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Hello everyone,

I'm a 42 year old novice rider from NYC with a penchant for snowbirding. I got my endorsement a few years ago and rode for just a couple of seasons. I started on a little GS500F which was a sweet little bike, but quickly 'upgraded' to a Monster 696. What a mistake that was. Unlike my tame little 496cc Suzuki twin, the 696 was a beast! Bucking and lunging. Unforgiving as ever. I sold the bike after just one season. One thing I did appreciate about the Monster (in contrast to the GS) was its relative power. The character of the bike scared me, but it went from total standstill to highway speeds in mere seconds (or what felt like it to me). I loved that. The ease with which that motorcycle built speed inspired a certain confidence which as a new (and not particularly gifted) rider I very much sought.

Fast-forward to the present and I find myself itching to get back on two wheels. This time it won't be about making impressions. The 2-year hiatus has allowed me to see the sport through the eyes of those who would share their experiences. I learned about the different kinds of motorcycles and riding styles. Wanting something of a dual sport (90% road work and 10% camping/trails) I mentally worked through about a dozen different makes/models, researching and test riding some, until finally arriving here. It's been a difficult journey. Motorcycle dealers are few and far between in NYC. In-stock variety hovers at about 25% of whatever is advertised (eg. "we can get it for you") and test rides are a very rare bird (I've never actually been allowed to test ride anything, ever). So far, I've made half a dozen day trips to 'meet' the bikes I've been considering. The latest of these have been the Vee and Wee. Initially I was considering the Wee. It has a familiar "Suzuki feel". Not too big. Very comfy seat and great riding posture. Seemingly a great match, but after test riding it I just wasn't feeling the love. I even went back to the dealer several days later to test ride it again, but never made it out of the showroom. Then I test rode the Vee. This was it. NO question about it. As soon as I started her up, the throaty 'Ducati growl' was unmistakable and the throttle response did not disappoint. The seat height is perfect. The bike is just manoeuvrable 'enough' (saying more about my skill than the Vee) and comfort leaves nothing behind. So... did I buy it? Well.. I'm getting there. Now it's just a matter of finding the right deal.

The issue for me is getting acclimated to the power of the Vee. I'm an inexperienced rider and the power is intimidating. Is there something that can be done to tone her down a 'wee' bit? At least until I build the hours (and confidence) to let her rip!

Thank you all for reading this lengthy post. I tried to provide some background information to help put things into perspective. Looking forward to reading your thoughts.
 

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Alternative suggestion

Hi stormbytes, I am an older rider returning after a long hiatus so my situation was similar. After much deliberation I bought a Wee. I have owned much bigger and more powerful bikes so I wasn't nervous but I figured the Wee gets where it is going just as fast, you just have to work at it a bit. Plus if you read these pages there is an ongoing debate even amogst very experienced riders about which is the better choice. Yes the Wee has less power, but also less weight, you get to use more of its performance more often etc. If you do go for the Vee I wouldn't be too concerned. They are very civilised and won't bight and at 42 you have hopefully got most of the excess bravery out of your system. On the other hand, if you ask it to do something really stupid the Vee is more able to comply.
 

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I have owned 2 Vees, now very happily own a trouble free and plenty peppy 650. The Wee is just so much more maneuverable and easier to ride, let it rev and I can assure you it rips pretty damn good.
 

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When in doubt, start with mode 2.

In mode 2, the bike won't let you spin the back wheel, it won't allow you to lift the front wheel, it will limit your access to its full potential. Basically it's a great way to get used to your new bike.

Once you get accustomed to your bike, mode 2 is great for rainy days.
 

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Also don't discount the DR650 or dare I say the KLR 650. Although they are both lower in HP than the DL650 they are great fun to tour on or riding off pavement. I used my DR650 with Pelican 1550 as a touring rig for a couple years and loved it. The only place it got boring (and all bikes do) is droning down the highway at 75 MPH.

The only reason I don't still tour on the DR is rear tire longevity. Personally I cannot get more than between 2,500 and 3,000 miles out of a rear tire. Lots of other people get 5,000 to 7,000. If I could get the latter (still riding the same as I do) I'd never have bought the DL.
 

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Go with the Vee if you do love the acceleration. Like you, my Vee is a toy for me. If I had some serious need, like commuting, I might lean toward a Wee but for the fun of riding, go for the liter bike. You will get used to the throttle, or you can get a device called a "throttle tamer", which makes the application of throttle more gradual at the lower part of the throttle usage and then it ramps up as you twist it. I've never used one, but have threatened to get one sometimes. The Vees are pretty snatchy at low throttle. I've gotten used to using the clutch at low revs. to make it a little smoother, especially in parking lots and other slow maneuvering situations. If you kill the engine while slow turning, you are going down.
 

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The same as how you get to Carnegie Hall.
Practice, practice, practice.
 

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You can tame it a little by going to a 40t rear.
 

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Are you talking about a first generation VEE or the new V2?

If you are looking for a VEE, they may actually be cheaper than the WEE's but the WEE is the better choice, sweeter engine and one up riding enough to get you in trouble. After a couple three years upgrade to a V2. By then there will be a lot more choice than now. The V2 is significantly better than the VEE (or to a lesser degree the WEE).
 

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You can tame it a little by going to a 40t rear.
Or the less expensive option of dropping from 17 to 16 tooth front sprocket. Lower gearing makes the bike a little more manageable, particularly in slow maneuvers. It's easy to change back if/when you want. I'm running a 16T on my V2 and like it better for everything other than high-speed 70+ mph cruising.

