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Discussion Starter #1
One of the more annoying things I've heard on a few riding forums is that the V-strom has no character. I specifically remember one guy saying that when he sold his, it was like selling a refrigerator. Pretty low dig if you ask me.

My Strom is well farkled, but for some reason I'm kind of bored with the cookie cutter extras. NOT to say I don't like them - I most certainly do!! - but it seems many I've seen on here also have Givi bags, tall windshields, etc. It's not one of a kind: yet. I'm looking into ways to make it *mine*, something people recognize when I ride by (as if riding a dual sport in the middle of Harley country doesn't already net me some looks) but I was wondering what any of you did to make it uniquely yours. Paint job, new headlights, even a constant coat of mud and knobbies - what do you think make your Strom stick out in a crowd?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Adding some custom dings and scratches will give your Strom character.
Lol it actually got it's first marks yesterday when my Dude decided to try and show off at the DMV test course where I was practicing. Nothing major, a broken signal, bar ends and scuffed crash guards, but I find I didn't much mind the extra scrapes for this exact reason (conversely, I was glad none of the painted metal or plasticy bits got dinged, God bless the PO and his safety farkles.
 

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I added a Cat Face tail light to my bike. This used to be the "Thing" in the 60's and 70's around here (Lexington, KY; home of the University of Kentucky Wildcats). My dad rode Triumph's and Harley's and everyone had a cat face tail light. For some reason it fell out of style in the 80's.

I never did like the look of the license plate light anyway. I think this is much better.

 

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While I can understand your displeasure with equating a Strom to a refrigerator I must side in those bleachers. I have no emotional attachment to a machine and as a "thing" one is much like another; refrigerator or motorcycle.
 

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That's been one of my issues since I bought the bike. I came off of a Moto Guzzi, which you hardly ever saw while riding around, to the Wee, which I see a lot on the road.

I took off the graphics and added the German style ones I got here. Then added several other decals to the frame, bags and fenders. Nothing unusual, but I think it starts making the bike mine.

I thought I'd see several bikes with the German decals at the East Gathering a few weeks ago, but I only saw one other. Guess that makes it fairly unique. I've actually had people ask me if that's a BMW, and others had to look 2-3 times to figure out what it is. The only thing that says Suzuki on it is the dash.
 

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Paint job
Color is a big thing for me. My favorite is that dark blue (not sure what year) but I ended up painting mine black. Thought it made the bike have some attitude it was lacking with the stock siver-ish blue (2006).

TKC gives it a more aggressive look too, but I just don't ride enough dirt to justify replacing them with TKC's again when the time comes to get new tires.

I actually have been defarking mine a little. I felt some of the add-ons looked worse (like my wire mesh headlight cover). Also, taking some of the decals off. The Strom doesn't look like a bike that would have race sponsors, and I have barely ridden the city...let alone the world or Dakar. So some decals have to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I took off the graphics and added the German style ones I got here. Then added several other decals to the frame, bags and fenders. Nothing unusual, but I think it starts making the bike mine.
I'm not sure what you mean by the German stickers, do you have any pics showing what you mean?

Thanks for the links to the decal threads, that's actually something I was/am very interested in. How long do those generally last on a bike if just stuck to the surface?
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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This sticker is four years old and looks like new.



Lights can be another distinction. Oh, and the license plate.

 

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I find my v-strom has lots of character. Just like me: Two Brothers exhaust, makes it's rear end loud. It's kind of ugly. You have to spend time with it to really appreciate it. As for the cookie cutter farkles I agree with you. I'm mostly farkling for function, not form, the lone exception (sort of) is the rear hugger. Some, myself included have used truck-bed liner to paint certain scratched parts, which gives the bike a different look.
As for no character, try a honda, don't get me wrong, I love hondas, I've owned 4-5 of them, they have all been wonderful machines, but absolutely no rough edges, which to me give a bike character.
I've got a silver one, so nothing special there. But I didn't really buy the strom to be one of a kind, there are plenty of custom bike makers out there for a "one of", and the problems that go with a one of a kind bike.
 

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But wait. If you didn't have a refrigerator, think of what a PIA keeping your beer cold would be. Jeffrey Dahlmer, with out a refrigerator, wouldn't have even made the papers.

Refrigeration is a good thing, so is the Vee. I bought one of the coolest around (when I saw it was for sale it was done in 15 minutes) and have added a bash plate and engine protection, tires, miles and fun. I love my refrigerator. Keeps my tomatoes fresh, among other things.
 

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may its just me...

I have always liked a bike that had some character, BSA, Triumph Bonnie, my BMW RT and now my 07 Wee. Is character as far as bikes go, simply standing out in the crowd? :confused:I hope I do not need to find or define my character by what I own or ride! :yesnod:Character is who you are not what you own!
 

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Barry's [Black Lab] has tons more character as I don't drag mine through swamps...

I get tons of comments on the Jesse bags. This didn't really happen as much when I had my blue 05, but since the colors almost match, people (even HD doods) go gaga over them. "Are the custom?" Only cosmetic change I made was to remove the S from the tank. The decals are definitely a AT thing. Uusually the only people who know what a V-Strom is are SV riders or other AT riders.

 

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While I can understand your displeasure with equating a Strom to a refrigerator I must side in those bleachers. I have no emotional attachment to a machine and as a "thing" one is much like another; refrigerator or motorcycle.
I have to agree with that. The things I added to the bike were not added to make the bike 'unique', they were added because they serve a purpose (for me).
 

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Yep, I've added some stuff that I think ended up looking good, but it was all put there for function. I've owned a fair number of bikes with "character", the FZ1 and FJR come to mind. I was bored to tears on these bikes. Sure they were fast, but they were also sterile. No sustained excitement, no effort to ride. The Strom isn't the fastest, or the best looking, but damn, it's by far the most fun to ride of any bike I've owned. That's character.
 

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My wife once had a Mazda Chronos. When she traded it for another make, she remarked that one of the reasons she traded was because it had no "character", that it never felt like she was "close" to it. It didn't inspire her to drive or even think about it. UNTIL......repair bills started to come in over the next few years for it's replacement. One day she said to me "I miss my Mazda - it was such a reliable car and I never thought anything about taking it anywhere I needed to go".

To me, describes the character of my bike to a "t"......you can go almost anywhere with it, reliably, you know what you are going to get, and you can mold it into just about anything you like for little $ and effort. I've only had 3 bikes in my life - this is the smallest of the three and I cant even come close to determining what I could possibly replace it with.

Safe rides,
Bob
 
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