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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know, I know... BOTH.:p

I used to own a 2005 KLR 650, so I know all about "necessary" Farkles. The ones needed to make the bike tolerable... That said, is the Strom a bike that needs some immediate improvements to make it ridable, or is it fine right off the showroom floor?

I ask because I've read several posts from folks stating all the stuff they've added to their V-Strom's, things that sound more like necessities and less like Bling.

Things like:
Guards to protect "vital organs"
Heated grips and hand guards
Better seats and windshields
Aftermarket exhaust
Power Commanders, etc...

Like the KLR the Strom seems pretty fairly priced, as motorcycles go, but what exactly do you get for that lower sticker price? With the KLR you get a stripped down, underpowered bike that's in desperate need of some help to make it usable.
I ended up DUMPING waaaay too much money into my KLR in an ettempt to make it what I thought I wanted, and I just want to make sure I'm not going to have to do all that over again when/if I buy a Strom. When I sold the KLR I promised myself I wouldn't buy another "affordable" bike if I was just going to end up dumping cash into it to make it fit and/or comfortable. I'd rather just buy a more expensive bike that comes with what I want, or mostly at least, from the factory.

I realize adding Bling to your bike is normal and a way to personalize it, but is the Strom a bike that requires additions to make it a useable sport-touring platform?

-Tim:)
 

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I am only into things functional. If something doesn't meet that criteria, then it doesn't need to be on the bike. Unfortunately, I've found I have a long list of things I consider quite functional.

JDP
 

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The only immediate need I would address would be a Madstad windscreen bracket.

Of course, some luggage sure is nice. And about that too-quiet exhaust... Get used to that "add to cart" button.
 

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Well it depends for everyone. Almost no one does power mods on these bikes. You may change exhaust for a different tone, but power gains that cost money are small gains.

Of course it all depends on what you want to do. If your going off road you need a bash plate. If you buy a pre 2005 Dl1000 you need to remap the FI most likely (dealer can do that).


Keep in mind this is no BMW gs but it also costs 8-10 grand less.
Engine Guards -Unessassary unless you'll drop the bike (offroad, inexperienced, short)

Heated grips and hand guards (Get cold easily? temps below 35?)

Better seats and windshields (Mine's been great for 10,000 miles, have a tough butt? Its nowhere near KLR bad)

Aftermarket exhaust (Change your sound, gain 3-4hp you dont need)

Basically the strom has no problem being ridden for thousands of miles straight from the showroom floor. The guy I bought mine from kept it almost completly stock for 5,000 miles. He then went and bought a BMW 1200KS. Go figure.

I rode my bike stock for awhile but then obtained the funds to make it a pratical commuter, and lond distance touring bike suitable for all weather. I'll list my mods and why I used them.

Handguards (wind and debri, protect levers in crash)
Powerlet Outlet (heated gear accessories)
Centerstand (nessassary for maintence)
Crashbars (inexperienced and short)
Madstad Braket and GIVI (Highway riding, weather protection)
Tank Bra (Bling)
Kouba Lowering Links (Short inexperienced)
Hyperlight brake signals (safety 1rst)
Topcase (Commuting)
Heated grips (riding below 40 regularly)
Fender Extender (keep bike clean)
Airhorn (Honk loudly
Alaskan Buttskin, and Gel Seat (600+ mile days)
GPS (regularly riding new areas)
Bike Cover (keep it new)
Voltmeter (running full heated gear)
Blue Seas Fuse Block (lots of electrical accessories)
Pelican Luggage System (toughest best luggage for me)

Now all this cost about $2500, but I now have a bike setup thats good for 700 mile days in all types of weather. Now truthfully I dont need hardly any of that except the Hyperlights, but I enjoy it all. I sure as heck cant afford a BMW 1200gs just yet. I'd love ABS but I can do without. I think unless your spoiled (and coming from a KLR I doubt that) you'll consider the strom a major upgrade and you'll only want to upgrade a few small things of personal taste.
 

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My two cents worth on this one.


I have approx 30K on '05 650DL.

