Fix it or Quit it? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
General V-Strom Discussion Talk about all things V-Strom not limited to just one of the above models

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post #1 of 25 Old 09-21-2013, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Fix it or Quit it?

So, this is kind of a long post, but as I'm considering dumping my Vee at present, it's kind of important and I'm hoping for some helpful feed back from the community on the issue.

I've read through a number of posts, and there seems to be "some" answer for the issues I'm experiencing. A few of which I've applied: TB sync and PCIII. That made things better, but I'm still pretty disappointed in my experience with my DL1000 Vee so far.

After doing the TBS and adding the PCIII, I went on an 800 mile foray into the Oregon high desert and now, seriously, the Strom is about an inch away from the chopping block at this point.

The "touring" type performance was abysmal on the trip. Mileage was also poor, in the low 40's, and that was with using the over drive a lot. Actually the OD sucked, the engine didn't like it at all.

I did my best to get used to this new machine, but there seemed to be no way to drive it and have it also be SMOOTH.

As many post here, the throttle is outrageously twitchy. It feels like turning the engine on and off when trying to use the engine to brake.

Went over a pass with small twisties and it was the most miserable experience on a motorbike I've ever had. I tried the entire range of RPM and every gear, at no range/gear did the lurching between accel and decel go away. And it became scary when the roads got narrow and wet.

Also, tried a bit of off road, and that too was a total fail. No way would it chug down the gavel roads at low-ish rpm in 1st/2nd gear. But also trying high rpm with the twitchy lurching throttle issue made it impossible to smoothly vary my speed and avoid brakes on the loose gravel.

And the engine at low rpm, for instance when using the Over Drive, feels like there are angry gods inside wanting to break out! Would have driven me nuts if it weren't that I wear ear plugs.

Slow traffic. For get it. Requires so much clutch feathering that my fingers start getting sore after just a few minutes.

And add to that some CRAZY rattling and banging every time I accelerate from a stop going through the 3000-4000 range, it's like the whole thing is going to fall apart.

Oh, and did I mention the random back firing?

I've read about the chudder issue, and I probably have to deal with that. But after doing the tests, up hill, and a light pull to see if makes a difference, it only makes a very minor difference. I really have a very hard time association all this with just a problematic clutch too.

Basically, what I would very much appreciate is some feedback. Is it at all possible to dial these bikes in so that they can be nice touring bikes with smooth response AND a usable low to mid RPM range?

I've read a lot of comments that say "you can't lug these bikes" and "you should stay above 4K rpm", but one makes lugging is another mans meat. And always running above 4K coupled with a twitchy throttle, sounds like advice from/for sport riders and not really helpful to us loping touring guys who want a bike usable in a full range. I've ridden plenty of twins and the only time I had to keep above a certain RPM was for the sake of having enough power. On the flats or down hill, totally a non-issue. But it seems to be an issue with the Vee, which is sad.

I've also seen comments that add up to "you have to get used to it", and there's a bit of merit in that, but I don't feel that I should really have to fully change my riding habits for the machines sake. You know?

I'm also a bit annoyed that I seemingly am being required to jump through so many hoops to get a bike "right" that is only 10 years old.

But lets say I did all the recommendations. I'm only a few bits away from that point anyway. Maybe there's a bit of adjustment to be done to the throttle or TPS and say I do go a head with the chudder fix.

My concern is that even then it still won't be the bike where I want it to be

And to qualify that, I've owned a number of bikes over the years. I currently own a Burgman 400 scooter, with which I'm very pleased. It's great around town and easily the smoothest bike I've ever had, not the best handling, but it's a scooter after all. Also amongst my many bikes I've owned, the two most notable and recent, I've had a BMW R75/7 airhead twin and a Honda 650GT Hawk cafe racer. Both really nice rides, the operation of which I've never had a complaint about, nor did I ever have to "get used to" or "ride different" to accommodate.

So two twins that I liked every much and one single that I also like. Some newer, some older. With computer and without. None had any issues, or twitchy throttles, or clutch or engine weirdness, no need to feather clutches, or adopt any special riding style, no after market parts or fixes, and the biggest thing of all: each ABSOLUTELY SMOOTH and easy to operate at all RPM ranges and all conditions.

Anyway, finally to my questions:

Can the DL1000, when dialed in, be as smooth and easy to work as the above mentioned bikes?

Or are my expectations for this machine just too high? (or too different from the intended riders?)

Are these bikes just primarily designed/intended for the sport enthusiast riders that are almost always "on it", never even think about low RPM anything, or slow anything, and this bike just isn't a good fit for an all ranges touring fellow like myself?

