Have had some 1200 Kms of rider familiarization with my 2012 DL 1000 VStrom. So far quite impressed. Has lots of ponies, and is a comfortable ride. Took it to a friends place, he rides an ’06 BMW GSA. He looked it over with me, and was also suitably impressed. We discussed maintenance, and other aspects and I came away with a bit more knowledge.
Spent Sunday on a nice ride from Ottawa to my Mother’s place in Larder Lake Ontario, about an hour south of Timmins. A picture of Earl the bison in Earlton on the way north, first attachment below.
Did some maintenance yesterday, oil change, flush the brake and clutch systems, pump up the tires and such for the trip across Canada to its new home in Victoria.
Left my brother’s place in Larder Lake at 0700 this morning. The other three attachments are of the start of this journey.
Have a schedule as this is not a sight seeing trip, but a get the bike back to Victoria trip. Going to take 5 to 6 days depending. First day is to get to Thunder Bay and have a good night’s rest. This is a 900 Km jaunt, but the roads have been good. Did get some rain for about 2 hours out of Thunder Bay, lasted for most of the final ride in. Bike operated well, and engine likes to be around 4K RPM – about 110 KPH.
So far to date approximately 2100 Kms – a good number of Kms to allow one to get to know a new bike.
Had to use the heated hand grips, came with the bike, as it was 3 degrees C when I left this morning. Hopefully tomorrow will be better, supposed to be a good day according to the weather witches.
A ride like this gives one many Kms/miles to reflect and theorize on what one has read, researched and may want/need to do to his/her ride. I have been doing just this, specifically the electrical system 3 piece alternator system – rotor, stator, external RR, and the engine shifting requirements.
Regarding the engine shifting requirements, I have noticed a definite delineation between the gears.
First is self explanatory, works well from start to over 3K RPM. 2nd works well from about 2750 RPM and above, engine does not like it when I am in second gear below this threshold. 3rd and 4th work well over 3k RPM as do 5th and 6th, but 4th, 5th and 6th work better from 3500 RPM and above. A bit picky, but have the Kms and time in the saddle to wonder about these specifics.
I notice that up to 4K RPM and above, 1st, 2nd and 3rd work well. I notice that 4th, 5th and 6th seem to labour somewhat between 3K and 4K RPM. The engine does pull in this situation, but the sound of the engine is like a muted 1 cylinder engine in double time. Once the engine hits 4K RPM, the engine sound changes and the engine response is much quicker, and pulls harder. My solution to this at this time is to adjust my shift pattern to suit – never like to lug an engine.
I have thought about the possibility of changing the front sprocket to 16 instead of the OEM 17 tooth sprocket. This would change the RPM for each gear as the engine would have to spin a little faster to achieve the same aim. I don’t see much benefit for the lower 3 gears, but maybe for the upper three in that the engine would rev to 4K RPM sooner for a lower speed. Just a thought.
Regarding the electrical system, I am not a fan of large rotor/stator assemblies. Removed the 500 watt stator from my ’85 LTD FI model GW and installed an external auto alternator. This is done quite often on these older GWs, and works quite well. Found a thread on the VStrom Riders international forum about this very issue. A fellow installed an external alternator on his DL1000. Very well documented and finish looks is quite professional. Here is the thread: https://www.vstrom.info/Smf/index.ph...c,15655.0.html
I have been noticing how the charging/electrical system on my VStrom has been reacting to the various loads, especially now that it is colder and I want to use the heated hand grips. The lights have been upgraded so that both lights can be on at low and high, or back to original configuration.
There is a charge light installed that goes from red to yellow to green depending on electrical system load. Not as good as a gauge, but will do until I get home.
I’m quite intrigued with the install of an external alternator, and will be looking into it further.
Tomorrow is another day on the road. Heading to Winnipeg, a shorter jaunt of just over 700 Kms. Time to get some shut eye, 0600 comes early. Have found that when trip planning, if the ride is 500 Kms (approximately 300 miles) and the average driving time is say 6 hours (averaging 50 MPH), I need to tack on an extra 3 hours approximately for the more frequent gas stops, getting dressed, undressed – similar to snowmobiling. So riding time tomorrow is estimated at 10 hours or so. Today it was just over 12 hours for the 900 Kms.
More to follow, Cheers