Mods done?? 2

I put the hand guards on after riding on back roads and getting beaned by gravel.

Center stand... makes adjusting chain and general cleaning easier. (and mine needs to be cleaned after most rides)

Thats it.

I do a lot of trails and the like with out the bash plate. Never had a problem. But I may add one of those too eventually. :cool:

I don't get all the complaints about the windscreen. I'm 6'4" and never have a problem with the stock screen. But then again I like to feel some air when riding.. I don't ride a goldwing after all. The biggest thing was the helmet. When I changed over to a Shark (from HJC) the noise went way down and what little anoyance the wind provided was gone.

I ride regularly in near freezing temps and with good gear and the hand guards I have never needed heated clothing. (I have TEKNIC Sprint pants and coat) I may go for heated grips eventually but so far just havn't been bothered.

Oh ya.. I have the Suzuki top case too... it is just too nice to have somewhere to put stuff. I won't ride a bike again that doesn't have some storage.
 

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Just like most everything to do w/motorcycles, the "answer" to your question is completely subjective. For me, if it's on the bike it's there for a practical and functional reason... the "fun" part is left up to the rider. ;)

Stromette
 
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These guys have pretty much covered it. If you are after a 650 then add the hand gaurds.

Either the 650 or 1000 get the MadStad windshield bracket.

After that, the rest is just comfort stuff. I don't care how much you spend on a bike IMHO the seat will need to go if you spend more than 30 minutes in the saddle at a time.

Oh yeah, I think maybe that Fender Extender might be a good idea. My oil cooler had a bunch of crap on it after some moist trails. :twisted:
 

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I do mostly commuting with my DL650. About the only thing I felt I really needed was the Madstad bracket.

I found it was pretty easy to, as was said earlier, "Add to Cart" so I got a bunch of stuff that I easily talked myself into.

Among the purchases I like a lot is the Alaskan Butt Pad. I never felt the stock seat horribly uncomfortable but man, the warmth and feel of the sheepskin during a few sub-zero days last fall sure paid for itself.
The Shermworks stand is another goodie I find quite useful. It is way cheaper than a centerstand and works really well.
The GenMar risers made my lower back more comforable and it feels like riding a different bike almost.
I use the throttle rocker a lot on the highway but I now also have a throttle lock that may get used more. It helps with hand cramps which is also why I also got grip puppies.

My winter projects include crash bars to prevent another broken turn signal or worse, skid plate just because I got a deal on it, side case racks to replace bungee cords for carrying stuff when I travel, Stebel airhorn for self defense and to scare the shit out of the critters I encounter just about everyday.

I also got some miscelaneous stuff like BlueSeas fuseblock, 12V outlet socket and dash plate, GPS mount, air pump etc. I will also be getting the spedometer dial replaced with one that reads accurately.

So far I think I have spent somewhere around 700 or 800 bucks. Mostly it was just because I was saving so much by not driving my 4X4 to work I that felt temporarily rich. Now that winter is here my 4X4 feels way more comfortable and I can now only afford gas:(
 

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I'll add one thing that may be subjective but was the best after market item I've added to my DL1000 (even better than the Madstad) which is a fork brace.

Stromette talks about the rear sprocket and selling the bike if she couldn't have it that's how important it is to her, for me it was the fork brace. For a relatively small outlay in money it makes a more stable, better handling and safer motorbike. That's a must not a bling.
 

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I don't think I've ever owned a bike that I didn't make some addition to. The manufacturers design and build a good bike from scratch, but they don't know just what type of riding each and every rider intends doing.

So if you are into more dirt roads, then you are going to want to gear the bike down a bit and possibly add crash bars. If you are into sport riding then you'll proably want additional wiring and mounts for your radar detector. If you a re a long distance rider then you'll want a Madstad bracket, a scott oiler and either a different seat or a sheepskin seat cover.

Suzuki would get blasted if they produced the bike already slanted too much to any particular type of riding, so they leave that up to the individual rider.

I have fitted a center stand, Scott Oiler, Madstad bracket, Escort X50, lowered gearing, Speedo Healer and a sheepskin seat cover. The Givi luggage is going on tomorrow. :-D So for around US$1900 over new price I have a bike that suits my individual needs and make BMW and Triumph Tiger riders envious.
 

