Yep, I'd get some protection on there ASAP.
The radiator is stupidly vulnerable. Without crash bars, a hotel parking lot tipover is likely to end your trip instantly.
A skid plate (to protect the oil filter and oil cooler) and radiator protection are good to have as well. A lot of crap has banged off my bike's skid plate in 99.99% street riding. To be fair, the stock plastic skid plate does offer some protection for this. There are several cheap ways to add some sort of screen in front of the radiator to protect against rock hits; I'd consider this an especially good idea since gravel roads are on the menu.
A "skid plate" is sort of misnamed; what you need is protection from objects kicked up by the front wheel. You're not going to be rock hopping or sliding over logs on a DL1000.
The 2002-2003 models have a different, slightly lower capacity stator and rotor, and are somewhat less vulnerable to the rotor magnet drift issue. Still, can't hurt to look and squish a little epoxy in there (I found that the iron in JB Weld was problematic because it tried to creep along the lines of magnetic force). And make sure you clean and inspect all the electrical connections and take some voltage readings. A volt meter might not be a bad thing.
Mainly, like any older bike (especially Suzuki), I would carefully go through every last electrical connector and check for corrosion and overheating. Clean/repair as needed. For example, there's a stupidly unprotected, undersized connector in the left fairing "cheek" that feeds the headlights and is guaranteed to fail on every DL. Get ahead of this.
I'd also definitely do the external fuel filter bypass modification if this hasn't been handled already. This bike will soon start to suffer from restricted fuel flow if it isn't already; the stock fuel filter (the fine filter buried deep inside the fuel pump, not the external strainer "sock") is about the size of a small pack of gum and inevitably clogs.
2002 Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom, Dark Metallic Space Blue
1983 Suzuki GS850G, Cosmic Blue
2005 KLR685, Aztec Red - Turd II.2, the ReReTurdening
Last edited by bwringer; 05-24-2019 at 11:09 AM.