Join Date: May 2009
Location: Redondo Beach, Ca
So I've been lusting after the V-strom for some time now. I first saw one in the summer of 2005, and have wanted one ever since. I didn't want something ridiculously fast, and being 6'4" I needed something tall.
Last summer I was finally in the place financially to take the MSF course, buy gear, and buy the bike of my dreams. I was really excited after I bought it; took it to parking lots to practice my low speed maneuvers, started riding around town to get my confidence up, then decided to take my first highway trip. I rode from my apartment in Redondo Beach, to my home away from home in Palm Springs and back. I was terrified. I was getting blown all around on the freeway, my helmet was shaking every which way, my shoulders were so sore by the end of the trip that I couldn't turn my head to do a lane check, and I had to stay in the right lane to try to go slow enough to feel comfortable. Needless to say, I was very discouraged. I didn't know if it was just the way all bikes were and that I just didn't know what to expect out of riding, or if there was a way to make riding more comfortable.
Thankfully I cam across this site, and started reading about how other people had very similar problems to mine. Fast forward to today, and I've added a fork brace, raised the forks in the clamps, added a givi windshield, mirror extenders, and gen-mar one up and one back bar risers. It is now a completely different bike! Freeway riding is 1000x better, and so much more enjoyable! Yesterday I took a ride up PCH to Oxnard, then took the 101 to Hollywood, rode around the city for a while, then took the 10 to the 405 and back home. It was pleasant and enjoyable. I now have no qualms about taking freeway/extended trips. I wish I had done this stuff sooner, as I was too scared to ride it up to this point.
Next purchase will be an aftermarket seat. Then I'll probably feel good enough to go across the country on it.
Thanks to everyone here for all of the advice!