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I've been riding for 30 years... all cruiser/bagger style bikes, and exclusively Harley Davidson for the last 25 years. I sold my Road King (Road Sofa, very comfy bike) in Feb. I decided I wanted a more dual sport oriented bike, mainly because of the roads here in AK.

Many gravel roads, and lots of summer construction where they tear up miles of road, and you have to ride mud/gravel. Not so much the Road Sofa's forte. Summer before last, I was riding from Fairbanks, between Delta Junction and Tok. I had been riding on road breaks (sections where the road becomes gravel for a mile or two) all day. On a curve, I hit a road break that must have been recently filled with gravel. As soon as my front tire hit the gravel, the handlebars tore out of my hands. At 65 MPH, the handlebars bounced side to side full lock, and the bike violently began to fishtail. The speed dropped rapidly to 50 mph, and I was sure I was going down. Just as the bike was completely out of control, I hit asphalt again, and was able to grab the bars and get her under control. Scared the crap out of me! Partially my fault because I was not expecting that to happen after riding on gravel all day, and I wasn't as guarded as I should have been. Sadly, a few days later a biker from the lower 48 on an electra glide was killed in the same spot, probably from the deep gravel.

After looking at BMW, Yamaha, Kawasaki, etc. I settled on the V. Mainly because of the cost of ownership, 5 year unlimited mileage warranty, and 0% APR financing for 5 years. It was also the fastest and easiest finance experience I have ever had with a vehicle. Also, because at 5'7" and 30" inseam, I didn't feel very stable on most of the other bikes I tried. I did not get to test ride the V, and I was apprehensive about only having 650cc's. The last non HD bike I owned was a Yamaha 750 Virago, and that poor thing sounded like it was going to explode over 70, and couldn't accelerate out of it's own way. As I pulled out the dealership with .0 miles on the bike, I was hoping I made the right choice. I broke her in per the owner's manual, and was ready for her 600 mile service 4 days later. After 1,000 miles, I finally could play and see what she could do. Very impressed with the acceleration! Very smooth engine, and after a low seat was added, very comfortable. Only issue is getting used to riding in wind. My 1200 pound lower to the ground Road King could handle pretty major wind before having to fight it. Not so much on the light and tall V. It gets pretty windy between Anchorage and where I work. I'm sure I'll adapt. She is very stable feeling on gravel, even with the stock tires.

I commute 120 miles a day, 4 days a week to work, so I plan on putting a lot of miles on her, plus taking trips around the state on my days off. I am very encouraged by the posts on here as far as the reliability people are getting out of these bikes.

I had to add some things to get her the way I wanted her. Skid plate, barkbusters, low seat, and top case. So far, very happy with the V.:thumbup:
 

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Very nice looking bike (looks just like mine :thumbup:)
 

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The last non HD bike I owned was a Yamaha 750 Virago, and that poor thing sounded like it was going to explode over 70, and couldn't accelerate out of it's own way.
So you were right at home when you got the HD? (I'm kidding, they are pretty bikes).

Congrats on the new V-Strom. I'm more impressed with mine with every ride. As far as the wind, I think you'll get used to it pretty quickly. I came off a lightweight WR250R and DR650, in comparison the Wee is set in concrete in a gusty wind!
 

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Welcome!

You might want to try the Adventure Tech fork brace. Not very expensive and super easy to install. With mine, I don't notice pavement grooves, and, while I can feel the wind and turbulence from trucks, the bike is well planted and stable, have never felt like I had to fight it at all. (All my riding has probably been in under 50 mph gusts.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Haha Idaho! The HD's had plenty of power compared to my poor Yamaha virago. Still like HD, just not the cost of ownership.
The V so far is a blast to ride. Just need to get used to the wind handling and the lack of noise. The other day I was at a stoplight next to a semi truck. When the light turned green and the truck hit the gas, I couldn't hear my bike... I am used to driving by the sound & had to look at the tach to see if it was still on, lol!
The quiet is very nice riding out in the middle of nowhere. No noise headache after a long ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
G-Dub, I might try one of those. Although I don't even notice the tar snakes anymore. Uneven pavement that would send my last bike wobbling or bouncing is just tamed by the V.
 

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'Only issue is getting used to riding in wind. My 1200 pound lower to the ground Road King could handle pretty major wind before having to fight it. Not so much on the light and tall V'.

Places that were off limits to the 1200 pound lower to the ground Road King are now an option with the light (more agile) and tall (more ground clearance) V.
 

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After looking at BMW, Yamaha, Kawasaki, etc. I settled on the V. Mainly because of the cost of ownership, 5 year unlimited mileage warranty, and 0% APR financing for 5 years.
Are you sure about the warranty? Factory Suzuki warranty on this bike is 1 year unlimited miles.
 

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The Adventure TechnFork Brace definitely made a huge difference for me in high crosswinds. The bike is much more stable. Definitely worth the investment.
 

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It must be great having a bike like that to ride in Alaska. Lots of places to adventure around. Keep us posted on yours endeavors.
 

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+1

So you were right at home when you got the HD? (I'm kidding, they are pretty bikes).

Congrats on the new V-Strom. I'm more impressed with mine with every ride. As far as the wind, I think you'll get used to it pretty quickly. I came off a lightweight WR250R and DR650, in comparison the Wee is set in concrete in a gusty wind!
When I read about wind and turbulence issues when riding on the Wee I was mystified. My previous ADV bike was/is a DRZ400E with a wide ratio box. I had an experience on that bike when I hit the crest of a hill with a cross wind funnelling through a gap in the trees. I ended up in the dirt off the side of the road, but being a dirt bike it was no big deal.

The W2 ( Glee whatever) seems well planted on the road in side winds in comparison. An extra 60-70 Kg can help at times! I can't remember how many pounds that is: sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
When I read about wind and turbulence issues when riding on the Wee I was mystified. My previous ADV bike was/is a DRZ400E with a wide ratio box. I had an experience on that bike when I hit the crest of a hill with a cross wind funnelling through a gap in the trees. I ended up in the dirt off the side of the road, but being a dirt bike it was no big deal.

The W2 ( Glee whatever) seems well planted on the road in side winds in comparison. An extra 60-70 Kg can help at times! I can't remember how many pounds that is: sorry.
I hear what you are saying. My previous bike was 1,200 pounds and low, so It's the opposite experience losing 750 pounds. This is my 1st ADV style bike, as all previous bikes I have owned were "cruisers". I'm sure the topcase and panniers add to the effect in the wind. Today, the crosswinds were in the 50 MPH range, and it took some work to stay in my lane... I'm sure I'll get used to it evenutally. I'm not so worried about getting blown into the shoulder (When there is one) but more concerned about oncoming traffic, etc.

Since I'm in Alaska, the weather is variable and can be quite different in a few miles of riding. My commute is approximately 120 miles RT. At home the wind was calm, 20 miles from work 50mph gusts, the last 10 miles were probably 35-40 MPH gusts. Certainly arrive for work AWAKE :crazy:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Welcome!

You might want to try the Adventure Tech fork brace. Not very expensive and super easy to install. With mine, I don't notice pavement grooves, and, while I can feel the wind and turbulence from trucks, the bike is well planted and stable, have never felt like I had to fight it at all. (All my riding has probably been in under 50 mph gusts.)
I ordered and installed the Adventure Tech fork brace. Significantly more stable feeling in the wind as well as on the twisties. Took away the wierd wobbly feeling from the front end. The bike still moves around a bit in the high winds, but doesn't feel like the front end is going to get swept out. I'd say $80 well spent. Thank you for the advise!:thumbup:
 
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