Is it is just something that needs a bit attention and then everything will magically "click"?

I would really appreciate some feed back on this. I had high hopes. I'm definitely willing to put a bit more $$ and elbow grease into the bike.

But I'm not willing to change my riding style completely. If I want to chug, I should be able to chug, which isn't the same as lug (too low rpm for the immediate power demand).

It's a 1000cc bike! It should pull smooth just above idle in 1st with no lurching, surging, or any other nonsense.

Is this just not the bike I hoped it was?

Thanks!

Last edited by Pfarthing6; 09-21-2013 at 05:58 PM.
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post #2 of 25 Old 09-21-2013, 06:36 PM
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Some good tips here: DL1000 - Standard answer - low speed issues DL1000

The throttle adjustment I like is to adjust the open cable with the smallest amount of slack that I can get. Less than 1 mm is good. Then adjust the close cable so the slack is just lightly removed from it. If the close cable is too tight it'll hold the throttle open.

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

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post #3 of 25 Old 09-21-2013, 06:45 PM
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When I added the power commander to mine it helped a lot but there were still issues.
One was the chain was too tight from the PO.
Also I found that I needed to use a different map than what came with my power commander.
After switching to chefs (I think that was his name) I found that to be even better and modified that by bumping the lower rpm range fuel percent... This really helped with "twitchy" throttle.
Dialed back a bit the ranges that chef had increased to improve fuel a bit.
Now I have a very enjoyable bike that can be lugged when necessary...
My next change will be a 1 tooth smaller than stock front sprocket...

I was just like you and did not enjoy the bike except under hard acceleration until I started playing with the mappings..

Now it's the best bike I have had.


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post #4 of 25 Old 09-21-2013, 06:50 PM
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Try 16/43 gearing. Resolves many of the issues you don't like. Did for me anyhow. I get mid-high 40's on the open road , never better. But I rarely get worse than high 30's when I'm wringing it out either , so to me , it's a fair trade. 16/43 made it a better machine off pavement as well. Not a lot of $$ make the switch , but does throw the speedo off , so I fixed that with a 12oclock labs healer. Just a thought.
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post #5 of 25 Old 09-21-2013, 08:35 PM
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Life is too short to be that unhappy with a motorcycle, and there are lot's to choose from. Sell it and move on.
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post #6 of 25 Old 09-21-2013, 09:02 PM
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There is something wrong with your Vee. I've never subscribed to the whole "just keep the bike at 4K/5K rpm" theory. In stock form my Vee will happily and smoothly cruise at 3500rpm, and with aftermarket exhaust (no other mods) it is now happy at 3000 rpm.

I am also not a sporty rider and bought the Vee for relaxing long distance rides on the open road, which my bike does quite well. I have clutch chudder but it only rears it's head under heavy acceleration and so far I have been able to live with it.

I have sympathy for your plight though. There is no sense in throwing money at a bike that, even when running perfect, may not be what you want. The Vee is also the most problematic bike I have ever owned, which is not to say that it has me beating my head against the wall, it's just that every other bike I have ever owned has just worked perfectly no matter how much I neglected them.

I recently worked out that I have spent over $2000 on mods for my Vee and I have yet to even look at replacing the clutch, installing PCV or upgrading brakes or suspension. This really has been a lesson for me in the true cost of buying a "cheap" bike.

My Vee is totally useable in normal rpm ranges and for relaxing high speed rides. I think that the clutch basket will make it pretty much spot on, so to answer your question, I do believe that the Vee can be turned into a great touring bike.

However I suspect that your issues are the result of a bigger problem rather than just the usual design faults.

[URL=http://www.fuelly.com/motorcycle/suzuki/dl650_v-strom/2011/strangedog/493573][IMG]http://badges.fuelly.com/images/sig-us/493573.png[/IMG][/URL]
[URL=http://www.fuelly.com/motorcycle/suzuki/dl650_v-strom/2006/strangedog/401455][IMG]http://badges.fuelly.com/images/sig-us/401455.png[/IMG][/URL]
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post #7 of 25 Old 09-21-2013, 09:10 PM
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+1 on the 16/43 gearing. Even then it will be happier above 3800-4000 rpm. Since you've done a TB sync and still backfiring you might check tourq on exhaust header. Sounding like this may not be the bike for you. Different strokes for different folks. Good luck. :beatnik:

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post #8 of 25 Old 09-21-2013, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfarthing6 View Post
I'm considering dumping my Vee...

