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Discussion Starter #1
Hi- I'm one of the many on this site who are interested in a getting a strom sometime soon. I live on the coast of BC in Canada and have an older Kawasaki Concours that needs retiring. That said, I am interested in a V or a Wee. However, very few of the postings I read, or reviews comment about the bike in wet or windy weather. I ride all year round and am interested in other riders opinions and experiences of riding the V in the rain. I'm curious about any differences between the V and the Wee with regards to wind and rain protection, effectiveness of the windshield and fairing, and the engine and braking in poor weather. When you live on the coast, you gotta live with the wet stuff.
Thanks in advance.

Islandrider
 

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After owning the Vee for one year, I sold my car and commute exclusively on the bike now. I do about 80 kms round trip every day. Love it.

There's not a lot of fairing protection on the bike (Vee or Wee - pretty much the same), so you have to wear decent wet weather gear. But if you're going to ride year-round, you'll want to run heated gear anyway. Gerbing's works well for me. Keeps me dry and warm. The first year not insuring a car paid for excellent riding gear.

As far as wet weather handling goes, you'll have no problems. The stock tires are good in the wet. I'm running Michelin Annakees, which are also good in the wet and a little chunkier than the Bridgestones for off-road excursions. One of the attractive features of the Strom for me was the absence of any chrome. Nothing to polish. Just hose it down a few times a year and wipe a rag over it. As for wind, well, it's a tall bike and catches a side wind, but that's true of every tall bike. I don't find it a problem. You'll hear a lot of riders complaining about the stock windshield. After three years, I'm still running stock (in the raised position - it's manually adjustable) and don't see what all the fuss is about.

The brakes are not sport bike brakes, but they get the job done.

I can't speak for the Wee, having owned only the Vee, but it's a tonne of fun to ride and I expect you'd find it liberating after the Connie. The Vee is quite torquey and wants to put a smile on your face. Most of the guys I ride with who are on Wees love them too.

If I were to have to replace my Vee with another bike (something I think about from time to time as the mileage adds up), I can't think of another bike except for another Vee, or possibly a Wee.

I don't want a full faired bike, and I want something I can ride FSRs with and haul my wife and related luggage with on long distance tours. I don't know of anything that does that better, more reliably, or more cost-effectively than a Strom.

Get a ride on one if you can.
 

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After owning the Vee for one year, I sold my car and commute exclusively on the bike now. I do about 80 kms round trip every day. Love it.

There's not a lot of fairing protection on the bike (Vee or Wee - pretty much the same), so you have to wear decent wet weather gear. But if you're going to ride year-round, you'll want to run heated gear anyway. Gerbing's works well for me. Keeps me dry and warm. The first year not insuring a car paid for excellent riding gear.

As far as wet weather handling goes, you'll have no problems. The stock tires are good in the wet. I'm running Michelin Annakees, which are also good in the wet and a little chunkier than the Bridgestones for off-road excursions. One of the attractive features of the Strom for me was the absence of any chrome. Nothing to polish. Just hose it down a few times a year and wipe a rag over it. As for wind, well, it's a tall bike and catches a side wind, but that's true of every tall bike. I don't find it a problem. You'll hear a lot of riders complaining about the stock windshield. After three years, I'm still running stock (in the raised position - it's manually adjustable) and don't see what all the fuss is about.

The brakes are not sport bike brakes, but they get the job done.

I can't speak for the Wee, having owned only the Vee, but it's a tonne of fun to ride and I expect you'd find it liberating after the Connie. The Vee is quite torquey and wants to put a smile on your face. Most of the guys I ride with who are on Wees love them too.

If I were to have to replace my Vee with another bike (something I think about from time to time as the mileage adds up), I can't think of another bike except for another Vee, or possibly a Wee.

I don't want a full faired bike, and I want something I can ride FSRs with and haul my wife and related luggage with on long distance tours. I don't know of anything that does that better, more reliably, or more cost-effectively than a Strom.

