Yamaha 2023 Tracer 9 GT Sports Tourer Ride Review

Review Summary

  • As an unofficial replacement for the brand’s legendary FJR1300, the new-for-2023 Tracer 9 GT is a supremely capable bike that somehow manages to take the brilliantly hooligan CP3 triple engine found in their fabbo XSR-900 retro sportsbike and integrates it into a multi-purpose sports tourer without the whole thing seeming like a Frankenbike.
  • For $14,999 USD you get ALL the toys. And if you’re in the right part of the world, this can include Yamaha’s world-first “Radar Linked Unified Braking System” that automatically slows the bike if it detects a braking vehicle ahead that you don’t react to.
  • No, it’s not focused on a single-purpose and it’s clearly trying to do a few things at once, but if you’re after a bike that’s all-day comfortable, has mucho accessories, is relatively quick through the corners and a little bit naughty when you are in the mood, you can’t go far wrong here.

As a rider (and writer) who cut his teeth during the whole cafe racer boom of the Noughties, I was trained to embrace bikes that were laser-focused on a single job. In a custom cafe racer’s case, that purpose was making sure that a factory bike was as light and as fast as possible on public roads so that it could win illegal street races from cafe to cafe. This also has led me to be quite wary of bikes that try to do many things at once. Like a restaurant that claims to cook food from multiple countries, it often turns out that what they gain in variety, they lose in taste and authenticity. The new Tracer 9 GT purports to defy this logic. But how? Let’s talk about it.

Apart from a few notable exceptions in Italy and the Middle East, emergency services crews don’t often find themselves in balls-to-the-wall sports vehicles. Yes, you may have seen a few Lamborghinis tarted up in police lights and sirens, but a PR stunt or two does not a precedent make. Be they police bikes, ambulances or rescue boats, these professional tools not only need to go fast; they need to be tough, dependable, easy to service and they also need to carry a whole metric butt-ton of gear, too. So I think it’s fair to say that while these motorcycle-riding pros definitely have different uses for their bikes, most of us have similar expectations for ownership.

Gold touches add some visual panache to a largely monochrome colour scheme. Image via Yamaha MC.

Down here in Australia, many police forces opt for the imitable Yamaha FJR 1300. Sure, there’s a few Hondas and BMWs in the mix as well but as a Sydney-sider for the past millennia, more often than not you will see these Yamahas making up substantial numbers. Now the FJR 1300 is currently a two-decade-old bike, and while it’s not going anywhere soon you’d have to wonder if there aren’t some better options for these pros that might be able to teach the old

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The V2 Revel Ranger has Only Gotten Better [Review]

Photo: Matt Miller

The Revel Ranger already had a lot going for it when it debuted. Its Canfield Balance Formula (CBF) suspension platform is complex compared to some other single-pivot bikes in the category, but gives an excellent pedaling feel, and progressive geometry gives the bike a blend of stability and agility. Revel must have known they had something good on their hands, because the latest update to the Ranger was fairly minimal.

The latest Ranger was given SRAM UDH compatibility, which also makes it compatible with Eagle Transmission. Revel also made the linkage and hardware on the rear triangle bigger, improving lateral stiffness in the rear by 20% without adding weight.

About the Revel Ranger

Other than that, the Ranger is largely the same, aside from two new colors, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s a cross-country bike, with trail bike characteristics. In the rear, it has 115mm of travel and that’s paired with a 120mm fork.

At 5’8″ tall, I’ve been riding a size medium, so I’ll talk a little about the geometry. The seat tube is short for folks who want a longer dropper post, and for an XC bike, the chainstays are somewhat long at 436mm across the board.

The head tube angle is 67.5°, reminding riders that this still is an XC bike with sharp handling. The wheelbase seems pretty moderate–short for a trail bike, but long-ish for an XC bike at 1,170mm. The seat tube angle is fairly steep for an XC bike too at 75.3°. While it may not seem steep for bikes these days, the head tube angle doesn’t really necessitate a steeper STA. Lastly, reach is moderate, and some might say lengthy for an XC/trail bike at 453mm for the size medium.

