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Understand what is being said concerning the feebleness concerning the rear brakes on a vstrom. I experience that after changing the rear pads. The weakness of the braking is a, "you've got to be kidding", type of joke. The pad eventually wear-in and the rear brakes become usable again.

On my bike, once the rear pad wear-in I'm able to lock the rear wheel on dry, clean pavement, with both MC tires and that CT. Lock it enough so the ABS kicks in and can hear the tire squeal against the road between the ABS pulses. This is with regular foot pressure, not standing up on the rear brake lever.

Someone mentioned the 70/30 mix of braking with 70 percent of braking happening on the front wheel.

The 70/30 ratio between front/back is only true once the front brake is applied, shifting weight from the rear wheel to the front.

When the front brake isn't applied, this weight shift doesn't happen. One has more stopping power on the rear wheel when the front brakes aren't used because there is more weight remaining on the back wheel.

Once the front brake is activated, the bike dives, lifting the rear wheel, the stopping power of the rear wheel is substantially reduced.

Using the rear wheel as a primary source of braking doesn't mean the right hand isn't on the front brake lever when using the rear brake. A rider has to have their hands in position to use both brakes if that is needed.

Aside, watching other riders ride, most of them don't counter steer into their turns, they lean. Where leaning kills riders is entering a turn too fast. They can't lean enough or quickly enough they end up swerving into on-coming lane. When there is on-coming traffic, it is a head on collision.

Counter steering saves a rider on two fronts. It takes speed off the bike without using the brake, a rider has to throttle during the turn to maintain speed. Counter steering allows a rider to make tighter turns compared to leaning.

When riding two up the rear passenger leaning can affect turns where the driver also leans. A passenger's leaning has less effect when the driver counter steers instead of leaning. A passenger leaning can't over come the gyroscopic force of the front tire.
Locking the rear wheel easily is not a sign of effectiveness, it actually shows how little you're working with. Weight shift or not, the rear wheel starts out with far less slowing ability than the front before traction leaves the chat. That's why they put two big rotors up front and one little one in back. The worst crashes I've seen involved riders who braked only with the rear and either fishtailed/high-sided or crashed into whatever they were braking for. Maximum braking can only be achieved with the front brake applied, after the suspension compresses which takes a moment. Yes you'll have less from the rear at that point, and that's okay.

Please do yourself a favor and compare stopping distances at max braking with the rear only versus rear and front combined. This is something that needs to be trained or else you won't react properly when the time comes.

Riders are countersteering to lean the bike whether they realize it or not. Many fail to recognize that it's the pressure on the bar that initiates the bike lean (not their body leaning) in the first place. They either don't piece together or don't trust that pushing harder will tighten up the curve as long as they have the traction and ground clearance. The correct body position helps ensure clearance. It doesn't slow the bike down much, but it does encourage throttling out to stand the bike up for the exit which keeps the bike planted.
 

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I'm of the opinion that the brake rotor minimum thickness has nothing to do with the fact that the rotor will / will not work beyond the minimum thickness. I think that it has rather to do with the brake caliper cup being extended beyond the caliper housing during braking and then retracking vs the drag forces on the caliper cup breaking free of the caliper housing and causing brake failure / wheel lock up. Maybe I'm wrong on these thoughts.
Yes Gert, you are correct. If you are running a disk beyond wear limits, you better be changing rear brake pads BEFORE they are worn out. The caliper pistons have finite working limits before the seal can come out of the bore.

It is not even worth my effort to discuss weight transfer occurring, no matter which brake you use and that most braking comes from the front of motorcycles.......and cars. That is why bikes have 2 disks in front and cars run a disk in front and drums (or smaller disc and caliper) on the rear.
 

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Can you please take a picture of your chain/sprockets? Better yet, take a video of it rolling. I'd like to see if there are any tight/loose spots and kinks. Not trying to flame you, I'm genuinely curious. I've never had a chain last longer than 20k miles. I pushed one to almost 30k miles but it was full of kinks and had a definite tight spot. And I clean and lube my chain AT LEAST every 600 miles.

When I finally do replace the chain I'm planning on doing a full write up. This has been my "chain experiment" - to see how long a chain can really last, since I also typically have to replace chains at the 20K-25K mile point due to kinking. This chain is kink free and I can barely pull it away from the rear sprocket. Chains like oil... a LOT of oil, they'll go 100's of thousands of miles in an enclosed oil bath, my Harley's primary chain has over 200K miles, no visible wear. I lube around the 150 mile point, and unlike chain waxes, gear oil & ATF is self cleaning. The rear of the bike is pretty oily, filthy really.

