2 Months and 4000km DL 650 2018 review - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL650A - 2017+ DL650A - 2017 (L7) and later

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post #1 of 27 Old 08-12-2019, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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2 Months and 4000km DL 650 2018 review

Hello guys,

Just finished a trip from Toronto are to Montreal subs 1500km and almost 2 months in on my new 2018 DL 650 and here's my review and looking for some advice from more experienced riders. (We ride 2 up )

1) Back pain: I used to get stabbing pain on my upper back (between the shoulder blades) 15 minutes into the rides.
I installed the Zeta bar riser/offset without any cable mods and I can now ride about 100km without issues. After 1h or so, I get sore, same spot. I assume my position is not proper ...(vertically challenged). I'd love to have more offset and maybe a bit higher

2) Seat: I thought about ordering a low seat, but after riding the stock and getting painful after 100km, I decided to drop the idea. The low seat has even less foam, so probably even more uncomfortable. With the Zeta risers installed I can ride for 2 hours before I need to stop. And it get worse every hour...
I lowered the suspension to the max, and now can reach the ground better when 2 up. Alone I am comfortable enough just on my toes...(until I drop it )

If anyone has a stock seat available, I am thinking on buying one and install foam on it myself. It it is bad, at least I do not ruin my current seat.

3) Hands: I used to get numb fingers and pain in the wrist after 45mins or so. Installed grip puppies, and I might have cured the issue as I have a larger surface to grab and less vibration

4) Buffeting + noise: This is killing me. In Montreal I found a store that had the Givi Airflow in stock and I bought it as I was ready to give up on the return ride (that bad, but joking) Givi AF did make it better but only on the lowest setting, and below 110kmph
Buffeting move to my 2up. way worse than before. Bought new helmets, and ear plugs, but this is nightmare.
I also get a lot more wind on my elbow and upper arms, and when it is cold I can feel the arthritis setting in
Thinking on buying a Madstad instead. Anyone interested in a Givi let me know

5) Sidewinds: I wish I had the guts to get the 1000. 650 2 up in highway is too light. not enough power it seems sometimes, and behind a big truck or side winds I almost feel like being wiped from side to side.... Not sure how to fix this.
I did test a 1000 in Montreal, but it way too high for me

6) Side cases: Too little space for the back rider. No place to move the legs, knee pain after a long ride... I can fix this with replacing the cases with soft bags. I installed a top soft bag (love it) and offers a bit of backrest support for the back rider.

7) Consumption: 2 up, gear and cases 18km/L

8) Low RPM : Sometimes I get misfires at low RPM when I give it a little gas.....??? Especially when the bike is hot

9) Top heavy: I try to avoid full tank of gas in the city stop and go situations until I get more comfortable with the bike

All in all, love this bike, but I need to make it "my bike" so I can enjoy it. If my lady stops wanting to ride with me, my riding season will be dramatically shortened and probably less enjoyable...


Any feedback and advice highly appreciated!!!

Safe riding!

Mike
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post #2 of 27 Old 08-13-2019, 09:28 AM
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2) well the seat. I have a sheepskin over my seat, when i go long rides in worm weather. That helps alot

9) topheavy? I do practice slow speed and slowspeed turning whenever i can, and it does not feel topheavy to me😁
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post #3 of 27 Old 08-13-2019, 09:49 AM
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1, 2, 3) - How much experience do you have riding? are you nervous on the bike? I am wondering if you are maybe very tense and that is what causing the issue. I'd suggest lowering the footpegs, you can order the set from Adventuretech and it will change the pressure on your back. The 650 also has narrower bars then the 1000, I wonder if replacing the 650 bars with the 1000 bars would help or going with something aftermarket. I have the feeling though this might be just you being nervous and tense.

4) I have not read any complaints with people with the Givi. I have a Puig on my 1000 and I do like it better then the Givi I had, you could see if they make one for the 1000. The 650 has less options for adjusting the screen so the Madstad bracket might be a good option.

5) Sidewinds: You mentioned that you softened the suspension to the lowest setting, this could be the cause of your issue. How much do you and your wife weigh? most people consider replacing the rear shock becaues it's to light even on the highest setting for 1up riding. I would think when you order the foot peg lowering kit that you also get lowerling links from adventure tech. Lower the bike and then stiffen the suspension back up. I am in Kingston if you need a hand installing the stuff.

