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Discussion Starter #1
Good day Comrades!

After spending 5 month on my new VStrom 650 (close to 15,000 km) I am ready to share my experience and ask questions from more experience comrades...

Modifications I have done to the bike so far:
1 - Central stand (I got original Suzuki from the dealer).
2 - Installed Engine Guards - GIVI.. It was not as easy as some yutubers suggested. After braking 2 bolts I have finally realized that threads must be retreaded... I have also replaced cheap GIVI bolts with nice SS bolts from local supplier. I have also added rubber between tube and frame to minimize vibration (zero vibration at any RPM as a result).
Replaced original windshield with GIVI Air Flow - very pleased. Specially adjustability feature. I still get air in to my shoulders but my head feels very calm...
4 - Installed central case - GIVI V56 Maxia
5 - Upgraded the seat as my ass was getting under fire after 4 hrs of riding.. I needed full day and no pain experience. Took original seat to the local Ottawa shoe repair store. They have added memory foam and now I feel like I am sitting on top of air - no ass fatigue... :)
6 - Purchased 70L Duffel Bag from Nelson Rigg. I went camping many times and got under heavy rain - 100% keeps everything in it dry...
7 - Installed heated grips - KOSO 305-10700F - love them
8 - Side stand metal plate by GIVI - gives me 100% stability when parking bike on soft ground. 100% must in my opinion. It touches the central stand a bit but no issues...
9 - Nelson Rigg gas tank bag - I picked the one on magnets...

Plans to get soon before I hit the road for 3 weeks ride:
10 - GIVI Radiator cover
11 - GIVI skid plate to protect oil filter (unless someone can recommend a better one?)
12 - Givi Pair Of Side Cases Trekker Outback 48lt Aluminium + GIVI rear ruck.

Questions/Thoughts
I literally don't like how front fork is too soft on normal riding. I talked to the local shop and they recommended changing springs and installing extra component in to each "pipe" to improve oil flow. Has anyone done it?
Question about electrical staff.. Is it mandatory to install extra relays/switches (as mentioned in other treads) to prevent from lights malfunction etc. I might be using power for accessories so I might need lights switch to minimize total output when needed...

I would appreciate any other advice!
 

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Questions/Thoughts
I literally don't like how front fork is too soft on normal riding. I talked to the local shop and they recommended changing springs and installing extra component in to each "pipe" to improve oil flow. Has anyone done it?
Question about electrical staff.. Is it mandatory to install extra relays/switches (as mentioned in other treads) to prevent from lights malfunction etc. I might be using power for accessories so I might need lights switch to minimize total output when needed...

I would appreciate any other advice!
-I took my front forks off during the winter and sent them to Daugherty Motorsports and had him re-spring and re-valve them. Depending on your weight and riding characteristics(aggressive/passive) you will want to consider having him also re-valve and re-build the rear shock(I did). His prices are very reasonable and his work after 15 thousand miles is still doing it's job. This was a huge increase in ride quality and performance for me and something I wish I had done when I bought the bike.
http://daughertymotorsports.com/vstromsection.html

-Yes, Suzuki has never addressed the problem of the overloaded switch in the starter circuit, so do the Eastern Beaver harness to prevent a likely future failure. You can opt to turn off one or both headlamps with his harnesses. You can also save some watts by switching over to LED headlight bulbs.
 

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when you had your seat modified, did they remove any existing foam in order to add the memory foam? Was the original cover re-used?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
when you had your seat modified, did they remove any existing foam in order to add the memory foam? Was the original cover re-used?
They removed what was there and installed a memory foam. Original cover was reused. It was done by a professional shoe repair guy so you will not be able to tell the difference that seat was modified. Until you ride it.. :)

Motor7 said:
Thanks for the advise Motor7!!! Now I have to find a good bike electrician that done Vstroms before... My dealer told me they don't know how to do it...
I will also do a rear shock as you advised to kill 2 chickens with one shot.. :)
 

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I literally don't like how front fork is too soft on normal riding.
Didn't think you were speaking figuratively, but here's a cheap and easy fix. :grin2:

Remove the internal fork spacers and replace with PVC pipe that's cut a quarter inch longer. This adds preload to the spring and will make it ride firmer. The front end will sit a little higher as a result, but just slide the fork tubes up in the triple tree to bring the front end back down.
 

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Didn't think you were speaking figuratively, but here's a cheap and easy fix. :grin2:

Remove the internal fork spacers and replace with PVC pipe that's cut a quarter inch longer. This adds preload to the spring and will make it ride firmer. The front end will sit a little higher as a result, but just slide the fork tubes up in the triple tree to bring the front end back down.
This is true with a progressive spring, not the linear springs in a Vstrom.
 