I'm not saying it's really worth the time to lube and the mess created. On the next chain I'll probably go back to a cleaner lubing approach and change the the chain/sprockets every other tire change.
 

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2021 VStrom 650 XT
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I see ok.

Yeah I'm a OCD about my chain and really can't stand it when it's all kinked and has a tight/loose spot. No matter how diligent I am though, still can't get a chain to remain kink free beyond 20k miles.
 

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It's normal to have tight spots, the nature of the beast. I keep my loose spot(s) adjusted to about 1.5'' of slack which puts the tight spots at around the 1''- 1.25'' mark. Chains also live longer on the loose end of spec.
 
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Understand that a tight spot eventually happens. But when there's a big difference between tight and loose, forget it! I'm replacing my chain. I don't like the way it feels at low speed.
 

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My 2011 does get 60 mpg on average when ridden at 55-65 mph. As for braking, I rely on the front brake to do most of the stopping, and yes, this means even on gravel. I change filters every oil change even with the knowledge it is not recommended by Suzuki...just cheap insurance as I don't ride as much as most and the bike sits through the winter and spring due to cold and rain here. Lube the chain with a spray on lube about every 500 miles or after a 50/50 ride off road. I have found as OCL does that this bike is the all around best deal I know of out there. My other trusty ride is a DRZ400S I use for riding when the road goes to two tracks. It is easier to turn around. And pick up. These bikes may not have the prestige that a KTM or BMW have, but I have more money for other interests because of them. Both bikes have had suspension changes that were very beneficial and at minimal costs of less than $500 for each including labor. I did consider selling them for a KTM 690 or 790 replacement, but am glad I did not. Cost and reliability were the other factors after the cost factor. OCL's observations are very interesting and only reinforce my conclusions on both of these Suzuki's.
 

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Please seriously consider your overuse of the rear brake. Gonna get yourself into trouble one of these days my friend.
 
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Discussion Starter · #49 · (Edited)
Why put a car tire on a bike and add all that weight and ill-handling? Just put a Michelin Pilot Road 5 and get 10k miles out of it while keeping the motorcycle handling. But to each their own I suppose.

The BMW logo though is.....(n) C'mon man! That's low. If you're happy with your VStrom because it's been good to you, then do it proud by putting the Suzuki Logo on. Give Suzuki credit where credit is due.
To my surprise and everyone else who has tried it, the handling of a car tire is almost identical to a motorcycle tire. One wouldn't think that is the case because it doesn't look like it should be but it is. There is a slight difference in handling at low speed, low being walking speed on rutty gravel roads but that is it. By slight, I mean very slight. Other than that, you there is no difference. There is a bit fuss on figuring out the right air pressure so that the sidewall does flex in a tight turn else you'll get a slight wobble. You don't have to do with a MT. Once you figure out the air pressure, it is set and forget it. There is no special maintenance after that.

The lore from everyone who hasn't tried a CT on a motorcycle is that the tire will cause the motorcycle to explode and burst into flames. There is something about a cookie too but I never figured out what that is about. If you try a CT then expect others will tell you these things. This is the benefit of being a guy. Guys have balls. Have the confidence to do what you want without concerning yourself about what other men think. Kids do that, your not a kid anymore.

There is much greater difference in handling when jumping on someone's else bike than there is getting used to a CT on your own bike. The CT handles grated bridges, tar snakes and cracks in the road better than a MT. At speed those road conditions don't toss the bike around as much as it does a MT.

In thinking carefully about it, the back tire simply follows the front tire around. The rear is going to follow the front where ever it goes, the rear doesn't have a mind of its own. That is why it works as well as it does.

Caution, a 15 inch motorcycle rim and a 15 in car rim differ by 0.25 of an inch. The motorcycle rim being 0.25 inch bigger. It is a struggle to get a 15 CT on a motorcycle rim. All the rest of rim diameters are a match.

For me, the Michelin Pilot Road 5 getting 10K miles would mean changing the rear tire almost every season, which is what I wanted to avoid. If someone is getting 4 or 5 seasons out of a MT then it makes so sense to use a CT. A CT would last 20 years and be hard as a rock by then. You don't want that either. A CT on a bike solves a niche problem. If someone isn't having the problem of changing rear tires every year than then putting a CT on for the sake of putting a CT on is not a reason to do it.

I put the BMW logos as a gag but turned out to be more interesting than I though. I expect BMW rider's knew BMW bike, some do but most don't. The rest, I'd say have no clue at all.

One can look at switching emblems as some type of violation but remember we live in a time when men become women, wear women's cloths, use the women bathroom. What gender it says on their birth certificate doesn't mean what it used to.

