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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Just figured I would go ahead and introduce myself as I will be lurking and searching on here a good bit over the next couple of months.

My name is Bryan and I am in the central North Carolina region. I am currently riding a 2005 FZ6, which I love, but in the past couple of years my riding style as changed a bit and I am looking to move up. I guess Ill start this off with basic riding resume and explain what Im looking for based on what Im doing.

I started riding when I was 5 (24 now) on a Z50. I rode with my father in the wood in the NC mountains. Brown Mountain, Uwharrie, etc. I began racing Hare Scrambles with the NCHSA when I was 9 in the Jr. Mini Class and when I was 13 I moved up to a KX 125 and ran the "Light C" class since I could no longer fit on a mini. I later went to a KX 250 and ran 250B for a season before I left for college in 2005. Since then the bike is has been in pieces.

I went two years through college with no saddle time and it was starting to seriously screw with me. My parents had started riding street bikes and with that I slowly found my way into the street riding. In the fall of 2007 my father was a parts manager at a Yamaha shop and they had taken an 05 FZ6 on trade. I took it out for a weekend and long story short in ended up following me home.

Fast forward to now, I have put over 40K miles on it and have recently become an IBA member. In march of 2010 my father and I completed SS1000's and in March of 2011 we completed a BBG on the way to Jacksonville, Florida for the IBA party. (yes we took a long way to Jacksonville from North Carolina)

If you would like to read more about my rides, you can check out my blog below:

Bike and Snowboard Adventures
Feel free to go through the archive and see all the ride reports I have posted. Pardon my grammar skills, hopefully some of the photos will make up for it. :headbang:

At this time I am looking to continue with the long distance riding as well as my normal day rides to the Appalachian Mountains. The FZ is great, but the motor is little sluggish (with out winding it up) esp. when its loaded down. Not to mention the lack of wind protection. It has served me well, but Im thinking the larger bike, motor, etc will be nice. The FZ is a do all bike, I have no problems taking it down dirt/gravel roads, its very sporty and is great for touring. Its for this reason I am looking into the Vstrom over the full ST bikes. I would still like the off road capabilities and quite frankly I love the odd looks of the Vstrom and what it is capable of.

I probably wont be purchasing another bike till spring of 2012 but I am beginning my looking/shopping now. I am interested in aluminum panniers, aux lights, after market seat, GPS and other farkles.

My concerns are: Chain Drive (Im honestly a bit tired of the chain drive), charging system and wind protection.

I will consider upgrading the suspension in time as I have heard that the stock suspension leaves a bit to be desired. I am open to all suggestions on bikes and modifications and I appreciate any advise as to certain years to look for or stay away from. Potential problems and common failures. I will be spending time researching on here trying to find these answers, however and help or guidance is always appreciated.

I am looking forward to talking with you guys and maybe come next year Ill be a fellow owner.

Thanks.

-bryan
 

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I was in the same boat, several years of college time with no bike under me. Recently, my wife and I renewed our conversation about a "See the USA" motorcycle trip as a graduation present, and a week later, I found myself in possession of a 2003 DL1000. Having started on scooters and my old Shadow 600, I spent a good deal of time on a GSX-R750 that had a good bit of work done to it (laid down about 135 hp at the rear wheel), which was tons of fun until my best friend died on it, which really toned me down.

I love my Vee- I've put on 1000 miles in the two weeks I've owned it. I'm a big guy, 6'5" 280, and I find it to be a very comfortable riding position (save for the stock seat, which gets uncomfy after about 2-3 hours in the saddle). It's easy to maneuver, doesn't kill you on long rides, and is danged easy to ride quickly. The power doesn't get old, either- like you, coming from a top end fire breather to a torquey, rev happy V-twin is a real treat. I love getting on the power right off idle. It moves me quite well, and when I ride around with the wife and all the bags packed and sleeping bags/tents strapped on, it still has the power to get me punched by my wife :D

In short, of all the bikes I've ridden regularly or owned (Shadow, GSXR, Harley Sportster 1300, Suzuki M50, CBR600RR), this is the most fun. Sure, the sportbike kids look at me funny with my upright riding posture and tall windscreen, but I'm having more fun than they are and paying less insurance :)

In short- welcome, and from a new V owner, I doubt you'll regret it.