6) Side cases: What side cases do you have? I had this issue with my 1000 as well and had custom plates made up to lower the side cases. The 650 would be a different design though so may not be what you are looking for. The Vstrom sadly is not a very good 2up bike when it comes to passenger comfort. Adventuretech does make lowering pegs for the passenger as well and this may help your situation.

8) Low RPM : I doubt its anything to worry about, you could get a programmer for the bike but not likely needed. It wont hurt anything, it's just the new Euro emissions messing with the bike haha.

9) lowering links will certainly help with this. How tall are you? Maybe you just bought the wrong bike for your size. You might be better off with something like the Honda CB500X

I think it's worth a shot ordering lowering links and front and rear peg lowering kits from Rick @ Adventuretech though. I'd also consider the kick stand foot as well as it's very nice to have! As are his mirror extenders, they are a huge help.

Send me a PM if you need help with installing the parts, you are welcome to ride down to Kingston and make use of my garage/tools.

I hope you get the bike sorted out!
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post #4 of 27 Old 08-13-2019, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pumper View Post
2) well the seat. I have a sheepskin over my seat, when i go long rides in worm weather. That helps alot
I have been reading about it. I might give it a try
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumper View Post
9) topheavy? I do practice slow speed and slowspeed turning whenever i can, and it does not feel topheavy to me😁
On my to do list. Definitely need to get it under control. Probably my weakest skill on this bike at the moment
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post #5 of 27 Old 08-13-2019, 10:11 AM
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Buffetting - Get rid of the stock mirrors and widen them. Givi plus this change made me happy.
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post #6 of 27 Old 08-13-2019, 10:25 AM
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On a trip like that you and your passenger should be wearing earplugs. The wind noise on any bike on the highway is very hard on the ears.

If slow speed turning is your weakest skill, then you need to get on that because it is literally the foundation of all of your riding skills. Go practice in any empty parking lot. I have been riding for about 20 years and still every day in the parking lot after work I do figure 8s and circles in both directions for about 5-10 minutes. These are fun skills and it's amazing how easy they are once you get the hang of them. You should be able to do a U-turn on a v-strom in about the width of two parking spaces without putting your feet down. Check youtube for skills practice ideas and tips.



Just for fun, watch these masters

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post #7 of 27 Old 08-13-2019, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenny80 View Post
1, 2, 3) - How much experience do you have riding? are you nervous on the bike? I am wondering if you are maybe very tense and that is what causing the issue. I'd suggest lowering the footpegs, you can order the set from Adventuretech and it will change the pressure on your back. The 650 also has narrower bars then the 1000, I wonder if replacing the 650 bars with the 1000 bars would help or going with something aftermarket. I have the feeling though this might be just you being nervous and tense.
We used to ride in our twenties (you know life before kids) then stopped. So it has been over twenty years since then...
I know for a fact it is my riding position, but I am not overly tensed. I am a cautious but confident rider. I find my hands are too extended (need more offset I guess) . I am also an IT guy, so all day crouched over a computer does not help either....Heard about ATV bars, but not sure what to look for. Will look into lowering the pegs as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenny80 View Post
4) I have not read any complaints with people with the Givi. I have a Puig on my 1000 and I do like it better then the Givi I had, you could see if they make one for the 1000. The 650 has less options for adjusting the screen so the Madstad bracket might be a good option.
I will try different settings to see if it improves. I guess everything has to do with rider position and height. If not, I will move to Madstad

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenny80 View Post
5) Sidewinds: You mentioned that you softened the suspension to the lowest setting, this could be the cause of your issue. How much do you and your wife weigh? most people consider replacing the rear shock becaues it's to light even on the highest setting for 1up riding. I would think when you order the foot peg lowering kit that you also get lowerling links from adventure tech. Lower the bike and then stiffen the suspension back up. I am in Kingston if you need a hand installing the stuff.
We're about 260-270 without gear. I feel the shock being light, but gives me a bit of lowering advantage. Does lowering the links change the riding dynamics by much? Thank you so much for the help offer, much appreciated indeed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenny80 View Post
6) Side cases: What side cases do you have? I had this issue with my 1000 as well and had custom plates made up to lower the side cases. The 650 would be a different design though so may not be what you are looking for. The Vstrom sadly is not a very good 2up bike when it comes to passenger comfort. Adventuretech does make lowering pegs for the passenger as well and this may help your situation.
I have the adventure kit, so aluminium side boxes. Lowering the boxes might not address the issue, maybe moving them back a bit. For now, I think soft case side bags would fix the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenny80 View Post
8) Low RPM : I doubt its anything to worry about, you could get a programmer for the bike but not likely needed. It wont hurt anything, it's just the new Euro emissions messing with the bike haha.
Darn Europeans and their clean air