Why can't that same logic be used for vehicles? Maybe that V-Strom wanted to be a BMW at the time of manufacture, it simply had the bad luck of being titled at Suzuki. Switching emblems hardly seems ridiculous when it society has deemed it not ridiculous for people to be able choose their own pronouns at will to be whatever they want it to be. Seems strange to me too at first but I got on board. Got the BMW logos on the Suzuki to prove it.

I would not advise putting Harley Davidson emblems on your V-STROM. You pass the HD guys on the highway, some of them get upset. The BMW guys, they're harmless. They are happy to see another BMW bike on the road.
 

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Ok I get your point about the rear car tire. It makes economic sense. Like I said to each his own.

However, I still will knock you on the emblem thing. That is a sacred violation in my book. :LOL: Primarily because I don't want to give BMW credit (they get way too much from their fanboys already). Wear the Suzuki badge with pride and honor. The VStrom deserves it.

I also disagree with Gender Identity. If you go to a hospital for treatment and you identify as female but you're biological male, that's not going to happen if the treatment is gender specific. If you have a hotdog, you're male. If you have a taco, you're female. Same way as if you go to a BMW shop with your VStrom expecting bmw specific service, right? Yeah. Same thing. Not going to work.
 

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Good on ya OP, doing what we’d all secretly want to do. Test the limits of required maintenance on and inexpensive yet very durable machine!
 

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Have a 2008 V-STROM DL-650A with 57,000 miles on it. Don't take stellar care of it. Never been washed. It is dirty, grubby. Doesn't turn any heads when I ride by. But it starts every time and still gets 350 miles out of a full tank full of gas. Neither leaks nor uses oil. Have never had to add a drop between changes. Love the bike. Inexpensive and easy to maintain. Ride for 8 hours a day, next day want to ride more. Would buy this bike again.

Writing this post to describe how poorly I take care of the bike. It hasn't affected this beast in any negative way for my riding style. I ride rural country level, paved roads and a bit of highway. I don't race the bike or put lots of miles on dirt or gavel roads. Although I do ride on them.

57,000 mile on the original OEM chain and sprocket. Getting ready to change it. Not because I'm having any trouble but figure it must be about time. These things do wear out at some point, seems like a good time to change it. I did oil the chain every third or fourth ride using plain old, stinky, gear oil. Splashes everywhere. Eventually grubbing up everything including the license plate which makes that collect and build up dust and dirt. My plate isn't as clean as when the DMV issued it.

SunStar sprockets are Suzuki OEM supplier for the rear. Bought the exact OEM sprocket from them for $35. Bought a JT sprocket for the countershaft. Would prefer to use OEM parts but Suzuki charges what Suzuki charges. Wait until you have to change your mono shock.

Wear out a set of rear brake pads every season. Never changed the front. They don't have any wear on them. I don't brake using the front brakes except in panic braking situations. I brake only using the rear. It is how I learned to ride..

I buy the $5 - $8 replacement rear brake pads off eBay. Never used anything but. These inexpensive Chinese are generally soft and wear away easily which extends the life of the rotor. Ceramic pads are tough, last a long at the expense of wearing away the rotor. Never had a braking problem using cheap pads. Rear pads are easy and quick to change on a v-strom. Two sockets, flat head screw driver, one Allen key and 15 minutes.

Am replacing the rear brake rotor when replacing the sprockets. The minimum thickness on the rear rotor is 4.5 mm. Mine is at 2.5 mm. Half of the original 5 mm thickness.

Recently I went down a mountain road which was so steep that I had to lock the rear wheel and skid the rear wheel down the steepest parts. Was going slow, brake rotor was hot, never had a braking problem, no warping, no stopping problems with this rotor which was woren to 2.5 mm thick. Bought an OEM replacement rotor on eBay for $20 from someone parting out their vstrom.

I change the oil every 10,000 miles using Mobile Delvac 1300 and change the oil filter every other oil change, that is 20.000 miles per oil filter. I changed the oil adapter on the vstrom to accept car oil filters. I use a PureOne 14610 filter. This PureOne filter is designed for a 6 cylinder Honda Odyssey Van. My v-strom 2 cylinder engine doesn't generate enough gunk to plug this large automotive filter. The oil relief valve in the 14610 releases at the same pressure as the Suzuki motorcycle filter.

When the stock half-knobby tires wore out, I replaced them with street tires. Eventually replacing the rear tire with a car tire (Achilles Economist 174/55/R17) because it became tiring to change out the rear motorcycle tire every season. Quietest tire I ever had on the bike. I have 12,000 miles on the CT, the tread still looks new, there is a lot of rubber to wear away. I'd expect to get at minimum 40,000 miles on this rear tire. Tire was inexpensive, paid $48 for it, free delivery.