-Doug
 

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Fast forward to now, I have put over 40K miles on it and have recently become an IBA member.
Shouldn't that be IWA member on that bike? "W" for wrist, of course.

If you really want to get away from the chain and don't mind spending some more money and waiting a while, you may consider the Yamaha Super Tenere which is a special order bike from Yamaha. There are a few members here who just got them and they seem quite happy, Dirt_Dad, IronMorph come to mind.

If you still want to stick with the 'Strom the newly slightly redisigned 2012's will be out soon. The V-Strom is great for fire roads, but with your backround, some knobbies and perhaps some suspension mods, you could take it truly off the road.

Good luck,

Norm
 

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Greetings Bryan, sounds like the Vee (DL1000) or Wee (DL650) could both meet your needs. Own an 06 Vee which has pretty well been bullit proof. Chain requires little maintenance and allows for sprocket swaps (personally prefer 16/43). Some of the newer dualies/ adventure tourers may out-perform the Strom but not aware of any offering more bang for the $$$. Welcome to the forum. :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
which was tons of fun until my best friend died on it, which really toned me down.
Sorry to hear about that. One of my good friends took a nasty tumble last year on a GSXR600. Did the same for me, slowed me down, alot. He walked away though, thankfully. Regardless, when the stupid switch gets flipped, the images of him and the bike laying in the ditch come back in mind.

In short, of all the bikes I've ridden regularly or owned (Shadow, GSXR, Harley Sportster 1300, Suzuki M50, CBR600RR), this is the most fun. Sure, the sportbike kids look at me funny with my upright riding posture and tall windscreen, but I'm having more fun than they are and paying less insurance :)

In short- welcome, and from a new V owner, I doubt you'll regret it.

-Doug
Well said. Im getting funny looks as it is now from those same guys as the FZ is like a sport bike but it has no fairings, Im sitting upright with something that resembles a windshield and I have a 4 foot antenna flopping around behind me. The looks continue when I pass them on the inside of a corner going 181 in Hickory with out a "Throwing out a knee." (Hwy 181 is a twisty 4 lane road in Hickory, NC)

-bryan
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Shouldn't that be IWA member on that bike? "W" for wrist, of course.

If you really want to get away from the chain and don't mind spending some more money and waiting a while, you may consider the Yamaha Super Tenere which is a special order bike from Yamaha. There are a few members here who just got them and they seem quite happy, Dirt_Dad, IronMorph come to mind.

If you still want to stick with the 'Strom the newly slightly redisigned 2012's will be out soon. The V-Strom is great for fire roads, but with your backround, some knobbies and perhaps some suspension mods, you could take it truly off the road.

Good luck,

Norm
Ah the FZ really isnt that bad, its quite similar the Wee just not as revy and off road worthy. But very similiar riding position.

I have looked at the Yamaha, but I feel that is about out of price range for this point in my life. Student loans arent too much fun...

Agreed on the suspension mods. If it werent for the lack of bags and such I would most definatly start with suspension upgrades. I upgraded the horrible FZ shock to an adjustable Ohlins with a stiffer spring rate. I also put heavier springs up front and added racetech emulators. The bike is a dream in the corners now. (for small conventional forks)

Ill tackle some off road but there comes a point where Im not sure a 500 lbs bike with minimal traction is the best tool for the job... I have been surprised to see what you Strom owners put these things through as I browse through here and ADV.

