December 2018 - Its A Bikers Life - A daily dose of everything Motorcycle.

December 2018




December 11, 2018 at 02:02AM

Time flies. Has it really been six months since I picked this bike up in Portland, Oregon? I guess it has been, according to my original First Ride report. I think what happened is, since Yamaha is in the process of moving part of its operation to Atlanta, they must’ve forgotten we had it. That or we told them we wanted to keep it around to do a comparison with a Ducati 950 Multistrada, but we finally gave up trying to pry that bike loose from Ducati.

I took delivery in Portland, Oregon, back in July.

It would’ve been a good comparison. The Tracer and its 847cc Triple isn’t going to make quite as much power as the Ducati’s 937cc Testastretta V-twin, but it is going to be close enough for most people, and you’re not going to get the Italian bike for $12,999 including hard bags and a centerstand. The other standard items that make the Tracer GT a viable lightweight sport-tourer include electronic cruise control, a rear shock with knob-adjustable rear preload and a 4.8-gallon gas tank that gives it plenty of range.

I regret to inform you, however, that in those six months I only put about 3000 miles on the thing (there were just too many other motorcycles to ride, dammit), and so stating the usual “during that time, I had no problems with the Tracer GT whatsoever,” really doesn’t mean much. But it’s true.

Even the exhaust headers are still nice and shiny at six months. One benefit of living in a desert.

Most of those 3000 miles were probably less than 10 miles at a time, so easy is the lightweight (for a sport-tourer) GT to roll out of the garage and hop onto. When there was a choice between a new Gold Wing or Indian Chieftain and the Tracer, the Tracer generally got the call. Later, when it was between a new Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe or CB1000R and the Tracer, it was also usually the Tracer. Maybe because having bags makes it so easy to schlep stuff? That, and the Tracer’s torquey, friendly nature and superb ergos for two; passengers dig the Tracer’s comfy, broad back seat, and its grab rails.

Also, as the bike’s gearbox broke in a bit, the quickshifter (also standard) seemed to work better too – which made the Tracer effectively an automatic, for upshifts anyway. You think you don’t need stuff like that and then you get used to it.

As winter set in here in Orange County, the Kid would often steal the Tracer for his 12-mile commute to work. Standard heated grips are a requirement for natives like him when temps plunge into the 50s.

Maintenance-wise, in those six months I checked tire pressures three or four times. The standard Dunlop D222 Sportmaxes on my bike showed no unusual wear at all, and the rear had plenty of life left down the middle at 3700 miles. Rear tire life is another reason a lighter sport-tourer like this one makes all kinds of sense for everybody except people who enjoy buying tires.  Not that I would know.

Fuel mileage, too. Riding the thing home from Portland at speeds between 80 and 90 mph for 1200 or so miles resulted in 45 mpg. In normal everyday use back here at the ranch, calculations say 46 mpg; the bike’s computer mostly agrees. If the tank really does hold 4.8 gallons, you should be able to cover 220 miles before running dry.

Gerrad the Yamaha tech had snugged up the drive chain in Portland 2800 miles ago. When I popped the bike up onto the centerstand to shoot a little WD-40 on the links about September-ish (I saw a few small rust spots), the slack still seemed about right so I didn’t mess with it. Engine oil was right in the middle of the sight glass, and still looking cleanish, every time I looked.

 


At the end of the day (or six months), the Tracer’s not the most exciting bike in the world or even in its class, but I won’t be surprised if it’s not the most reliable – and that three-cylinder engine actually is pretty exciting when you hold it open and use the quickshifter through a few gears. It’s so everyday useable, you forget how sporty and fast the thing is. You take it for granted.

They don’t call it FJ anymore, but I swear I can still feel the old FJ1100 blood coursing through this bike’s veins – the light, effortless way it soaks up road without carrying a lot of extra baggage, the way its supple suspenders reduce life’s bumps to ahhh, mere bumps in the road…

It took Yamaha a while to sort out the Triple’s fuelling, but now that it’s reached mature form on the Tracer, the result is a seamless, glitch-free riding experience, and I’d have been more than happy to ride it back to Portland. Instead, I threw it on back of the Ranger and dropped it off at Yamaha’s Cypress, California, HQ, shedding a little tear in the process. Great bike.

 

The post 2019 Yamaha Tracer 900GT Long-Term Wrap-Up appeared first on Motorcycle.com.



Credit: Motorcycle.com.

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December 10, 2018 at 10:24PM

Earlier this month, BMW and Japanese builder Custom Works Zon presented a rather industrial-looking retro-styled roadster at the 27th annual Mooneyes Show in Yokohama, Japan. The bike itself, christened the “Departed” by builders Yuichi Yoshizawa and Yoshikazu Ueda, was an interesting combination of vintage styling and modern production, making use of a lot of milled aluminum, steel piping and sheet metal and drawing inspiration from the bikes ridden by racer and landspeed record holder Ernst Henne in the ’20s and ’30s.

But what really drew people’s attention was the engine, a brand new, gigantic prototype air/oil-cooled Boxer engine from BMW. Like the rest of the Departed, the engine drew elements from the past in the push rods on the top side of the opposed cylinders, a familiar sight on BMW bikes built up until the late ’60s.

BMW provided few technical information about the engine, though we surmise a displacement of about 1800cc from the “R18” printed on the back of the seat. We do know BMW has plans for this new engine, which the company makes clear is a prototype. BMW says it will have further details about the engine and what it could be used for at a later date.

