Want to check some performance stuff... - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-23-2012, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Want to check some performance stuff...

I haven't owned a new, small bike like this in a long time. And my motorcycle history has been going to bigger and bigger motorcycles till I stepped into the Vstrom last week.

I'd like to check some things that I've noticed and ask you if it's a characteristic of the Wee strom, or if it's just cause it's a "new" bike, and also whether it's something everyone gets used to or maybe looks to methods to change/make easier. For all I know, some of these things may just be what happens when you go from a 900 pound bike to a 500 pound bike (like number 1)

1) Front brakes seem really ... um . . . grabby? I mean, it seems like when I squeeze them at a faster speed slowing down, they slow down gradually until some point where they just GRAB the disc and the bike dives forward a bit. I can easily transfer to just rear brake when I'm almost stopped, but I'm thinking this is just cause it's brand new brakes maybe? Doesn't make me tip or anything, it's just kinda....different.

2) Starting in first/slow speed turns seems touchy. I was able to feather and manipulate my FJR scarily well (got smacked in the helmet a few times by the wifey for scraping pegs while making u-turns). But this bike seems like it's more hit or miss. As in, when making a u-turn, something about the dip of the tires and everything just seems...shaky. I start out fine, but then it seems to want to 'fall' over more than I expect it too, so naturally I try to give it a little more gas, but then it seems like an on/off switch with the gas and it's not as smooth as I like. Could the "fall in" be part of the tires being brand new? And the gas something I'll just get used to in due course? Or is it cause it's more topheavy than my last bike and I have to reorient to the weight that makes it "fall in". Maybe I'm expecting it to lean more than is necessary for a u-turn because I used to lean the Victory Vision (not very top heavy) that much for a u-turn and I need to rethink angle of lean.

3) Love the pickup on this bike. Did some twisting of the wrist today to test acceleration speed (nothing crazy, just on an on-ramp seeing how fast I could get to 75), and then i slowed down to 60 in 6th gear and tested the passing power if I didn't downshift. I'm pleased.

4) Got to "offroad" a little today. As in the place I visited closed a gate sooner than I thought, and it was downhill (my stubby legs can't backup), so I crossed the grassy median to get to the other lanes to find another gate. When offroading mildly (well packed road/grass), is it necessary/preferential to let some air out of the tires? Assuming the dirt road or grass will be a long path traveled.


Overall, liking everything about this bike. I've been following the "16T sprocket" threads not so much for speedometer, or gas mileage, or anything of the like, but more to "tame" that uturn and gentle it a bit. I really prefer lowend torquey bikes and smooth bikes (I don't like twitchy throttles) and I'm thinking extending that first gear will allow for very smooth takeoffs and slow speed drills. I don't accelerate very fast, and if anything prefer passing power, keeping up with cars on the road to accelerating off the line when I consider bikes.

Right now, the slow speed stuff is number one on my mind. Made a uturn at a gas station (filled up with the pump on the left, made a uturn to the left around that pump keeping it on the left), but something just wasn't right. It started out fine, but then got a sense of "falling", and when I tried to feather the gas to smoothly pick up speed, it picked up speed quicker than I would have liked and jerked me slightly (which I do NOT like while tipped over in a uturn).

I know this is a lot of info, and I'm sure I could have cut it down, but it's been a LOOOOONG day for me, and when I'm tired, I have a hard time editing on the fly. Look forward to any responses about this stuff. Especially the throttle response. It's actually a little "too" responsive for me right now, but then again, I did manage to get used to a very responsive mazdaspeed3 transmission coming from a ford ranger transmission. Maybe I just need more time/practice, and maybe a taller first gear would be better for my purposes. Not sure yet.

Alexi
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-24-2012, 12:21 AM
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THROTTLE

2007 Wee, 16T (by prior owner) no throttle issues that I have noticed at low speeds (I start my commute with a tight u-turn away from my garage)
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-24-2012, 02:01 AM
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1 - that's weird, my front brake has never felt grabby

2 - I would have thought a 16T would make it worse, as the gearing would be talling and you'd need to slip the clutch on slow speed stuff. I don't have any issues doing U-turns and thing. The V-twin 650 might be a bit more torquey at very low speed than an inline four if that's what you had previously. When doing low speed stuff, don't try to open and close the throttle so much. Start the turn with a little bit of throttle and then use the rear brake to make fine speed adjustments, without moving the throttle. Or slip the clutch.

