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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just picked up my new bike.
Its white.
My idea is to write, in coming days, as much as I can about the difference between my old and my new bike. I'll write it down here as I make the progress in mounting the accessories and replacing some OEM stuff I don't like. Then about the riding, all the impressions I get.
So, as for today:
Arrived to my dealer at 9:30 AM and left at 3:00 PM. A lot of work we've done there, his mechanic and me, together.
The first thing I didn't like on my new bike were those grey plastics arround the tank. We removed black plastics from my old bike and put them on new bike. WOW, what the difference. The grey ones we put on my old red bike. And WOW again, it looks great with grey plastics. So, now both bikes look great. I have some stickers "V-Strom" in black and "1000" in red, the same font, so those will go onto the tank, on the sides and then clear Suzuki protections over the sides of the tank that will cover the tank completely on its sides, just the way I had it on my '14. Those transparent protections are great. Lasted 3 years and completely protected my '14 tank keeping it scratch-free.
I wanted HEED crash bars but they still don't make them for '18 model. So my Givi bars were removed from '14 bike and put on '18 bike. Also, we removed the center stand from '14 and installed on '18. On '14 I had stronger spring for the side stand as I use the shoe (R&G) on it and it's a bit havier, so we moved the spring also to '18.
Then, new Michelin Pilot Road 4 (non-trail) for the rear as on '14 rear tire was completely shot. Front tire we moved from '14 to '18, Michelin Pilot Road 4 again (trail version, there is no non-trail for the front).
Rear rack on my '14 gave me a lot of work to remove the silver paint and keep it black without painting. I just polished it and then used shoe shine black wax and it looked like painted black. So, we moved the rack from '14 to '18 as well. New silver rack went to '14 and let me tell you, it already had some scratches. I don't want that piece of crap.
EVAP box was something I realy didn't want. So, we removed it and now I have the space under the seat just like on my '14 model. I wrote a bit about it here:
http://www.stromtrooper.com/dl1000a-2017/387114-space-under-seat.html
My '14 had 16T front sprocket. When I brought the bike to the dealer, he decided to put back 17T and had brand new Suzuki 16T waiting for me to put on the new bike. So we did. I don't use the bike for long travels so I need more performance and less top end. I love 16T sprocket. Done arround 15.000 miles with 16T on my '14 and loved every minute of riding it. So, "show must go on" on '18 model.
That was about it and I left the dealer to slow trip back home, only 20 miles or so.
My '14 had X-TRE. I removed it before trading the bike in but was not sure if I needed it for the new bike. And I don't. My '14 had the latest version of ECU and X-TRE and was really smooth. But this one is even smoother. It looks like they've completely solved the fueling issue on low throttle opening. My '14 setup made bike vibrate much less on low revs but '18 looks like it has even less vibrations. Tried cruising on 2200rpm and was smooth like a silk. My '14 was running nice on 2200rpm but was vibrating. The new one doesn't.
So, there is just one more thing I've noticed on my way home. The bike feels lighter even with full tank. I can not be so sure yet, it's too soon, but just had that feeling.
Now, in next 2-3 days I have a lot to do, installng DRL's, fog light, Givi Airflow, LED indicators, licence plate light (hate that OEM brick), indicators buzzer, remote for my garage door, GPS, pegs lowering kit (Adventuretech), SW Motech gearshift pedal, handlebars risers, tank bag, Topbox with brake light, Arrow slip-on and can't remember all the rest. I have the parts laying on the floor all over my home.
As for the photos, I will take a lot of them when my bike is finished. I'll find nice quiet place to do it in the sunny day.
In the meantime, I'll leave you with this one:
 

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Enjoy and thanks for the interesting report.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
- Givi Airflow installed, no issues. Lines up perfectly, so no difference between '14 and '18 models screen brackets.

- Arrow slip-on installed but not without issues. After the pipes were connected, there was a space between exhaust's bracket and subframe bracket to hang the exhaust, when holes were perfectly aligned. If I tried to push the pipes connection deeper in, the space between brackets disappears but then the holes get way out of alignment. So, the only solution was to align the holes again and put 2 big fat washers to fill the gap of 5-6mm.

- Changed the mirrors, used the ones I had on '14 model, with extenders. No issues at all.