Get a ride on one if you can.
+1
Well said!
 

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My own experience with bikes is rather limited as the Wee is my first after a ten year gap from an unfaired 400.
Having said that, I do a fair bit of riding in horrible weather with my commuter from Yorkshire, over the Pennines, to Manchester here in the UK.
In the dry the bike instils huge amounts of cornering confidence and certainly has the poke to overtake very safely. In terms of dry weather protection I did find the buffeting with the stock screen to be quite exhausting.
I now run a Suzuki Sport Screen and get more of the wind onto my helmet and, with earplugs to deaden any residual noise, I find the bike much more enjoyable.

In the wet, my (not the bike's) cornering ability and confidence diminish but yesterday in very squally weather I began to find the boundaries of its abilities.
I run the stock tyres and grip is very good in the wet. Several times too, mid corner yesterday, I got the ominous smell of diesel and felt the bike begin to slide out of the curve.
I'm not talking about a full on low side as I tend to be cautious in the wet but rather like the sensation of understeer on a car. Just lifting off the throttle a tiny amount got me back on track.

I think the worst handling characteristic of the wee is the crosswind issue. On the straight and level it can be shoved across half a highway lane with a gust but, in a curve it (or me) can get upset by large gusts.

Yesterday the wind was around 15-20 kts and probably gusting 28 and in one turn, leaning into wind I must've appeared like a sail to the breeze as I got forcibly and suddenly shoved right over the white line. Fortunately into a clear road coming the other way.
After that I positioned myself to minimise the danger of it happening again, i.e. a bit nearer the kerb.

Coming from an unfaired 400 all those years ago I think I had hoped the wind protection of a faired bike would be much better than it is. Perhaps my expectations were too great. However, with the little fixes mentioned I find the comfort is very good. My Alpinestar DryStar stuff keeps me toastie warm. Cheapo after market heated grips sort out my hands.

One other thing; although the bike is plenty fast for getting round cars, and is fine two up (combined weight 21 st or 135kg), for me the beauty of the engine size is that no matter what, wet or dry, a handful of throttle never seems to do anything untoward. No uncommanded wheelies, no wheelspin!

I love my Wee, but I wonder if, with your recent bike in mind, the Vee would be more up your street. I guess riding them both with let you know.
 

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Hi- I'm one of the many on this site who are interested in a getting a strom sometime soon. I live on the coast of BC in Canada and have an older Kawasaki Concours that needs retiring. That said, I am interested in a V or a Wee. However, very few of the postings I read, or reviews comment about the bike in wet or windy weather. I ride all year round and am interested in other riders opinions and experiences of riding the V in the rain. I'm curious about any differences between the V and the Wee with regards to wind and rain protection, effectiveness of the windshield and fairing, and the engine and braking in poor weather. When you live on the coast, you gotta live with the wet stuff.
Thanks in advance.

Islandrider
One caveat it's WARM here all year round.

Rain protection is fair when moving, all that plastic up front diverts wind around you. Some days I don't bother with rain gear if it's patchy rain. Damp shoulders, and the outer edges of my knees are abouit. Won't work in heavy rain - but light stuff I usually dry before I get to work anyway.
The rain protection is good enough that quite light rain gear works - I have a decent quality nylon jacket that folds away to near nothing - even in very heavy rain and strong winds that's been waterproof enough.
Trousers - the only problem is the usual one water pools where you sit and if the crutch seam leaks you'll be walking funny all day ;). Again I use relative light trousers.

Wind - get a fork brace - the DL's can be nasty without. (I've ridden in 100kph+ gusting winds with a brace). You can calm them down by moving right forward - but the brace works better.

I doubt there's much to choose between the Wee and Vee in rain exept that the Wee will offer a few less surprises (the engine braking on the 1000 is fierce), wind the 1000 is likely a bit more stable (it's heavier).

