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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I'm currently riding a 98 Concours. Has 54k on it, I'd have more, but I bought it only 18 months ago. I put about 1/2 the milage on.

I'm REALLY intersested in the V-Strom, and have been since I first saw it. I wanted to get some feedback from owners about a few questions.

1. I noticed my buddies V-Strom gets a high speed wobble when the side bags are on. Seems ok with just the top box. (all stock suzuki components) Does lowering the trippletree/raising the forks 10-15 milimeters help that, or just generally help handling?

2. How much farkle can I run? Will the bike power a Gerbing jacket (77 watts) extra lights (100 watts) and miscleneous electronics (CB, Valentine 1, and GPS)?

3. Has anyone developed a fuel cell yet? Will it fit between the top box and the rider? It would be nice to be able to rally with just the topbox and a large tankbag, since the bike tends to dance around at desert rally speed. (If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand)

4. For those of you running Scott Oilers (or similar) what kind of chain life are you getting?

5. If anyone is doing rally/ironbutt riding on a V-Strom, what kind of range do you have? Any problems or odd properties to the bike?

6. Cee Baily vs. Laminar lip?

Thanks in advance. I know I asked a lot of questions. I did try searching through the forums, but found incomplete info in these areas.

Elseanno
 
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I don't have answers to all your questions, but here goes:

1. Haven't noticed a wobble with my Givi E21 side cases under 100 mph. Changing the tires to either Metzeler Tourances or Michelin Mackanees seem to resolve most of the high-speed stability issues, I've heard. My personal experience is that the Tourances result in a HUGE change for the better at higher speeds. I've also experienced noticeably reduced stability at higher speeds using the taller Suzuki windscreen over the stock screen as well.

2. I'd keep aux lights at 35w each and use better bulbs like PIAA's top of the line Xtreme White bulbs. They're expensive, but use a lot less wattage for comparable illumination. The 'Strom's stock dual headlights are quite a bit better than single bulb systems. I have a pair of hotgrips, a Gerbings vest and PIAA Xtreme White bulbs in place of the stock units. The PIAA bulbs are close to twice as bright (while still being USA street legal) allowing me to see further and with far greater detail.

4. I don't use a Scottoiler or Loobman. I just pop the bike up on the center stand and use Honda's excellent chain lube. Takes under a minute to do the job and the sprocket and chain are still in great condition. Honda's lube is superb with almost nonexistant fling or other mess. The Honda product puts other chain lubes to shame with its combination of low mess/fling and effective lubrication.

5. I got a custom saddle done by "Ironbutt" Rich's Upholstery in Seattle and got inspired. With the new saddle, it was an absolute dream to ride all the way from Seattle to a little beyond Bakersfield, CA. The 'Strom is happy to do 80mph all day long. And thanks to Rich, my backside and back were not sore at all. Gas mileage ranges from 45-52 mpg. VERY spirited in-city driving in Seattle did bring the mileage down to 38 mpg on one occasion.

6. I'm using a Suzi tall windscreen with Laminar Lip and EARs. Keeps turbulance down a LOT over tall windscreen alone. I haven't tried the Cee Baileys screens, yet.

I hope that helps. Safe riding!
 
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I've got the Jesse bags and have not had a high speed wobble even at extended runs at top speed. Lot's of folks report good results dropping the forks but I haven't felt the need. Having previously owned a Connie I can say the Strom is going to feel rock solid at speed and crosswind impact will be about the same.

Haven't heard of anyone having issues with the charging system yet. As long as you are at speed I don't think there will be a problem.

I would think any of the fuel cell setups developed for the FI BMW's should work on the Strom.

Don't use an oiler myself. I use BelRay Superclean about every 1,500 miles. 18,000 miles out of DID chains doing mostly endurance type riding. Still on the original sprockets at 33,000 miles.

I did a 100CCC in the spring of 2002 on the Strom. One word of advice, get the Corbin seat. If you keep it under 85 mph most of the time you should be good for around 250 miles (just remember to shift into 6th, 100+ in 4th really kills your mileage, DOH!)

Screen choice is going to depend on your size. I'm 6' 3" and the OEM is fine for me.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input guys! Jetboy, are you on STN too? Your collection of bikes seems familiar...... :D

Interesting that niether of you have had the highspeed dance that my buddy has had. I'll forward this info on and maybe he can check to make sure something obvious isn't set up incorrectly.

I think it's interesting that you guys don't use oilers. While on a 100ccc it would be nice, during a rally it would almost be a necessity. You know what a few minutes at a stop does to your rolling average.

Now to the important stuff...Jetboy, What do you do for a living and can you teach me to do it too?! :D I can barely afford one decent working bike at a time. You have 3 of the bikes I'd love to have. (V-Strom, FJR, Motard) Sounds like you have time to ride 'em too! So if you had to pick only one bike?............
 

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I have had my bike to an actual 117 mph with Givi E35 side cases and E45 topbox without any wobbles. I do get a wobble when I take my hands off the bars at around 45-50 mph especially with the topbox on. I'm running the Tourances now and really like them better than the stock tires. My mileage varies from 32 mpg in town in winter, to 42 to 45 mpg on the open roads at around 65 to 70 mph in the summer. Usually in town commuting returns an average of about 37-38 mpg. My commute is 20 round trip. I'm 5'8" and the stock shield works great for me. I've done 450 mile days with the stock seat, the last couple of hours can present some discomfort.
 
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OK - I've been reading this stuff about time spent on an MC seat and I have to give my 2 cents...other than seat - riding distance also has something to do with phyisical condition, age and your pain tolerance...

Point - 10 years ago I road a K75 from Dallas to Los Angeles in one 20 hour day. At that time - I could have turned around and drove back...I had a Corbin saddle...

Today - I have a Corbin saddle on my VS but wouldn't think about riding more than 400 miles in a day...my pain tolerance isn't what it use to be...

Anyway - buy a Corbin seat - you'll double your travel distance regardless of your pain tolerance level...
 
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