The R18 is a clue that the prototype engine displaces around 1800cc. The K1600B in the background may another clue that the engine may eventually be used in a line of heavyweight cruisers and tourers.

The obvious use for a nearly two-liter Twin engine (albeit a Boxer instead of a V configuration) is for a new heavyweight cruiser or touring motorcycle. That BMW left a K1600B casually standing in the background of some of the photos in the press kit is unlikely to be a coincidence. The K1600 models have served as BMW’s heavyweight touring models for quite some time now, though they don’t exactly represent what one would call traditional cruiser styling.

A new Boxer engine, however, may end up forming the platform for new, more classically-styled line of BMW cruisers, baggers and tourers. It’s unlikely these air-cooled big-Twin bikes would replace the liquid-cooled inline-Six K1600 models. It’s more likely the two lines would run alongside each other, similar to what BMW did with the air-cooled R NineT models and the R1200 bikes with the water-cooled heads.

BMW has suggested that there won’t be any more R NineT models introduced, calling the line “complete” with the R NineT, R NineT Pure, R NineT Racer, R NineT Scrambler and R NineT Urban G/S. The focus may now be on a new line of “heritage” models based around the R18 engine.

We’re going to have to wait for BMW to release more details, but at the moment, the evidence suggests the prototype engine will eventually be used for a new line of heritage-style cruisers.

The post Why Did BMW Build an 1800cc Boxer Engine? appeared first on Motorcycle.com.



Credit: Motorcycle.com.

As their channel suggests, they have awesome Biker content and we just love to showcase it. There's simply not enough time in the day to share everything they have, but rest assured they are real favourites here at It's A Bikers Life. Check back often and don't forget to hit us up on our social channels at the top of the page.

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December 10, 2018 at 09:54PM

It’s on rainy, cold nights like this one that I’m glad I have a garage. Looking at your motorcycle parked outside as it’s pelted with rain, sleet, hail, mud and other unpleasantness can make you weep with impotent rage. Cover it? Motorcycle covers are a hassle to put on and remove. First, you have to wait until the bike cools to avoid melting the cover to the exhaust. Plus, they can blow off your bike, get shredded and messy-looking, and trap moisture underneath, which can cause rust and mold. Nasty!

The Gazebox is a giant folding box for your motorcycle.

Meet Gazebox (say “gah-ZEE-box”). It’s basically a giant, folding box for your motorcycle. An easily installed modular garage system, it’s a revolutionary way to store your motorcycle, car or other equipment. The unique design means your ride will be better protected from heat, cold, theft and punishing UV radiation, even without a garage or indoor storage space. There’s no need to apply for building permits, as Gazebox is a temporary, easily moveable structure, so meddling neighbors can’t object if you put it up in your driveway or sideyard. All you need is the space where you regularly keep your motorcycle, and Gazebox will –literally –have you covered.

Gazebox’s patented, Italian design is how it can deliver so many benefits. The zinc-plated, powder-coated iron and aluminum framework holds the UV-resistant polycarbonate panels in place. The structure installs in minutes, secured to ground anchors so it can be easily moved. The clamshell-like doors are easy to open manually, but there’s an optional remotely triggered motorized door system to make it even easier.

No matter the weather, your motorcycle is protected.

Keeping your bike safe from the elements is a big benefit. Gazebox’s unique design, with openings between the panels designed to resist greenhouse-like heat build-up, will also protect your ride from rain, snow, and dust. Unlike a cover, it’s designed to resist even extremely high winds. An optional fan system, run by external power or available solar panels is a good pick for those of us in sunny climes. And if you get a lot of snow, no worries; the shape is resistant to even heavy snow loads.

There are tons of options for Gazebox, including remote openers, solar panels, custom LED lighting and more.

With an approximate 11′ by 6′ footprint and almost 8 feet high, the Gazebox Moto is big enough to store about any bike you can imagine, with room for you to work on your bike in a sheltered space. But Gazebox makes many other sized models, from one built for a small car to a giant structure big enough to enclose a swimming pool. It also offers models designed to enclose patios, balconies, and other outdoor spaces.

It’s easy to make Gazebox your own as you can order it in multiple configurations. The frame is available in a range of colors to match your bike, and you can order different colored polycarbonate panels as well as LED lighting systems to match your mood. Additionally, you can order vinyl wrapping in any color, pattern or style you can imagine, from carbon-fiber-look to wood paneling to brushed aluminum.

The Gazebox is ready to order and can be shipped to your door, ready to assemble with minimal tools. Pricing starts at $5,000 for the basic Gazebox Moto. Call (925) 215-7022 for inquiries within the US, or for international customers, call +39 085 856 9009 (they’re in Italy), or email gazebox@byaddify.com, or check out more photos and videos at buygazebox.com.

The standard Gazebox Moto has plenty of room for two smaller bikes, or room for tools or a small workspace.

The post Gazebox Foldable Cover System appeared first on Motorcycle.com.



Credit: Motorcycle.com.

As their channel suggests, they have awesome Biker content and we just love to showcase it. There's simply not enough time in the day to share everything they have, but rest assured they are real favourites here at It's A Bikers Life. Check back often and don't forget to hit us up on our social channels at the top of the page.

What do we do here?

We're all about that Biker Family here first and foremost. Other content includes: News, reviews and Biker lifestyle in pictures and videos. Harley Davidson family community. Hot babes, bike enthusiasts, custom motorcycles and choppers.

Check out more Biker Family content @ It's A Bikers Life.

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