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Discussion Starter #1
Hello guys,

Just finished a trip from Toronto are to Montreal subs 1500km and almost 2 months in on my new 2018 DL 650 and here's my review and looking for some advice from more experienced riders. (We ride 2 up )

1) Back pain: I used to get stabbing pain on my upper back (between the shoulder blades) 15 minutes into the rides.
I installed the Zeta bar riser/offset without any cable mods and I can now ride about 100km without issues. After 1h or so, I get sore, same spot. I assume my position is not proper ...(vertically challenged). I'd love to have more offset and maybe a bit higher

2) Seat: I thought about ordering a low seat, but after riding the stock and getting painful after 100km, I decided to drop the idea. The low seat has even less foam, so probably even more uncomfortable. With the Zeta risers installed I can ride for 2 hours before I need to stop. And it get worse every hour...
I lowered the suspension to the max, and now can reach the ground better when 2 up. Alone I am comfortable enough just on my toes...(until I drop it )

If anyone has a stock seat available, I am thinking on buying one and install foam on it myself. It it is bad, at least I do not ruin my current seat.

3) Hands: I used to get numb fingers and pain in the wrist after 45mins or so. Installed grip puppies, and I might have cured the issue as I have a larger surface to grab and less vibration

4) Buffeting + noise: This is killing me. In Montreal I found a store that had the Givi Airflow in stock and I bought it as I was ready to give up on the return ride (that bad, but joking) Givi AF did make it better but only on the lowest setting, and below 110kmph
Buffeting move to my 2up. way worse than before. Bought new helmets, and ear plugs, but this is nightmare.
I also get a lot more wind on my elbow and upper arms, and when it is cold I can feel the arthritis setting in :smile2:
Thinking on buying a Madstad instead. Anyone interested in a Givi let me know

5) Sidewinds: I wish I had the guts to get the 1000. 650 2 up in highway is too light. not enough power it seems sometimes, and behind a big truck or side winds I almost feel like being wiped from side to side.... Not sure how to fix this.
I did test a 1000 in Montreal, but it way too high for me :frown2:

6) Side cases: Too little space for the back rider. No place to move the legs, knee pain after a long ride... I can fix this with replacing the cases with soft bags. I installed a top soft bag (love it) and offers a bit of backrest support for the back rider.

7) Consumption: 2 up, gear and cases 18km/L

8) Low RPM : Sometimes I get misfires at low RPM when I give it a little gas.....??? Especially when the bike is hot

9) Top heavy: I try to avoid full tank of gas in the city stop and go situations until I get more comfortable with the bike

All in all, love this bike, but I need to make it "my bike" so I can enjoy it. If my lady stops wanting to ride with me, my riding season will be dramatically shortened and probably less enjoyable...


Any feedback and advice highly appreciated!!!

Safe riding!

Mike
 

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2) well the seat. I have a sheepskin over my seat, when i go long rides in worm weather. That helps alot

9) topheavy? I do practice slow speed and slowspeed turning whenever i can, and it does not feel topheavy to me?
 

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1, 2, 3) - How much experience do you have riding? are you nervous on the bike? I am wondering if you are maybe very tense and that is what causing the issue. I'd suggest lowering the footpegs, you can order the set from Adventuretech and it will change the pressure on your back. The 650 also has narrower bars then the 1000, I wonder if replacing the 650 bars with the 1000 bars would help or going with something aftermarket. I have the feeling though this might be just you being nervous and tense.

4) I have not read any complaints with people with the Givi. I have a Puig on my 1000 and I do like it better then the Givi I had, you could see if they make one for the 1000. The 650 has less options for adjusting the screen so the Madstad bracket might be a good option.

5) Sidewinds: You mentioned that you softened the suspension to the lowest setting, this could be the cause of your issue. How much do you and your wife weigh? most people consider replacing the rear shock becaues it's to light even on the highest setting for 1up riding. I would think when you order the foot peg lowering kit that you also get lowerling links from adventure tech. Lower the bike and then stiffen the suspension back up. I am in Kingston if you need a hand installing the stuff.

6) Side cases: What side cases do you have? I had this issue with my 1000 as well and had custom plates made up to lower the side cases. The 650 would be a different design though so may not be what you are looking for. The Vstrom sadly is not a very good 2up bike when it comes to passenger comfort. Adventuretech does make lowering pegs for the passenger as well and this may help your situation.

8) Low RPM : I doubt its anything to worry about, you could get a programmer for the bike but not likely needed. It wont hurt anything, it's just the new Euro emissions messing with the bike haha.

9) lowering links will certainly help with this. How tall are you? Maybe you just bought the wrong bike for your size. You might be better off with something like the Honda CB500X

I think it's worth a shot ordering lowering links and front and rear peg lowering kits from Rick @ Adventuretech though. I'd also consider the kick stand foot as well as it's very nice to have! As are his mirror extenders, they are a huge help.

Send me a PM if you need help with installing the parts, you are welcome to ride down to Kingston and make use of my garage/tools.

