Welcome back to Inside Motorcycles’ online Commuter Bike series and a look at the Yamaha YZF-R3
Wednesday, 13 February 2019 21:21 Published in Multimedia
October 10, 2018 (Toronto, ON) – Summoning those in search of exhilarating experiences, Yamaha Motor Canada has launched a new YZF-R3 for the 2019 model year. Serving as the entry point to the company’s 2019 supersport lineup that includes the YZF-R6, YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M, the new R3 boasts next-generation R-series styling and updated handling features to bring it more in line with its R World stablemates.
Friday, 12 October 2018 10:53 Published in Industry News
September 18, 2018 (Toronto, ON) – This coming Saturday, September 22, Yamaha Motor Canada is bringing its popular bLU cRU Rider Appreciation Day to the province of Quebec for the first time.
Tuesday, 18 September 2018 12:02 Published in Industry News
IT is often said that the key to a great motorcycle design is an appealing, distinctive power plant. In the case of Yamaha’s new for 2018 Tracer 900, the tuning fork company are off to a good start – the engine is the 847cc Crossplane concept triple, a delightful and proven design established with the FJ09. The engine design is very compact, with the racer-style “Tri-Axis” stacking of the crank, main and drive shafts.
At the recent Canadian launch for the Tracer 900 and the more travel-ready 2019 Tracer 900 GT, Product Specialist Andrew Scott explained that the Tracer is a Sports Touring design, aimed at experienced riders in the age 35 to 55 range. Both Tracer’s engines are essentially unchanged from the earlier FJ, and the more expensive GT version has a host of additions to provide impressive versatility.
The engine is one of the most distinctive and enjoyable designs available, a sporty three cylinder with Yamaha’s distinctive “CP3” Crossplane that delivers both a strong mid-range and an appealing growl. Throttle control is fly-by-wire or Yamaha’s Chip Control Throttle (YCC-T), with two traction control modes as well as an “off” position.
Both Tracers start with revised bodywork and a revised, reshaped wind screen. The screen is now easily adjusted on the fly, with just one hand. The handle bars are slightly narrower, connected to narrower and lighter hand guards.
Both front and rear seats are redesigned, the alloy swing arm is significantly longer, and the rear end is generally tidied with a new fender, passenger peg mounts and better-integrated side case mounts.
The base Tracer comes with ABS, as well as the most helpful of often overlooked sometimes-accessories, the centre stand, a suitable feature somehow missing from the earlier FZ.
The obvious difference with the GT version beyond the well-integrated hard luggage is the larger, Thin Filament Transistor (TFT) instrument screen, offering a wide range of performance and status data. The GT gets a Quick Shifter, and that works well with the standard slipper clutch shared by both Tracers’ six speed transmissions. Heated grips are standard as is Cruise Control.
The GT’s Front forks are now fully adjustable while the rear shock is upgraded too, getting the luggage and passenger-friendly remote preload adjuster.
The stock side cases are color matched to the other bodywork, the overall presentation tidied up if somewhat subdued. There is even a 12-volt plug on the side of the GT’s fancy TFT display.
On the road, the new Tracer is certainly comfortable, the revised screen and roomier, firmer seat immediately attracting positive comments. The riding position is relaxed, fairly upright, with lots of space to relocate to change pressure points over a full day in the adjustable saddle.
I started off with the throttle setting in standard, and this seemed to provide a somewhat deadened response at low revs and low road speed. A quick and easy to follow switch to the “A” mode gave the direct response I was looking for, and got the triple snapping to attention in style. On our dry test, I didn’t bother with “B,” but that looks like a rough road or hard rain option.
The huge flexibility of the engine and broad power band mean gear selection is not a big deal, and the transmission shifts well, although it prefers some revs for the long throw controls. Horsepower is in the one hundred range on a rear wheel dyno, and there is certainly enough urge to have fun.
Chassis-wise, the steering is a little slower than I remembered, possibly due to the longer swing arm. Still the new Tracer steers well and is very stable while cornering, and has good ground clearance, even with the extended “curb feelers” mounted to the stock pegs.
Overall, we enjoyed both Tracers, and admit we would first recommend the GT. When you factor in the cost of the hard luggage and look at the convenience of the GT’s added features, the more expensive bike wins out, but both are friendly, strong performers.
Thursday, 30 August 2018 13:38 Published in News
August 24, 2018 (Toronto, ON) – The honour of winning the very first Yamaha bLU cRU Factory Ride Award in the discipline of road racing has gone to Mopar CSBK Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike champion Jake LeClair. LeClair, age 16, was presented the award at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park after claiming the class title on his Yamaha YZF-R3.
Friday, 24 August 2018 14:42 Published in Rider and Team Releases
On day two of Yamaha Motor Canada’s American spring Press event, the assembled Canuk scribes headed out on a cool and overcast morning aboard the 2018 XSR700 liquid-cooled twin. This “Sport Heritage” model is based on the successful MT-07 (and the previous FZ-07), using the existing engine, frame and slightly revised KYB suspension.
Yamaha have taken the workhorse twin and given it a circular makeover. The theme of the retro redo is expressed with the retro round headlight, tail light, instruments, exhaust canister as well as a restyled gas tank and short tail section, complete with leather accent on the tail.
This new XSR gets a new removable tail sub-frame section, a give-away that this bike will be the Yamaha 700 twin of choice for custom-oriented builders. Based on a Euro model, the XSR has front turn signals mounted on extenders to meet North American requirements – maybe the first part that will get revamped!