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This is true with a progressive spring, not the linear springs in a Vstrom.
You can add preload to stiffen either type spring. Not sure why progressive vs. straight rate matters here. And, the OEM springs in my '17 are progressive. They're wound more tightly at one end.
 

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"Preload" isn't really a good description of adding a spacer or adjusting spring height on a shock. Unless the suspension is topped out, adjusting the spring height will simply move the sag amount. Won't change the spring rate in any way. We call it preload, but actually it is simply a height adjustment. This can change the amount of load the spring carries as it will/can move further before the suspension bottoms. But on the road you shouldn't be able to feel any difference in stiffness. This would only be felt as the suspension nears bottoming out.
 

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"Preload" isn't really a good description of adding a spacer or adjusting spring height on a shock. Unless the suspension is topped out, adjusting the spring height will simply move the sag amount. Won't change the spring rate in any way. We call it preload, but actually it is simply a height adjustment. This can change the amount of load the spring carries as it will/can move further before the suspension bottoms. But on the road you shouldn't be able to feel any difference in stiffness. This would only be felt as the suspension nears bottoming out.
Huh? Lengthening the spacer in your forks is no different than tightening the preload adjustment on the rear shot. Same exact thing.

It's also the same thing as adding preload to the previous models that had preload adjustment at the fork caps.
 

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But why not let a pro change the valving, & match the spring to your weight and riding habit? I did a spring and oil change on my '07 DL and I would call it adequate....it was better than oem. But after having the re-builds the suspension is significantly better than that '07. Anyway, I just think that for the money, having it all done(forks and shock) makes the best out of what we have, & mine was under $700 shipped.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I forgot to mention the most important upgrade I did before going to Adirondak for 3 days - Handle bar risers. SW-Motech Bar Back - H 32mm - Back 25mm. It stretched cables (specially the brake) to the max, but still OK on full turn left or right... The improvement in comfort is impressive...

I agree with Motor7 and already contacted local shop to change springs and install better valving. They will match it for my weight and riding stile. Doing for both front and rear. Total parts estimate is ~$400 CAD, + $200 CAD labour.

As mentioned I will take pictures of my bike for viewing pleasure.. :)

p.s. This morning we had frost advisory... Too sad winter is coming...
 

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Regarding a skid plate choice;
I've been running the Givi on my '16 for almost 3 years now and it served it's purpose protecting the underside (especially the exposed oil filter). My only gripe is that the 4 allen screws on the bottom tend to get bashed and the whole setup is a bit of a pain to get back on after an oil change (for instance).

My son is using the Weld 86 plate on his '06 and it is very solid and MUCH easier to take on and off as it uses existing bolts areas on the bike (they supply new bolts).
It may not look as fancy as the Givi but it really get's the job done for a very reasonable price.

H.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Regarding a skid plate choice;
I've been running the Givi on my '16 for almost 3 years now and it served it's purpose protecting the underside (especially the exposed oil filter). My only gripe is that the 4 allen screws on the bottom tend to get bashed and the whole setup is a bit of a pain to get back on after an oil change (for instance).

My son is using the Weld 86 plate on his '06 and it is very solid and MUCH easier to take on and off as it uses existing bolts areas on the bike (they supply new bolts).
It may not look as fancy as the Givi but it really get's the job done for a very reasonable price.

H.
Thanks, looks very nice! How easy it is to remove it for oil filter replacement?
 

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I use the weld86 and leave it on for filter change. I also added a couple of braces to it to add some strength. I felt my springs on front were soft too and just adjusted the preload adjusters on forks and feel ok with them now.
 

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Huh? Lengthening the spacer in your forks is no different than tightening the preload adjustment on the rear shot. Same exact thing.

It's also the same thing as adding preload to the previous models that had preload adjustment at the fork caps.
You are correct!

And doing any of these things does NOT change the spring rate. With the linkage style rear suspension you can get into leverage angles that effect actual spring rate and changing the "preload" will get you into different zones on that.

Unless you top out the suspension by adding spacers or adjustment, you cannot change the actual spring rate. Adjusting sag can completely change how the bike feels, even make it feel like the springs are heavier but that is due to the shock action being more correct and travel being used better.
 

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"whole setup is a bit of a pain to get back on after an oil change"

With the Weld 86 plate just let the oil pour. A couple paper shop cloths makes for an easy wipe up. Too much bother to undo bolts.
The small film of oil remaining protects the aluminum against rust too!:fineprint:
 

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I use a large catch pan, leave the HT skid plate on and let the oil drip thru the skid holes to the pan....way easier than removing the skid.
 
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