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I'm a brand new V Strom owner having just purchased a 2011 650 ABS model. Love the bike but I'm reading an awful lot of threads where folks are recommending the addition of fork braces. I plan on definitely adding crash bars and skid plate, along with luggage, but do I really need the fork brace? Most of my riding will be paved roads with an occassional trip on gravel. Don't plan on any "off-roading" or single track type rides on this bike. Thoughts??
 

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you don't "need" one but they do tighten up the bike nicely, I only ride streets and it made a noticeable difference in the way the bike feels. If it was me and planned on doing mostly street I would do the fork brace before I did a skid plate.
 

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you don't "need" one but they do tighten up the bike nicely, I only ride streets and it made a noticeable difference in the way the bike feels. If it was me and planned on doing mostly street I would do the fork brace before I did a skid plate.
I'd have to agree here. I really want one, but am thoroughly disillusioned about my Wee being an off-road vehicle so I have opted for the bars, skid plate, and hand guards first. The fork brace is now very high no my priority/wanna list.
:beatnik:
 

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Why is the more important question

This is an excellent question. I have read many threads of people saying you need a fork brace and steering stabilizer. This follows them saying to drop the forks by .5 inch.
I would like to hear from some long time Stromers what the purpose is for these modifications. I have seen too many posts that just say "It makes it handle better." No offense to anyone on the forum.
I like to know the purpose of things before I spend money and time on them.
Thanks
 

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I'm a brand new V Strom owner having just purchased a 2011 650 ABS model. Love the bike but I'm reading an awful lot of threads where folks are recommending the addition of fork braces. I plan on definitely adding crash bars and skid plate, along with luggage, but do I really need the fork brace? Most of my riding will be paved roads with an occassional trip on gravel. Don't plan on any "off-roading" or single track type rides on this bike. Thoughts??
imho, the fork brace is more important than crash bars & skid plate

that said, I have 65k without a fork brace, but I don't have crash bars either, 40%-50% of my riding is gravel

btw, nothing beyond stock equipment is "necessary" as popular as some farkles are on this forum, there are as many or more V-strom riders that don't participate in internet forums and have completely stock bikes



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btw, nothing beyond stock equipment is "necessary" as popular as some farkles are on this forum, there are as many or more V-strom riders that don't participate in internet forums and have completely stock bikes
Give that man a cigar! I don't think "need" is the right word. Most say it makes a difference and some day I may get one. But you will be able to ride your bike just fine without it. My suggestion for farkles is to always ride without for a little and see if you think you need it. If you are noticing all the problems a fork brace fixes, then it would probably be a good idea to get one.
 

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Forks flex. Our stroms, being a great buy for the amount they cost, would benefit from better, higher cost forks for stability as well as for better damping. A fork brace stiffens the forks and greatly reduces the flex-stick-release that happens in tough riding. Cross winds are a great example.

I ride with a Richland Rick's fork brace. And, I happen to have an extra...PM me if interested. (Here's a link to a review of a competing brand--all are excellent-- http://www.vstrom.info/Smf/index.php/topic,1874.msg26616.html#msg26616 .)
 

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Installed the one sold by Murph's a few weeks ago. I did not notice a huge difference after I installed it, but must admit that the handling improvement was still more than I anticipated for a simple bolt on.
 

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Since you have a 2011 Wee it will have ABS. There's an ABS coupling unit attached to the underside of the tripple tree clamp. If you lower the forks AND have a fork brace, there is a clearance issue. Lower the forks by 10mm with the brace on and there's a good chace you'll hit the ABS coupling when the forks bottom out. With more lowering you may do even more damage. I read one report of someone loosening off a brake hose banjo connection and losing all braking, probably due to a fork brace and lowered forks allowing metal to metal contact with the ABS hoses. With no fork lowering you should be OK (just!). You may want to rotate the hose coupling coming out of the left hand side (with you sitting on the bike) of the ABS coupler so that you have a few mm extra clearance.

I found this issue after I bought my fork brace (Richland Rick) and there's no mention of it in the instructions (actually there are no instructions!).