4 - Letting the tyres down will make it smoother over rocky stuff, and give a bit more grip. But it also increases the chance of damaging your rims on rocky stuff. I wouldn't bother. If you see my offroad video in my other thread, I didn't let me tyres down for that.

As for the sense of falling, it's something you will need to get used to. It's a sign the bike handles well and changes direction easily.
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-24-2012, 04:42 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pneumatic View Post
1 - that's weird, my front brake has never felt grabby

2 - I would have thought a 16T would make it worse, as the gearing would be talling and you'd need to slip the clutch on slow speed stuff. I don't have any issues doing U-turns and thing. The V-twin 650 might be a bit more torquey at very low speed than an inline four if that's what you had previously. When doing low speed stuff, don't try to open and close the throttle so much. Start the turn with a little bit of throttle and then use the rear brake to make fine speed adjustments, without moving the throttle. Or slip the clutch.

4 - Letting the tyres down will make it smoother over rocky stuff, and give a bit more grip. But it also increases the chance of damaging your rims on rocky stuff. I wouldn't bother. If you see my offroad video in my other thread, I didn't let me tyres down for that.

As for the sense of falling, it's something you will need to get used to. It's a sign the bike handles well and changes direction easily.
I might just be hyper sensative to the front brake coming from a 900 pound tourer which, of course, is not going to stop as well. And I do need to practice u-turns (it's on the agenda for Sunday. . . some parking lot drills). I'll keep working on it of course. I have a feeling that most of my thoughts are mainly cause I'm coming from a very torquey touring bike to something that revs higher, is lighter, with better braking power (per pound). I'll try squeezing the front brake even MORE gradually.

Alexi
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post #5 of 10 Old 07-24-2012, 07:38 AM
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As far as low speed twitchyness, check your chain to make sure there is not too much slack. Mine was a bit on the loose side and tightening it up to the tighter side of spec smoothed out the transitions on and off throttle.

Also check your control cables, mine were all a bit on the loose side. The clutch cable needed to be snugged up a bit, the throttle cable needed some slack taken out of it and my rear brake had a bit too much slack. Once I got all those properly adjusted, the controls were smoother. Check your owners manual for the specs and where to adjust them.

The twins are not real smooth at super low RPMs. Get the revs up a bit and feather the clutch when U-turning (and or apply some light rear braking).

My front brake seems smooth and not grabby, you might just need to wear it in a bit before applying too hard.

'12 DL650A VStrom
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-24-2012, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfalexi View Post
1) Front brakes seem really ... um . . . grabby? I mean, it seems like when I squeeze them at a faster speed slowing down, they slow down gradually until some point where they just GRAB the disc and the bike dives forward a bit. I can easily transfer to just rear brake when I'm almost stopped, but I'm thinking this is just cause it's brand new brakes maybe? Doesn't make me tip or anything, it's just kinda....different.

I thought the brakes on my new Wee acted a little like you describe at first. Now that the rotors are run in and the pads bedded in I don' feel it so much.

2) Starting in first/slow speed turns seems touchy. I was able to feather and manipulate my FJR scarily well (got smacked in the helmet a few times by the wifey for scraping pegs while making u-turns). But this bike seems like it's more hit or miss. As in, when making a u-turn, something about the dip of the tires and everything just seems...shaky. I start out fine, but then it seems to want to 'fall' over more than I expect it too, so naturally I try to give it a little more gas, but then it seems like an on/off switch with the gas and it's not as smooth as I like. Could the "fall in" be part of the tires being brand new? And the gas something I'll just get used to in due course? Or is it cause it's more topheavy than my last bike and I have to reorient to the weight that makes it "fall in". Maybe I'm expecting it to lean more than is necessary for a u-turn because I used to lean the Victory Vision (not very top heavy) that much for a u-turn and I need to rethink angle of lean.

The Wee is taller than the FJR with completely different geometry. You will get used to the "fall over" sensation, In fact you will be wondering if your big bikes are going to turn after riding the Wee!

3) Love the pickup on this bike. Did some twisting of the wrist today to test acceleration speed (nothing crazy, just on an on-ramp seeing how fast I could get to 75), and then i slowed down to 60 in 6th gear and tested the passing power if I didn't downshift. I'm pleased.

I guess most think a 650 shouldn't have power, because about every other bike now is 1000+ cc's! They do have adequate and USABLE power. The low and midrange is very good for a 650. ( I remember when a 650/750 WAS the "big" bike...)