Enough for today.
 

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...
So, there is just one more thing I've noticed on my way home. The bike feels lighter even with full tank. I can not be so sure yet, it's too soon, but just had that feeling....
appreciate the detailed write-up, I was just wondering about the differences between the '14 and the '18.

The "lighter" feeling is probably the new (and hence rounder) rear tire.
 

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Interesting to hear your comments on the fueling, my 18 seems worse then I remember my 14 being. However the dealer gave me the bike with a LOT of play in the throttle. I've almost got 600 miles on it already and i'll adjust it when I do my first service tomorrow or Friday. I am coming off riding an ST1300 for the last year and that thing was sooooooooo smooth so maybe I just need to get used to the twin again :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Mine also had a lot of free play on the throttle. I adjusted it to 1mm before I exited the dealer's door.
I don't know if removing EVAP box has anything to do with fueling as I haven't tried the bike with the box on.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Spent almost whole day installing stuff on the bike:
- Givi Rear Hugger, fully compatible, no issues at all.
- Replaced all black screws with stainless ones. It was the kit I had on '14 model that I removed before trading the bike in.
- R&G Side Stand Shoe, installed without issues. The side stand is the same on '14 and '18.
- Removed rear fender to install Suzuki LED indicators and SV650 licence plate light. Still have to install front LED indicators and find the relay to replace. It's not located where it was on '14 model. No issues.
- Givi Top Box base SR3105 gave me major issues. The cross-bracket that goes into the subframe (just bellow the seat) is too long. Spent hours bending it, making "waves" on it to get it shorter then had to grind a lot of it to fit. After it fitted, the tubes that go from that bracket to bellow the rear rack had incorrect shape. I had to apply a lot of pressure on them to make them align with the holes bellow the rack. I guess they are under a lot of stress now. i don't like it but will keep 'em that way until I find better solution. Givi has new kit, SR3112 for '18 model. So, I was the one to blame.
- Installed Adventuretech pegs lowering kit. No issues, fully compatible with '18 model. The only thing is, on the rear brake side it's now adjusted to have rear brake pedal in lowest possible position and it's perfect for me but may not be perfect for somebody else. Removed hero blobs and installed shorter ones (because of the kit).
- Installed SW Motech gearshift pedal removed from '14 model. No issues at all. Fully compatible.
- Installed handlebars risers, 22mm, that I removed from '14 model. The lenght of hoses and cables is the same on '18 and '14 model, so to me it looked I reached the limit on both bikes. Just had to cut some zip-ties and take front brake hose out of its "C" bracket and put it between two "C" brackets. removed throttle cables from their "C" bracket and routed them through "C" bracket I removed the brake hose from.
- Replaced clutch lever push-rod with one I removed from '14 model, that I grinded a bit few years back to have the cluch bite closer to handlebars.
- Replaced clutch and brake levers to ones I like better that I've got from eBay from China. Clutch side has more adjustment then OEM one. Yet, on the position closest to the bars, clutch switch wouldn't work. First I thought to keep it just one click further wher it worked but then tried to adjust the switch and it worked. Unscrewed little screw and voila, there was some movement avaliable. So, it works now with lever on the position closest to the bars.

It was late night when I finished for today. I hope to complete all the work tomorrow. It's gonna be the day for electrics. A lot of soldering and zip-ties.
 

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Do you plan to move your BMW deflectors as well? Or is the airflow different on the new model?

Thanks for the detailed reports. Nothing like that new bike smell!
 

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- Givi Top Box base SR3105 gave me major issues. The cross-bracket that goes into the subframe (just bellow the seat) is too long. Spent hours bending it, making "waves" on it to get it shorter then had to grind a lot of it to fit. After it fitted, the tubes that go from that bracket to bellow the rear rack had incorrect shape. I had to apply a lot of pressure on them to make them align with the holes bellow the rack. I guess they are under a lot of stress now. i don't like it but will keep 'em that way until I find better solution. Givi has new kit, SR3112 for '18 model. So, I was the one to blame.
https://www.giviusa.com/my-motorcycle/suzuki/dl650-v-strom-17/sr3112-specific-rear-rack-detail

I ran into the same issues, I just didn't install the bars. There is a nut welded in there that seems to be causing the problem, I think if we where to grind it off it would fit fine but I just couldn't bring myself to do it :) The 58L box seems VERY sturdy without the bar, and the new kit that Givi sells does not have it anyways. It does have the two arms that go down to where the bar used to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Do you plan to move your BMW deflectors as well? Or is the airflow different on the new model?

