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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 15 Old 09-12-2010, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
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New member to the forums and glad to have a place to call home for my new favorite toy besides my garage!

A bit about me...

I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, FL; current live in Louisville, KY. Used to ride a Yamaha Riva 180Z Scooter between 1982~1984; lots of fun there. Took a long hiatus and picked up riding again in 2008 with a brand new Honda Rebel 250 "The learner bike". Great scoot though. Put on a few thousand miles and had a blast learning and riding. Now the addiction is on.

The Rebel is a cruiser based bike and obviously has it's limitations. After two years and several thousand accident, drop free and highly productive miles I was ready for something new. My research showed me that a Swiss Army knife was the way to go and on Tuesday September 7, 2010 I purchased a brand new Wee Strom DL650K9 with 1 mile on the showroom floor.

WOW! I love this bike. Everyone was right!!! Can't wait for the break in to be over with so I can open her up!

I wanted to touch upon a couple of things, experiences that I've had and questions that have arisen as a result.

* First off, why is it that the dealer will never "see you off" when you first leave with a new bike purchase? When I bought the Rebel my "Instructor" the fellow who introduced me to the bike and how it works, along with my salesman went back inside literally citing, "Are you sure you're gonna be OK? No offense but I can't stay and watch you ride off. Good luck to you!" The Suzuki dealer, same thing but without expressing concern. After the intro and walk around, I was thanked for my business, shook hands and everyone suddenly vanished. I was alone again.

* I now have some 120+ miles on the Wee, the tires should have rid themselves of most if not all of the mold release agent and the brakes are bedding themselves. She's running great, no leaks, everything seems smooth so far.

* Each time I stop, I'm looking over a new part of the bike and discovering what it's all about. This is a much more complex machine than the Rebel and it's a bit intimidating. I'm wondering if I should attempt the 600 mile service or have the dealer do it. I was quoted about $160 +/-. Any thoughts?

* Coming from the Rebel and _never_, EVER, having ridden a motorcycle larger than a 250, the V-Strom is a complete change in terms of sound, feel, weight, suspension and handling characteristics. What's the deal with the engine sound? At least to me it sounds like a throaty air compressor. When you come to a traffic light and stop it sounds like a muffled ball-peen hammer just pounding away. I guess this is normal for this type of engine?

* I've heard stories about it's disc brakes not completely releasing: Suzuki V-Strom DL1000 / DL650 Info and Accessories

As a result, I have been paying particular attention to the wheels when they roll freely from either pushing the bike around or spinning the wheels on the paddock stands. The front wheel in particular (having dual disc brakes) makes a lot more braking noise than I believe it should. The rear single disc, not much if at all. Anyone else encounter the same thing?

* All of the gears on this bike are SHORT! According to the manual, they have you into sixth gear before you are even up to 40 MPH????. What's the deal here?

* I know this bike can lean, seriously lean, but I'm having trouble laying it over. It must be reluctance on my part. Perhaps there is something about the distance ahead I'm looking through the turn. I cannot help but think that I'm looking too far ahead and not focusing on at least some of the road nearer to me and thus I find that I cannot judge where I am in the lane and have come close to running it too wide and running off the road on the shoulder. Any tips here?

* Finally, this one is odd. On a straight road, perfectly flat the Wee leans to one side (Left) whilst I'm relatively upright. Almost as if I'm sitting on it wrong. I had this exact same problem back in the 80's on the Riva scooter. Even had a friend in the car behind me ask: "What's the deal, you're sitting upright and the bike is leaning to the left???"

I did not have this problem on the Rebel, but it's back with the Wee. What am I doing wrong and how can I correct it?


Thanks in advance for the feedback and look forward to getting to know all of you guys!

Dean

-ZR
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post #2 of 15 Old 09-12-2010, 07:42 AM
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Hey, Zep!

Sounds like we have a lot in common:

I grew up in Fort Liquordale. To be more precise North Lauderdale. (Coconut Creek, '81)

Judging from your timeline, I'm roughly the same vintage.

I quit riding for a couple decades.

My first bike "as an adult" was a Rebel.

