I am going to apologize in advance... when I tell stories they tend to be wordy and longer than most. The whole thing is likely more interesting to me than you, but I hope you enjoy it as much as I have .....
I've really enjoyed my two FJR's, still enjoy it, nothing like it. Best bike I've ever had. However, as I age, the body just starts talking a little louder, the knees complain, and the FJR gets that little bit heavier every year. Had to give up the hockey I loved at 51, and here I am at the last age I'll have with a 6 in front. So for the last couple of years or so, just trying to find a "just as much fun" bike that weighs 100 lbs. less. Had tried a V-Strom, decent all-rounder but not sporty or solid enough to inspire confidence in the twisties. Tried others, no bike I could find to push the right buttons.....
Last year a friend raved about the the Yamaha Tracer GT he had bought.. offered test rides, which I did. Impressive, had speed and handling, seat seemed good, certainly a possibility, and my wallet was ready to jump out of my pocket.. but I want to think about it more. As well, I don't buy new bikes any more, and the 2019 Tracer GT is the first year here.
I check regularly to see if there's a used or gently crashed one, but I figure at minimum another year or two before I get or find one. Meanwhile tried a buddy's Kawi Versys 1000.. almost, it wasn't speaking loud enough to me. Last May, went to a local Yamaha demo ride, the ride leader was most excellent, we got to use all the bike's capabilities, none of this parading around at 40-50 mph lame stuff. 20 mile loop, at one point the ride leader had us at 160 kph (100 mph). My turn for the Tracer GT was the second ride, for the first I took the XSR900 and was impressed with that triple. On the Tracer, same loop, same deal/speeds. Didn't seem as peppy as the XSR, the seat sucked, I was underwhelmed, but still interested. That particular one maybe they detuned it somehow, dunno... seat sucked.
Left there went across town to my buddy's place, he rides an ST1300 (I used to have one) and a couple of years back we talked his wife into ditching her Yamaha cruiser and getting into something more sport touring (so she could keep up, but we didn't tell her that). The Honda we got her had always impressed with, smooth and powerful, beautiful red. She's hard to please, and I told her if she decided to get rid of it, I'd be all over it. So after the demo ride, I took it for a spin to refresh my memory. Yep still impressive.
This is a bike never imported into the US, only Canada, Europe and Australia. For Canada, 2006-2012 Honda CBF1000A, in-line 4, 6 speed, chain, 530 lbs., handles like a sport bike yet is more sport touring. At any speed in any gear, twist the grip and it pulls. Engine was a retuned Fireblade 1000 engine, cams designed so it pulls everywhere in the rev range, 100 hp, lots of torque. Maybe not the fastest liter bike, but I'll bet the smoothest. The CBF600 was imported into the US, identical except for the engine. I had always kept my eyes peeled for one, but after that spin, I went on a serious hunt for a 2009 which came in that nice red. Found this one on Kijiji, our version of Craigslist. These bikes are very affordable and don't depreciate much any more.
It was priced below market value and other listings, had only 20k kms (12k miles) on it, factory bags, was exactly what I was looking for.. From the pics, I knew it needed new tires. No response from the owner after a week, sometimes happens if already sold, a good possibility at that price.
OK time to keep looking. Found a black '08, I didn't want black but open minded, I could live with it. Owner had just dropped the price to where it should be, it had the best reputed aftermarket seat for that bike, recent Ohlins rear shock, and forks upgraded by the suspension shop I deal with. Basic Givi V35 bags and top box, Delkevic exhaust... this would save me tons of money in farkles.... talked to the owner, mature guy, wouldn't take a deposit "in case you don't like it when you get here". He was 2.5 hours away, via Torontarded traffic..... basically told him I'm taking it over the phone. So a few days later, it jumped into the back of my truck.
I get it home and start planning what I needed for farkles and how to get the ergos to the point of being near FJR comfort level for strings of longer day rides. Ordered a few things, aftermarket levers, LED lights, new tires (needed to pass inspection), crash bars and two painted panels to upgrade the base model Givis.
A few more days pass, I get an email about the red one... "Can show you the bike"... another week from now, I don't know any more than the guy is selling it because he is moving to the US. I really did want the red one, said yes... It costs nothing to look, and I had plenty of time to think it over.
He lived over an hour away, but wanted to meet me near here 20 minutes away at a shopping mall. Hmmm, a bit odd. He had the Used Vehicle Package (government document detailing all the ownership history, liens, etc.), if he hadn't I would have passed. Cash in my pocket, truck and trailer, met him at the mall. His wife was on the way in the car, she was late so we talked for half an hour. Bike was pristine except a bit dirty from riding it in some rain, had just come from PA. I couldn't nail down the accent, a bit French/Spanish maybe. When wifey arrived, they talked in their language and I had not heard it before, so I asked. Brazilian... more conversation, were very genuine, nicest people you'd want to meet. He show me he put brand new Shinkos on it, had a Leo Vince exhaust in the trunk of the car, Barkbusters, and all the original sale papers from new, and the maintenance invoices. He had worked in PA the last 4 years, they were moving down there, and since it was never a certified bike for the US, they had told him in no uncertain terms could that bike ever be imported into a US title. He was very disappointed he had no choice but to sell it. It was too good a deal to pass up, I said let's load it up... he wanted to unfarkle his GPS, licence plate frame, a fuse panel.. wanted to take it home, can pick up in a few days, I said OK, I'll go to your place. I had the cash in my pocket, he would not even take a deposit.
As I am about to leave, a frog strangling thunderstorm rolled in, we were getting wet, he had no rainsuit... I gave him a set of FroggToggs I had in the truck... I'll get them back when I see you. It poured buckets... they were going to wait it out in the car.
A few days later, we meet near his place at a McDonalds, loaded up the bike and he wanted to do the paperwork over a coffee. All of this is totally unnecessary because of the aforementioned Used Vehicle Package, but OK, I like coffee and wasting time. Stickler for detail, and writing out receipts for both parties, and gave me some more goodies in a laptop bag, virgin Owner's manual and CD with the service manual... Christmas time. Money counted, all good, shot the breeze some more, then good to go (after an hour). Nice guy truly though.
To be continued.