Yamaha YZF R3 as a Sport Tourer

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by steve gs, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. st3ryder

    st3ryder Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,253
    The reason I ask is most reviewers malign the brakes as weak so I figure with more weight maybe there were some brake updates, i.e. braided lines, alternate caliper etc. You seem to be saying the brakes work fine even on track days, which is far different from what I've read. Good to hear a different perspective. :-)
    #41
  2. Matt-J2

    Matt-J2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Oddometer:
    901
    Location:
    Appleton, WI
    Different strokes, different tracks and all that.

    I upgraded pads and went to braided lines, and I know a couple guys racing who went to a different master as well. For me, it was able to brake better after the swap, but the feel was better and that was the nice part. But I reckon being newer and less skilled I used the brakes more, too.

    I wouldn't say you have to do it, but depending on your track(s) or if you want to improve you SURPRISE! deer braking, it's worth a look.
    #42
  3. steve gs

    steve gs Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    602
    Location:
    Anchorville, Michigan
    It's amazing that nearly all of the used bikes I have purchased have skunky brake fluid.

    In addition to fluid change I also bead blast my rotor(s) at least annually and fit new pads for those bikes that see track use. For those that don't I blast with every pad change. I have a braided line on my track R3.


    I appreciate component upgrades. I have a mint 86 VFR with a CBR 900 front end and Brembo masters; a fantastic braking system.
    #43
    AZbiker and Matt-J2 like this.
  4. DaBinChe

    DaBinChe Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,175
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mtns.
    yes bleeding the brakes every year makes a noticeable difference in feel. I bleed mine every year too.
    #44
  5. theimer2

    theimer2 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    PA, USA
    I did another trip on the R3 this year. I is my 4th multiple day ride on this bike. We rode from Western PA to NY,VT,NH then back. 6 days riding. This ride was 1845 miles and I got 66.7 indicated MPG. We stayed in Scranton PA, Albany NY, North Conway NH, Tupper Lake, NY then Binghamton NY. There were 6 riders on an Indian, Gold Wing, CBR 600, Ninja 600, Aprilia RSV4, and my R3. We did mostly Secondary roads but did mix in some shorter interstate stints.
    The R3 proved to be an outstanding bike again for touring. The R3 bike does interstate with no problems. At 70 MPH your at 7500 RPM with plenty of power to pass and manuvure. We had some really high winds and you felt it but I bet the other bigger sport bikes felt the same as well. The secondary roads were where the R3 shines. As in previous posts I have a Corey tank bag and a Wolfman small expedition duffle bag I mount on the rear seat. This is enough to carry clothes and gear for 6 days hotel stays.
    It was pretty hot this trip in the mid 80's most afternoons. I bailed on my riding pants most days. We got poured on for an hour or so on RT 17 in VT Mad River area. The Twisties were reduced to about 20 MPH.
    My only complaint was comfort. The seat could be improved. My neck also got sore below my neck just right of my vertebrae. I can still feel the inflammation there.
    I may look into some seat options. I do use a cramp buster on the throttle which helps.

    I have over 12000 miles in two years on this bike. Still enjoy the hell out of it. An incredible value with an exciting and smooth engine.
    #45
    steve gs likes this.
  6. theimer2

    theimer2 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    PA, USA
  7. steve gs

    steve gs Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    602
    Location:
    Anchorville, Michigan
    Make me jealous. I have 2 dogs at home with one a fading senior. I can on occasion get a sitter for a weekend; just the way things are. I appreciate you taking the time to share your adventures with pics.

    I did get a chance this weekend to go out and run around in circles for two days with my track R3.

    IMG_0632.JPG
    #47
    Matt-J2 likes this.
  8. RightChoice

    RightChoice Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    The Sun
    Aside from the fact that the R3 looks infinitely better than the Ninja 400, is there any benefit to the R3 over the Ninja 400?
    #48
  9. theimer2

    theimer2 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    PA, USA
    I am very fortunate to have the vacation time and a supportive wife to be able to go on these trips. I understand the pets. We had two senior cats. Both had to be put down over the past few years after declining health. I wanted a break from pets for a while to afford more travel time. I do miss them though.
    I am sure the R3 is a blast on the track. At least you got some time to ride there.
    #49
  10. theimer2

    theimer2 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    PA, USA
    I haven't ridden a Ninja 400 myself. It may make a better small sport tourer being it has a more upright riding position than the R3. I am sure the increase in torque at lower RPM would help as well. Read Cycle World's review if you haven't already. Comfort is my only complaint on my 2017 R3 after touring on it. The passenger comfort is also a factor for me as my daughter likes to ride now. My WR250R is better for two up riding though.

    https://www.cycleworld.com/2019-yamaha-yzf-r3-vs-kawasaki-ninja-400/
    #50
  11. steve gs

    steve gs Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    602
    Location:
    Anchorville, Michigan
    I also have no direct experience with the 400, though I have seen them at the track. I would have to search out reviews to do a comparison.

    No complaints with the R3 for the street or track. Tons of upgrades are available if you want them.
    #51
  12. Matt-J2

    Matt-J2 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Oddometer:
    901
    Location:
    Appleton, WI
    For track use, the R3 is still considered to have a bit sharper handling and the newer models have a better tank shape for that purpose IMO, but other than that...no. There are very few R3s racing in classes where the N400 is an option.

    New vs New, the N400 has more power/torque and is a couple pounds lighter. At 75mph you'll run about 600rpm lower, as well. Slipper clutch if you like that (I do), bigger front brake disc too, but I recall initial reports on that weren't super great, but stainless lines and new pads and you're good. So, on paper, there's no real advantage to the R3, and it costs the same.