Have you heard Robert Plant's latest: First Listen: Robert Plant, 'Band Of Joy' : NPR?



My responses are below in bold type:





Quote:
Originally Posted by ZepRider View Post
New member to the forums and glad to have a place to call home for my new favorite toy besides my garage!

A bit about me...

I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, FL; current live in Louisville, KY. Used to ride a Yamaha Riva 180Z Scooter between 1982~1984; lots of fun there. Took a long hiatus and picked up riding again in 2008 with a brand new Honda Rebel 250 "The learner bike". Great scoot though. Put on a few thousand miles and had a blast learning and riding. Now the addiction is on.

The Rebel is a cruiser based bike and obviously has it's limitations. After two years and several thousand accident, drop free and highly productive miles I was ready for something new. My research showed me that a Swiss Army knife was the way to go and on Tuesday September 7, 2010 I purchased a brand new Wee Strom DL650K9 with 1 mile on the showroom floor.

WOW! I love this bike. Everyone was right!!! Can't wait for the break in to be over with so I can open her up!

I wanted to touch upon a couple of things, experiences that I've had and questions that have arisen as a result.

* First off, why is it that the dealer will never "see you off" when you first leave with a new bike purchase? When I bought the Rebel my "Instructor" the fellow who introduced me to the bike and how it works, along with my salesman went back inside literally citing, "Are you sure you're gonna be OK? No offense but I can't stay and watch you ride off. Good luck to you!" The Suzuki dealer, same thing but without expressing concern. After the intro and walk around, I was thanked for my business, shook hands and everyone suddenly vanished. I was alone again.

They sell bikes. You total yours they get to sell another.

* I now have some 120+ miles on the Wee, the tires should have rid themselves of most if not all of the mold release agent and the brakes are bedding themselves. She's running great, no leaks, everything seems smooth so far.

To quote the lovely, late Karen Carpenter: "We've only just begun...."

* Each time I stop, I'm looking over a new part of the bike and discovering what it's all about. This is a much more complex machine than the Rebel and it's a bit intimidating. I'm wondering if I should attempt the 600 mile service or have the dealer do it. I was quoted about $160 +/-. Any thoughts?

If they do it right, he 600-mile service is more than just an oil change. The dealer should check over the entire bike and make sure nothing in their uncrating an assembly has come un-done. I did my first oil change but took the bike in at about 1000 miles when I couldn't get an appointment. I've done most the rest of the servicing, the biggest hassle is removing all the plastics.


* Coming from the Rebel and _never_, EVER, having ridden a motorcycle larger than a 250, the V-Strom is a complete change in terms of sound, feel, weight, suspension and handling characteristics. What's the deal with the engine sound? At least to me it sounds like a throaty air compressor. When you come to a traffic light and stop it sounds like a muffled ball-peen hammer just pounding away. I guess this is normal for this type of engine?

Yes. That's normal. Some people refer to the Jetsons.

* I've heard stories about it's disc brakes not completely releasing: Suzuki V-Strom DL1000 / DL650 Info and Accessories

As a result, I have been paying particular attention to the wheels when they roll freely from either pushing the bike around or spinning the wheels on the paddock stands. The front wheel in particular (having dual disc brakes) makes a lot more braking noise than I believe it should. The rear single disc, not much if at all. Anyone else encounter the same thing?

I dragged my rear brake for a while (fat feet) and adjusted the pedal after wearing out a set of pads. I have heard of no common issues other than the dealer not torquing the front caliper attachment bolts correctly. This is usually very obvious, but worth checking nonetheless.


* All of the gears on this bike are SHORT! According to the manual, they have you into sixth gear before you are even up to 40 MPH????. What's the deal here?

That's only for the break-in-period. Afterwords feel free to visit the rev limiter for a bit of a thrill. The motor really wakes up at around 6000 rpm.


* I know this bike can lean, seriously lean, but I'm having trouble laying it over. It must be reluctance on my part. Perhaps there is something about the distance ahead I'm looking through the turn. I cannot help but think that I'm looking too far ahead and not focusing on at least some of the road nearer to me and thus I find that I cannot judge where I am in the lane and have come close to running it too wide and running off the road on the shoulder. Any tips here?