The Ranger frame is full carbon, from rear axle to head tube. On the latest version, Revel added a debris guard or hard mud flap to keep the linkage clean. This build includes a parts kit with some trail touches, but one that really adds to the Ranger’s cross-country intentions.

We tested the XO Eagle Transmission build which gives it said drivetrain, SRAM’s new Level Stealth brakes, RockShox SID Ultimate suspension, Maxxis Rekon and Dissector tires, and your choice of wheels, starting at $8,499. With a set of Revel’s FusionFiber wheels, builds are priced between $9,000-$10,000.

Revel Ranger V2 linkage

Climbing on the Revel Ranger

I’m a big fan of the CBF platform ever since my first ride on a Revel shortly after the brand debuted. And I’m on my second owned bike with the suspension design.

For a premium 27lb, full-carbon, 115mm lightweight trail bike, the Revel pedals as you’d expect; delightfully. The bike is juiced to the gills with top-shelf parts too, like Revel’s R27 carbon wheels, which help it pick up speed as soon as you mash on the pedals. Typical of the CBF platform is the feeling that the Ranger has some extra propulsion as your quads hammer on the cranks.

The Ranger accelerates quickly and keeps its speed

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Best Motorcycle USB Chargers (Review & Buying Guide) in 2023

Summary List

Best Motorcycle USB Chargers: Reviews & Recommendations

The BlueFire Dual USB Charger is one well-rounded and high-quality option for a motorcycle USB charger. It’s convenient and easy to install, and it makes charging any device pretty effortless when you’re on the go. This charger is actually more than just a single USB charger; it’s both a dual USB charger and a cigarette lighter socket in a single device. You can charge two devices via USB at the same time, and if you need to add another charger you can easily do so via the cigarette lighter socket. The entire unit is built for the open road and outdoors, made from ABS material that’s fire-retardant, temperature-resistant, and anti-corrosive. It’s also waterproof, thanks to the included waterproof USB cover and cigarette lighter cover. The handy voltmeter allows you to see the voltage while you’re using the charger, which is convenient as you monitor your motorcycle’s battery. And the easy wire and handlebar attachment options also make it simple to set up.

While the Yonhan Motorcycle USB Charger isn’t the cheapest option on our list, it offers excellent value with a whole host of features for a budget-friendly price. This motorcycle charger will get your devices recharged in no time at all, thanks to its PD and QC 3.0 high-output charging support via the two USB ports. You can charge up to two items at once, and you’ll be able to connect different devices simultaneously — like an iPad, iPhone, digital camera, and other tech gadgets. The speedy charger includes an SAE to USB adapter and a built-in voltmeter that monitors the battery and your motorcycle’s electrical system automatically. You’ll also enjoy three different installation options, which means you can choose the best placement and method for your needs and your motorcycle. One additional little perk you’ll also love is the on/off switch. Most chargers are unplugged when they aren’t needed, but thanks to that switch, this one can stay right in place and simply be shut off.

If you need a USB charger that works on a wider voltage range, you might find the Mic Tuning charger ideal for the task. It’s a device that works at the 12-24-volt range and has an output of 2.1 amps. The charger is suitable for different motorcycle types and can power up smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets. The main benefit of this device is its sturdy construction. The high-quality ABS and copper materials are impressively durable. The charger is waterproof and resistant to heat, corrosion, and other threats. Also, you have two connection options. You can plug it directly into the motorcycle battery or use the SAE power adapter. The mounting process is a breeze as well. All you need to do is to make a few holes or use adhesive tape. Although it’s compatible with a wide voltage range, the charger might be slower than other options on the market. That might be the biggest drawback along with the higher current draw

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Ridley Noah Disc Essential long-term review – Road Bikes – Bikes

The Ridley Noah Essential is framed as a more affordable version of the brand’s Noah Fast aero road bike.

The Noah was originally developed as a sprinter’s bike for the likes of Caleb Ewan. Ridley says it has developed into more of an all-rounder over time, something that has become a road bike trend.