I spray a short squirt or two of brake parts cleaner in the fuel tank every third tank of gas or so. If I forget it eventually makes a noticeable difference in how the bike runs. A quick squirt is all it takes to bring it back. A $1.50 of brake parts cleaner lasts years if only using it in the fuel tank.

My kid had an extra pair of BMW emblems laying around when he got rid of the car. Instead of tossing them out, I took off the Suzuki emblems and stickers from the bike, replaced the emblems with the BMW ones. Even the BMW riders are fooled, congratulating my choice of a BMW bike. I explain the switcherroo to anyone who says something, all laugh. People tend to think that a BMW logoed V-Strom is some old BMW model they didn't recognize. The grub and dirt on the bike fits this train of thought.

If I were to switch emblems again, I'd put Tesla emblems on it, telling anyone who asks about the engine running that the engine is for recharging the batteries before laughing, explaining the truth and offering to buy them a beer.

Feel welcome to ask questions or criticize my choices. I'm not recommending anyone do as I have done. Simply mentioning what I've gotten away with.
350 miles on a tank of gas . Where did OP find the extra 2 gallon of gas ? 250 0n my 05 WE is the best I have done .
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Ok I get your point about the rear car tire. It makes economic sense. Like I said to each his own.

However, I still will knock you on the emblem thing. That is a sacred violation in my book. :LOL: Primarily because I don't want to give BMW credit (they get way too much from their fanboys already). Wear the Suzuki badge with pride and honor. The VStrom deserves it.

I also disagree with Gender Identity. If you go to a hospital for treatment and you identify as female but you're biological male, that's not going to happen if the treatment is gender specific. If you have a hotdog, you're male. If you have a taco, you're female. Same way as if you go to a BMW shop with your VStrom expecting bmw specific service, right? Yeah. Same thing. Not going to work.
When I started looking for another bike, I thought about buying a BMW. The reason I didn't was in the forums, the BMW fanboys always made mention how nice the dealer treated them when they broke down in the middle of some cross country trip. There was many comments like this, not just one.

That made me realize I didn't want a bike that needs to be seen by the dealer all the time. That bike turned out to be a Suzuki. As you can see from the maintenance, I've abused this bike yet it shows no mechanical signs of being abused. It starts every time, goes fast on those few occasions you want it to. Easy to wrench. Parts last forever. Doesn't use oil, gas mileage is the same when it was new.

That bike with that CT on it is a quiet as a ghost. Pull in the clutch and coast past a bicyclist, they don't know you're there until practically beside them. Likewise, can get to within 10 yards of a young dog before it turns it head to look. Put a headlight relay and switch and run it with it's headlights off. Can't see it, can't hear it. Explore places which would be off limits to someone riding a bike that has been farkled for attracting attention to itself. Bike is too tall for most to sit on so nobody asks to ride it.

V-Strom is a great bike. I'm happy with mine, I can tell you are happy with yours.

Thanks for the post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
350 miles on a tank of gas . Where did OP find the extra 2 gallon of gas ? 250 0n my 05 WE is the best I have done .
Below is a histogram of gas mileage on a DL-650s having ABS.

I'm not getting the best mileage, you're not getting the worst.

I'm surprised there is such is a large variation. I've mentioned my riding style in the original post. What is your speculation on why your getting such low mileage compared to others on this chart?


 

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It is not just where you ride - everyone rides a little differently. When I owned a DR650 a riding buddy, who also owned a DR650 was amazed at how much less I had to put in the tank at servo's.
He was either hard on the gas, or firmly on the brakes.
 

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To my surprise and everyone else who has tried it, the handling of a car tire is almost identical to a motorcycle tire. One wouldn't think that is the case because it doesn't look like it should be but it is. There is a slight difference in handling at low speed, low being walking speed on rutty gravel roads but that is it. By slight, I mean very slight. Other than that, you there is no difference. There is a bit fuss on figuring out the right air pressure so that the sidewall does flex in a tight turn else you'll get a slight wobble. You don't have to do with a MT. Once you figure out the air pressure, it is set and forget it. There is no special maintenance after that.

The lore from everyone who hasn't tried a CT on a motorcycle is that the tire will cause the motorcycle to explode and burst into flames. There is something about a cookie too but I never figured out what that is about. If you try a CT then expect others will tell you these things. This is the benefit of being a guy. Guys have balls. Have the confidence to do what you want without concerning yourself other men think. Kids do that, your not a kid anymore.