Practice.

* Finally, this one is odd. On a straight road, perfectly flat the Wee leans to one side (Left) whilst I'm relatively upright. Almost as if I'm sitting on it wrong. I had this exact same problem back in the 80's on the Riva scooter. Even had a friend in the car behind me ask: "What's the deal, you're sitting upright and the bike is leaning to the left???

I did not have this problem on the Rebel, but it's back with the Wee. What am I doing wrong and how can I correct it?

Spinal adjustment.


Thanks in advance for the feedback and look forward to getting to know all of you guys!

Dean

Sent from my Hewlett-Packard 75C, using the Flying Merkel motorcycle app.

Stromin'Nroman NC28729, USA

DL650A K7 (Greywolf Moto Lab's R&D test mule) June 1, 2012 - present
DL650A K7 April 23, 2007 - January 6, 2012, RIP

"Look here brother, who you jivin' with that cosmik debris?" Frank Zappa, 1975
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post #3 of 15 Old 09-12-2010, 09:01 AM
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^ what he said.

for better cornering techniques, the famous book "proficient motorcycling" has changed the way i ride, and i'm 3 years and about 15,000 miles into the sport.

for sound, i wear earplugs. always. and am saving for an aftermarket exhaust.

be brave with cornering with this machine, i came off a inline 4 sport touring bike, and the strom felt like a bicycle afterwards. once you understand it'll continue to grip long after you've become nervously close to horizontal, you'll be more comfortable laying it over.
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post #4 of 15 Old 09-12-2010, 09:10 AM
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Welcome

I'm about 2 hrs (give or take) North of ya. New to the V but not MC's. I also spent the last several years on a cruiser but I downsized. Didn't read the manual (maybe I should have) but I'm Not shifting that soon. I use a combo of motor sound & watching the tach to shift. The Louisville area was one of my favorite MC rides back in the day. Maybe, will see you on the road :beatnik:

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post #5 of 15 Old 09-12-2010, 10:07 AM
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That's one heck of a first post - welcome!

As one of the many returning riders around here I found your post interesting since several years ago I had some of the same ideas & observations (on a different bike before I went found the Strom a few years after returning), and was equally excited to be back on two wheels as well. Here are a few thoughts for what they are worth:
  • For peace of mind you could let your dealer do the 600 miles service. Yes, the oil change part is easy, the knowing what to look for to tighten up or what parts to make sure is still positioned correctly, maybe not so much. Over time you'll learn the bike.
  • Does your engine sound like THIS? If so, then all is good.
  • When the break pads are still relatively new it's not unusual to hear them rubbing slightly against the disc when you're pushing the bike, etc. Give 'em a few thousand.
  • Mfr. recommended shift points are ALWAYS short. They're more like, the minimum in my opinion. Ride it all you can and get past the break-in period as soon as possible, where freedom awaits!
  • Lots of lean angle for lean angle's sake is not necessarily a good thing. Don't worry, it'll be there when you really need it (lets hope you don't for now), and for the time being you should practice the "kiss the mirrors" approach to leaning through (serious) turns...your body should be leading the lean. +1 on David Hough's "Proficient Motorcycling" and "More Proficient Motorcycling". Ride the Wee down to Barnes & Nobles or whatever bookstore you like, and get ya a coupla copies ASAP. Good stuff Maynard.
  • Loosen the grip on the grips and relax, and many things about the bike and the ride will "Come" to you and that left lean might even go away.

Welcome, ride well, ride safe and let us know how ya do!

.

"Ignorance is a powerful tool if applied at the right time, even usually surpassing knowledge." - E.J. Potter
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post #6 of 15 Old 09-12-2010, 11:50 AM
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Great choice on a bike......and, You definitely need more ride time to peel back the layers of the onion on this bike. The Strom makes a great introduction, but once you get used to it, it really makes it's awesomeness very apparent. The Strom was my first bike made "this century", and I was shocked by how well it handled compared to my 80's era Jap sportbike....after living with fussy carburators for years, the fuel injection is a dream come true......the Strom is really light on its toes and handles so effortlessly, you may be struggling with this. Also, it's a really tall bike, so when you lean over a little, you can really fill up your lane since the bike is so tall....

