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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I am a New Zealander looking at getting a Vstrom. All my research and feedback has me very set on getting one. I have not yet got around to test riding bikes as I have just had a bike come up https://www.trademe.co.nz/a/motors/motorbikes/motorbikes/tourers/listing/2781355010?bof=pJlVOlML, that looks like it has everything I want and is in my region and price range. I am thus keen to at least have a shot at getting it before someone else buys it. I was just wanting some advice on things to look for to see whether it is a death trap or not (going to look at it this sunday). Thanks in advance
 

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Nicely configured bike

Fluids
Fork Seals
Chain and sprockets
Warped/cracked wheels

by this time the brake fluid should have been flushed twice. If the brake fluid is dark, you may end up with a sticking caliper at some point.

coolant should have been flushed once. It is blue long life stuff and the reservoir is under the seat. If it looks messy in the reservoir, there may be stuff in the radiator restricting flow.

sprockets and chain, when worn expect the teeth to be a little hook shaped. If the links don’t return to the straight position in relation to one another after the wheel turns, the chain isn’t properly cleaned and lubed. May just need to be cleaned or lubed, or may have premature wear. If you hear occasional popping from the chain when accelerating or decelerating, it is probably shot.

fork seals and wheels - if it has been ridden hard off road, a wheel -could- be damaged. It isn’t common, but it does happen with hard off road riding. Similarly, one of my fork seals went bad at ~35,000 u.s. miles, after a moderate amount of rough off road riding. You should probably check the rear for leakage too.

motor oil - put it on the center stand, look at the oil color and level through the witness window on the right side of the crankcase. If it is like honey, with no milkiness hejust changed it, dark brown is probably 8,000km or less, black longer. A few bubbles may occur if it has been sitting, and you run it on a short test drive. The witness glass may fog if it has been sitting, it is cold out and you take it for a short test ride. After 20-30 minutes of cold weather riding, and you run the engine past 5k rpm for awhile, the fog and bubbles should definitely be gone. If the oil is milky, you have other problems.

With that number of miles, the motor is just getting broken in. My bike’s fuel efficiency improved significantly after 40,000 miles U.S.

head tube bearing. Put the bike on the center stand, put a lot of weight in the rear top box or have someone sit in the back of the seat so therear wheel is on the ground and the front wheel is elevated. Center the handle bars, and with the slightest push to one side, they should fall freely from center to that bar stop with no binding, repeat in the other direction. Also, with the bike in that position pull fore and aft on the front wheel. The forks shouldn’t move fore or aft at all. It is not uncommon for the head tube bearings to be improperly torqued.

There was a stator recall on this model. I can’t tell you an easy way to verify voltage.

I hope all this doesn’t scare you off. I spend very little time and money on maintenance for the amount I ride my bike 2015 DL650.
 

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Very unlikely to be a 'Death Trap' but I can't tell much from just looking at pictures.

For me, I would make sure to find out how many km the owner has had it and what he's done for maintenance in that time. If the reply is vague, I'd think twice.
A DL650 that has been cared for will be essentially a solid bike even with 60,000 km. or more (my 2014 has 81,000 km and looks new and runs perfectly).

Lots of people take chances on the valves not needing adjustment for many km, but for me- I wouldn't buy a Vstrom with 60,000 km if the valves hadn't been checked at least once. (Factory says check them every 24,000 km).

Judging by the tires and skidplate it is possible this bike has been ridden hard. Check for bent things (skidplate, crash bars, pannier mounts, pannier boxes, brake pedal, shift lever, handlebars, bar end weights) and broken things (turn signals, plastic covers, control levers, windscreen). None of these things would make it no-go but they might lower the price somewhat.

If it checks out and it starts easily ,seems to ride and shift well, go for it. If there seems to be a lot to fix and the owner is not inspiring confidence- pass on it and wait. There will be others.

..............shu
 

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Also take a multimeter (volt meter) with you and check Stator output. At 3K to 4k rpm should be around 14.2 to 14.6. volts and should shunt anything above 15volts or so. Measure at the battery.
 

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Where possible check the frame welds for rusting and fractures. The paint sometimes pops and rusting sets in. If it's just light surface no biggie. All you need to do is clean it up and repaint. Also check out the swingarm bushings. Plus pull out the oil filler plug and carefully run your finger around the inside. It should be fairly clean. If you find any milky wax like deposits you should probably steer clear. Definitely check the voltage output at the battery for irregularities like low charging output.

They really are great bikes. Fwiw, my Greek buddy says it is now the most popular bike in Greece.

Best,
DD
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey, quick update, I bought the bike! It all seemed like it was in pretty good condition, only couple little bits of surface rust and the clutch was a little weirdly adjusted, but think it should be easy to fix. Dude didn't seem like a twat and hadn't ridden it particularly hard. Probably picking it up tomorrow.
Thanks for all the info/help
 
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