Search here and you'll find a bunch of threads on the subject (including this one that I started!).

http://www.stromtrooper.com/dl650-specific-wee-strom/66521-raised-forks-fork-brace-abs-bike.html

As to whether you need it, the obvious answer is no because a lot of Wee owners don't install them and do just fine. However they are relatively cheap, easy to fit and certainly don't do any harm (unless they smash off your ABS system...). If you believe in user feedback, many people love them. Since a fork brace was installed with my first set of farkels, I don't have much basis for comparison. However I don't have any complaints (yet) about the way the Wee handles or stability in cross winds, turbulance or on gravel roads. Maybe I wouldn't have without the brace either, but I'd rather not wait until I do have handling issues to decide if a brace is a good idea. I felt the same way about the crash bars. I'd rather install them before I need them rather than wait and see what gets damaged if I drop the bike.
 

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Stand in front of a bike without a brace with the tire wedged between your feet. Wiggle the handlebars and you can watch the fender move over the tire. It's just scary.
 

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A fork brace was not on my, “would like to have” list… I happened to win one at the V-Strom rally this past July from Happy Trails. This simple modification made a world of difference in the handling improvement of my Strom….. riding through sharp turns/twisty roads…. It provided a more stable ride/handling….. get a fork brace
 

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The fork brace is one of my farkles that has paid me back many times. These bikes should come with a fork brace.
 

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I have the murph one and would recommend it. If the choice is lowering or brace go brace

Murph was easy to install as it is 2 pieces so center distance isn't a problem
 

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Fork Brace

This is an excellent question. I have read many threads of people saying you need a fork brace and steering stabilizer. This follows them saying to drop the forks by .5 inch.
I would like to hear from some long time Stromers what the purpose is for these modifications. I have seen too many posts that just say "It makes it handle better." No offense to anyone on the forum.
I like to know the purpose of things before I spend money and time on them.
Thanks
I like to ride on paved back country roads. Many of these roads can be very twisty and bumpy in places. The first think I noticed after adding my fork brace was that the bike handled much better on these roads. The bike goes through the turns over rough terrain with much more control than before adding my brace.
 

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GREAT addition!

This was one of the three farkles added to the bike upon my return from Afghanistan and it really did wonders for stabilizing the ride. Much firmer/straighter/less susceptible to gusts riding and I do recommend.

Other additions were a MadStad to replace my homemade spacers (discovered here (minimal diff so far...) and a really great tank bag (Bags Connection with gas cap mounting and quick release - highly recommended.)

Ready to ride when the temp stops going over 100. Thought I was going to have heat stroke on my first ride!

Get the brace.
 

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I didn't even know what one was until reading about them here. Everyone raved about the improvement it makes, so I got one, and I was not disappointed. The bike seems to slice through cross winds. I can ride one handed in conditions I would have previously been white knuckling it with a double handed death grip.

One thing I did not know about until after I installed mine, was that there is a potential for trouble if you have a lowered front end and an abs model. I have a 2011 abs, and I became worried the brace might crash into the abs thing above the fender on full compression. After consulting here, I twisted the brake line banjo back to buy some more room, Although the front end isn't lowered.

I can say I am no longer concerned. I almost rear ended someone the other day and had to give the brakes serious sh*t to avoid it. Didn't activate abs, but think I must have been on the brink, and there was no issue with the brace.
 

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Without the fork brace, the bike just seems to inexplicably not go quite where you want it to. It'll wander more than you think it should. Once you get the brace on, it actually does what you tell it to do.
 

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You must have the information you were after by now and I've had my say in a rick's fork brace thread, to reiterate:

Need one? No.
Biggest difference IMO is in gusty crosswinds (I haven't done ANY off-road), which for me justifies cost. The stomach-churning feeling of having the bike shift half a metre across the lane following windy bridge crossing or passing lorry is not something I miss.
 

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Best farkle!

My best farkle for the dollar, has been my fork brace!:yesnod: I have a 120 mile superslab commute, lots of crosswinds and semi airblasts to deal with, before the brace things could get very interesting to say the least. I went with a Murph's FB, the PO had dropped the front fork. After adding the brace, the front end seems more solid and planted. The crosswinds and semis are much easier to deal with! You really can't go wrong with adding one!
 
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