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Discussion Starter #1
My first bike was a 77 Yamaha RD400 that i put under 1k miles on over three months. I burned a hole in the piston and that ended my riding days for about 3 years.

I go a new job in september that I have to commute 130 miles a day on three major so. california freeways the 15,91 & 55. I did some research and the VStrom 650 seemed to be the perfect choice. It gets over 300 miles a tank, comfortable, easy service, blinding headlight and I can run over road derbies worry free.

I only have a few issues with the bike. It's ugly which I can live with. I height of the bike that make it great 95% of the time becomes very scary when the wind picks up. I had to fight some road closing winds early this week (weather.com report “DAMAGING EAST TO NORTHEAST WINDS… WITH GUSTS OVER 60 MPH THROUGH THE PASSES AND CANYONS…WILL CONTINUE THIS MORNING. WINDS WILL SLOWLY SUBSIDE DURING THE AFTERNOON. VISIBILITY WILL BE REDUCED IN BLOWING DUST AND SAND.”).

I'm looking at a few options.

1. Keep the vstrom and make it work. Make it a fun bike with a track day or some light off roading. Additionally turn my RD400 into a bad ass cafe racer to break up the daily grind.

2. Trade in the DL650K6 for a new bike: Honda VFR, SV650, BMW, metric cruiser...

3. Keep the DL650K6 and buy a used bike: Some thing between $2k-$5k. Buy and Sell different types to see if i can find something better for me.

Is this something all new riders go through? Almost like breaking up with your first girlfriend. There may be nothing wrong with her but you think the grass is greener.
 

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... GUSTS OVER 60 MPH THROUGH THE PASSES AND CANYONS…
You may not have an option to get a different job or move closer to work, but keep the Strom and drive a car to work. If they are closing the roads for cars...how much of a chance do you have in those conditions?

I can't honestly say I'd do the same thing if it were me, because I like a good challenge. But...keep the Strom.
 

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The Stroms are NOT ugly!!!!!!!!:mrgreen: I would keep the Wee if I were you, it is cheap, fun and reliable transportation. Hands down one of the very best bikes in motorcycling.
 

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At 8000 miles you probably are close to new tires, probably not all that far from chain, sprockets, air filter, tune up....if you aren't wild about the bike, it is probably a good time to sell if you aren't heavily indebted to farkles..

The next 3 months at your rate is probably $1000 worth of wear and tear service.

Or else ride it and have fun. A 3 month marriage? Who are you? Kid Krock who didn't know his wife has movies and home video in her past?

Ride safe

Rod
05 Wee
Riverview, FL
 

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At 8000 miles you probably are close to new tires, probably not all that far from chain, sprockets, air filter, tune up....if you aren't wild about the bike, it is probably a good time to sell if you aren't heavily indebted to farkles..

The next 3 months at your rate is probably $1000 worth of wear and tear service.

Or else ride it and have fun. A 3 month marriage? Who are you? Kid Krock who didn't know his wife has movies and home video in her past?

Ride safe

Rod
05 Wee
Riverview, FL
You being serious?????:rolleyes: Tires maybe.....but that is all.
 

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At 15,000 I put on a new chain, sprockets, air filter, plugs, the factory suggested valve adjustments and various hoo haw. That was $800. My tire change was about $300.

At 16,000 miles in 6 months, the original poster would be out some coin even though the bike is warrantied that 1st year. If he rides 32,000 a year on a motorcycle, I'd say he's on the right bike. Considering the fun factor and fuel savings.

Rod
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I just got home and set the bike up for it's weekly chain lube. I'm also doing the 7.5k service (plugs and oil). My issue is my mind tells me this is the best bike for me. my heart says get a yamaha v-max to drag race, or a supermoto ride wheelies, or a R1 and fly down the freeway a triple digit speeds. I may need a second bike. the vstom just does not say fun right now. I use it as a 2 wheel appliance. I have never gone for a ride for fun on it. I read on here how excited people get when they take a trip or a weekend ride. Thats does not happen for me. What funny when the sun starts to rise as i going to work I always think there is nothing else i'd rather be doing right now then riding.
 

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Well, I guess the answer is: "it depends". :D
I've owned 30+ bikes, and in the course of doing suspension work ride almost everything out there. IMO the Wee-Strom is the best all-around bike made. But (and it's a huge "but") the only thing that matters is what YOU like. Bikes are a very emotional item for most of us, very few people sit down, do a dispassionate cost/benefit analysis and then go buy the bike that analysis pointed to. More likely we went "hot damn, I GOTTA HAVE THAT" and then did whatever it took to acquire it. So if you want to try some different bikes, especially if you haven't been riding that long, that makes perfect sense.
If that's what you want though, try to buy used, 2-3 year old 1 owner bikes in great shape. If you shop carefully you'll lose very little money when you sell. Buying new doesn't make much financial sense. (Of course, I just bought a new '07 Wee, couldn't help myself. :D )
 

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FWIW, I'd say the 650 would make a great commuter bike. I'd certainly not want to use my 1K for commuter duty. Having just survived the most wicked wind I've ever ridden in (been riding almost 15yrs w/50,000+ mi avg over the last several) while in TX returning from a cross country jaunt, I can certainly relate to the issues you express regarding strong winds. The lack of fairing protection (can't exactly tuck behind anything) and bike's frame are not condusive to ridin' in the wind. On a 650 I can only imagine it being exacerbated. (Even being on my DL1K I longed for the Busa's power and long wheel base). That said, if you are a good enough rider (whatever that means) to handle the bike in unstable conditions than I'd say you got a winner w/the 650 given what's on the market right now. Stroms are cheap to insure, mechanically rock solid, super for lane-splitting (view especially), predictable maintenance, etc. The "ugly" part is subjective but sounds like your situation begs for serious function not form. Besides, look at it this way, having the "ugly" Strom means you have a better chance of coming out of work to find it still there.... even in the Golden State. ;)

Best of luck on your decisions and ride safe.

