Scenic App news, THE must-have gadget, Riding for a Cure, the most deserted road, Yamaha’s best seller, and spring maintenance.
April 1, 2019
Since spring started last week, you created more than 3000 routes and tracked over 200.000 km / 130,000 mi with Scenic. A clear sign that riding season is here!
On the other hand, big motorcycle news stories seem to take a bit of a downturn around this time of year. Most new bikes were unveiled in the fall and, with a few exceptions, motorcycle reporters seem to be doing more riding and less reporting… as they should 🙂
Nevertheless, we have some great topics in this Moto Intel Report. Besides the regular update on Scenic’s big overhaul, we also take a look at one of Yamaha’s best selling bikes, a must-have motorcycle tool, an inspiring motorcycle story, a cool leather jacket, the most deserted road and spring maintenance.
Now, without further ado, let’s get rolling…
Stop & Go 6000 Tubeless Puncture Pilot
Yamaha FJ09 / MT09 Tracer
Yamaha’s FJ09, or MT09 Tracer as it’s called in Europe, has been around since 2015. Last year the model underwent quite a big update and was renamed to ‘Tracer 900’ with the biggest differences being a slightly longer wheelbase and a bit narrower handle bars.
Officially it’s placed in the sport-touring segment by Yamaha, but because of its high seat, upright riding position, wide bars and hand guards, it’s sometimes compared to adventure stylebikes. Note the word style here. Although you can take this bike on the occasional dirt road, this is definitely not meant for serious offroading. Nevertheless, since its unveiling, it has been praised by many as “Best Bike for your Money” and “Best Allround Bike”.
Personally, I’ve always liked Yamaha for its reliability. I have a 20 year old Yamaha XJ600-S which I still ride occasionally. Recently, as you might have read in a previous edition, I bought a 2nd hand BMW R1200RT. I regretted it almost immediately as the bike has been at the mechanic more than I’ve ridden it. Perhaps it was a lemon or I was just unlucky. Furthermore it wasn’t the right bike for the riding I do. It’s super comfortable on the highway, but in the mountain twisties I prefer something more flickable. In any case I decided to switch back to Yamaha again. So recently I picked up a nice second hand 2016 FJ09.
This truly is an amazing bike for the money. It’s fast, light and handles amazingly. Most importantly, it brings a smile on my face every time I ride it. If you’re interested in picking up a second hand one, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Snatchy throttle response. This definitely takes some getting used to. Appearantly, this is due to Yamaha needing to pass strict emission norms, thus reducing the fuel to air ratio for low RPM’s. As a result the motor runs hot very quickly and throttle response is very snatchy. There is a solution though. You can have the ECU reflashed. I’m definitely considering this. Appearantly this is not so much of a problem for the newer (>2016) models.
Wind noise. This is of course very personal. It depends on your height, your helmet and many other factors. My bike came with the factory screen and a higher touring screen. I tried both but at higher speeds the noise level was just unbarable. Even with earplugs in. The tall touring screen got rid of most of the direct wind noise, but caused buffeting directly below my helmet. After some googling I found I was not the only one. A lot of people have this problem and a short screen (or better yet, no screen) seemed to give the best results. So I bought a short screen and wind noise is now acceptable. A huge improvement. I might cut of a little bit more after some more testing.
Suspension. As I bought the bike, the suspension settings were terible for my use. Definitely not fit for my weight and the riding I do. I was bouncing of every inconsistency in the asphalt, holding on for dear life. Adjusting the suspension (preload and rebound is adjustable both front and rear) made a huge difference and gave me a lot more riding confidence. With my weight (85kg / 187lb) and average riding style, on mexican (low quality) asphalt, these are the settings I went for (based on several forum threads followed by some test riding and tweaking): Front Preload: all the way in (the hardest). Front Rebound: center position (mine has 15 clicks total, so that’s 8 clicks from either side). Rear Preload: the softest. Rear Rebound: 1.5 turns from most right (inward) position. These preload settings are not ideal. Typically you don’t want to have preload all the way up or down all the time. Depending on your weight and preferences, you might be better of with a suspension upgrade.
Btw, I recommend everyone to check the suspension on their bike, not just the Tracer. Factory settings are often an average, a middle position, but everyone is different. Tweaking the suspension is easy to do and can make a huge difference in the feedback you get from the bike and how it handles. If you’re not sure how to do this, check out this very comprehensive video on suspension setup.
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Widely considered as one of the most rewarding trips in Canada, the Haines Highway won’t come to mind as a last minute destination. The remote stretch of road might also be one of the most deserted roads in Canada.
The current highway was built in 1943 by the U.S. army, but many years before that, Chilkat Tlingit traders and gold rush prospectors already used the trail to make their way to Alaska.
While the highway is open around the year, the snow usually clears up in May. The highway is known for its incredible scenery, Tlingit Indian villages and a Bald Eagle preserve (who seem to be absent in the summer).
The highest point on the route, at 3,493 ft (1070m) is Haines Summit, after which the highway descends into Yukon Territory. There are several campsites along the way, and some of them offer a great fishing opportunity.
A detailed map in PDF can be downloaded at Themilepost.com
BIG SCENIC UPDATE
Highly requested features – part 3
Work on Scenic’s big update is progressing steadily. I’m hoping to have it in the app store before June. I know, it was early spring first, and I apologize for the delay, but I need some more time to get it right and test thorougly. Hope you understand.
If you followed the journey you know it has a completely new design and loads of new features. Here, I report on the progress and show you some of those new features. This time, the top issue that the current Scenic version has: Strange Loops! When you currently import a route from GPX or any other source, Scenic sometimes adds ‘strange loops’ to it. Therefore it’s important to always check the route thoroughly during import and correct any mistakes manually. If you’d like to know why these loops can occur and how to correct them, have a look at this FAQ. If you’d like to know even more in depth detail, also check the blog article that this FAQ links to.
Q: When is the big update ready? A: June
Alpinestars Brera Leather Jacket
Many adventure riders don’t consider leather as an option, but a full-grain leather, tight cut vintage jacket sure is photogenic when sitting at the bar. Many of today’s jackets on the market are inspired by the 1950s café racers, and tend to be comfortable even in a forward-leaning riding position.
The Alpinestars Brera is one of the best options here, and comes in under $500, which should make it affordable for a larger audience. The jacket is a slim, athletic fit and offers armor in the shoulders and elbows (back protector is optional). Another thing we like about it is the absence of prints/logos. Keep it minimal, keep it clean, keep it classy. RevZilla has a good video on it, have a look.
STORY OF THE WEEK
Riding for a Cure
What’s your most beautiful / funny / crazy motorcycle story? Share your story with us and we might just put it in the next Moto Intel Report.
Can’t wait for the new update that automatically fixes most of the strange loops. Too bad it’s coming after my planned 2000 mile scooter trip in May, but better late than never. Hopefully it will dramatically speed up the import process that now takes quite a bit of time, what, with literally riding the whole route close up on the screen to make sure all is good. I used Scenic on a similar 2000 mile ride last spring, it made the trip so much easier than with any other route maker that I’ve tried. Bravo.
I promise the big update will be a huge improvement for route import and strange loops ?