I hope you get the bike sorted out!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
2) well the seat. I have a sheepskin over my seat, when i go long rides in worm weather. That helps alot
I have been reading about it. I might give it a try
9) topheavy? I do practice slow speed and slowspeed turning whenever i can, and it does not feel topheavy to me?
On my to do list. Definitely need to get it under control. Probably my weakest skill on this bike at the moment
 

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On a trip like that you and your passenger should be wearing earplugs. The wind noise on any bike on the highway is very hard on the ears.

If slow speed turning is your weakest skill, then you need to get on that because it is literally the foundation of all of your riding skills. Go practice in any empty parking lot. I have been riding for about 20 years and still every day in the parking lot after work I do figure 8s and circles in both directions for about 5-10 minutes. These are fun skills and it's amazing how easy they are once you get the hang of them. You should be able to do a U-turn on a v-strom in about the width of two parking spaces without putting your feet down. Check youtube for skills practice ideas and tips.



Just for fun, watch these masters

 

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Discussion Starter #7
1, 2, 3) - How much experience do you have riding? are you nervous on the bike? I am wondering if you are maybe very tense and that is what causing the issue. I'd suggest lowering the footpegs, you can order the set from Adventuretech and it will change the pressure on your back. The 650 also has narrower bars then the 1000, I wonder if replacing the 650 bars with the 1000 bars would help or going with something aftermarket. I have the feeling though this might be just you being nervous and tense.
We used to ride in our twenties (you know life before kids) then stopped. So it has been over twenty years since then...
I know for a fact it is my riding position, but I am not overly tensed. I am a cautious but confident rider. I find my hands are too extended (need more offset I guess) . I am also an IT guy, so all day crouched over a computer does not help either....Heard about ATV bars, but not sure what to look for. Will look into lowering the pegs as well

4) I have not read any complaints with people with the Givi. I have a Puig on my 1000 and I do like it better then the Givi I had, you could see if they make one for the 1000. The 650 has less options for adjusting the screen so the Madstad bracket might be a good option.
I will try different settings to see if it improves. I guess everything has to do with rider position and height. If not, I will move to Madstad

5) Sidewinds: You mentioned that you softened the suspension to the lowest setting, this could be the cause of your issue. How much do you and your wife weigh? most people consider replacing the rear shock becaues it's to light even on the highest setting for 1up riding. I would think when you order the foot peg lowering kit that you also get lowerling links from adventure tech. Lower the bike and then stiffen the suspension back up. I am in Kingston if you need a hand installing the stuff.
We're about 260-270 without gear. I feel the shock being light, but gives me a bit of lowering advantage. Does lowering the links change the riding dynamics by much? Thank you so much for the help offer, much appreciated indeed!

6) Side cases: What side cases do you have? I had this issue with my 1000 as well and had custom plates made up to lower the side cases. The 650 would be a different design though so may not be what you are looking for. The Vstrom sadly is not a very good 2up bike when it comes to passenger comfort. Adventuretech does make lowering pegs for the passenger as well and this may help your situation.
I have the adventure kit, so aluminium side boxes. Lowering the boxes might not address the issue, maybe moving them back a bit. For now, I think soft case side bags would fix the problem.

8) Low RPM : I doubt its anything to worry about, you could get a programmer for the bike but not likely needed. It wont hurt anything, it's just the new Euro emissions messing with the bike haha.
Darn Europeans and their clean air :smile2:

9) lowering links will certainly help with this. How tall are you? Maybe you just bought the wrong bike for your size. You might be better off with something like the Honda CB500X
Definitely too high for my height (5.7) but I would not want to go smaller in bike size. I need to get more mileage under my belt and fit the bike better. I tried a Yamaha, but hated the scooter like transmission...Time will tell though.

I think it's worth a shot ordering lowering links and front and rear peg lowering kits from Rick @ Adventuretech though. I'd also consider the kick stand foot as well as it's very nice to have! As are his mirror extenders, they are a huge help.
Agree on the lowering links, thank for the suggestion. I have the stand and mirror extenders

Send me a PM if you need help with installing the parts, you are welcome to ride down to Kingston and make use of my garage/tools.

I hope you get the bike sorted out!
Greatly appreciated kind sir and thank you for your advice!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
On a trip like that you and your passenger should be wearing earplugs. The wind noise on any bike on the highway is very hard on the ears.

If slow speed turning is your weakest skill, then you need to get on that because it is literally the foundation of all of your riding skills. Go practice in any empty parking lot. I have been riding for about 20 years and still every day in the parking lot after work I do figure 8s and circles in both directions for about 5-10 minutes. These are fun skills and it's amazing how easy they are once you get the hang of them. You should be able to do a U-turn on a v-strom in about the width of two parking spaces without putting your feet down. Check youtube for skills practice ideas and tips.
Wholeheartedly agree! Thank you very much for the links.
 

