2015 V-Strom 650 XT: how to get adventure ready? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-08-2018, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 3
2015 V-Strom 650 XT: how to get adventure ready?

Hi folks,

I've just bought a 2nd hand 2015 650 XT (Cairns, F.N.QLD), and I'd like to get it adventure ready. I'm fairly inexperienced having just graduated from my learner bike (gs500 - put 30k on it). I would like to do some off-road, but nothing too manic. I want to be able to carry a fair bit of luggage and I'm willing to spend upto 2k. I've been searching revzilla and motofc.de but unsure what to pull the pin on.

If you have experience with this, could you offer some suggestions on:

- Panniers
- Hard side cases
- Top case
- Slide bars
- Bash plate
- Barkbusters
- anything else that i'm forgetting

with a rough idea of cost and where best to source it (preferably online). And if you happen to have a kitted out bike anywhere near Cairns, I'd love to see it.

Many thanks,

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post #2 of 11 Old 09-10-2018, 12:55 AM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Tarneit, Vic Australia
Posts: 45
Hi Daniel,
Congrats on the purchase.

I can only let you know what I have and works well for me, there will be plenty of others with different setups, you just need to decide which works best for you.

- Panniers -> i have avduro bags from Andy Strapz - they work quite well and are fairly flexible with how much/little you can put in them. Add in some liner bags, a few strapz, and a waterproof roll-top duffle and you can fit a fair bit on the bike. I use these with PM Racks as i don't use any hard luggage. I'm sure there are other softbags out there that are quite good too. Nelson Riggs and I think Wolfman get a fair few mentions around here. All of this wtih racks was probably ~$700
- Hard side cases -> I don't have any. I find soft bags to be more than enough for me. Hardcases are lockable, but other than that it would be down to personal preference.
- Top case -> Don't have one, just use an A-Bag from Andy or a duffle bag.
- Slide bars -> I went with givi. Seemed to be better braced and bigger tube than some others (at the time), work well with my bash plate. Been a while, but i think ~ $300
- Bash plate -> I went with B&B, but braced to the crashbars instead of the exhaust header. A couple of pieces of flat aluminium and some u-bolts to go around the crash bars and was all done. ~ $300 I think
- Barkbusters -> Go with barkbusters, you won't get better protection, and this will be vital if you're going offroad, even just a light drop can kill your levers and leave you stranded. ~$180

- anything else that i'm forgetting -> Depending on how much off-road, a good set of 50-50 to 70-30 tires would help immensely. I can recommend the Mitas E07, but i think they have changed the tread recently and the jury is still out on the new ones. If you don't have one already, a fork brace from adventuretech will help stabilise the front end on the dirt (and will help with crosswinds and crap road surfaces in general). And then whatever you need to deal with buffeting, but there is a big thread on that, so won't go into any details here.

I'm really happy with my setup, allows me to fit a fair bit on the bike if i need to, and I've had a couple of slow-speed drops and everything has held up really well, just a few scratches on the paint and plastic wings on the handguards, nothing broken or bent. I will say that i mostly do day trips and overnighters, and I never commute, so I don't have a huge need to leave the bike alone with all my gear on it. If you do, then lockable hard luggage might be a better option

A couple of other sites you could look at that might have parts you're after are motostorm.it and japan.webike.net

Good luck and let us know what you decide on.
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-10-2018, 01:35 AM
vanislejay's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 592
I pretty much agree with the post above, but the #1 thing you will need is skills! Get the crash bars, some decent 50/50s, and barkbusters, and then go out and play. You would be surprised how challenging gravel pits and sand and seemingly easy trails can be. Take an off road course if you can, and ride as much as you can.

I only use soft bags, I use a set of Nelson Riggs Adventure Dry bags. The only big advantages hard bags have is that they are more secure from theft and they are easier/quicker to get stuff in and out of. They can hurt you big time if your leg gets caught in a fall off road, so depending on where you will be riding, you can choose. Do you need security or do you need something more off-road oriented?