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The bikes are pretty good stock, and don't have any "doo hickey" time bombs to fix, but most people find a few functional areas that could use improvement.

If you're venturing off-pavement, then crash bars and a skid plate are important. I will always have frame sliders or something on a bike, just to protect myself against the silly drops in the garage, driveway, gas station, etc. Not bling.

Seat and windscreen are highly subjective, but most feel the need to do one or both. Not bling.

The Stroms are softly sprung. You may or may not feel the need to improve the suspension depending on what you're used to, your weight and your riding style. I absolutely felt the need to fix it and spend $250 on new springs (front and back) for my Wee. Not bling. The bike was not fun to ride (for me) stock. YMMV...

Luggage. Functional, not bling.

Exhaust. Bling. No real performance gains, saves a few pounds. $$$$
 

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Necessities

The only things I found were absolutely necessary to add to my 06 650 were a better windshield and a better seat. I ended up with an MP cycledesign windshield and am extremely happy with it. I like the way it works and how it looks too. I bought the Suzuki gel seat, and so far it seems good. So far the longest I've sat on it at one time is 4 hours, with only a quick break, and I could have kept on going. The original seat was only bearable for around an hour.
 

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.

Just for a contrary opinion, I've got about 9k mi on my 06 DL1k, and have felt no need to change the seat or windscreen. I did move the screen to the highest position, as I was getting some buffeting, but that's it.

For other stuff, I added a centerstand and top/side cases, but I like to do my own maintenance and I like to commute and go camping. I'm hoping for some heated clothing, but have ridden to 40F without any.

Good luck choosing wat works for you. I hope you find it all on the first try.
John.
 

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you just gotta be careful that the feeling of "need" that you will sometimes feel about things you know you don't really need doesn't get in the way of you enjoying your bike.

fix the stuff that is inconvenient or causes discomfort, but just getting out there and riding is the most important thing.
 

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All depends on your needs and your "fun factor" at farkling.........In my case, electronic cruise control for a 8000 mile Alaska trip was a must have, since I have 7 pieces of titanium and three donor bones in my right wrist.

But I get just as much (if not more) fun out of the farkling as I do out of the riding. Bikes are just a blast to work on. Everything is extremely accesable, compared to a car or a truck. All the wire runs are very short. You don't have to crawl under a bike. I bought a $500 hydraulic lift table and I don't even have to bend over!

The other items that proved "must have" for a trip like this.....

Hand guards
Wide Angle mirror spots
Heated Grips
Gel Seat
MRA Vario screen
Radar Detector (although we never saw a police officer in 5 weeks! See how well it worked)
Chain Mainenance pelican box behind licence plate


The other stuff were "great to haves"....
Sirius Radio
GPS
Bike computer
Highway Pegs
Skid Plate
Crash bars
Head Light modulator
Second Exhaust can storage compartment.
 

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read any board long enough for any bike and you will walk away thinking your bike "needs" all kinds of stuff. KLR's being a 20 yr old design tend to "need" more, mostly to bring it up to date (improve brake performance, the doo etc). The reality is, tho, that you likley could have put 60-100,000 miles on it bone stock w/o any problems. The DL, being a newer design "needs" less but it still could use a center stand, many dislike the seat, and you'll want a place to put your stuff. It's less about what the bike needs and more about what you think you want.
 

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I still have my 06 klr, but hardly ever ride it anymore, it is going to go up for sale to buy a track bike. I have 4000 miles on my dl1000 now and have not made any changes, even think the seat is pretty comfy, but since I am short would like to try a seat off a 650
 

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BigT, I have added things to all the bikes I have had from my KLR to my BMW and goldwing. The items you want or need are not free on any of them,on my 2002 BMW 1150gs I had over $17000 invested, on my dl650 I have less than $7500,equiped much the same (for some reason I find the DL more fun to ride:-D )I could give the DL away after 40 months and loose less than I did on the BMW when it was sold.
 
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