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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have suggestions on improving the Wee-stroms Interstate manners.

I took a ride down the local interstate from Gainesville to Ocala over the weekend and have never been on a more uncomfortable, twitchy motorcycle in 35 + years of riding.

There was a gusty condtions, (up to 20 25 mph gusts) and the winds were quartering for the majority of the ride. I was not able to find any speed above 55mph that was anywheres close to providing a secure feeling on the bike.

The bike is stock except for a Givi windshield, tire inflations were at 40 psi ft and 38 rear, Suspension is set as delivered.

The front end kept wanting to push out more than anything I have ever ridden, needless to say, I did not return home the same route.

I love this bike around town, but I also love to take off on weekends for destinations unknown, and unless I can find a way to improve the ride the Wee-strom will have to go.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
It's not the bike. This bike's a quick handler by design, it will out run other bikes in its class in the twisties, therefore it is quick to change directions (fast handling).

In the conditions you were riding, it is best to grip the bike by the thighs and NOT tense up on the handle bars (wind moves you, you force the handle bars as they are being used to "hangon" and the bike moves as a very light input is need to change directions, remember fast handling?).

Slow handling bikes will handle such wind gusts better but will be pigs in the twisties. It's a give n take thing, choose your poison. Oh and BTW, give the rear preload knob about 10 turns clockwise.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
The symptoms you describe may be a result of the radial tires. Assuming you don't do too much off road try a set of belted Metzler 880s or another belted tire.

Much more planted feel, with none of the wandering.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
opsmng said:
.... tire inflations were at 40 psi ft and 38 rear, Suspension is set as delivered.
If your are using the Deathwing tyres, try the Suzuki recommender -

Solo Rider 33psi front and 36psi rear
Full Load 33psi front and 41psi rear

You are a trusting sole to believe that the dealer properly set your suspension :shock:
 
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Discussion Starter #6
This sounds like exactly what has been plaquing me since 03. My wide upper body catches horrible wind gusts which are transmitted through the bars. Get back on the same road and lay down on the tank, if the ride is OK, it's most likely feedback from you.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Mine is rock solid at all speeds, including highway. I suggest you start by checking all your suspension settings and change your tire pressures - bring everything to stock as per your owner's manual.
 

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Raise the forks

I have had the same problem, and I also got these "tips" on how to ride in the wind. I've been riding for 36 years, and have never had a bike act like this on me. (My previous bike, a KLR650 was tough in the wind too, but nothing like this.) It only happens in certain conditions and I don't think most of these folks have experienced it yet. One person on one of the lists was telling us how it was the rider all the way, then one day he posted that it had happened to him and scared the crap out of him.

I raised the forks (lowered the front end) 18mm, and that has helped quite a bit, but it's still not perfect. I believe that the tires are a big part of the problem and will be putting on ME 880's come spring and a return to the riding season. I also will add some tank panniers as I believe (it's an opinion, so don't go balistic on me) that it has to do with some aerodynamics of the fairing design which causes a little lift at some point. I think that some panniers will break that lift and will help. (A side benefit is that it helps to protect the legs from the weather also.)

Good luck!!
 
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Discussion Starter #9
picked my 05 wee strom up saturday about 10 days ago. the weekend wilma visited miami. had about 60 odd mile ride home from orlando to near winter haven. did about 10 miles on interstate 4 and know EXACTLY what u r talking about. scared the bejeezus out of me too.

check the preload on your rear shock. when i went back and read some posts in this forum and the tex arts forum i remembered what others said about dialing up the rear preload. when i checked mine there was absolutely NO preload on the rear shock. the owners manual said it should have been set on 2. (squat down and look at the rear shock, if u crank the preload knob clockwise it will slowly raise the preload. there r lines every 1/8th inch or so visable as u crank it up.) i raised mine up at first adjust up to 2 and was MUCH more stable in crosswinds. (u know its been gusty as hell here the past week) have kept playin with till its about on 4 now.

have not had the call to go back on interstate since i brought it home but i am confident it will be much better as its now MUCH more stable in 20-40 mph crosswind gusts.
i also am of the opinion that the class A stock windshield and all its turbulence are big contributers to that unnerving feeling u get on the interstate at freeway speeds. a new shield is next for me as r hiways pegs and sliders and a bash plate.
lets try to meet up someday on one of the florida strom meet ups. have not been to 1 yet and it may be after the holidays b4 i do get to attend one but its definitely on my list of things to do.
c'ya, donnie
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Try droping the froks 15mm put more weight on the front
 

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Guess I musta got a defective 6Fiddy..........

