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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Trying to wade through all the posts to find answers has become confusing.
So here is yet another new thread on an old topic(s):

Now that the decision has been made (going to get a 2012+ 650), I’m trying to figure out whether to go equipped (Expedition model), or base model and equip myself. Price should be similar either way.

I don’t need the very best, but don’t want to find myself regretting prior thriftiness.
What I’m tentatively looking at are:

* Givi Engine Guard (TN3101)

* Givi Monokey Side Case Rack
+ Monokey Trekker Cases
(one 33L, one 46L - as long as can store a full helmet, no need for a top case)
- less wide would be gr8, but don't want to fuss too much having to "MacGyver" components together

* Altrider Skid Plate (don’t need anything super heavy duty)

* fork brace


Any criticisms or alternatives suggestions on any or all of these, are more than welcome.

Thanks, in advance!
 

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Altrider crash bars to match the skid plate?

Add a fork brace and any other parts that suit your riding. Also check this source for Givi and other luggage pricing.
 

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Hand guards are useful. OEM plastic ones work for me, deflecting rain and cool air. Barkbusters are highly rated esp if you are likely to drop the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hand guards are useful. OEM plastic ones work for me, deflecting rain and cool air. Barkbusters are highly rated esp if you are likely to drop the bike.
I hadn't considered hand guards.
On the other hand, I'm a new rider, so ...

- How "useful" are they if (always when riding) wearing gloves ?

- On a very hot day, is the air deflection provided by the guards an unwelcome feature?


 

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I'd say the hand guards are very useful, no matter the weather. I don't have them, and my hands have been dinged pretty hard by the super sized grasshoppers we have in this part of the world. Good thing I had on gloves. Just glad it wasn't gravel instead of grasshoppers.

For cooler weather, keeping the blast of wind off your hands could definitely extend your riding season without the need for heated grips.
 

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I wear vented gloves normally in the summer...they were fine in Florida last fall with very high temps with the hand guards. Handguards don't block all the airflow just most of it and much of the rain.
If you are going aftermarket, consider Barkbusters or equivalent....search the forum for opinions and recommendations.. The metal frame will protect levers and turn signals after a drop. As a new rider, these together with crash bars should be a first consideration.
Yes bees, grasshoppers, small rocks etc can really sting even through gloves.

Also don't skimp on your protective gear. Get good quality boots, gloves, helmet and jacket esp.
 

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I recently bought an EXP from the local dealership and it was only $1000 Canadain over the price of a base model. Pricing out the boxes at Twisted Throttle was enough to convince me it was a great deal.
 

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If I understood correctly, you are going about this all wrong. If I misunderstood where you are coming from, please feel free to correct the mistaken impression.

Is this your first bike? Don't buy things because other people do. It may not fit your needs at all. Buy a bike and start riding it. Figure out what kind of riding you actually do, not what kind of riding you think you want to do. It's not the last bike you'll ever buy and it's not impossible to add things later. Yes, some deals, like that jpevere mentioned, seem like something you don't want to pass. But what if those turn out not to be the accessories you actually want to use?

If you plan to go on dirt roads, you probably need an "engine guard" (misnomer, they should be called radiator guards because that what those bars actually do in a crash), because sooner or later you'll drop the bike. The SW-Motech bars are heavier duty than the Givis, probably a better buy if you are concerned with the protection you get.

A "skid plate" is also probably also a good thing to have if you ride dirt roads. But since this is not really a dirt bike, I doubt you'll be actually skidding on anything with it, it's more of lower engine protection from flying debris. Do you really need an AltRider plate? Why not get a Touratech or SW-Motech instead? I like the Touratech one better, but again, may not be what you need.

Back to luggage - I found that I prefer to ride with a top case over side cases unless I am going somewhere two-up. I have stopped installing side racks for hard cases about 12 years ago (and 6 different bikes). If I need saddle-bags I use soft bags now. Also see this discussion if you haven't already:
http://www.stromtrooper.com/general-v-strom-discussion/19033-another-hard-vs-soft-why-hardbags.html

Handguards serve more to keep cold air and rain off your gloves on a V-Strom than what they were originally designed to do - protect your hands from branches, etc., that you could hit when riding off-road. Some people put them on to protect the levers in case of a crash. They work to a certain extent, but like everything else, some impacts can not be mitigated.

