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Some thoughts.

2763 Views 20 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  rconti
I have finally gotten to take my DL1000 on a long tour. I rode from Orlando to southeastern Mass. These are my thoughts.

1, The Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic, or FLHTCU, is much better on the highway than the V-Strom. I know, big shocker there. That being said, I saw more V-Stroms loaded up with two riders than any other bike with the exception of Harleys. I saw a total of 12 V's, and only 3 Gold Wings. Of the wings, non of them were newer, 2 were GL1100s and one GL1200. Hmmmmm.

2, On the Dunlop tires, I would not buy another set. The bike is now more unstable, falls into corners, and the rear tire sings on the interstate at speeds of 55 or greater. Yes the tire pressures are correct.

3, MPG, on the interstate I was averaging about 44mpg at 75 to 85 mph, which incidentally is the sweet spot for my bike in sixth. On the BRP and the Farm Heritage Trail, the mileage went up to a max of 51.

4, The V absolutely rocks on poorly maintained, curvy as snot, country roads. The Harley rocks on the highway, sucks every where else.

5, I don't like the stock seat. It was really bad after about 3 hours of continuous riding. It could have been me though.

6. Other V-Strom riders are the greatest people on earth. They will walk across a full parking lot just to say hi. Harley Riders don't say hi to anyone except other Harley riders. Except me, I say hi to everyone.

7, When your stuck in traffic, and the oil gets hot, the shifting becomes really clunky. My transmission has never been smooth, but hot oil makes it really notchy. Once you get moving though, the oil cooler does it's job and everything is happy again.

8, Touring on the V-Strom is easy. I have Happy Trail bags and I loaded the bike up with everything I had. It just took it. The Harley with all it's bags, still needs to tow a trailer to carry what I had loaded on the V.

9, The bike needs to be kept over 4000 RPM. I don't care what speed your going, If your going 35 or 75, Keep the RPM over 4k and the bike is happy.

10, I still think it's the greatest all round motorcycle ever built. It is not a dirt bike though. My old CB550 is better in the dirt than the V. I'm sure that tires have alot to do with this. Has anyone explored a spoke wheel conversion with a 21" front wheel?

That's all for now. I have the V where I want it and I am going to explore New England with it for the next few months.
A
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· What Kinda Bike Is That?
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That's all for now. I have the V where I want it and I am going to explore New England with it for the next few months.
A
That sounds great! While you are visiting New England, "instructorpilot", will you be handing out free flying lessons at KBHB? If so, I would like to be the first in line. It is only 8 miles from my house. And, where my house is located, the geography is worthy of a visit. Even if you do ride a DL-1000......

Ride Safe!

Barry B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Naturally, as an employed ATP, My commercial time is owned by some one else. However providing instruction without the distraction of compensation is always fun. You have to buy the acft time, and I like any kind of micro brew:thumbup: In fact I started out my career flying Saabs for BHA.
 

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2. Which Dunlops?

5. It's not you.

7. Try an xW-50 oil in hot weather, your choice of brands, Mobil 1 motorcycle 20W-50 is easy to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Their version of the stock tires, D607. No traction at all, the bike falls into corners and they sing on the highway. I use Mobil 1 15w50 in my bike. I just think the tranny still needs to break in some more. I think I am going to investigate a new seat.

The honda that is my pic, BTW is my combat touring bike.
A
 

· FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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The only time my present bike has been down was with D607s on some Spring snow melt. I wasn't doing anything sudden or pushing it anywhere near hard at the time. The rear end just slid out on a bend in the road at about 20mph while holding a steady speed at a mild banking angle.

I used to have a CX500 cafe racer. I loved that bike except in hot weather.
 

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bought that CX in California for 300 bucks and rode it cross country. The engine is on the bench now getting a new alternator.
How is the parts availability situation for that breed? There are simultaneously a CX500, a running GL500 (with two additional parts bikes), and a GL650 that have been for sale here in the local area for quite a while. The "opportunity" is tempting -- I had a GL500 before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How is the parts availability situation for that breed? There are simultaneously a CX500, a running GL500 (with two additional parts bikes), and a GL650 that have been for sale here in the local area for quite a while. The "opportunity" is tempting -- I had a GL500 before.
New parts are getting rare, but I have three parts pikes plus a few engines. I think I'm ok. There were millions of these made and they all work well. The only thing I changed on the bike was an after market programmable CDI unit. Many more of these bikes were made for the European market, in many more versions so some parts that are no longer available here are still for sale over there. CMSNL is the place to look for those and many other vintage bikes. I found a complete new exhaust system for my CB350F. Yes it was expensive but now I am winning awards instead of getting honorable mentions.
Al
 

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Four times as many touring Vstroms as touring Goldwings and all of them 11s and 12s. WTF??? This is where you lost credibility for me. My Vee finally can be respectable at touring but only after mega bucks for Power Commander, exhaust system, fork mods, shock mods, re-gearing, Jesse 3-piece luggage, tank bag, SS brake lines; all this and I just put up with poor seat and wind screen. I put 90K miles on my departed 02 GL1800 and nothing like these mods were even thought about.

Don't get me wrong because I love my DL1K for what it is; and that is not as a premier two up touring rig.
 

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All the extras to make a Strom a great sport tourer will still result in a less expensive bike than a Gold Wing. It will still be comparing a sport tourer with a dedicated tourer though. There's no way to get a Gold Wing under 600lb either.
 