Stromette
 

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Is this something all new riders go through? Almost like breaking up with your first girlfriend. There may be nothing wrong with her but you think the grass is greener.
Forgot your last statement... for me, while riding the bike immediately after purchase en route to my house I was concerned I made a big mistake. That was almost exactly 1 year ago... and 59,000 miles later. If interested, here's my initial report of the bike where I cried while riding back to the house after purchasing it: http://www.stromtrooper.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3086

Stromette
 

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Do you actually get 300 miles per tank? What type of riding do you do? What speeds do you cruise at?
 

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Hate to suggest throwing more money at the problem, but I'd sure order Murph's fork brace for the 650 ($120.) It has dramatically improved the crosswind handling on my DLK.
Regards,
Mike
 

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If you started with a little fire-breathing two-stroke (I started with and RD-250 for what it's worth- 'wonderful bike, not the last word on practicality
or reliablity tho, hense your piston problem) and you dream of Vmax's (insanely fast for what it is) I think you may well be shopping in the wrong store here. DL's are all-rounders, not crotch-rockets. If speed is what you need look to the sport bike class or the naked version of same. Just understand while they are very good at delivering a rush, they give up quite a bit in terms of comfort and flexiblity. There is no "right" bike, only the
best set of compromises for the use you intend to put it to. DL's are go anywhere, do anything-types of bikes. If you want to excel tho on any one
parameter (dirt, speed, distance etc) you can go for a bike that does that but at the expense of flexiblity in other areas.
 

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Something cheap you can try is raising the forks in the triple clamps by 15mm. That will sharpen the steering and make the front end feel more planted, and I've heard it makes a big improvement in crosswinds. It's a free mod, easy to do, and if you don't like it you can always put it back.
 

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I'll back up the Murph's. I get vicious side winds on a 5km straight stretch of flat called Yatte Yattah that sits in a valley which acts like a funnel. I've nearly lost it twice, once being blown onto the verge and another time onto the centre line when the wind did a sudden about turn as I was braced the other way. Since I've had the Murphs the bike feels better planted on this notorious stretch (it's being upgraded with a major road windening as its a popular tourist route with lots of caravans).

Have only had the Murphs for a short time so haven't had a chance to test their stableness behind high speed truck wash but apparently they improve this as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This weekend I raised the front forks 15mm, adjusted the rear sag, and the front preload. The rear sag about was set a the lowest setting. I gave it about 10 clicks. The front preload was set differently on each fork so i evened them out at half way through. After I raised the forks the bike sits noticeably lower.
I gave it a quick test ride around the block and noticed no difference going no faster then 35mph.
I set off to work this morning and it was a bit windy (I'm thinking this may be the norm through the winter). The first 20 miles of my commute are always the worst. I take the 215S to the 15N. I might as well go right into the belly of the beast. I hit 45 mph and get my first good gust of wind. The bike felt a bit better. As I got up to 65mph another guest hits me. The bike handled much better. I did have to lean a bit but I needed less input to get a response. I ride through the bad part and no move to the moderate windy section. I took the bike up to 70mph. At this point I know things are much better. The road is choppy normally but wind makes the bike feel more flighty. That flightiness is gone and i was able to move up and cruise at 80-85mph for the next 20 miles.
I hit the 91W and start lane-splitting at 15-60 for the next 10-15 miles. The quicker response is make this part much easier. I only making a little less effort then before but the bike feels much more controllable. I now hit the 91 expressway and speed up to 80 mph. I ride without the windshield simply because on windy days it acts like a sail. the air is very still and I feel a bit less pressure on my chest from the wind but more in my upper abs. About 10 miles later the express way is over and I jump on the 55N.
The 55 is mostly 50-75 mph with lane splitting at the same speeds for about 10 miles. I jump on the 405n then exit the carpool lane. I also notice a difference here. I have do slow down from 80mph, cross 4 lanes, while varying my speed. The bike feels much more planted and stable.

I want to thank everyone for their suggestions. I going to order the Murph's fork brace and start looking for some good road tires.
 

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+1 on the raising the fork tubes. Also for long mileage, all the Stroms in the last iron butt rally ran metzeler ME880s. I think these are bias and not radial and just a bit off size (110/90-19 M/C 62H--from Metzeler web site and on rear 160/70B17 M/C 79V) This will make the bike ride about 1/2 " higher and affect speedometer a bit. I wouldn't go offroad with this tire, but it should be superlative for road miles unless you want softer S/T tires like pilot roads or something.

JDP
 
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