-bryan

-bryan
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Greetings Bryan, sounds like the Vee (DL1000) or Wee (DL650) could both meet your needs. Own an 06 Vee which has pretty well been bullit proof. Chain requires little maintenance and allows for sprocket swaps (personally prefer 16/43). Some of the newer dualies/ adventure tourers may out-perform the Strom but not aware of any offering more bang for the $$$. Welcome to the forum. :mrgreen:
Thats what I am liking about the Vee. Seems like a heck of a bike for the $$. Upgraded parts seem to be readily available to improve the bike in the areas that are desired. In many ways it is much like the bike I currrently have. But taken to another level.

Question? How are the Vee's to work out. I really enjoy wrenching on the FZ, for the most part it is quite easy to monkey with and things are readily accessable. (For the most part)

-bryan
 

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If you do not mind pulling the fuel tank and air box...then its not bad to work on. Air filter change sucks but so do most perimeter frame modern bikes.

Plugs are a little tough. Oil change a snap, same with chain.
Valves are shim and bucket and on the 1000 Vee which I am referring to, the valves have an idler gear so the cam chain doesn't require removal for adjustments.

Diagnostic info available on the dash. ECM can be reflashed.

Good solid bike IMO and I have worked on many types of bikes.
 

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... I have been surprised to see what you Strom owners put these things through as I browse through here and ADV.

-bryan
With me, "offroad" is a prelude to "horizontal".

If you come out this way, you might be able to get a test ride from MR Cycles in Asheville, especially if they have a used one on the floor. However, getting a realistic price out of them may be more difficult.

As far as maintenance and reliability goes, in four and a half years and 58,000 miles, I've had one issue with a Throttle Position Sensor. Other than that, it's just been brakes, tires, chains, spark plugs and oil, brakes, tires, chains, spark plugs and oil, brakes, tires, chains, spark plugs and oil......................

I got this bike because I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted a motorcycle for. I knew I wanted to explore some fire roads with and be comfortable on longer rides. I have not been disappointed.

Present company excluded, there are a lot of helpful people with a wealth of technical knowledge on this site.

Good Luck,

Norm
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If you do not mind pulling the fuel tank and air box...then its not bad to work on. Air filter change sucks but so do most perimeter frame modern bikes.

Plugs are a little tough. Oil change a snap, same with chain.
Valves are shim and bucket and on the 1000 Vee which I am referring to, the valves have an idler gear so the cam chain doesn't require removal for adjustments.

Diagnostic info available on the dash. ECM can be reflashed.

Good solid bike IMO and I have worked on many types of bikes.
Good Deal. I realize each bike is different has its quirks, but the FZ was pretty easy to pull the tank on. And your right, with the perimeter frame it can make things difficult at times. Thanks for the info!

With me, "offroad" is a prelude to "horizontal".

If you come out this way, you might be able to get a test ride from MR Cycles in Asheville, especially if they have a used one on the floor. However, getting a realistic price out of them may be more difficult.

As far as maintenance and reliability goes, in four and a half years and 58,000 miles, I've had one issue with a Throttle Position Sensor. Other than that, it's just been brakes, tires, chains, spark plugs and oil, brakes, tires, chains, spark plugs and oil, brakes, tires, chains, spark plugs and oil......................

I got this bike because I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted a motorcycle for. I knew I wanted to explore some fire roads with and be comfortable on longer rides. I have not been disappointed.

Present company excluded, there are a lot of helpful people with a wealth of technical knowledge on this site.

Good Luck,

Norm
Good to hear! So there is another carolina guy in here. Your not too far away. I used to ride out that way a good bit when I was in school in Charlotte. Go ride up 276 and 178 there near Rosman. Made the mistake one day of taking Hwy 194 (Ithink it was) just north of Asheville one day. Great little road with some nice twisties... turns in to a gravel road about half way up. Neat water fall and bridge bout half way down the gravel section though.

Going to do a little research on tire options etc. today. See whats out there for the bike. I have been running Pilot Road 2's on the FZ and getting 10,000+ miles out of the rear. Pretty happy about that! See if thats an option on the strom...