There is much greater difference in handling when jumping on someone's else bike than there is getting used to a CT on your own bike. The CT handles grated bridges, tar snakes and cracks in the road better than a MT. At speed those road conditions don't toss the bike around as much as it does a MT.

In thinking carefully about it, the back tire simply follows the front tire around. The rear is going to follow the front where ever it goes, the rear doesn't have a mind of its own. That is why it works as well as it does.

Caution, a 15 inch motorcycle rim and a 15 in car rim differ by 0.25 of an inch. The motorcycle rim being 0.25 inch bigger. It is a struggle to get a 15 CT on a motorcycle rim. All the rest of rim diameters are a match.

For me, the Michelin Pilot Road 5 getting 10K miles would mean changing the rear tire almost every season, which is what I wanted to avoid. If someone is getting 4 or 5 seasons out of a MT then it makes so sense to use a CT. A CT would last 20 years and be hard as a rock by then. You don't want that either. A CT on a bike solves a niche problem. If someone isn't having the problem of changing rear tires every year than then putting a CT on for the sake of putting a CT on is not a reason to do it.

I put the BMW logos as a gag but turned out to be more interesting than I though. I expect BMW rider's knew BMW bike, some do but most don't. The rest, I'd say have no clue at all.

One can look at switching emblems as some type of violation but remember we live in a time when men become women, wear women's cloths, use the women bathroom. What gender it says on their birth certificate doesn't mean what it used to.

Why can't that same logic be used for vehicles? Maybe that V-Strom wanted to be a BMW at the time of manufacture, it simply had the bad luck of being titled at Suzuki. Switching emblems hardly seems ridiculous when it society has deemed it not ridiculous for people to be able choose their own pronouns at will to be whatever they want it to be. Seems strange to me too at first but I got on board. Got the BMW logos on the Suzuki to prove it.

I would not advise putting Harley Davidson emblems on your V-STROM. You pass the HD guys on the highway, some of them get upset. The BMW guys, they're harmless. They are happy to see another BMW bike on the road.
Love your humor and this post. I never knew that about a car tire. If I rode enough miles I might try one after reading this.
 

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There is only 1 positive to using a car tire...........longevity.

There are many negatives. For dark-siders, the one positive is worth it.

This is coming from somebody who has tried it on a Strom and a Harley and did not die. The bike did not burst into flames. The sun came up the next day. This is coming from somebody that uses up a MT once a year with an average annual mileage near 10,000 miles. I can feel the difference; more at slow speeds but still at high speed. However, I have ridden a good bike with a CT on the back that felt better than a crappy bike with a MT.

If I was doing some extended trip where a tire change would be necessary, I would strongly consider a CT. If I had a Goldwing I would also consider one.
 

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For those who are curious about improving the fuel economy of their V-Strom, perhaps dramatically, there are a few basic rules:

1. Accelerate gently (Shift between 4-5,000 RPM). It is less expensive in terms of fuel to accelerate a bit more going downhill and then slow down a bit going uphill. A "dumb" throttle lock does this easily.
2. Note that every time you use the brakes, or even engine braking, you're wasting momentum and gasoline.
3. To facilitate 1 & 2, anticipate what's going on way ahead of you so you can either hit the light when it's green or gently coast up to the red light or stop sign.
4. Slow down. Wind drag increases as the square of the velocity. Stated differently, slowing down a little has a big effect on drag and fuel economy.

Summary, drive like a grandpa.

I break 50 mpg every tank with my 2011 650. I use hypermiling techniques maybe half the time.

Try it for a tank if you're curious what your bike is capable of.

Perhaps this should be a separate post. I'll move it if anybody wants that.
 

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Summary, drive like a grandpa.
...
I break 50 mpg every tank with my 2011 650. I use hypermiling techniques maybe half the time.
...
I want to enjoy riding, I'm not riding like a grandpa even though I am one.

Hypermilling? I'd get a Prius if I was concerned.

The only time I am concerned about gas mileage (on the bike) is when I'm in the middle of nowhere. How far is that next town? I have had to throttle back a few times to conserve, sucks the fun right out!
 

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While I can be included in the group that should rev like it was designed to, there are many other factors that could kill the fuel consumption. I would say many other factors to consider besides throttle control and road conditions. Like for instance, general wind resistance due to windscreen size, luggage drag, rider weight / build, loose clothing, etc. Then there is also the speed ridden, possible brakes binding, bad wheel bearings, tire pressure and many other small factors that add up. This is not even discussing the weather and wind conditions, which also has to be factored in.
Never-the-less the advice in #58 above may help explain how it is possible to achieve a good fuel consumption, if one really has to.
 
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