And as for the sound, I love the quite puttering and the angry mouse roar the Strom puts out - a welcome change from my 4 into 1 piped air-cooled clattering 80's Kawasaki noise generator.....

And lastly, set aside 100 bucks for a Madstad Windscreen adjuster bracket - you'll thank me later! The stock windscreen positioning is the STrom's most glaring flaw - once addressed, the rest are just one farkle away from perfection......oh yeah, prepare for your farkle-ization....

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post #7 of 15 Old 09-12-2010, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stromin'Nroman View Post

Spinal adjustment

I'm still laughing at this one.....


Welcome, Zep. Do I know you from somewhere else?
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post #8 of 15 Old 09-12-2010, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Many thanks to all the responses and I agree with everything said here.

@Stromin'Nroman: No, I have not heard that album from Robert Plant. I did however, live in many different places around Ft. Liquordale (I remember that nickname). Downtown, Lauderdale Lakes, Deerfield Bch, Plantation, Sunrise, Davie, Weston. We moved around a lot.

@sarge: Glad to make your acquaintance, would be nice to hook up with another Strom rider soon.

@Stoopy: Yes, as a matter of fact IT DOES sound just like that. So I guess all is well. Yeah, I figured the shift points were manufacturer recommended for easy going and break in. You can hear that the engine wants to wind these gears out far more than that damn book suggests. Like I said, can't wait till break in is over.

Speaking of BREAK-in... I did it... had my first, and hopefully last tip over today in the garage! Broke the left turn signal, snapped the ball off the clutch hand lever and scuffed the left bar weight. Not a single scratch on anything else especially the plastic and the handle-bars are straight. Shift peg is fine as well.

I was finally ready to start USING my Wee instead of just breaking in a showroom bike. I was loading up my newly installed JC Whitney large top box and just as I was pushing the lock closed, it pushed the bike forward and right off the side-stand It happened so quick. I've had it for six days and all the while knew that kickstand was trouble.

This pony is really eager to lay down and nap. I can call it christened now! :mrgreen: Guess I need to find replacement parts tomorrow. I will also be purchasing the SW-Motech CENTER STAND. I'm not doing this again and I don't trust that kickstand at all.

@Green427: If you're the guy from Delaware that I'm thinkin' of, yeah, ya do! What up!

Many thanks for the responses and I will keep practicing!

-ZR
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post #9 of 15 Old 09-12-2010, 10:09 PM
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Zeprider, in early October there will be a V-Strom rally in Stecoah at the Iron Horse Motro resort:

https://www.stromtrooper.com/events/5...t-fall-iv.html

I'll probably be there, I'm about 100 miles away. It would be a great way to learn all about these bikes and to take your first long trip on your Strom.

Cheers,

Norm

Sent from my Hewlett-Packard 75C, using the Flying Merkel motorcycle app.

Stromin'Nroman NC28729, USA

DL650A K7 (Greywolf Moto Lab's R&D test mule) June 1, 2012 - present
DL650A K7 April 23, 2007 - January 6, 2012, RIP

"Look here brother, who you jivin' with that cosmik debris?" Frank Zappa, 1975
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post #10 of 15 Old 09-12-2010, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stromin'Nroman View Post
Zeprider, in early October there will be a V-Strom rally in Stecoah at the Iron Horse Motro resort:

https://www.stromtrooper.com/events/5...t-fall-iv.html

I'll probably be there, I'm about 100 miles away. It would be a great way to learn all about these bikes and to take your first long trip on your Strom.

Cheers,

Norm
Oh YEAH! It's only 340 miles away from me. I would do it in a heartbeat but, my actual vacation time starts 10/10/10 and thus will NOT be able to make it. I will be around the forums a good deal and learning to play nicely with my Wee... perhaps next year I can get in on it, planning my vacation time accordingly!

A long trip would be exactly what I'd want to do after tooling around the local area for a year!

I will be on the lookout for this and other V-Togethers next year.

-ZR
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