...TB sync and PCIII. That made things better, but I'm still pretty disappointed in my experience with my DL1000 Vee so far.
...Went over a pass with small twisties and it was the most miserable experience on a motorbike I've ever had...
...Also, tried a bit of off road, and that too was a total fail. No way would it chug down the gavel roads at low-ish rpm in 1st/2nd gear...
...Slow traffic. Forget it! Requires so much clutch feathering that my fingers start getting sore after just a few minutes...
...And add to that some CRAZY rattling and banging every time I accelerate from a stop going through the 3000-4000 range, it's like the whole thing is going to fall apart...
...Oh, and did I mention the random back firing?
My concern is that even then it still won't be the bike where I want it to be.

Anyway, finally to my questions:
Can the DL1000, when dialed in, be as smooth and easy to work as the above mentioned bikes?
Or are my expectations for this machine just too high?
It's a 1000cc bike! It should pull smooth just above idle in 1st with no lurching, surging, or any other nonsense.
Damn nice post Pfarthing6.
Over the years, I've spent thousands on getting my 06 Vee to function almost as good as my Harley or GS, (or lawn mower, or moped, etc...)
But I'm no adv-tourer and I'm a bit different than the typical Vee owner that will defend the bug infested top heavy sow to the death.
In my case, I appreciate the technical challenge and I love to complain, wrench, and learn. Hence I love my Vee.
Now if your an adv-tourer and actually need to ride, (rather than spend long nights in your shop wrenching) then the Vee may not be a good bike for your needs.

The tech-challenge of the DL1000 entices me!
Knowing that my K6 Vee is better, faster, smother, than the next guy's because I'm a credit card abusing, wrench-aholic perfectionist makes me a happy boy.
However... If you actually intend to leave the comfort of your garage and tour, you might be best to take meick's advice and move on. (see quote below)

Quote:
Originally Posted by meick View Post
Life is too short to be that unhappy with a motorcycle, and there are lot's to choose from. Sell it and move on.
Regards,
-Ej-

A "Commuter" not an AdvTourer.
Currently Commuting On: 06 Harley XL1200C, DL1000k6, two old mopeds, and a pair of sneakers.
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post #9 of 25 Old 09-21-2013, 10:20 PM
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Mine is smooth as silk and an absolute blast in the twisty stuff, eats miles and miles of slab too. Time to move on, sell it and let somebody else get it dialed in.

BRIAN "GO Buckeyes, GO Wildcats"!

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post #10 of 25 Old 09-21-2013, 10:51 PM
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Well no, you can't expect a sporty engine that has a peak torque at more than twice what you want to run at to do it smoothly. Mine runs OK at 3k with a light and smooth throttle hand, but I would never expect it to run like a tractor like BMW twin. Different animal all around. I wouldn't expect my FJR I-4 to run like my Honda V4 ST either.

Reading the threads on here complaining about the low rpm behavior and such tells me people chose the wrong engine. You can look at the engine's numbers and see its no slow rev laid back power plant at all. I would never expect to ride around smoothly at 3,000 rpm.

It is what it is, every new bike I've bought in the last 20 years was lean from the get go. But, you can't expect an engine to run outside it's intended rpm range.

My 950A KTM was a lean bastard and decel popped like crazy, my DR650 was horrible in stock form to me. My FJR1300 was a lean broad too. The only bike I felt was ok completely stock was my Honda ST, everything else needed a new map.

The DL1000 I picked up has a PC mid range map in it and its actually pretty good. I can tell its a bit rich at light throttle but there is a solid pull from 3500 rpm to red line. Six is almost useless below 70 mph IMO. And thats not a bad thing, it has long legs no doubt about it. In traffic just wind her up and stay in first and second. The engine runs good at 5,000 RPM and beyond, its not cruiser, its not a BMW twin etc. It reminds me of my past 950A geared very high. I can tell already even with the rich map it's getting better economy than my old 05 KTM. I'm happy over 40 mpg, the orange beast only got 36 mph on a good day.

I really like the engine and it makes me smile shifting around 6K or more. Its a fun engine, I find if I keep it above 4500 RPM on the interstate its very smooth and has enough passing power. With the current map I'm not lean anywhere and the engine is responsive above 4000 rpm although do let it run down to 3500 at times. No popping at all out of the two brothers C4 pipes too.

I think its a good all rounder and I chose it because of the engine. Sounds like you chose the wrong bike, try something different that fits your wants. No need to ride something you don't like. I ride with guys on everything, some love a R1200GS, some can't ride nothing but a HOT sweaty ST1300 and I for a while rode a DR650 everywhere even though I had a FJR at home. Ride what makes you smile.

Last edited by Sagebrush; 09-21-2013 at 10:56 PM.
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