Touring windshield works for some people, not for everybody. It depends on your height and how you sit on the bike. I prefer shorter windshields rather than taller ones. Even the stock one is too tall for my taste.

Oh, yes, buy a used bike instead of a new one. If you are concerned with the purchase price, buying used is a much better deal. It'll leave you a larger budget for gear. You may have not realized it, but living in Ontario, you probably need more gear than most if you want to stretch your riding season due to the large temperature differences between summer and early spring/late fall (assuming you will not ride when it's snowing. Yet :mrgreen:).

Gustavo
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks ... I'm always open to suggestions ...


If I understood correctly, you are going about this all wrong. If I misunderstood where you are coming from, please feel free to correct the mistaken impression.

Is this your first bike?
Not my first bike, but the first bike I will have chosen for myself. I started riding this summer. My current (first, "learner") bike is a GSX-R750:jawdrop: (it's a long story); it was a steep learning curve, but a lot of fun. :mrgreen:

Don't buy things because other people do. It may not fit your needs at all. Buy a bike and start riding it. Figure out what kind of riding you actually do, not what kind of riding you think you want to do.
Fortunately, I had been able to spend quite a bit of time on my current bike this summer. Between the riding I've already done, speaking with friends and the excessive on-line research, I think I have a fairly solid idea of both the kind of riding I do and want to do, and what "stuff" I want/need on a bike.

It's not the last bike you'll ever buy and it's not impossible to add things later. Yes, some deals, like that jpevere mentioned, seem like something you don't want to pass.
The two obvious options are a new or used bike. I have the potential opportunity to get a bike at (what I consider to be) a gr8 end-of-season price - marginally (for me) more than the used bikes at which I'm looking.
If I miss that opportunity, I'd rather zero in on a used bike, already equipped with the bulk of the options I know I'll want/need, rather than trying to equip, a more stripped-down bike, afterwards.

If you plan to go on dirt roads, you probably need an "engine guard" (misnomer, they should be called radiator guards because that what those bars actually do in a crash), because sooner or later you'll drop the bike. The SW-Motech bars are heavier duty than the Givis, probably a better buy if you are concerned with the protection you get.
Won't be doing heavy-duty dirt, and have yet to drop a bike - mine or anybody else's. But an engine/radiator guard seems to be a no-brainer - because sooner or later ...

A "skid plate" is also probably also a good thing to have if you ride dirt roads. But since this is not really a dirt bike, I doubt you'll be actually skidding on anything with it, it's more of lower engine protection from flying debris. Do you really need an AltRider plate? Why not get a Touratech or SW-Motech instead? I like the Touratech one better, but again, may not be what you need.
Thanks; I'll look into those other brands. The "skid plate", for me, is more a peace of mind thing - one of those "better to have it and not need it, than ... "

Back to luggage - I found that I prefer to ride with a top case over side cases unless I am going somewhere two-up. I have stopped installing side racks for hard cases about 12 years ago (and 6 different bikes). If I need saddle-bags I use soft bags now. Also see this discussion if you haven't already:
http://www.stromtrooper.com/general-v-strom-discussion/19033-another-hard-vs-soft-why-hardbags.html
Yes, I have read that thread (and many, many others), and have (and am still) carefully considered the options. Chacun à son goût.

Handguards serve more to keep cold air and rain off your gloves on a V-Strom than what they were originally designed to do - protect your hands from branches, etc., that you could hit when riding off-road. Some people put them on to protect the levers in case of a crash. They work to a certain extent, but like everything else, some impacts can not be mitigated.
Not something that I'd likely purchase (unless the bike I get already has them). Perhaps because nobody with whom I ride has them, quite frankly, I haven't felt the need/want for handguards. It's something that could always be added at a later date.