-bryan
 

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I used to ride out that way a good bit when I was in school in Charlotte. Go ride up 276 and 178 there near Rosman.
There are a lot of roads like that around here.

Made the mistake one day of taking Hwy 194 (Ithink it was) just north of Asheville one day. Great little road with some nice twisties... turns in to a gravel road about half way up. Neat water fall and bridge bout half way down the gravel section though.
That would not be a mistake on the V-Strom.

Good to hear! So there is another carolina guy in here. Your not too far away.
There are more than several of us. My local dealer in Hendersonville says that the V-Strom is one of their most consistent sellers. "Asheville Thumper" has his set up with Continental TKC-80 Knobbies. I've run a TKC-80, Front / Metzeler Tourance, Rear combo, this provides for a 10,000 mile rear tire with a less unplanted front end on dirt and gravel roads. You might also watch some of the SE Regional ADVrider dinner thread for semi-regular gatherings which usually include a 'Strom ot two.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That would not be a mistake on the V-Strom.
Very true... thats what I am looking forward to.

There are more than several of us. My local dealer in Hendersonville says that the V-Strom is one of their most consistent sellers. "Asheville Thumper" has his set up with Continental TKC-80 Knobbies. I've run a TKC-80, Front / Metzeler Tourance, Rear combo, this provides for a 10,000 mile rear tire with a less unplanted front end on dirt and gravel roads. You might also watch some of the SE Regional ADVrider dinner thread for semi-regular gatherings which usually include a 'Strom ot two.

Ill have to look into those gatherings. As I looked through the strom pictures on ADV I noticed several members in the Charlotte area as well.

I began a quick search with some of the larger tire manufactures and then all seem to have a tire for the bike. Just glanced over the Michelin Anakee 2, Avon's Distanzia, Bridgestone's BW501/502 and Dunlops 601. I like the looks of the Anakee 2 and the Distanzia.

-bryan
 

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Well.... Ive been bit.

This weekend I went up to the MTF Founders Feast in Stecoha, NC (Outside of Robbinsville) at the Iron Horse Lodge. If you havent heard of this lodge, please google and check it out. Awesome motorcycle campground/resort area.

Anywho, I rode both the Super Tenere and the Vstrom this weekend and while the Tenere is an amazing bike with lots of great components and a drive shaft.... the vstrom really impressed me. Loads of bottom end torque. Cornered like a dream and rode great. The only thing I didnt like were the brakes. The werent as responsive as Id hoped the would be. Now with that said, that could have just been the bike and it could have been me just adjusting to riding a larger and slightly heavier bike. My FZ doesnt have the greatest brakes (when compared to sportbikes) but it will certainly stop quickly. The Vstrom brakes felt spongy to me... though I feel like some good quality brake fluid and braided lines might cures some of that.

either way Im sold. My current Vstom savings fund is 0.00 but that will be changing soon. Im going to continue watching the market and see how they sell. Hopefully Ill be able to purchase just after the first of the year, March at the latest.

(let the madness begin)

-bryan
 

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BMCC don't worry about chain drives. Buy a Scottoiler . No chain oiling ever again. There is also a loobman but it isn't near as precise. The Scottoiler cost more than the loobman of course.
 

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BMCC don't worry about chain drives. Buy a Scottoiler . No chain oiling ever again. There is also a loobman but it isn't near as precise. The Scottoiler cost more than the loobman of course.
I will second that. I have a old style Loobman (I guess I am a KLR guy at heart and can't bear to part with money). Love that thing. It has made chain maintenance hassles a thing of the past. It works so good that when it is time to buy another I will spring for the Scott Oiler I expect (it is supposed to be just that good). I came off a shaftie when I bought this bike and have arthritis pretty bad so I was worried about having to get down and clean/oil that chain every 300 miles. Not a problem with my oiler now.
 
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