, then it's probably not the right bike for you.
I am having a similar issue with my sv,after a break for a few years,after a lot of analysing where and how i like to ride,i figured the sv would be the best reintroduction to bikes for me and in every logical way it still is.
But i spent most of my life riding aircooled and oil cooled monsters,which in every normal situation the sv would probably beat hands down-but i do miss the absolute fear and excitement of the old behemoths.
If your not in love with it,then your not in love with it,no amount of money thrown at it is going to fix that. Just my opinion (im sure there are more sensible ones available)
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Old 02-08-19, 10:57 PM   #4
Adam Ef
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Default Re: First world problems and bike dilemas

Quote:
Originally Posted by daktulos View Post
If you had gone with a Tiger 800, do you think you'd have the same issues?

Probably. I did test a Tiger 800. In fact that's why I tested the Tracer at the same dealer on the same day. I visited just to test the Tiger and was a bit underwhelmed by it, finding it a bit woolly feeling in handling and response. The dealer suggested I take a Tracer out. The Tiger had similar screen issues too, but without the redeeming feel of fun that made me think the Tracer would be worth trying to sort the screen issues out for.
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/// VFR800 vs Street Triple R ///
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+ CB250rsd, YBR125...
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Old 02-08-19, 10:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: First world problems and bike dilemas

Quote:
Originally Posted by ASM1 View Post
I think if you're asking the question, then it's probably not the right bike for you.

That's what I was thinking.
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/// VFR800 vs Street Triple R ///
2019-2019 * MT09 Tracer *
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+ CB250rsd, YBR125...
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Old 03-08-19, 06:49 AM   #6
daktulos
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Default Re: First world problems and bike dilemas

Have you considered a naked bike? A Street Triple or even an MT-09 may work for you.

I would personally look at the reasons why you decided to move away from your SV. What were you looking for which the SV didn't provide?
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Old 03-08-19, 07:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: First world problems and bike dilemas

I think 50 mpg from an 850 cc engine producing approx 115 bhp is about right. My 2012 675 Street Triple never bettered 52 mpg even when ridden at 55 mph down country lanes (yes, I know - who buys a Street Triple to do 55 mph - it was a mistake, ok?).

Windscreen - there is a company making screens that, they claim, use laminar flow techniques to reduce buffeting https://shop.heroblobs.co.uk/pages/laminar-lip
On the other hand you don't like looking through plastic want wind protection but no buffeting. I think you may only get to pick 1or 2 out of those.


Seat - Corbin, Sargent maybe?

... but if the "magic" has gone then it's back to a dealer.

Plan B on the seat: Visit a dominatrix, get spanked, embrace the pain and the Tracer will give you fond memories each time you ride.
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Old 03-08-19, 08:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: First world problems and bike dilemmas

Screen: it seems to be widely acknowledged that the stock screen is a bit crap and shorter ones offer "cleaner" air to reduce the buffering.
Some have reported that the puig Vario gets good results, but different sized people get different outcomes.
It appears that every bike has a screen that somebody isn't happy with otherwise there would be no aftermarket options available.
The naked version doesn't have any buffeting or noise issues, but then you get the full wind force on your chest which can be tiring at higher speeds although it does give your core muscles a decent workout.

Seat: not had a problem (no worse than the sv) with the standard mt09 seat. I've read that the comfort seat is worse.

Economy: didn't get the mt09 for economic riding but still gets around 56mpg on average taking in the Welsh scenery. Mt07 version gives 75mpg but at the expense of that top end power.

Traffic: it'll never fit through the gaps an sv can, but then the sv is narrower than my shoulders (with the curvy mirrors folded in). Main issue is it feels bigger so you don't try to get through the smaller gaps.

Fuelling: it does occasionally introduce some interesting wheelies, entering busy roundabouts on one wheel can be fun (depending on your definition of fun). But you know it's a "feature" and you can minimise it's effect by keeping a little throttle on.

You're going to make the economy worse if you map it out.


What was it about the sv you didn't like and the change was going to fix?

Personally, I miss the weather protection in the winter I got from the fairings (Fixed with heated gloves).

I don't miss the painful knees or having to take a run up to get past traffic on A roads.


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Old 03-08-19, 09:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: First world problems and bike dilemas

A slightly different bike but the same engine, I'm getting almost exactly the same mpg from an XSR900 as I was from my 04 pointy and it's probably about 50mpg too. I haven't calculated it scientifically, just from filling up. If I commuted on the SV with a full tank, the round trip was 100 miles and refilling was around 10 give or take 20p either way. The XSR comes within the same range. Surprisingly, it seems to be more fuel efficient revved highly through the lower gears than cruising in 5th or 6th.
I know where you are coming from though Adam. Although it's more comfortable and nicer to ride, I haven't bonded with it yet in the same way I did with the SV. Maybe it's a time thing, maybe it's because of the electronics and rider aids and the fact that it's dealer serviced at the moment rather than me doing it myself. Time will tell I guess but while I don't love mine yet, there's nothing I positively dislike
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Old 03-08-19, 11:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: First world problems and bike dilemas

I can't add anything really to your post Adam, even though I was vociferous in recommending the Tracer... I try to keep in mind that the bike for me is a toy, I don't use it daily for commuting or anything so my experience of ownership will differ.

Genuinely sorry you feel this way about it, maybe it's just not right for you in the same way an R1M wouldn't be right for me I'd be crippled
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