This Noah Disc Essential is part of Ridley’s Essential Series, launched in February 2022. Ridley says the bikes in the series retain the same characteristics as the brand’s pro-worthy road bikes in terms of stiffness and ride quality, but use a more cost-effective carbon fibre.

As a result of this different carbon fibre, Ridley says the frameset of the Noah Disc Essential is 100g heavier than the top-of-the-range Noah Fast – so not a great deal of difference, then.

The bike has the same aerodynamic features as the top-tier version, and as result, it looks pretty similar, minus the different paintwork.

It has the same geometry, too, which balances the bike’s racing history with its all-rounder potential.

The bike is available in sizes XXS to XL, with Ridley offering the same frame across genders, recommending riders opt for a bike fitting or custom build rather than a women’s-specific road bike.

The Noah I have costs £4,729/€5,195 and has many of the features you would expect of a road bike at this price. These include a SRAM Rival eTap AXS groupset, Forza carbon wheels and a one-piece bar and stem.

The Ridley Noah Essential should, on paper, ride like the top Ridley Noah Fast but with a marginally increased weight, which arguably isn’t the most important thing for an aero road bike, anyway.

Ridley Noah Disc Essential update three

A new set of wheels

The Fulcrum Speed 42 wheels are the latest update to my long-term test bike.
Stan Portus / Our Media

There has been one significant change to my Ridley Noah Disc Essential since my last update: a new set of wheels.

The wheels were an obvious upgrade. With a depth of 38mm and claimed weight of 1,535g, the stock Forza Levanto DB didn’t really seem to match the go-fast intentions of this bike.

Something a bit deeper and a bit lighter seemed an appropriate fit, bringing the Ridley’s overall weight and aero potential more in line with some of the other best road bikes around the same price point.

Fulcrum’s new Speed 42 wheels struck me as a good fit thanks to their depth, claimed aerodynamic advantages and lower weight.

While the Fulcrum Speed 42 wheels aren’t drastically deeper than the Levanto wheels at – as the name suggests – 42mm, they have an internal rim width that’s wider by 4mm at 23mm.

Fulcrum Speed 42 wheels internal rim width.

The wheels have an internal rim width of 23mm.
Stan Portus / Our Media

The wider internal rim width should improve handling and comfort, thanks to a larger contact patch between the tyre and whatever pot-holed British road I take on.

I’m yet to get them on the scale, but the

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2023 Kawasaki KLX 230 S First Ride Review

Written by BJ Hessler | Photos by Kevin Wing Photography. Posted in Bikes

As more folks get excited about off-roading and dual-sport riding, Kawasaki is rising to the challenge of meeting the needs of smaller-stature riders. With the KLX 230 S, they’ve taken a truly off-road capable, street-legal motorcycle and redesigned it to suit riders who prefer the comfort of both feet down at stops or who may have a hard time getting a leg over a taller dual-sport bike. The result is an affordable, approachable, capable, and downright fun motorcycle.

The updated 2023 KLX 230 S is an affordable, approachable, capable, and downright fun motorcycle.

Wheels and Suspension

Although Kawi lowered the seat height, this machine still rolls on 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels, the combo you want for off-road riding. IRC Trails GP tires come fitted from the factory; they worked perfectly well on our test ride through central California, which included mud, gravel, and rocky fire roads. They felt sticky and safe at highway speeds on tarmac as well. If you want a more street- or dirt-oriented rubber, the 21-18 rims make it easy to find alternative tires.

2023KLX230S Review seatThe narrow seat helps shorter riders reach the ground while maintaining sufficient ground clearance.

The front suspension has 37mm telescopic forks with 6.2 inches of travel, while the preload-adjustable rear uses a Uni-Trak linkage system offering 6.6 inches of travel. Progressive-wound springs kept the ride comfortable on the street but stiff enough for the unpaved sections of our test.

Of course, there are compromises made to offer a lower seat height. Kawasaki reduced suspension travel from 8.7 inches on the standard 230 model, giving the S a 2.1-inch lower seat height while still maintaining 8.3 inches of ground clearance.

