StromTrooper banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys & Gals,

I'm a 62 yr old rider with ten years on a 1985 BMW K100 RT. I sold the K100 last summer while recovering from a crash that I'd had on a Royal Enfield 350 Bullet while I was traveling in India earlier in the year.

I had always found the K100 a bit too tall and heavy in the parking lot and had dropped it a couple of times because of that (I'm 5'9" with a 30" inseam). Don't get me wrong, once it got up to speed, it handled beautifully, but that too was an issue as I tended to ride way over the limit. Also, since the accident, I've been pretty sedentary and, along with with just getting older, I'm not as strong or flexible as I was. For these reasons, I decided to look for a smaller, lighter bike.

Most of my rides are day rides along the back roads around my home. I like to get out once or twice a week and do a two to four hour ride (150 - 300 Km / 100 - 200 miles). Every year or two, I'll do a longer trip - up to a week or so, riding up to 600 Km/day.

After some research, I decided that the Wee looked promising, however, after riding one a couple of weeks ago, I was taken aback by how tall it was and felt a bit uneasy with the power train - compared to the four cyclinder / shaft drive I was used to it felt a bit "peaky" and I was getting a fair bit of "slap" when I was shifting. To be fair I hadn't ridden in over a year, I wasn't used to the bike and the ride wasn't long enough for me to adjust. I expect it would have smoothed out a lot once I got used to it.

Nonetheless, I decided that perhaps something even more relaxed like a V-Star or Aero might be worth a try. Scratch that idea! After riding a couple of Aeros, I realized that I was not really a cruiser type. What I wanted was less "sport" and power than the Beemer with a lower seat height but with a riding position, foot controls and a steering geometry that would provide better handling and comfort than a cruiser. In short, what used to be called a "standard" motorcycle. The closest I've seen to this configuration in recent models is the Triumph Bonneville SE. Unfortunately, they are rare and a bit out of my price range.

So... I've come back to the Wee with the idea that I could lower it a couple of inches with shorter links (I like the Soupy Performance links that can be adjusted after installation). Should I also be thinking about bringing down the front a little to match? (Shock adjust?) I would also get some handlebar risers to bring them up and back a little for a more relaxed arm position (which would be facilitated by the extra cable slack provided by the lowering).

I'm posting here partly as an exercise to clarify my own thinking but also to solicit any comments or suggestions that might help my decision.

Thanks for "listening"!

David Baril
Almonte ON (Canada)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,231 Posts
56 y/o, 5'9" tall and 30" inseam rider since 2010. Wee was my first bike. Bought it new, and have 13+ thousand miles on it already. I did had to lower it 1" and that worked for me, as I can almost flat foot it. I did not lower the front end( I did install fork brace however), and the bike handles well. The Wee is a bit top heavy,but it is light enough to handle the bike. Although I have not tried many bikes, I am in love with my Wee (don't tell the wife or girlfriend). It is the kind of bike you can just get on and ride anywhere- street, highway, twisties, dirt roads etc... Here in the Adirondack's of NYS, the roads beg for a bike like the Wee.

Sounds like you know enough about bikes to make a good decision as to how you can tweek the Wee for your riding pleasure, including lowering the front a tad, risers and longer brake lines if needed. This site has enough info on it to make your head explode. Good Luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Chirosyd,

Thanks for your reply and encouragement. I'm hoping to get my Wee tomorrow. It's a 2006 with only 15,000 miles and and looks to be in perfect shape. Stay tuned.

Thanks again!

David


Sent from my iPhone using MO Free
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
To Wee or not to Wee

If you get the Wee (that is, the 650 V-Strom):
(1) Yes, lower it for comfort
(2) If you do #1, yes, absolutely raise the forks up in the clamps to return to a decent steering geometry. Many V owners, including myself, have raised the forks on their V-Stroms about 1/2" for noticeably better response and a more secure front tire feeling at higher speeds.
(3) Yes, get risers; I recommend up-and-back risers; you can probably go at 1east 1.5" both ways without changing cables or lines by doing minimal (or possible no) rerouting as with my V; Google around concerning the Wee. Another good option is Rox 2" pivoting risers (Handlebar risers/barbacks (Buell Ulysses XB12X / Blast / Lightning XB9SX, XB12S, XB12Scg, XB12Ss) - pair - ROX.3R-P2SSM : TwistedThrottle.com) Or if you want incredible comfort, you can do what I did and install Rox 3.5” pivoting risers (1R-P3SE or 1R-P3SSK) from roxspeedfx.com. this will require re-routing the throttle cable, easy to do, and replacing the front brake lines, not particularly difficult, and you get to upgrade them to steel braid covered. In the end, the amount of time you spend in the saddle will determine if it's worth it. I usually spend several hours at a time with no breaks.
(4) If you don't weigh that much you can leave the front and rear shocks alone and do fine for almost all riding conditions, just adjust them for proper sag, which you can read about in several places on the web. It's easy.
Having said all that, and despite the fact that this is a V-Strom forum, you sound like a good candidate for the new Honda NC700X -- 670cc parallel twin, similar seat height (.2" lower than Wee), Honda quality... And most startling, $1,300 less than the MSRP for the cheapest Wee. No, you don't get the ABS that the Wee has, but you can add ABS, plus an automatic dual clutch transmission -- which at times sounds pretty darn good to me -- by paying $9K for the DCT ABS version.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,198 Posts
To be honest, given your stature most riders would take a look at the F650GS or the newly introduced F700GS. BMW has low seat and suspension options available from the factory.

The Kawasaki Versys is also on that list and has the benefit of 17" rubber, for which there are many more tire options.

