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?
* 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!