Again Top cases are great in the city, commuting or day rides. People LOVE them. Personally I don't.

I have the newer Mitas E07+ Dakar on the back and a regular Mitas E07 Dakar on the front. I never ran the older version of the rear tire. So far I am happy with it. The only negative i have heard was that they get less mileage than the older version. I have about 4,000km on mine, mostly on road, maybe 1000 km of gravel and trails. I think it's at about 60% tread left. I think they are probably still the best 50/50 adventure tire on the market.
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post #4 of 11 Old 09-11-2018, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 3
Thanks to both of you! I really appreciate the time and effort you've taken.

I'm a contract healthcare worker, and I move interstate regularly. I think I'll get hardcases for those occasions when I'm transporting everything valuable from interstate. I'll get soft soft cases for the bush bashing.

I want a top case just to lock my helmet up (my last helmet got stolen in Sydney by someone who sliced the chin strap).

I think I'll go with the B&B bash plate and the BarkBuster Storm.

Re: skills. I have zero. I have never done off road, so I'm going to take it very slow initially.

Thanks again to both of you! Safe travels
post #5 of 11 Old 09-11-2018, 09:47 AM
vanislejay's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 592
I started on my offroad journey this season. Still pretty rough as i don't have too much time to practice, and most of my "practice" has been with a passenger and loaded with camping gear. That's hard learning ground. I have even dumped offroad with a passenger, that wasn't fun. I started with loose gravel roads and then moved to atv trails and easier 4x4 trails. It's really fun and every time I go I build confidence and skills.

I have a friend who also started off road riding this year, he took a course when I couldn't afford it and he is light years ahead of me. All I have for a resource right now is asking him questions and youtube. There is a lot of good info on youtube though.

There are a number of threads on here about skid plates, general summary is to get one that mounts to the frame/crash bars rather than the engine, and aluminum is generally OK for most duties that the strom will get into but if you are planning on moving to more hardcore off road then go with steel.
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-11-2018, 06:17 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 1,346
Thumbs up

There are quite a few choices when it comes to crash bars, bash plates luggage etc so shop around.

We have always run with SWMotech crash bars (a thicker bar than Givi or the Suzuki ones) and bash plates but the B&B bash plate is very good, I also believe that this company have some well made gear at good prices.https://ravetechmotorcycles.com/store/en/

Motorad Garage in Perth are good with prompt service but once again check prices


As well as FCMoto check out MotoStorm in Italy they also have some of the gear you want at good prices sometimes.

We have bought helmets, panniers and boots from them both & they have been good to deal with & saved us a bundle.

Let the farkling begin

Cheers V2man & GotaV2

2014 DL1000A 2014 -
2012 DL650L2 2013 - 2014
2007 DL1000 "Bowser" 2009 - 2013

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post #7 of 11 Old 09-12-2018, 03:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: The surrounds of Dubvegas
Posts: 49
If you want to head off road then crash bars and bash plate are a must together with suitable tyres, although not much more depending on what you want.

My bike is stock standard in suspension terms and I have added a bashplate yet it has no real issues going most places if you take care.

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post #8 of 11 Old 09-14-2018, 05:26 AM
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Maitland NSW
Posts: 33
If you go for a B & B bash plate watch out for the type of centre stand you have or may buy as the B & B rear mount do not accommodate some centre stand fixing points. I have a B & B and needed to modify B & B mounting brackets for the Motortek stand.
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-14-2018, 07:35 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: MSP
Posts: 46
For me the minimums are bash plate, crash bars, alloy handle bars [don't bend if dropped] shorter clutch and brake levers. Good dual purpose tires also help.
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-15-2018, 04:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: The surrounds of Dubvegas
Posts: 49
Bash plates are useful - the results of a good run, a small erosion mound at a drive way entry and a pot hole the others side - no suspension bottoming as I landed well but the rocks in the pothole let me know

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