If it's the sound that's getting you, I'm assuming that some aftermarket manufacturers produce a nice sounding silencer for the Wee.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
About the Wee, I'm sure it's a terrific bike. Ultimately which bike you buy comes down to personal preference and for me that's the Vee (well... V2). As of tonight I'm putting the finishing touches on a deal for a brand new 2016 V2. Won't get her for a couple weeks but I'm already stoked :)

No doubt that throttle issue should resolve itself with practice and experience. In the meantime, I will explore the different TC modes and possibly look into that Throttle Tamer from G2. Its relatively inexpensive and apparently many people are quite happy with it. Found an older thread on it if anyone else is interested (won't let me post the link because I don't have enough posts under my belt yet -- this will change soon enough!)

Thanks everyone for your terrific insights. Some really great stuff here!
 

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Or the less expensive option of dropping from 17 to 16 tooth front sprocket. Lower gearing makes the bike a little more manageable, particularly in slow maneuvers. It's easy to change back if/when you want. I'm running a 16T on my V2 and like it better for everything other than high-speed 70+ mph cruising.
Back when I had my Ducati M696 the sprocket was a standard mod. Will definitely look into that. Any particular brand you recommend?
 

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About the Wee, I'm sure it's a terrific bike. Ultimately which bike you buy comes down to personal preference and for me that's the Vee (well... V2). As of tonight I'm putting the finishing touches on a deal for a brand new 2016 V2. Won't get her for a couple weeks but I'm already stoked :)

No doubt that throttle issue should resolve itself with practice and experience. In the meantime, I will explore the different TC modes and possibly look into that Throttle Tamer from G2. Its relatively inexpensive and apparently many people are quite happy with it. Found an older thread on it if anyone else is interested (won't let me post the link because I don't have enough posts under my belt yet -- this will change soon enough!)

Thanks everyone for your terrific insights. Some really great stuff here!
Stormbytes,
You will not regret falling for the V2, it is a great bike. My first bike at age 54 was a 2011 Vstrom 650. Loved that bike. After three years, I wanted something different ( more power) and went with a 2014 V2. Four years and 32,000 miles, and I am still loving this bike. Yes, it will take you a few weeks to get used to the increased power, but you should be fine.It is not crazy power like a sport bike. Right hand muscle memory will kick in, and you will have a big smile on your face. Might I also suggest keeping your eye out on this site for Vstrom get togethers in the Northeast. There are a good number of them, and it is a great way to make friends and engulf yourself in all Stromtrooper. Add accessories slowly, and not until you know what you really need. Congrats on the new bike, ride safe. :smile2:
 

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Back when I had my Ducati M696 the sprocket was a standard mod. Will definitely look into that. Any particular brand you recommend?
Get an OEM or equivalent (look for sprocketcenter) 16T counter sprocket. For us in the NE where you can rarely ride 80mph for extended distances its better than stock gearing. That gearing is made for the Autobahn!! Great to cruse at 80mph but you shift into 6th gear only at 70mph so around here you rarely get into 6th. Different with the 16T. Plus a little easier to get going in 1st. Feels more like a 1st than stock which feels more like starting in 2nd.
 

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Back when I had my Ducati M696 the sprocket was a standard mod. Will definitely look into that. Any particular brand you recommend?
See this thread for more: http://www.stromtrooper.com/dl1000a-2014-2016/312026-v2-16t-%3D-true-love.html

I got an inexpensive JT or similar without the rubber sound damping material to give it a try and that one is still on. In my box of spare parts is another one with the rubber that I picked up from a member here who didn't like it. That one will go on later.

Welcome to stromtrooper!
 

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Sorry to hijack the thread.. What is snowbirding??

REgards,
Patrick
That expression is very popular in Quebec.

When the temperature cools down, and before snow falls, people, usually retirees, move down south where its warm until spring. For us, the destination is Florida.
 

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Or the less expensive option of dropping from 17 to 16 tooth front sprocket. Lower gearing makes the bike a little more manageable, particularly in slow maneuvers. It's easy to change back if/when you want. I'm running a 16T on my V2 and like it better for everything other than high-speed 70+ mph cruising.

If it's the sound that's getting you, I'm assuming that some aftermarket manufacturers produce a nice sounding silencer for the Wee.
Dropping to a 16t tooth front from a 17t will not be the same as dropping to a 40t rear from a 41t.
My experience with my Vee is that it is tamer with a smaller rear sprocket. It feels a little weaker. However I do understand you point about being geared a little lower for slow speed maneuvers but that would also make it snappier.
 

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I wouldn't worry about the throttle on the V2. Unless mine is a rare case, it doesn't get peppy unless you really twist on it. So just keep it in the first 1/3 or 1/2 of the throttle and it won't be much different than the 650. Likely there'll come a day you'll actually wish for more.

If it were me, I wouldn't mess with the stock sprockets (I did try -1 tooth on the front for a while). Going down in the front will make it a little snappier, and if you go down in the rear you'll be more likely to kill it starting off. Although realistically, one tooth in the rear would be barely noticeable.
 

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I will sing the praises of the V2 all day, but the 2012+ 650 is a nice, competent bike as well. I actually debated for a while over which one I would sell and which I would keep. It is quite possible that you could get the 650 ergos to suit you with some judicious mods like footpeg lowering, risers, seat, etc.
 
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