If you are looking at used bikes, the SV650 standard/naked bike might be right up your alley.

Are you familiar with the site cycle-ergo.com? You plug in your height and inseam and it will show you a representation of the riding position. You can even have it show how well your feet will reach the ground, though I don't know if it adjusted for static sag.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Replies to garandman and Fellow Traveller



Thanks for your comments guys. My first thought was the lowered F650GS (twin) - I test drove one a couple of years ago and really liked it. Unfortunately, it's a bit too pricey for my budget (< $5K Cdn). I also just noticed the new Honda NC700SA which seems to fit the bill at a very competitive price, even for a new one. I was planning to take a look but then I read that they had been de-tuned to the point of no return for the sake of fuel economy. The 2006 Wee I'm looking at would be a good $2K cheaper (and includes full set of Givi luggage!) and I think it would offer better handling and performance. The Wee also has an established track record and an enthusiastic user community (as evidenced from this forum!)

I was not aware of the F700GS, cycle-ergo.com or the SV650. Thanks for the pointers - I will investigate.

You guys are terrific. Great forum!




 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
your new wee

You won't be disappointed. Incredibly comfortable capable bikes to begin with, with a lot of room to make ergonomic tweaks for max comfort and utility.

Clean your chain exterior with some sort of moderate solvent -- NOT gasoline -- get yourself a case of DuPont Chain Saver or Multi-Lube (same stuff) and keep a can on your bike on longer trips. Every 350 miles or so (every other fill-up for me, usually) use the nozzle with the thin tube attachment to lube the chain. No fuss, no oily mess, super chain life -- my chain and sprockets look new after 13K miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
After a bit more research...


I've now gone through a couple of the threads on lowering the Wee and I'm adding fork stabilizers to the list of mods I plan to make. I think I'll start by bringing the handlebars back a little and riding it with the stock links - perhaps raising the forks 10mm or so and playing with the pre-loading on the rear shock. If I continue to feel uncomfortable with being unable to plant my feet on the ground, I'll go for a set of adjustable links and bring it down by an inch or so. I'm not a particularly aggressive rider and although I'm well over 200 lbs I don't ride two-up so I don't thing scraping or bottoming out are too much of a concern.

I looked at the SV650 and I think it's a bit too "sport" for me and both the NC700 and F-series are beyond my budget. The cycle-ergo.com site is great - I was able to play around with various alternatives and I think the Wee with a couple of tweaks is for me. I'm heading into the city tomorrow to see a 2006 and hope that I may move from "V-Curious" to a full-fledged Stromtrooper before the week is out!

Cheers,

David

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,198 Posts
/
I looked at the SV650 and I think it's a bit too "sport" for me and both the NC700 and F-series are beyond my budget. The cycle-ergo.com site is great - I was able to play around with various alternatives and I think the Wee with a couple of tweaks is for me. I'm heading into the city tomorrow to see a 2006 and hope that I may move from "V-Curious" to a full-fledged Stromtrooper before the week is out!

Cheers,

David
I'm confused - are you soliciting advice, or seeking validation? If you want to buy the V-Strom and lower it, go fir it - we're enablers.

The SV650S has a fairing and clip-ons. The standard SV650 is much more upright. Here's an SV650SF (full fairing and clip ons) for comparison. The DL650 has the tall touring seat so it's 1.5" thicker than the stock seat.


Here's a standard SV650 set up for touring. Note the upright handlebars and windshield in lieu of fairing.




The V-Strom is essentially an SV650 that has been raised and lengthened with a 19" front wheel so it could fit the same tires as the BMW R1200GS.

You may not actually need to lower the V-Strom to ride it, due to the suspension sag.

But as you mention you are concerned about height, weight, and cost, I thought a "test sit" if not test ride of the lower, lighter, lower-cost SV650 would be worthwhile. It is a wonderful all-around bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I confess to being pretty eager to go with the V-Strom but I did look the SV650s listed in my area and they all looked like sport bikes and the prices were higher than I was willing to pay. I also saw a similar discussion in one of the lowering threads and a number of people commented that the SV had a more aggressive riding position than the V-Strom. I was not aware that it came in a touring configuration.

Earlier today, I rode another V-Strom and a Honda NC700SA. The set-up on this Wee was such that I was able to plant my feet firmly on the ground and having learned from my earlier ride, I made my shifts at higher RPM and a bit crisper. It was a great ride and I've made an offer. If all goes well by Saturday I'll be a Wee owner!


I'm not sure exactly why this bike felt so much better. It was wearing a set of Givi side bags, but they were empty and I don't think they would have brought it down that much. The current owner said that he had not made any changes but he was not the original owner of the bike. Could it be something as simple as the pre-load settings? I've looked at the discussions in other threads on that topic and will need to figure out how that works. Clearly I have a lot to learn!

As an aside, the NC700 was a sweet ride too. The torque was amazing and the handling impeccable. The oversize single front disc and the rear disc are stamped from the same plate - a very clever design! I found the handlebar position a bit too forward, but it looked like a very simple matter to add risers to bring them up and back a bit. Seat height relative to the ground was good for me, but I found the pegs a bit high for comfort. It also had a tiny windscreen and I would add better wind protection. The sales guy who escorted me on the ride was a speed demon on a CB900 and when I tried to catch up to him at one point the rev limiter kicked in before I shifted- a weird experience!

Overall, I much preferred the Wee and, in any case, the NC700 was out of my price range.

Once again, I want to thank all those who took the time to reply to this thread. This is a great forum and I will certainly return when I'm up and running with an update and likely more questions.

Thanks!

David
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top