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My new ride - Weeeee!

768 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Jameskie
Well, after months of looking for the right Wee at a price I was willing to pay, I picked up a new to me 2006, red, with some nice add-ons (Givi top case, Madstad, hand protectors, two seats - the Wee stock and the slightly taller Vee stocker) and 28k kms on the clock. It's in beautiful condition.

In an earlier post when I joined the forum and introduced myself, I mentioned I was moving from a Suzuki Intruder (2000 VS800GL) after seven years.

Of course, when one changes bikes, especially after seven years riding the previous and a big change in the style of bike, there are immediately noticeable differences and an adaptation period. Here are my initial observations of the contrast between the two bikes from my admittedly short trip of 50k to home from the seller's location last night. I'm looking forward to some extensive riding this weekend as I get used to my new mount..

Size and ergonomics- the Wee seems positively huge in comparison to my slim, chopper-esque Intruder. Of course, the seat is about 6" taller and the ergos slightly forward from the fairly neutral Intruder. I really felt I was sitting on the bike rather than in the bike, as with the Intruder. As a result, I didn't really feel "as one" with the bike, and sort of felt disconnected from the road. I'm sure that feel will come back as I adapt. As I'm on the shorter side at 5'8" I can reach the ground at stops comfortably but not quite flat foot. I will try the OEM Wee seat instead of the Vee seat to see if it helps a bit, and perhaps shave the rubber blocks if need be. I presumed I might want to lower the bike but after the first ride don't think I'll need to.

Comfort - Yikes, ouch, that stock Vee seat hurts my bum. It reminded me painfully of my first week with the stock seat on my Intruder - which I replaced immediately with the all day comfort of the gel seat. I was sore and uncomfortable after just 20 minutes on the Wee. I'll try the original Wee seat tonight. Why can't manufacturers provide comfortable OEM seats with their bikes!!!

I didn't care for the handlebars at all, as their curvature meant I had to bend my wrists outward, resulting in a cramp/discomfort. I'll be looking for straighter bars and would appreciate recommendations.

Ride feel and apparent power - much smoother and more refined than the Intruder's v-twin. However I was surprised by the lack of grunt. When I twist the throttle on the Intruder from a stop, and work my way through the gears, there is real arm pulling torque and acceleration that pins me to the saddle and is enough to sometimes scare me. The Wee's acceleration to speed was much more subdued - it reached speeds briskly but it was a smoother, more linear acceleration without the pull or kick in the pants. I was expecting more in this department, and perhaps this is the difference between the 800 vs a 650, and the obviously different gearing and torque profiles. I was pleasantly surprised at the smoothness at highway speeds and responsiveness at around 5000 rpm. Very nice. BTW, I experienced no buffeting at all from the stock windshield and Madstad combo - a nice surprise.

Handling - I must say the Wee is a dream in fast sweeping turns. So smooth and steady compared to the wallowing and fork twist I sometimes experience when riding the Intruder aggressively. To be honest I kind of missed the sensation of instability. Does that mean I need to ride the Wee even more aggressively to recapture the thrill in the turns??? It just felt so easy!!!.

I must admit to be a little freaked out by initial effect of the fairing and windshield remaining stationary during turns - especially with low speed cornering. I'm so used to the windshield on the Intruder turning with the forks - and seeing this visually as a "cue", that, for the first few times I entered slow intersection type turns with the Wee I wasn't sure I was turning!!!! I'll obviously adapt.


All in all, I'm very happy I've joined the V-Strom family and think the bike will definitely grow on me as I adapt my riding style and farkle it to my tastes. I do however, wish I could keep the Intruder in addition, as the two bikes present vastly different versions of fun!. Alas, finances don't allow!

If any riders in my area (Ottawa, Canada) are up for a ride this weekend, let me know. I'm keen to connect with the V-Strom community both on-line and in person!!

:hurray:

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Follow up

I did 500km over the weekend getting the feel of the bike. I am seriously smitten!

I think I'll name the bike Freda (because she's F%$*ing RED, eh!)
 

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The good thing is you will keep on loving it for a long time. :thumbup:

The better thing is you got the red one!
 

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The first time you come to the end of pavement, and you just continue regardless--that will be a nice difference! You can just jet around curves and rough obstacles--huge difference! The engine characteristics are quite different, but you won't notice significantly less performance, just buzz it and you'll have a great ride.

Follow up on this in 5000 km.
 
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