4) Got to "offroad" a little today. As in the place I visited closed a gate sooner than I thought, and it was downhill (my stubby legs can't backup), so I crossed the grassy median to get to the other lanes to find another gate. When offroading mildly (well packed road/grass), is it necessary/preferential to let some air out of the tires? Assuming the dirt road or grass will be a long path traveled.

Airing down your tires is overated for most rides. It can give more traction, but if you are in those conditions you probably need better tires to start with. Lowering air pressure is hard on rims if you happen to hit a rock or rut just right and don't forget that low air pressure causes really wierd handling on pavement! Cause you know you will forget to air them back up!


Overall, liking everything about this bike. I've been following the "16T sprocket" threads not so much for speedometer, or gas mileage, or anything of the like, but more to "tame" that uturn and gentle it a bit. I really prefer lowend torquey bikes and smooth bikes (I don't like twitchy throttles) and I'm thinking extending that first gear will allow for very smooth takeoffs and slow speed drills. I don't accelerate very fast, and if anything prefer passing power, keeping up with cars on the road to accelerating off the line when I consider bikes.

For doing U-Turns like you describe the 16t won't help. You'll need to learn to feather your clutch, the WEE has a very nice clutch and is easy to feather. The 16t does take some twitch out of 1st and 2nd gear in stop and go traffic


Alexi
The bikes you described above are SO different from the V STrom that anyone would have to learn how to ride the bike at low speeds. You will get the feel of it.

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post #7 of 10 Old 07-24-2012, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by realshelby View Post
The bikes you described above are SO different from the V STrom that anyone would have to learn how to ride the bike at low speeds. You will get the feel of it.
ok. I definitely need some parking lot time. I did a "600 mile service" myself cause I want to learn to do all this stuff myself. Didn't have a service manual at the time, so I just adjusted the clutch cable so it had slight play in the lever (maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch), the throttle cable felt good too, but I didn't check the rear brake play. I'll check that out today. Chain is good (checked that and did my first chain adjustment!!! Thanks various youtube videos!!!).

Stoked steve (and also realshelby referencing the wee is much different). I definitely am used to the torque of the vision and being able to keep it just above idle while doing slow speed maneuvers. I'll keep in mind keeping the revs up a little more in this bike. Could very well be all I need to do (get used to a different rev range).

Today I pulled a uturn on a one lane each way road and it felt very smooth and easy. Maybe 25 - 30 feet of room. Just need to practice to get it to feel that smooth EVERY time, and shorten up the diameter.

Thanks for the tips everyone. I have a suspicion that the only thing that really needs to happen is I need to 'learn' that this is NOT a 900 pound bike with a 106 cubic inch engine, and get used to a lighter, more responsive bike.

I guess right now I'm the guy that went from a cadillac to a sports car and am wondering why it's so . . . touchy!

Alexi
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-24-2012, 09:22 PM
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I to just bought a 2012 wee on Saturday. Been riding Harleys the last 7 years so I to am learning my new bike and loving every minuite of it. I am still in the first 500 miles so have not gotten to feel all of its power yet. Really enjoy how well the front brake works. I think you just need to try and forget about what you are used to and get into the new sensations.

I live in Houston so there are not many curvey roads, but did go down one road Sunday with some sweepers that I normally take at 70 to 80 on the Ultra. At 70 on the wee I felt like the bike was just putting around the curve. Can't wait until this bike and myself is broken in. Enjoy!
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-29-2012, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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I'm getting very used to it. Haven't hit the parking lot drills yet, but i'm feeling much better after some commuting, uturns on residential streets, and in general learning the bike. Fork brace makes me feel a little better about slow speed leaning too (uturns).

Alexi
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-29-2012, 09:55 AM
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2---Speaking about my '04 & '07 here so if the '12 is different, someone speak up. Check your throttle cable adjustment. I think Suzuki's limits are too big. I set the opening for the least possible slack. If the throttle doesn't snap closed by its springs when you release it, the return cable is too tight. Beyond that, yes, the fuel injection crack point comes on too strong, but you'll get the feel for that. When you get the chance, maybe on a slow downhill, practice opening and closing past the crack point so smoooothly that there is no lurch at all. Practice, practice, practice. I've found that usually no throttle is needed for very slow maneuvers. The fuel injection holds the engine at steady rpms as I feather the clutch.

G2 makes their Tamer Throttle tube with slightly different ramp on the cable wind up. $80, and I don't know if it fits the L2. It is somewhat of a help for smoother throttle operation. I notice mine more when I take it off and put on the factory heated grip/throttle tube.
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