Oh, yes, buy a used bike instead of a new one.
That was advice I'd heard time and time again which I absolutely agree with - unless I'm made an offer I can't refuse on a new one :biggrinjester:.

If you are concerned with the purchase price, buying used is a much better deal. It'll leave you a larger budget for gear. You may have not realized it, but living in Ontario, you probably need more gear than most if you want to stretch your riding season due to the large temperature differences between summer and early spring/late fall (assuming you will not ride when it's snowing. Yet :mrgreen:).
No, I don't see myself riding in the snow or bitter cold. But I am interested to see how far the season can be stretched with my current jacket (Olympia Airglide); so far, it's gotten me through some very hot, sticky weather as well as a couple of torrential downpours I got caught in. I have yet to zip in the insulating liner, as it hasn't been that cold yet. In any event, several motorcycle shows are coming up in town, and I'll be keeping my eye out for, amongst other things, a pair of warmer riding pants and warmer riding gloves.

Thanks again.

Gustavo
 

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You'll find this forum is packed with useful information and tips. For example, I couldn't figure out how to use the fine adjustment wheel on the gear shifter in order to raise it up some for thicker boots. A quick search on this site led me to find out the lower jamb nut on the fine adjustment is a left-handed thread.

Just one example of how useful and helpful this site has been for me.
 

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Keep in mind that dealers are looking to unload their 2013 leftovers and to reduce inventory of 2014s. People can get 0 mile bikes for $6500-$7000 + title, tax, reg. I'm seeing people with 2 year old bikes with 19k miles that need the 15k service done and tires with 50% tread for $6k.
 

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I agree with Gustavo; buy the bike and add farkles as you need them. The bike is fine stock for the most part. Then, with your research combined with your experience, you'll know what you want to get.

I would never buy a new bike with all the farkles up front. Of course, I try not to buy new bikes either! I find I do not need or want much of what others may or may not put on a particular bike. There is nothing wrong with either approach, but take your time and really see what is a must. That way, it will be money well spent, not just spent.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Keep in mind that dealers are looking to unload their 2013 leftovers and to reduce inventory of 2014s. People can get 0 mile bikes for $6500-$7000 + title, tax, reg. I'm seeing people with 2 year old bikes with 19k miles that need the 15k service done and tires with 50% tread for $6k.
If I had come across
a new 2013 for $6,500
in this neck of the woods,
I'd have been out riding my new bike,
and not posting on this forum. :yesnod:
 

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If I had come across
a new 2013 for $6,500
in this neck of the woods,
I'd have been out riding my new bike,
and not posting on this forum. :yesnod:
Does it help that I put 650 miles on it the first two days driving from VA to GA on the blue ridge mountain parkway :)
 

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Don't forget a center stand. I would get that before fork brace if you had to choose.

Heated grips are a must as well IMO.

Stock seat sucks.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Well, not everything is still up in the air...

I've had the opportunity to lay hands on a new EXP and, although it has most of the extra goodies I would have wanted, I wasn't overly impressed with their overall quality. So that part of the question is answered; it'll be a new base model which I'll develop myself, or a used with at least some of the goodies already installed.

I've come across a (very!!!) few end-of-season deals on new bikes which are quite tempting ... in fact, new wouldn't cost much more than the (late model/low mileage) used bikes I've been eying.

The only decision now remains whether to get a new bike now, right before the winter, pay the insurance and put it in storage - or to bide my time and keep my eye out for a sharp deal on a used bike over the winter. And if that sharp deal doesn't materialize, I'll be spending a fortune on a chiropractor, for having thrown out my back from too much kicking myself :headbang: ...

Decisions, decisions.
In any event, thanks all for the input!
 

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Altrider crash bars to match the skid plate?

Add a fork brace and any other parts that suit your riding. Also check this source for Givi and other luggage pricing.
The AltRider Skidplate and crashbars fit nicely together. The welds on the bars are beauty.
Rick's brace is great as is the price.
+1 on the center stand.
I found my 2013 last Spring for $7100 + tax & lic.
 
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