    You can upgrade the R3 to run more like the N400, but you can get all those same upgrades for the N400 and give it a boost as well. Both being small capacity ptwins the costs aren't that different, either.

    Regardless of everything I said above, you're not losing some massive performance by going w/ the R3 unless you're racing. So sit/ride both if you can and go with what feels best.
    #52
    ExTex likes this.
  13. RightChoice

    RightChoice Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2019
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    The Sun
    lol I learned what happens when you downshift too much and do not rev match on a bike without slipper clutch, so slipper clutch is a must for me.

    I appreciate the replies; I am considering a Ninja 400 simpy because I see sooooooooo many bikes not yet released that I want. So, I figure a cheap, bulletproof do it all on tarmac bike like the N400 will work.
    #53
  14. steve gs

    steve gs Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    602
    Location:
    Anchorville, Michigan
    How can anyone argue with a 25% displacement increase; therefore the R3 has to give way to the N400. For what I need the R3 is fine for me as a tourer and track toy.

    Scheduled another track weekend for November. This track looks to be a faster and much different than my "home" track. A perfect compliment IMO. By faster I mean it has more straight sections which by layout and videos show that the R3 will will be running more at the upper end of it's speed range. This track will also test the R3 braking system as one cycles through the turns connecting the straights. As was brought up already, the strength of the R3 front brake which has been questioned, will be better tested here than at my "home" track.

    #54
    Matt-J2 likes this.
  15. st3ryder

    st3ryder Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,253
    The Kawi 400 performs better in every category, for the same money, and doesn't look all that bad IMO. And yet, the R3 sells well enough. Just goes to show you, motorcycling isn't always about the spec sheets. Personally, I don't know how any mature rider would want a bike with such an "elementary school" name like "Ninja", regardless of the CCs. :-) lol...
    #55
    AZbiker likes this.
  16. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,802
    Location:
    SW. Idaho
    SV racing sells a brake MC banjo /bleeder bolt that will give you a solid lever.
    #56
  17. steve gs

    steve gs Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    602
    Location:
    Anchorville, Michigan
    The R3 master can be a little "tricky" to bleed once air is allowed to enter the piston circuit. I have bleeder/banjo bolts on a VFR that is fitted with Brembo masters.

    Prepping my R3 for its Nov outing.

    Pulled the front end down. Regreased the steering head bearings and will be changing the fork oil and fitting new brake pads along with bead blasting the rotor.

    Once the front end is done will tear down and do rear suspension pivot points.
    #57
  18. Hero of Moka

    Hero of Moka Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 3, 2019
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I've demo'd both last year. I think I'm going to get an R3 - maybe the new Electric Teal (see image). The parts and finish just felt higher quality, and ergos felt good. N400's plastics & paint felt cheaper, gearbox felt less solid, and fueling was snatchy(not as bad as my old FZ6, but noticeable enough to be distracting).

    I ride a mean Honda 919 now and the R3 just felt more exciting to ride somehow.

    2000000002.jpg
    #58
    ExTex likes this.
  19. slowrider71

    slowrider71 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2018
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    TORONTO, ON, CANADA
    I got last year a Yamaha R3 here in Canada to do be my next bike. That was after a dual sport prior which I also used as a touring. I travel by my self and loading it with camping gear and the needed extras is no problem. When I get a moment I will try to share more detail. I am down to about 40L space needed for my needs for a few days trip ( camping ). My longest daily distances covered are about 600 miles/ 1000km which was done with pleasure and no discomfort was observed ( felt sorry that I was at my destinations already ). As for power, there is more then enough for our highways which have speed limit of 62mph( 100km/h ) and traffic typically goes in the 70mph/110km/h rate with some going as fast as 130km/h. I prefer to keep about 110km/h ( that was GPS , 120km/h indicated as R3 has for me about 8% speed error ). It is mostly that it feels completely vibration free and wind is not too bad. I also find that bugs splashes on helmet get worse the faster you go. As for fuel capacity I find that upto top it fits about 14.3L and fuel consumption on highway for me is about 3.5-3.6 L/100 at highway speed ( 110 km/h ) and drops to 3.3 at 80-90km/h roads ( average, including driving via towns etc ) . That allows to plan for 350 km easy range between gas stops and 400 km possibility but I would recommend a fuel bottle if you pushing that far due to unplanned traffic or head wind. Comfort wise I can sit 3-4 hours non stop and it seems fine to me ( it took some getting used to the position after Vanvan 200 prior but now I am as comfy as it can be on it... ) . In city with heavy traffic the fuel can go upto 4+ to 5L/100km ( Toronto ). Tires so far lasted 16000km ( 10000 miles ) and are not worn out yet .. I was expecting to be by now and even have already a new set sitting in garage. On gravel it seems not as good as VanVan especially when is loaded... as it feel more top heavy and also on wet grass it has near zero traction with slick tires. I highly recommend based on my observations for street relax ridding and trips. I am looking forward to the next spring/summer and have even longer trips planned if traveling restrictions are lifted soon.
    #59
    Vertical C likes this.
  20. steve gs

    steve gs Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    602
    Location:
    Anchorville, Michigan
    I went to CMP with bead blasted rotors and new Carbone Lorraine front pads. There are 5 heavy braking zones. Never felt I had a braking problem, BUT, the rotors were bluing. Looks like it is time for a new rotor in a material that can handle the loading/heat.

    Slowrider71...agree plenty of power to get the job done unless one weighs 350 lbs.
    #60