Pete
 

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I went from an '01 Connie to the Wee.

The weather protection is no where near the Connie but with good gear it hasn't been an issue for me. You'll get just as wet in th erain on either. Hand gaurds make a big difference and will provide more protection on the Wee than you have on the Conc.

The Wee gets blown around pretty bad in cross winds, I miss the rock solid stability of my Conc, especially after I mounted the Pilot GT tires on it.

The trades off's are worth it though as the Wee is so much lighter than the Connie and is a joy to ride in all conditions, it will keep up with a Conie no problems and while a little less able of a true long distance freeway blaster it will walk away when the road turns super twisty or to dirt.

I planned on keeping both but sold the Connie after a month of it sitting unused in the garage.

I do love the ST segment though and will be picking up a new FJR in the next few months. Not caise I don't love the Wee (it'll stay) but I just have the new bike bug.
 

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I've been riding a Wee in south Florida for 5 years and it has proved great in the wind and rain. The day I took it home from the dealer it was raining so hard my wife pulled over and stopped driving our Pontiac Transport - I kept going :p

I raised the front forks 15mm ( http://stromtrooper.com/showthread.php?t=36904&highlight=raise+forks ) to help with wind and that made a big difference on the highway. A fork brace will help the steadiness as well.
 

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ABS is a wet-weather benefit the 650 has over the 1000 which may be an improtant feature to you.

Good luck.
 

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I sold my Connie and bought a leftover 07 Vee last year. No regrets. The Vee is a better bike for 99% of my riding (around town, weekends in the mountains/deserts and a couple of long distance rides so far). Dirt roads aren't as scary, either.

I considered a Wee, but it would have been a major step down in power from the Connie. And the DL1K is already a lot lighter than the Kawi.

The Concours fairing provides a LOT more protection than the Vee. On the first few rides the Vee almost felt like a naked bike in comparison. But that's not bad because I do a lot of hot weather riding.

There's no lower fairing, so you'll be more exposed to wind/rain. But good riding gear takes care of that. For mountain rides in cold weather, I installed heated grips and got an electric jacket liner.

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the feedback guys. I realize that the connie is lower and heavier with more wind protection, but it is a bit of a beast for communting and slower speeds. I think riding a more upright bike will be more comfortable but make me more vulnerable to wind gusts. It sounds like the Vee might be a little more stable than the Wee in this regard- is this correct? And would fork braces be recommended for both the Wee and the Vee? I've seen this recommended on a few threads.
Islandrider
 

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I realize that the connie is lower and heavier with more wind protection, but it is a bit of a beast for communting and slower speeds. I think riding a more upright bike will be more comfortable but make me more vulnerable to wind gusts. It sounds like the Vee might be a little more stable than the Wee in this regard- is this correct? And would fork braces be recommended for both the Wee and the Vee? I've seen this recommended on a few threads.
Islandrider
I put a forkbrace on mine about a month ago after having ridden three years without - just out of curiousity. There is a noticeable difference in feedback. The front end feels a little more planted, but it's not the miracle that some claim. Mostly I find it a little more solid over bumps and a little surer in corners. No noticeable difference in how it handles wind. I wouldn't worry too much about the wind issue anyway. Only on really blustery days is the wind a problem and it would be on any bike anyhow.
 

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..I realize that the connie is lower and heavier with more wind protection, but it is a bit of a beast for communting and slower speeds...
And that's just the reason I sold my 2001 Concours and picked up a used Wee. I have little problem with the smaller motors in the DL650 and only rarely wish it had a larger displacement.

But for commuting the added gas mileage of the Wee will pay for itself. Even riding the bike hard I end up getting 53-54mpg! Basic commuting and I can get close to 60!

The lighter weight is a huge benefit in parking lot situations and garage finagling. I ride mine in between my Jeep and the wife's van every day and back out in the morning without issue. It's much more maneuverable than the Concours at low speeds... as you'd suspect.