Yamaha showed a few accessories that suit the handsome XSR700, including a mini wind screen, radiator guards, small beige leather saddle bags and swing arm spools for a race/service central stand. All looked right at home with the 1970s-styled 698 cc Twin.
Yamaha see the XSR as a potential step-up model, for newer riders looking for more machine. Riders who want an around-town, versatile commuter will also like the XSR, and the traditional, upright riding position (and wider handlebar) offers good comfort and visibility for traffic work.
The round instrument pod is clearly marked and easy to use, but sits well down in my six-footer’s field of view, while the key is located in at the very front of the bike, a bit of an odd spot. The seat is somewhat high and fairly soft, OK for a couple of hours but not ideal for touring.
An iffy morning gave way to a gorgeous afternoon, and the roads north east of Nashville are among the best for sports riding. The XSR was in it’s element, the slightly stiffer chassis set-up a defiant improvement in terms of stabilizing the bike in aggressive riding situations.
The liquid-cooled vertical twin is a strong mill, and while it revs out to 10,000 RPM, power peaks at nine grand, so there is no need to chase the over-rev. Good power comes into play around 5,550 RPM, and the Dynojet Dyno indicates a maximum output of 67.9 horsepower, with a solid 47.4 foot/pounds of torque to entertain as you drive out of turns and get ready to work the smooth-shifting six-speed.
However, these good specs do not do the Yamaha justice. This is a machine that reminds me of the first couple of versions of Suzuki’s all-round vee-twin SV650, a willing and safe platform for rider’s looking to build and sharpen their skills. The XSR700 might not be an R series SuperSport, but it is plenty of fun for sporty activity.
At more than one thousand dollars more than the strong MT-07 offering, the XST700 might not be the best choice for everyone. However, if you enjoy the performance and are drawn by the looks, you won’t be disapointed.
Tuesday, 27 March 2018 23:16 Published in News
Yamaha Motor Canada launched their 2018 Star Venture TC and Star Eluder big twins this morning in Nashville, Tennessee, with northern media taking advantage of cool but dry conditions on some exceptional secondary roads. The two new 1854cc air-cooled vee-twins are built in Japan and share underpinnings, but the Venture TC is billed as a “Transcontinental Tourer,” the bagger Eluder the stripped-down sibling.
The engine is based on the performance-oriented Raider, but revised for smoother power delivery and more versatile, low-RPM rideability, with a claimed 126 ft-lbs of torque. Cams are new, the crank is now single pin, the counter balancers are updated and the six speed transmission now has two overdrive gears. The engine gets new cases, a hydraulic, assisted slipper-clutch and dry sump oiling with a lubricant tank in the sub-frame, as well as an oil cooler.
The Mikuni fuel-injection has 45mm throttle bodies, with a YCC-T (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle) ride-by-wire throttle. The adoption of YCC-T allows for various rider modes, including Traction Control (a first for this style of machine), two throttle modes (Sports and Touring) and Cruise Control.
The twin muffler design features a distinct big twin sound, and Yamaha music pitched in the fine-tune the audio track.
Paired alternators are mounted low at the front of the engine cases, powering the heated seat, backrest and grips, audio and 7-inch LCD infotainment systems, as well as the Sure-Park system. Sure-Park allows low speed (1 km/hr) maneuvering, forward and backwards, powered by a lever-actuated electric motor – not the starter.
The chassis has a steel frame with rubber engine mounts, and a detachable alloy sub frame. The seat is narrow at the front and low at 695cm, and works with the low C of G to provide the big bike with surprising maneuverability and agility at speed.
We checked out the handling once we cleared heavy morning city traffic and tackled the perfect pavement and sweeping turns of the Backbone Ridge. Both twins handle well and are stable and predictable for machines of their size, but you might not call them nimble!
Power is ample, but fourth gear is best for spirited riding. The Sport mode offers great throttle response, but the Touring mode is less aggressive for general use. The soft rev limiter comes in around 4,500 RPM, but with so much mid-range, it isn’t necessary to spin the big twin all the way in every gear.
Both bikes are predictable when hustled, and only the eventual drag of the reinforced floor boards manages the fun. Suspension control is solid, and the linked brakes are powerful, predictable, and don’t affect turning angle even when applied when leaned over.
The Venture is very well appointed, but the long floor boards are somewhat spoiled by the left side rocker shifter that limits foot position. The Eluder benefits from a lower (80 pounds) weight, but doesn’t get the heated grips, Sure Park and the adjustable wind protection, and has only half of the storage.
Venture air flow is well managed with a good envelope of stable air for the pilot. On the Eluder, even with the slightly taller optional screen, the wind blast increases and turbulence is also an issue – but the Eluder is not the touring version.
The riding position is comfortable, with room to move to vary pressure points. Passenger accommodations are above average, with adjustable floor boards. Both versions work, but the Venture is the versatile workhorse.
Monday, 26 March 2018 23:16 Published in News
The 2018 edition of the Motorcycle Show rolled into Toronto’s Enercare Centre on February 16 to 18, and Inside Motorcycles was on hand to say hello to our readers, take in all the action and check out the latest models and products.
Tuesday, 20 February 2018 19:17 Published in News
Yamaha has rounded out its 2018 Canadian model lineup with the announcement of additional new and returning models, highlighted by the Tracer 900 sport tourer and the revamped MT-07 (formerly FZ-07) naked roadster.
Monday, 06 November 2017 16:20 Published in Products