Thanks for the detailed reports. Nothing like that new bike smell!
The airflow is different as the dash surrounding is a bit wider, there is a little "vent" hole in the fairing just at the front of the place I had my deflectors installed on '14 and the indicators are located in the area where that offending air was going through. I'll make a longer ride Saturday and decide if they're needed but I'm almost 90% sure they will be.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
So, spent another full day working on the bike. I guess all major jobs are done. Still have to install tank protectors (those glued on the sides of the tank) and that has to be done as soon as possible before my tank gets scratched by my knees. Also, have to ride a bit to see how the air flows to my belly to decide if I'll install BMW wind flaps that I had on my '14. On my '14, very strong wind was hitting my belly and going up into my helmet bellow the chin. My eyes would water and I couldn't see properly. Installing those wind flaps means drilling into side inserts but I'll do it if I have to.
As for today, I installed all the lights. It's not worth mentioning here because it's personal and differ from bike to bike.
But it's worth to talk about dashboard. It is different on '18. Odometer surrounding is black. It was silver on '14. But, on '14, odometer was poorly held by the dashboard and I had to put some rubber washers behind it to keep it from shaking. On '18 it's firmly fixed to the dash by lot of screws so no need to do anything. It's important to mention that on '18 the dash is now held by 2 screws and 4 clips (2 clips are almost hidden on extremities of the dash, facing the rider). On '14 it was 2 screws and 2 clips.
Installing front LED indicators was very hard. Access is almost impossible, deep behind things inside the dash. I removed screen springs and it made it a bit easier but it still took 2 hours. When I put the springs back I installed one more spring inside each spring for added resistance so the screen wouldn't shake too much, as Givi Airflow is heavier and taller then OEM screen.
Next was relay for LED indicators. The relay was part of LED kit I purchased from Suzuki for my '14. One more hour spent just to find the relay. It's not where it was on '14. To get to it, you have to remove the battery, lift the fuse box and then unscrew the plastic bellow the battery. It's held by 3 vertical screws then 2 more horizontal screws on each side, screwed into the subframe. Then, there are still 2 clips accessed from the wheel arch. It takes some time but it's not hard to do. I just lost lot of time locating the relay.
Replaced the "scooter" horn with loud double horns removed from my '14. Also installed indicators buzzer (don't ask) with 20 seconds delay.
I ordered lightbar from Rick from Adventuretech but it's held at customs office for 45 days already. So I had to improvise the lightbar untill Rick's one arrives. And I'm not even sure it will be compatible with '18 model.
So, I have the bike ready. Will ride it some tomorrow, take few photos to post here and look for differences on the road between '14 and '18 models.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So, to resume two days of hard work on the bike, I took it for a spin for testing and took some nice shots of it. I'll start talking about riding differences between '14 and '18 in next post. For now, just the photos:














 

