I've said it before and I'll say it again – I can't wait for Yamaha to release an R9. It makes sense to fill the gap between the R7 and the R1 with an R9, and since Yamaha already fills that gap in its MT naked bike lineup, it only seems inevitable that a fully-faired Yamaha Triple will arrive. Of course, this love and yearning for an R9 all stems from what is now the MT-09. But back when it was introduced, it was called the FZ-09. Silly naming confusion aside, the FZ/MT-09 has been a hit from the start, and what we have here is a clean example of a first-gen FZ-09 from our sister site fz09.org that has clearly been cared for. The best part? The seller is asking a very modest price for it – $4,999. The second best part? They've already done a lot of the basic upgrades that the bike should have in the first place. As always, the listing is posted below. If you're interested, go on over to fz09.org and contact the seller there.
Yamaha’s popular Ténéré 700 “T7” adventure bike returns for 2024, and while it would be easy to say it is “largely unchanged” from the 2023 model, there have been some notable changes made in response to feedback from many North American riders. One wish still unrealized: the U.S. dealers won’t be getting the up-spec World Raid and numerous other versions of the T7 the EU enjoys - at least not this year. But might that change?
Motorcycle.com is no fashion rag, but maybe the fashion maxim of “Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!” has some merit here after all. That’s because changing the looks and capabilities of your bike can be just as important to a happy ride as is changing apparel for your work or social life. Just for instance, adding a taller or shorter seat tailors the bike to your proportions better, thereby improving ride comfort. Adding a windscreen, a USB adapter, and a tail bag turns it into a light tourer. Getting front and rear shop stands make cleaning and servicing the wheels way easier and more fun. And then, adding custom-style anodized parts adds a bit of bling that really stands out.
Checking the condition of your disc-brake pads should be a regular part of servicing your bike. For example, when you check tire pressures, oil level, or change the oil and filter, also check all brake pads for wear. Another opportunity to check them is when you’re washing, drying, and polishing your bike. Quite seriously, we’ve found loose and broken spokes, damaged tire tread, missing cotter pins and circlips, and other concerning factors simply because we had hands on the bike while cleaning it.
If you’re a new rider, among the most satisfying experiences you can have is servicing your bike. That’s because, frankly, motorcycling is like a relationship, and the more you know about and can well care for your machine, the fuller and deeper the experience will be. How’s that for philosophical? Anyway, there are practical reasons for changing your own oil, too: 1) It saves money because you’re contributing the labor for free; 2) You are learning about tools, bolts and seals, parts and assemblies, and how everything works; 3) You are growing your self-sufficiency, which is always a good thing out there in the physical world; and 4) It’s all to perform an essential job right, and it will inspire you to tackle other maintenance items later on. (And someday, maybe even adding bike accessories or doing an entire build?)
Everyone has probably heard of the famous book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. But what’s that mean, exactly? To keep it simple, let’s forget the Zen part here, and just talk about the importance of maintenance. You’ll want to maintain your motorcycle properly because that way, you’ll get the most reliable and enjoyable riding experience, and more importantly, by keeping on top of maintenance, your bike will help take care of you, giving you a safer riding career. In all areas, your factory owner’s manual has precise guidance for what steps to take, what parts and tools are needed for your model, and when to do the work. But what if you’ve bought an older bike, say, that’s missing its manual? Let’s consider some fundamentals.
Riding well is all about control. And the more precisely your controls are set up and operate, the better the experience. The basic idea is to position the controls where you can instantly and accurately use them. Your riding experience depends on this – and so may your health and safety in a moment of crisis. In almost all cases with motorcycles, there are five individual controls to consider – throttle, clutch, shift lever, front brake, and rear brake. We say “consider” instead of “adjust” here for a reason – not all may be fully adjustable on all machines. But in most cases, built-in adjustability should provide a reasonable accommodation for different rider sizes and riding postures. And fit is key.
Whether you’re just getting interested in riding, a newly licensed rider, an experienced one, or even a racer, you can always improve – both in skills and safety. That the mission and role of the Yamaha Champions Riding School (YCRS), or ChampSchool for short. Led by racing and coaching veteran (and incredibly nice guy) Nick Ienatsch, the school literally has something for everyone, no matter your location or experience level.
What was that classic grandparents’ advice, “Pick your friends wisely?” The same goes for riding in a group. Imagine, if you will, the last lap of the Daytona 500 with the entire field packed together at nearly 200 mph. Or the peloton rushing along some winding backroad in the Tour de France. One wrong move and it’s mayhem for everyone. These are extreme examples of chain reactions in a pack of moving vehicles, but to some extent, that is the risk for motorcyclists riding in a group. And it’s exactly why you should, as the grandparents warned, pick your riding partners wisely.
Motorcycle riding is so much fun, about the only way to make it better is riding two-up with your bestie. But not so fast there, cowboy (or cowgirl)! Just having a motorcycle endorsement on your license doesn’t make you a qualified captain of a two-passenger, two-wheeled land cruiser. Like playing in a tight band, riding two-up is an acquired art that requires timing, synchronicity, and practice, practice, practice. At least, to do it safely and well. Here are some Motorcycle.com tips for getting the most out of your rider/passenger debut performance.
Mere days after announcing an updated MT-09, Yamaha has revealed a revised MT-09 SP. The 2024 Yamaha MT-09 SP receives a number of upgrades in addition to the changes made to the regular model. This includes the 2024 MT-09’s new styling and the more aggressive ergonomics, which you can read more about in our First Look post, but also updated brakes and suspension.
Apart from a racetrack or a rocky, off-camber clifftop trail, there may be no more demanding riding conditions than are found in a congested city. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, and (ever more frequently now) electric bicycles surround you, traffic controls including lights and signs control you, and multiple lanes (including left and right turn lanes), plus alleys and driveways demand choices. It’s basically like a Super Mario game, with you in the middle.
Want to see some feathers fly? Sit down with a bunch of biker friends and ask their opinion of proper cornering technique. That fox-in-the-henhouse moment will probably jumpstart a flurry of opinions – some well-considered theory, others emphatically proven by deeds on the racetrack, and others downright dorky. Here are some cornering technique suggestions for learning riders.