No wiggles or wobbles or instability in crosswinds at all. Does the bike move in those winds, yes, is it any better or worse than any of my previous rides, no.

In fact I've found that any cross-wind push is much more even when I've got my HT panniers installed. Without them, cross-winds tend to push the front end (the tupperware) first.

Bike is equipped with 020's and Wilbur front springs, my ATGATT weight is about 185.

YMMV
 

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Go Ride an St1100 and all will be well

If you go ride a Honda St1100 for 1 hour and then get back on the Strom you will feel like a million bucks on your strom. St1100's have almost no area for sidewinds to a pass through them. I rode my old st1100 accross the Mackinaw Bridge on a windy day once and literally left my hand impressions in the soft grips trying to keep the bike verticle. I owned the st1100 for 3 years and put about 28.000 miles on it. When I got my v-strom it was like a was a pro stunt man. The adgility difference was incredible. Even though the st100 was a great bike, it's adgility was nothing like the strom is. If you want a bike that will have little affect from wind I would suggest a new Goldwing or something very low to the ground. The v-strom is meant to be a dual sport bike not a road couch. Hang in there and enjoy the bike. Riding is what makes it fun!!
 

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"most of the time"

For 99.75% of the time, this is a very stable bike, even in cross-winds. However, there is a very narrow band that from a certain direction and speed, the front of the bike just wants to move over about 3 feet, without warning. Now, it's much better now that I've raised the forks 18mm, and stiffened up the preload on the rear shock, and I really think that changing tires will make this go away.

Most of you haven't experienced this because the conditions haven't been right for you, is my guess. My first experience was going across the East Colorado deserts, long flat straight stretch of ranch highway, and a gust hit my bike and I thought I was going to die right there.. It's not fun, and I hope most of you never experience it, but it is there. I know that there are some long-time riders that sold their DL's because of this. I think it's fixable, but you have to know about it. It's not about riding technique, or experience as mush as it's about bad luck in getting into those wind conditions.

OK, for all that, I think that when I put on my ME880's, that I may never experience this again..
 

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Re: "most of the time"

MNRon2002 said:
Most of you haven't experienced this because the conditions haven't been right for you, is my guess. My first experience was going across the East Colorado deserts, long flat straight stretch of ranch highway, and a gust hit my bike and I thought I was going to die right there.. It's not fun, and I hope most of you never experience it, but it is there. I know that there are some long-time riders that sold their DL's because of this. I think it's fixable, but you have to know about it. It's not about riding technique, or experience as mush as it's about bad luck in getting into those wind conditions.

Some of us have. . . .


From a ride report I did last year. . .

Just past the Palm Springs junction (Highway 111), about 2 miles before Yucca valley turn off (highway 62) I notice the first of a series of very large HIGH WIND signs. The signs jog my memory. . . . Just as they come into view I remember the huge wind powered generators (electricity farms) out here because of the constant winds that blow. Of course I’m not really thinking about the winds or the warning signs as I take the nice 70+ mph sweeping exit off I10 and north on to Route 62.

As I complete the turn WHAM....The WIND hits me so hard I’m instantly pushed to the right and off the road (about a 2-3" drop) and into the loose dirt/gravel on the edge of the road about 20-24 inches from the guardrail at 70+ mph. At that speed I don’t dare try and “remount” the pavement! All I can do is keep JAK pointed straight and roll off the throttle (and pray). Serious sphincter moment number 1.