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Discussion Starter #13
Today's ride showed some new details in differences between '14 and '18 models.
I said before that I installed shorter pushrod for clutch lever. The pushrod and the lever are the ones I removed from my '14 and installed on my '18, just to make sure the clutch bites on the perfect spot. Well, it was not necessary, just the lever would be more then enough. Using the lever on the setting closest to the bars, just the way I had it on my '14, doesn't work well as the clutch bites too soon. So, my lever is on mid setting now and that's the perfect spot, the same I had on '14. So, complaints to Suzuki that the clutch bites to far away from the bars, even on closest setting, has been heard and they changed something. That would be the end of shortening pushrod for '18 model owners.
Combined brakes - no. Maybe only when ABS engages as on normal braking, front only brakes front, rear only brakes rear.
Something definitely changed in the behavior/stability of the bike. On the first day I said it felt very light, even with full tank. I can now confirm it. Thare has to be something different on the frame. As far as I confirmed, subframe is narrower 10-15mm. Can't confirm the frame changes but the bike is easier to handle in corners. Today I went to see the friend of mine that ownes DL1000 2015. He took my '18 for a spin and after he came back he said the bike feels different then his 2015. He said it was like the center of gravity has changed, has been lowered, like the weight of the bike is closer to the ground. So it definitely confirms that something has changed.
Airflow is more or less the same between '14 and '18. I had to install Givi Airflow as soon as I arrived home after purchasing the bike, 20 miles ride home from the dealer was a nightmare of buffeting. Then, on '14 there was that wind that was hitting my belly and entering my helmet from bellow. My eyes would water and in winter it was very hard to ride. I installed BMW wind flaps (a bit modified) and the problem was solved. On '18 the problem persists, maybe a little bit less pronounced as the beak is bigger and they put indicators into the area where that wind was coming from. But as I changed to LED ones that are smaller, still had that wind today and could feel it entering my helmet, even with helmet's chin curtain on. So, I'll have to put the flaps on '18.
16T front sprocket made it a dream ride for me. The same behaviour as on '14. Tested TC2 and it does engage if I accelerate hard. TC1 has never engaged on dry pavement, no metter how hard I've tried.
As for a fueling, '18 model can be controlable in less revs then '14 could be. Driving through roundabout at 2200 rpm in 2nd on '14 was a bit hard as the accelerator was difficult to control. Doing the same thing on '18 is piece od cake.
Shifting is so smooth and soft, maybe because the bike is new, I don't know.
It has less engine vibrations then '14.
I'll look for USB plug to replace cigarrete lighter plug. It makes no sense anymore and the location continues stupid on the dash so if you have longer plug it would interfere with the steering. USB replacements are cheap and there are some of great quality with waterproof cover.
 

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Great writeup with great detail. Appreciate u taking the time. Can you post pics of your wind flaps on your 2014 or once u install them on the 2018?
 

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You've been a busy beaver...I would have been too tired to ride after all that work! This will be a big help to those who have or are considering a new model.

Regarding the handling - did you raise the forks on the '14 and have you set your rider sag on the '18? I raised the forks 10mm and it made tip-in a little easier and lighter. Of course, suspension sag settings will have a lot to do with it as well. My Strom turns easier than my GSXS (have raised the forks 8mm on it). It is so pronounced that after riding the GSXS for a few days, when I get on the Strom it feels like I'm going to drop it in the first few turns at intersections.
 

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Today's ride showed some new details in differences between '14 and '18 models.
I said before that I installed shorter pushrod for clutch lever. The pushrod and the lever are the ones I removed from my '14 and installed on my '18, just to make sure the clutch bites on the perfect spot. Well, it was not necessary, just the lever would be more then enough. Using the lever on the setting closest to the bars, just the way I had it on my '14, doesn't work well as the clutch bites too soon. So, my lever is on mid setting now and that's the perfect spot, the same I had on '14. So, complaints to Suzuki that the clutch bites to far away from the bars, even on closest setting, has been heard and they changed something. That would be the end of shortening pushrod for '18 model owners.
The pushrod does have a different part no. on the 2018.... and here on Oz it is nearly twice the price of the 2014 one!
It appears to be the only part of the master cylinder that is different.
 

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The pushrod does have a different part no. on the 2018.... and here on Oz it is nearly twice the price of the 2014 one!
It appears to be the only part of the master cylinder that is different.
So now (apparently) owners of the 2014-16 models have the option of ordering the new pushrod if they are not inclined to grind down the original.
 

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Stu - where are you finding a parts list for the 2018s? Everything I see only goes up to 2017.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
As for a pushrod, it's new part number because the "lip" on it that secures the boot is bigger but the lenght is the same as the old one. I compared them side by side.
Windflaps - I will post pictures here after I install them on '18. I sold my '14 and removed the flaps before it went.
I didn't rise the forks or touched suspension settings neither on '18 nor on '14. The factory settings worked the best for me on both. Rear adjusted 10 clicks before hardest on both bikes for solo riding and 0 clicks for taking a pilion.
One more thing I remembered - still at the dealer when mechanic was changing the tires he called my attention and showed me front axle completely dry. Rear one was well lubricated and he said the front one should come out of the factory lubricated as well. He lubricated it well before putting it back on.
 
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