1 final note... this is my second Wee Strom. I'll never own another C-10. :)
 

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Wind - get a fork brace - the DL's can be nasty without. (I've ridden in 100kph+ gusting winds with a brace). You can calm them down by moving right forward - but the brace works better.

Pete
+1 for the fork brace!!
 

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I realize that the connie is lower and heavier with more wind protection, but it is a bit of a beast for communting and slower speeds. I think riding a more upright bike will be more comfortable but make me more vulnerable to wind gusts. It sounds like the Vee might be a little more stable than the Wee in this regard- is this correct? And would fork braces be recommended for both the Wee and the Vee? I've seen this recommended on a few threads.
Islandrider
I have just over 50,000 miles on my 06 DL650. Much of that was in heavy rain, and a fair amount in heavy winds. Raising the forks/lowering the front of the bike about half an inch is the single best thing you can do with respect to wind. It costs nothing to do and is reversible it you don't like the effect. You can also spend money on the fork brace and that helps as well in many respects but I would (and did) go with the free mod first.

There are threads that talk about the bikes reaction to the wind, but in my mind and in miy experience most of the reaction is the rider getting blown around and over-reacting to it.

I haven't ridden the DL1000 in heavy cross winds, but, while there are many reasons you might want to buy a DL1000, I don't think the difference in cross winds should be one of them.

..Tom
 

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Fork Brace

I have a 120 mi daily commute with crosswinds and semi airblasts as part of daily life. My Murphs forkbrace has settled the bike down in both crosswinds,and semi winds. For your weather conditions, look at handguards, madstad, adjust the windscreen to suit the weather, and good gear, and boots. Of all the farkles, the forkbrace has made the most improvement as far as safety is concerned. My next safety farkle will be a louder horn! I rode a Airhead BMW, like a Connie has great coverage, but limits your space. I had the BMW for over 20yrs. I do not miss the BMW, the Wee for me is just about perfect! It is your ride, you decide! Dave:cool:
 

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A week or two ago I spun my tire in the rain in third gear. I was getting by some slow moving traffic and itt really wasn't what I expected at that moment. Road happened to be a bit greasier than normal.

My rear tire (Tourance) only had 7,000 or 8,000 km on it and is still working quite well in the wet.

..Tom
 

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suzuki 1150

the 1984 suzuki 1150 i owned was very bad for traction in the rain if the tire was low on tread . i couldnt go faster than 100 klmph as the tire would just spin . once i couldnt make it up a steep hill on pavement and traffic behind me was backed up .
 

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I just caught this thread a little late, but here's my $0.02.

I commute every day on my '02 DL1000, this year I started in early March and have been riding ever since. I had a two day period where I had to drive in, but that was due to a sprained left ankle. By Wednesday, I was riding in with my cane strapped to the back seat.

I ride rain or shine, cold, hot, snow (not in the snow, but with snow on the ground). This year in New England, we had a 6 week stretch in May/June where we only had 3 sunny days. While I won't go out and ride for the sake of riding in the wet stuff, I will commute and I will ride in the rain if I am touring. I do have an aftermarket windscreen that I cut down which helps maintain the waterproofness of my riding gear (something I realized after I put the stock windscreen back on this summer).

In the rain, you have to be very meticulous with chain maintenance, but you'd have to with any chain-driven bike.
 

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ABS +1

If I were to plan to ride in lots of wet weather, I'd have gotten the ABS. My game plan is if I can get to work dry, I ride. If I get wet on the ride home, no biggie.

I don't know if there is a solution out there for rain on your helmet shield, people said don't use rainX so I need to find something else.

The stock tires handle very well in the rain. I wouldn't ride my vulcan in the rain because the tires were so bad. There were lots of Chrome parts that rusted out with a little water on them. I crashed it before I wore out the tires... No rusting on the Wee.

It's probably been said (too lazy to go back and read) but make sure to lube your chain after wet rides.
 
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