The KLX 230 S rolls nicely on smooth pavement and handles slow, rocky off-road stuff well. However, the front end feels light and not as planted as one would hope at higher speeds on broken pavement. It might leave some riders feeling a bit insecure when pushing hard in fast, bumpy corners, but it’s likely not a big concern considering the model’s target market and intended use. Different tires would make a difference here as well.

2023KLX230S Review frontA 21-inch front rim means many tire options are available.

Engine and Power

This 233cc engine has been around since 2020, so any early-production bugs should be worked out by now. Both the low- and high-end of the power band are impressive, especially at this price point. Even better, electronic fuel injection is standard, so this bike is ready for cold mornings as well as mountain trails above the tree line, unlike the wheezy, carbureted one-lungers of old.

For beginner riders, low-end power is important as they learn to balance the bike and lift their feet at take-off. Although this is a small four-stroke SOHC single-cylinder engine, riders don’t have to wind it up to feel the power delivery, which

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Ultimate Collector Motorcycles Book Review [Riders Library]

Ultimate Collector Motorcycles two-volume set in slipcase.

Masterpiece. Stunning. Superb. Roll out the superlatives; they all apply to Ultimate Collector Motorcycles by Charlotte & Peter Fiell, as it is the ne plus ultra of classic motorcycle literature.

There is little this magnificent two-volume set does not offer the serious motorcyclist, collector, aficionado, broker, trader, builder, designer, restorer, historian, or expert. Of the dozens of books about motorcycles, including classic, rare, and collectible bikes we have reviewed here at Ultimate Motorcycling, nothing comes close to this.

Volumes I and Ii.

Spanning the history of the sport from 1894 to 2020, Ultimate Collector Motorcycles is printed on 940 lavish, heavy bond, 11-by-14-inch pages. It is packed with 990 exceptionally detailed color images, many of which span two pages, black and white period photographs, illustrations, and advertising art. Each motorcycle profiled is shown and explained with unparalleled clarity.

Even the printed-textile slipcase that the two volumes of the Famous First Edition (there are three editions available) are presented in is a work of art. Its front shows a full-color front-end view of the 1969 Clymer-Münch IV 1200 TT-S Mammoth, and the back displays the 1938 Brough-Superior Golden Dream show bike—the only one ever built.

Authors Charlotte and Peter Fiell explain it this way: “This double-volume work is an unrivaled anthology of collector motorcycles. Spanning the entire history of the motorcycle, it brings together 100 of the most extraordinary, exquisite, rare, and desirable bikes of all time while revealing the enduring pursuit of engineering and design innovation, power, and performance.”

Mike Hailwood Ducati 900.

The 1998 Art of the Motorcycle exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, which featured 114 rare and noteworthy motorcycles on display, “ showed us motorcycles could be treated with respect and dignity; this book tells us how that dignity and respect was earned,” says Jay Leno in his Foreword. If you missed The Art of the Motorcycle exhibition at the Guggenheim, this is better.

Each motorcycle featured is more than just a photo essay; there is a detailed technical and historical narrative, as well. That is no small achievement, as the motorcycles include antiques, prototypes, one-offs, and racing bikes. Many had specifications that were hush-hush to begin with, and enjoyed extremely limited production-run examples. In many cases, it would take painstaking research to develop even basic technical specifications data and production numbers.

Consequently, technical and historical details may be hard to come by. Imagine, for example, tracking down the technical details for the 1894 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller, the one-off 1906 Anzani three-cylinder board track racer (the engine for which was a “W” configuration), or the 1922 Sgonina Special, with its advanced DOHC four-stroke single cylinder engine, another production run of one.

Ultimate Collector Motorcycles Book Review: 1934 Henderson
1934 Henderson JK Streamline Custom.

While rare, antique, and classic motorcycles are a central feature of the books, there is also fascinating coverage of some of the world’s most legendary high-performance, custom, and racing motorcycles and their extraordinary personalities. Examples include:

  • ex-Freddie Dixon 1923 eight-valve Harley-Davidson board track
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