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We used to ride in our twenties (you know life before kids) then stopped. So it has been over twenty years since then...
I know for a fact it is my riding position, but I am not overly tensed. I am a cautious but confident rider. I find my hands are too extended (need more offset I guess) . I am also an IT guy, so all day crouched over a computer does not help either....Heard about ATV bars, but not sure what to look for. Will look into lowering the pegs as well
I am in IT as well so I know the feeling. You may just need to get a bit more seat time and get your muscles used to riding again. Or you may be more tense then you realize. When you are riding try and make a mental note to take a few deep breaths and loosen your grip on the bars, maybe shake your hands out, etc. You may also try loosening the bars off and rotating them back towards you, that might help as well.


We're about 260-270 without gear. I feel the shock being light, but gives me a bit of lowering advantage. Does lowering the links change the riding dynamics by much? Thank you so much for the help offer, much appreciated indeed!
Not much change at all, you lower the rear and then drop the forks a bit as well to compensate. It does change the lean of the bike so you may also want to get an inch cut out of your kick stand so the bike still leans properly. I'd just be careful parking it until you determine if the lowering links helped or not. They are a straight forward install.

I have the adventure kit, so aluminium side boxes. Lowering the boxes might not address the issue, maybe moving them back a bit. For now, I think soft case side bags would fix the problem.
I have the aluminium boxes as well from Givi, I forgot to add that when lowering it also moved them back. I'll attach some images for you showing your the basic idea, these are for a 1000 with Givi racks so not exactly what you need. A place like One Speed (Trevor Daley) in the GTA could likely customize something to work with your bike. It made a huge difference for my wife.

I've got my bike so well sorted for us now that I don't think i'll ever be able to part with it haha.
 

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The Aprilia Tuonos are a popular but a bit pricey choice. I have them and like them. There are knock offs some have liked. Use the search.

Adventure Tech mirror extenders with options for RAM ball mounts are nicely made.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am in IT as well so I know the feeling. You may just need to get a bit more seat time and get your muscles used to riding again. Or you may be more tense then you realize. When you are riding try and make a mental note to take a few deep breaths and loosen your grip on the bars, maybe shake your hands out, etc. You may also try loosening the bars off and rotating them back towards you, that might help as well.


Not much change at all, you lower the rear and then drop the forks a bit as well to compensate. It does change the lean of the bike so you may also want to get an inch cut out of your kick stand so the bike still leans properly. I'd just be careful parking it until you determine if the lowering links helped or not. They are a straight forward install.


I have the aluminium boxes as well from Givi, I forgot to add that when lowering it also moved them back. I'll attach some images for you showing your the basic idea, these are for a 1000 with Givi racks so not exactly what you need. A place like One Speed (Trevor Daley) in the GTA could likely customize something to work with your bike. It made a huge difference for my wife.

I've got my bike so well sorted for us now that I don't think i'll ever be able to part with it haha.
Wow, IT brethren :thumbup: - detailed, clear and precise! Thank you so much!

I cringe to the idea of cutting off pieces, but I really want this bike to fit us. I will pay a visit to these guys and see what could be done @One Speed (Trevor Daley)

Much appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The Aprilia Tuonos are a popular but a bit pricey choice. I have them and like them. There are knock offs some have liked. Use the search.

Adventure Tech mirror extenders with options for RAM ball mounts are nicely made.
Much appreciated!
 

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Let me tell you with stock screen and mirrors you are suffering. Ear plugs and full face with chin curtain help but not as much as windscreen and mirrors. I understand the madstad is even better.

Kfh000
 

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Check out the 2017+ 650 windscreen buffeting sticky thread. There is much written on what works or does not work for people. I wrote up a long review myself for what ultimately worked for me and the things I have tried.

Good luck, this is solvable but it might take a little trial and error to get there.
 

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Wow, IT brethren :thumbup: - detailed, clear and precise! Thank you so much!

I cringe to the idea of cutting off pieces, but I really want this bike to fit us. I will pay a visit to these guys and see what could be done @One Speed (Trevor Daley)

Much appreciated!
Trevor makes custom bikes for a living and races in the superbike class of the Canadian Superbike championship, he's a factory suzuki rider, no worries about him cutting anything it will be better then new :) Having said that the bike itself isn't cut, on mine the only thing that needed to be cut was the Givi rack and even then it's only a small piece to allow it to sit lower.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Let me tell you with stock screen and mirrors you are suffering. Ear plugs and full face with chin curtain help but not as much as windscreen and mirrors. I understand the madstad is even better.

Kfh000
100% agree!!! Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Check out the 2017+ 650 windscreen buffeting sticky thread. There is much written on what works or does not work for people. I wrote up a long review myself for what ultimately worked for me and the things I have tried.

Good luck, this is solvable but it might take a little trial and error to get there.

I read your post, and I am definitely going to try that. I was looking for a way to mount them without drilling holes , so your idea is great.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Trevor makes custom bikes for a living and races in the superbike class of the Canadian Superbike championship, he's a factory suzuki rider, no worries about him cutting anything it will be better then new :) Having said that the bike itself isn't cut, on mine the only thing that needed to be cut was the Givi rack and even then it's only a small piece to allow it to sit lower.
Will definitely visit him! If I don't have to cut anything myself, or I do not see it happening , I am good with it :smile2:
Thanks for the referral!
 
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