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Discussion Starter #1
Loving life with my new (to me) '08 Weestrom. However transitioning from an 83 Shadow 750 is a bit of a challenge - this bike is just so top-heavy. I bought it with the intention of exploring Utah's backcountry but I gotta admit I'm still really nervous about tipping over on pavement and in parking lots, let alone on some twisty, rooty trail.

I'm considering lowering links, but does anyone have good advice on simply becoming comfortable with the bike? (And ride, ride ride is already part of the plan - it's a bit cold for that right now, but I still manage to get in a good 30 min ride each week so far).

Thanks,

John - SLC
 

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To be honest, I felt the same. I was coming from cruisers (and scooters), so I was accustomed to the very low center of gravity.

My first week I swore I would tip the bike over... and there were some damn close times.

However, after getting a few hundred miles in I was pretty comfortable. Some low speed (empty) parking lot riding would probably do you good. I'm at 8,000 miles now and I don't remember the last time "top heavy" crossed my mind.
 

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It's top heavy especially with a full tank - also the geometry is different.

what is your inseam??
 

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Installed lowering links an dropped the front forks 8mm. Also lowered the pegs and controls with a kit from this site. Makes it a different bike.
 

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Hey, Johno -
I'm 6'2", 225 lbs with a 34" inseam and found moving from a '78 CB550 to my '09 Wee to be a challenge initially. Dropped it 2x in my garage, 3x at stop/standstill. Took a half day in a parking lot and got that crap out of my system. Bike is a gem, just takes a bit to learn its manners. Good luck with yours!
 

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Drop the forks 12mm or however much you have room before making contact with the handlebar. And make sure the rear does have stock length dogbones (no rising links) installed.

Move forward on the seat when you need to get your foot down to have a shorter reach.

Also check if you have a higher than stock height seat. If its stock and you still have a hard time reaching the ground you can remove the rubbers from underneath the seat (maybe temporarily until you are more comfortable) to have less seat height.

I think the trick is to not have the bike lean much to make it easier to balance. That lean angle is probably less then what you are used to. Just try to keep it as vertical as possible as long as it's stable leaned either way if you use just one foot.
 

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You can lower the bike and firm up the springs some to avoid bottoming out. Mine is lowered about 1.5" front and back and have no trouble on pavement that way at all. When I have a passenger aboard, I do watch out for the speed bumps and other higher obstacles. It is a trade-off but a manageable one. You can also lower the seat.

OK, don't take my word for this and if you do it I hereby claim no responsibility for it!
You can use bungee cord to tie down the front or rear of the bike by collapsing the suspension some. It's a rough ride, but could help you get used to the height of the bike and then you can just take it off. I do it at the drag strip to keep the bike as low as possible for coming off the line to reduce wheelies. How do I do it? That you'll have to figure out. Keep it away from the wheels and chain.
 

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You really need to watch it when coming to a stop where the pavement dips down like the end of a driveway apron, for example. Lots of Vee drops there.
 

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I bought my 07 DL650 in August and dropped it 3 times parking within the first 3 weeks. I had not ridden a bike for twelve years. Now it does not seem to be a problem but it is top heavy. When at a standstill there is little leeway as to how for I can let it go.
 

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lowering a v-strom doesn't come without pitfalls

reduced ground clearance, you will drag hardware more often, also less suspension travel, bottoming out will come quickly and potentially causing damage

I lowered my Vee when i first got it, but when I replaced the suspension, I put the stock dogbones back in and returned the fork to it's normal setting

the WP shock I got fot the rear also had height adjustment, it was set to compensate for the shorter darkside tire I was running, so now that I have a MC tire on back again, my ride height is actually raised, biggest issue now is that bike leans more on sidestand and is a bear to upright from the stand while straddling it on tiptoes



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Lowering the front will make the bike turn quicker and this will make it feel lighter, I also lifted the rear 1" so it feels even more nimble, the other week I swapped bikes with a mate and he believed my bike was lighter than his when in fact my bike is 30kg heavier than his. :fineprint:

Then there are tyres, some will turn in quicker than others thus helping.

And my Wee is the only bike I do it on but I often put my foot down before I come to a complete stop, I don't know why this is but it is something I need to keep in mind each time I get back on it. :confused:
 

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i've had my '14 Glee for just over a year and almost 15k miles. I'm 5'9" and only dropped it once so far, though i did have quite a few "almost" ones. It also has a Saddleman seat which is a little taller and wider than stock. I was worried about dropping from day 1 so I put crash bars and barkbusters on it right away. It's only the embarrassment factor that concerns me about dropping it now, as the protection is good.
Interestingly, I just bought a demo Vee2 and, although it's a little taller and heavier than the 650 on paper, it doesn't feel it. Suzuki did a great job with keeping the weight low and the bike fairly narrow on the vee2.
 

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Had the dealer lower the rear of mine before I picked it up and modify the kickstand. Had ridden a stock one before and loved it but pretty tall bike. Coming from a Harley SuperGlide I feel the V-Strom is light as a feather, honestly feels like a toy and it ain't even there..

The only real issue I have had with it lowered is hitting the centerstand just a couple of times over a speed bump or similar. May raise the bike up one notch on the adjustable links, but really comfortable on it as it sits. Handles great!

Have put over 7,000 miles on it in 9 months including a 2,100 mile ride. Love the bike.

Great streetbike, just ride it like a big 'ol dirtbike and I don't think you'll drop it again. You'll hear a lot of stuff about how bad it is to lower, but if you need it oh well. It can always be raised back up (may have to get another kickstand though).
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Thank you all for the feedback. I have a 30" inseam (probably more like a 29"). I'm on my tippy toes when backing the bike up. I do think the advice is right: experience is the master here. I am ordering engine guards shortly, and think Bark Busters may come right after. I guess learning to pick the bike up is a good third step--then it's just the embarrassment of dropping it that hurts, right?

Oh and drop #2 was in a driveway apron--just can't touch down there!

I found info online for the "RawHyde" adventure riding training. There is a 2 1/2 day course in CO about 7 hrs from home, I may sign up for a long weekend in June and see if that helps, too. I intend to ride the Macgruder Cooridoor in July (with a four-wheeled friend accompanying), so it may be good to knock out the training first. After that, I would love to do the Butler Utah Backcountry Adventure route in sections (plus of living in Utah is that I am relatively proximate to each section).

So it'll be nice to not worry about dropping it at a stoplight, but even better to cut the number of drops off-road, too.
 

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Same as mine then. Terry Adcox seat can be made pretty low - maybe a bit higher boot - risers might help to keep you more upright,

Stock you are likely to feel unstable at times. My kid is a bit taller than me and also feels it.

Picked yup an CBF1000and the difference is remarkable - but tweaked for height - I enjoy the Strom

If you lower - get it done correctly with the front shocks as well to preserve the geometry.
 

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My previous 2 1000's were for sure top heavy feeling, but my new 650XT feels similar to what my ole DR650 did. The new Vee2 feels very much steering and handling wise like the Wee2, I was left very impressed.
 

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The best way to avoid dropping your bike is to ride alone or with total strangers.
The only time I drop mine is when I'm around friends and/or family..
Hey @mountaincove ... :cheers2:
 
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