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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

My wife and I have been crazy about bikes for a while now. In fact, my good old Shadow 600 was what got her interested in me in the first place. Now, after a few years of being bike-less (friend passed away riding my GSXR-750 (like an idiot), sold my Shadow to my dad due to moving to Idaho), we've purchased a 2003 V-Strom DL1000.

I was rather worried about the bike at first, as it exhibited quite a bit of "chudder" (read all I could about it before I bought it or even test rode it) on the test drive, and it had been left fallow for a year. The bike had 33,500 miles on it when we bought it a week ago today (now 34,100), and that's no small amount for a motorcycle. However, having been a long time fan of the SV-650 and 1000, I knew the motor was sturdy and could handle more than that, and this bike has been pretty well taken care of.

I've never been a huge fan of the V-Strom since I was first introduced to one in 2006. I thought it uglier than sin (probably due to the fact that I worshiped Triumphs, specifically the Daytona 675, and I had a lot of racer kid in me), and I didn't like the upright riding style. However, the wife and I are planning a cross-country loop of the US after I graduate next year, which obviously eliminates any sportbike (broke my left wrist several years ago, can't take the riding position anymore, especially 2-up), any Harley (I'd like to go more than 300 miles without breaking down), a Goldwing (you think a recent college grad could afford one of those?), etc. This necessitates a bit of a paradigm shift, and so I started looking away from the Sprint ST (which was my first choice, as my best friend has one and loves it (but never rides 2-up)) and started looking at the Tiger.

I started to like the looks of the Tiger, and the riding position seemed like it'd be much more comfy for long trips, especially for my wife. I read about it, read about it's competitors, and came back to the V-Strom. Again, reliability is a big pull for me. We went to the local dealership to have a look-see at what was available. They had a Wee-strom on the floor, which we sat on. She really enjoyed it (I still wasn't sold on the looks). That night, we looked through Craigslist and found the 2003 V. Called the guy the next day, came by for a look, and it floored me- sooooo much better looking in person! So, long story short, it's not the most beautiful bike I've ever seen (that would be the Ducati MH-900e), but I do think it's quite a handsome ride.

Anyway, on to the bike. It came set up the way we wanted and then some. I wasn't looking forward to buying the side/top bags, new windscreen, new seat, etc, so I was hoping to get one that had all of the above. The bike has:

Aftermarket windscreen (don't know which type, it's good but I'm 6'5" and I need it up about two inches- I've read about windscreen risers you can buy, looking into that).

Heated hand grips- very nice.

12v Out- very handy for phone, iPod, etc.

Vest warmer plugin- dunno if it will be used, but cool.

GPS mount- useful.

Centerstand- THANK GOODNESS!

Side/top factory bags, color-matched- great. It's now my grocery-getter, too!

New tires, battery- hooray?

It came with a Power Commander, but I don't know which model, and it doesn't seem to have a USB connection. Not sure what to make of it.


Anyway, first order of business was to lube the chain, as it had been sitting for a while. Cleaned it, lubed it up, bike feels 100% better than the test. It still has an immense amount of chudder, which I'll be fixing before next August. I'll also be buying a new seat, as 5 hours is my current limit 2-up on the stock seat. Today or tomorrow I'll be changing the oil.

Complaints so far- seat, windscreen is too low for me, and I'm 6'5" 280 lbs and my wife is 5'8" 170, so we're not a small pair, and the centerstand bottoms out on small bumps. I need to get a good rear spring that will keep us up high. Obviously, the chudder is annoying too.

So that's my short story. I'm loving the bike, as is my wife, and I can't wait to get it set up perfectly for both of us. Glad to be here, thanks to all of you for your threads (I've read tons of them already and learned lots), and I'm excited to finally have a bike that is both fun to ride AND comfortable.

I welcome your thoughts and suggestions for the bike. I'm not familiar with part wear/life on this bike- should I be replacing anything? I know I need to sync the throttle bodies and have the valves checked (guy said they were recently checked, but didn't give a time frame on "recently"). Not sure where I'm at on clutch life (feels strong) or chain life (same).

Thanks in advance!
-Doug

[edit] Pics when I get off work- bike is half yellow, half blue :) [/edit]
[edit2] I'm 25, but after my friend died on my GSXR, I've lost the desire for speed. I may not fit the standard demographic for the site, but I hope y'all will accept me nonetheless! [/edit2]
 

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Madstad bracket for the windscreen

You'll need stiffer springs front and rear. Sonic is a great source for front springs. You can respring the shock, but then you still have an underperforming damper. Jay at Sasquatch does a great job of modifying the shock for (a) better performance and (b) to suit the rider's weight and riding style. There are also excellent aftermarket shocks available...Elka (svracingparts.com), Progressive Suspension, Ricor, Öhlins, more. Blair at svracingparts.com can supply RaceTech springs and Gold Valves for improved front damping.

To get a seat that is just right, ride to Rich's in Kingston, near Seattle. Or buy a mail order seat from Rich, or Corbin, or Russell, or Sargent, R. Mayer, or B. Mayer, or Baldwin, or now Seat Concepts, or have a local upholstery shop work it over.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the suggestions. I guess I just thought about the rear since that's where the majority of the weight will be going. Also, on the MadStad Bracket, it mentions it's good for V-Stroms 2004 and up- will it still fit my 2003?
 

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Discussion Starter #4

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Thanks for the suggestions. I guess I just thought about the rear since that's where the majority of the weight will be going. Also, on the MadStad Bracket, it mentions it's good for V-Stroms 2004 and up- will it still fit my 2003?
nope. the madstad is only for the "new" models. sorry.

P.
 

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aTuWitty;726349 [edit2 said:
I'm 25, but after my friend died on my GSXR, I've lost the desire for speed. I may not fit the standard demographic for the site, but I hope y'all will accept me nonetheless! [/edit2]

It's not just an old man's bike! I am 24 and I love my DL1000.
Sadly, also have the un-madstadable Vee.
At 6'3" the givi windscreen 24.5" is pretty good, but a little taller would be nice. I got a deal on it, but if I could go back, I'd go taller.

What is the story on the paint job?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Story as far as I know it is that the original owner dropped it and scratched the yellow on the right side, so he repainted it blue (and when he ordered the hardbags he had them painted to match). Bike isn't salvage, doesn't feel weird (other than the headshake from 30-40 mph, but I read that's due to head bearings or some such?).

I BELIEVE it's had a 16/43 (?) sprocket change, as my speedo reads about 16% high (from various police radar setups and the wife following me on the highway in our car). I don't have a GPS to test it yet, though.

Oh yeah, it's also got a bottom engine guard and crash bars too. Bike was set up pretty sweet by the previous owner(s), and I'm loving the heck out of it.

And AMEN to it not being "just an old man's bike". I love the first gear wheelies :) Glad there are others out there my age who aren't obsessed with crotch rockets!
 
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