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Four times as many touring Vstroms as touring Goldwings and all of them 11s and 12s. WTF??? This is where you lost credibility for me.
How can you argue with the Man's observations of what he saw during his trip? He didn't say the Vee was better or worse, only what his sightings were during the ride. Maybe all the Winger's were at a convention some place else, who knows.

At any rate, thanks to the OP for sharing his observations and comparisons to the bikes he's owned. I'd have to agree with the social observations also, they pretty much reflect my experiences. Some Harley riders are more social towards non-Harley riders, but many are not. Whatever, no skin off my nose, rode a few and made my choice(s) over the years.

I find the interest in the Honda CX500 fascinating as I find that bike very interesting myself. I rather wish Honda had continued to develop that bike a bit further. I recently stumbled across a guy's very nice off-road build of one and it really caught my attention. I think it has potential as an Adventure Touring bike, very much a poor man's Super Tenere.

Anyway, back to the regular programming....... I think the Vee reflects the older UJM approach where you started with a less specialized bike and modified it to suit your particular needs rather than accepting what the factory felt you needed. I like this approach over the hyper specialized bikes we see now, most are so narrowly focused I have lost interest in them. Just like the OP stated, the Harley (much like a Wing) works AWESOME on the freeway but not so well every where else. I feel that's the beauty of the Vee and other Adventure type bikes (or standards if we could get them), they are more well rounded.
 

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All the extras to make a Strom a great sport tourer will still result in a less expensive bike than a Gold Wing. It will still be comparing a sport tourer with a dedicated tourer though. There's no way to get a Gold Wing under 600lb either.
That was pretty much my feeling about the Connie 14, and less so a FJR. I like both bikes but they are portly, especially the Connie. I rode both and came away looking for less bulk in general.

There "may" be a more traditional sport touring bike in my future but for now I'm happier with the "less is better" approach.
 

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That was pretty much my feeling about the Connie 14, and less so a FJR. I like both bikes but they are portly, especially the Connie. I rode both and came away looking for less bulk in general.

There "may" be a more traditional sport touring bike in my future but for now I'm happier with the "less is better" approach.
If the DL1000 is "Not only merely dead, but really most sincerely dead" I'm going to try a GSX1250FA, the Bandit with GSX-R bodywork and ABS. Chain drive is a plus in my book.
 

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I will throw in a late entry in favour of the concept shown by the Honda CX500, since both Instructorpilot and GreyWolf have owned the model.

The CX500 is somewhat the opposite of a big Harley, but was [in its day] perhaps an all-rounder equivalent to the Wee-Strom - and was a fine middle-weight tourer. (Provided you were happy to tour at 60 - 70 mph. Maximum comfortable cruising was about 80 mph - but that sort of speed is really too fast to properly enjoy the scenery, without having to spend 80% of your time minding the road.)
As a tourer, the bike's one real failing was the small fuel tank [17 litres] combined with a relatively thirsty engine - I found cruising at 60 - 65 mph gave 17 Km per litre [40 mpg U.S.], which gave a maximum "usable" range of 250 Km [155 miles].

Sure, suspension travel was short by today's standard, and it delivered only about 35 hp at the rear wheel - but that was "fair" for 30 years ago. And it weighed about 30 lb less than a Wee, yet seemed much less than that because the weight was lower down. As was the seat.

The really big touring advantage of the CX500 was its capability in traversing hundreds of yards across rough country (to find a stealth camping site).
Eight inches of ground clearance ; a low first gear & a heavy flywheel ; and a low seat permitting easy "dabs" : all made it easy to pick your way around rocks & trees, and across uneven terrain - while loaded with camping/touring luggage.
Oh, and the shaft drive was great, in the dirt & sand.
19-inch front wheel, too. Rear 18, and also tubeless. [Avant garde for those days.]

Perhaps, now that he has confirmed the 2012 Wee as a 650, Mr Suzuki might consider an 800cc transverse V-twin with shaft drive.
Could be quite good, with today's power & suspension.
A distinctive model - and undercutting the Yamaha S10, in weight & cost.
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Like I said, I bought the CX for 300 bucks. It had the Vetter fairing with lowers that I was looking for. I am slowly (operative word here because of a recent divorce) turning the CX into a combat touring bike. I.E. something that I can work on in Mexico. I have replaced the rear shocks with shocks that I rebuilt from a GL1100. They fit perfectly. I also installed a Vetter saddlebag/trunk outfit. The engine is now out of the frame getting a new alternator and all new seals and gaskets for the rear cover. The front cover has already been completed. I am going to paint it with a durable satin or flat paint. I am looking at sourcing some Russian knobbies for it since they are so durable.

The V is not as good a touring bike as the Harley. It is not as good a touring bike as a Gold Wing, but it is 85% as good, and its 85% better in the twisties and 100% better on unimproved roads. I wish Suzuki would have gotten more serious with the V like Triumph did with the Tiger. I rode a KLR for the first time and I think it would eat the DL off road. But I don't think I could carry a passenger and the (female) passenger support kit comfortably. I will keep you post on this development.

And people wonder why I have 12 bikes!

Al

Oh, The Suzuki is permanently located in Mass now. It will not be returning to Florida. It is my intention to buy a small acreage in central Mass. My whole family lives there. I was in Florida only for a short assignment. That was 16 years ago and the reason I stayed no longer exists. Anyway, the bike was kind of wasted down here.
 
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