Oh shit oh Dear I’m thinking as I see the pavement of a cross road rapidly approaching and it’s not a right angles to my path. Serious sphincter moment number 2 rears it’s ugly head. At least the guard rail on my right has ended and my speed has bled off enough that I can aim to the left a little and hopefully hit the pavement at right angles. I manage to hop back up on to the pavement without any more sphincter tightening and find there is enough room at my reduced speed to swerve/lurch back into the northbound lane of the highway.

The wind is back with a vengeance and now I’m down to about 40 mph and leaning a good 10-15 degrees into an even stronger wind. I look ahead of me and see cars and trucks swerving from right to left in the wind as the terrain on the side of the highway changes. I’m thinking this is really F____ed as I try to keep from being blown off the road again and again. The sign say Morongo Valley 20 miles and the road is straight as an arrow. I think briefly about stopping but realize that unless I can reduce my speed even more and turn in to the wind, I probably can’t actually stop without tipping/falling over. Oh Joy......This is going to be a loooong 20 miles at 40 mph or less.

Slowly making my way north on this arrow straight road passing a variety of small foothills, groves of trees and other obstructions to the wind. As a result of these “obstructions” I have to constantly fight the light switch quick “on and off” nature of the wind and violent way it seems to smack the side of the Strom for the entire 20 miles.

After 20 miles of total concentration the road finally turns west (into the wind) and I can catch my breath. Now the road is pointing east as I drop down into and thru Morongo Valley and on to Yucca Valley I am semi-protected from the wind(s).
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Unstable Vstrom 650

In my experience, the unstable characteristics are caused by the Givi windscreen. I had just finished a ride with the stock winscreen. I then installed the Givi screen in the mid position. Scared the crap out of me! The difference was unreal, with the Givi screen it felt like the wind currents were going to blow me off the road. I still use the Givi screen but only in the lowest position and after a few modifications. One of the threads on this sight gave instructions for adding a back pressure relief hole, it really helped. I use the Givi screen when I need a little more protection, I just expect to fight wind currents more. Try switching wind screens and imediately taking rides, you'll really notice the difference. I would be interested in knowing if the other after market wind screens have the same affect on the Stroms.
 

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Re: Unstable Vstrom 650

Macwildcat said:
In my experience, the unstable characteristics are caused by the Givi windscreen.
Not sure if Givi is a sole culprit but anytime you add a larger screen to a bike you will more likley to feel the wind effect. Its like adding a large sail, the wind will push it around more then before.

Wigman
 

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They may not be the only causes but drop your tire pressure and check the suspention settings. Over inflated tires will steer quicker and make the wind effect worse. If susp. is not matched properly front to rear or the fork settings dont match each other you will get similar issues. Settings may not be off far enough to bother you exept when its windy.
Remember when you go from 2up or loaded riding back to solo riding you may need to adjust settings.

IF all else failes at a steering stablizer, the front end can get a little twitchy under accelleration or cresting a hill anyway.

I find it hard to believe that this bike turns into a unmanagable beast with just the right wind angle. You guys have some variable that is off and effecting your handling. At highway speeds wind over 30MPH is scary on any bike. I remember two times on my old Bandit 600, once in Oklahoma, once in Nova Scotia having to hang one entire ass cheeck off the side of the seat for several hours to compensate for heavy cross winds. I have had times on everybike I have ever owned when a gust blew me into the next lane on the highway.
 

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You're lucky

If you've not experienced this phenomenon, count your blessings. Personally, I've been riding for over 36 years, I've ridden so many different bikes and styles of bikes, it's hard to remember them all. I've been in just about every weather condition you can name. I'm also a certified motorcycle mechanic (though no longer doing it for a living, just my own bikes). When this little movement happens, you will crap your pants!!!

Most of us agree that it's something that can be fixed, we're just trying to come up with the solution. I've lowered the front end by 18mm and it has helped. I've jacked-up the rear preload, and it's helped as well. I think that when I get the death-wings off the rims, I'll be close. However, I'll not know until the right conditions come up..

Folks, do NOT pass this off as some inexperienced riders whining about some cross-wind movement. If you've not experienced it, feel lucky. Many folks won't ride in the right conditions, or just haven't had the pleasure.
 
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