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenny80 View Post
9) lowering links will certainly help with this. How tall are you? Maybe you just bought the wrong bike for your size. You might be better off with something like the Honda CB500X
Definitely too high for my height (5.7) but I would not want to go smaller in bike size. I need to get more mileage under my belt and fit the bike better. I tried a Yamaha, but hated the scooter like transmission...Time will tell though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenny80 View Post
I think it's worth a shot ordering lowering links and front and rear peg lowering kits from Rick @ Adventuretech though. I'd also consider the kick stand foot as well as it's very nice to have! As are his mirror extenders, they are a huge help.
Agree on the lowering links, thank for the suggestion. I have the stand and mirror extenders

Quote:
Originally Posted by tenny80 View Post
Send me a PM if you need help with installing the parts, you are welcome to ride down to Kingston and make use of my garage/tools.

I hope you get the bike sorted out!
Greatly appreciated kind sir and thank you for your advice!
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post #8 of 27 Old 08-13-2019, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kfh000 View Post
Buffetting - Get rid of the stock mirrors and widen them. Givi plus this change made me happy.
Thank you. Any suggestions?
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post #9 of 27 Old 08-13-2019, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanislejay View Post
On a trip like that you and your passenger should be wearing earplugs. The wind noise on any bike on the highway is very hard on the ears.

If slow speed turning is your weakest skill, then you need to get on that because it is literally the foundation of all of your riding skills. Go practice in any empty parking lot. I have been riding for about 20 years and still every day in the parking lot after work I do figure 8s and circles in both directions for about 5-10 minutes. These are fun skills and it's amazing how easy they are once you get the hang of them. You should be able to do a U-turn on a v-strom in about the width of two parking spaces without putting your feet down. Check youtube for skills practice ideas and tips.
Wholeheartedly agree! Thank you very much for the links.
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post #10 of 27 Old 08-13-2019, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedinoro View Post
We used to ride in our twenties (you know life before kids) then stopped. So it has been over twenty years since then...
I know for a fact it is my riding position, but I am not overly tensed. I am a cautious but confident rider. I find my hands are too extended (need more offset I guess) . I am also an IT guy, so all day crouched over a computer does not help either....Heard about ATV bars, but not sure what to look for. Will look into lowering the pegs as well
I am in IT as well so I know the feeling. You may just need to get a bit more seat time and get your muscles used to riding again. Or you may be more tense then you realize. When you are riding try and make a mental note to take a few deep breaths and loosen your grip on the bars, maybe shake your hands out, etc. You may also try loosening the bars off and rotating them back towards you, that might help as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedinoro View Post
We're about 260-270 without gear. I feel the shock being light, but gives me a bit of lowering advantage. Does lowering the links change the riding dynamics by much? Thank you so much for the help offer, much appreciated indeed!
Not much change at all, you lower the rear and then drop the forks a bit as well to compensate. It does change the lean of the bike so you may also want to get an inch cut out of your kick stand so the bike still leans properly. I'd just be careful parking it until you determine if the lowering links helped or not. They are a straight forward install.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedinoro View Post
I have the adventure kit, so aluminium side boxes. Lowering the boxes might not address the issue, maybe moving them back a bit. For now, I think soft case side bags would fix the problem.
I have the aluminium boxes as well from Givi, I forgot to add that when lowering it also moved them back. I'll attach some images for you showing your the basic idea, these are for a 1000 with Givi racks so not exactly what you need. A place like One Speed (Trevor Daley) in the GTA could likely customize something to work with your bike. It made a huge difference for my wife.

I've got my bike so well sorted for us now that I don't think i'll ever be able to part with it haha.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg FB_IMG_1512532422517.jpg (396.4 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg FB_IMG_1512532432836.jpg (361.2 KB, 6 views)

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