The Glee on the Translab - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 25 Old 02-06-2014, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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The Glee on the Translab

I need input from you stromtroopers. After eight years of owning the wrong bikes and dreaming of riding the trans Labrador highway, I am finally going to go buy a leftover new 2013 glee this Saturday. I was 100% ready to pull the trigger until I told my fiancée about my plans to take a 16 day trip to Labrador...

I thought the 650 would be enough for me going forward because we had agreed that she would be riding two up with me less frequently and on fewer long trips. The rationale is that when we are married and possibly have small kids, it's not a great idea to risk both of us being killed at the same time on a bike. I know that is depressing but it's a legitimate precaution.

Anyway, I told her about the Labrador trip and she wants to come! I am lucky to be with a young woman who WANTS to sit on the back of my bike for 16 days in the middle of nowhere.

Is the 650 going be powerful enough? Can the suspension handle gravel roads two up with camping gear. Im 6'4" 230 lbs and she is 5'4" and 150ish I'd guess.

I still don't see us doing trips like this very often. This is probably our last big adventure on a bike together for the foreseeable future. After the trip it'll mostly be solo riding and occasional weekend two up rides.

Would the glee with suspension upgrades do the trick? How much does that cost? I'm already about to drop a lot of cash on the bike and setting it up for adv.
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post #2 of 25 Old 02-06-2014, 06:15 PM
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Power is rather subjective and you will see opinions both ways. Anything you get will need to be re-spung, at a bare minimum.

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post #3 of 25 Old 02-06-2014, 06:40 PM
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I have a link that may interest you:

Trans-Labrador Highway website - Home Page


Last summer, there was a report here from Black Lab who made this trip:

https://www.stromtrooper.com/other-mo...ml#post1545785
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post #4 of 25 Old 02-06-2014, 08:52 PM
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With that much weight and gear you are going to be pushing or even over the Bikes GVWR. A re-spring will need to be done at a minimum if not a whole suspension job.

The bike will still make it if you don't but it will feel like a heavy wallowing pig in pretty much ALL situations.
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post #5 of 25 Old 02-06-2014, 09:07 PM
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used rental?

Electra Glide Classic FLHTC (PRICE JUST REDUCED!!)

sell it when done

just a thought

Current Bike: 2007 ABS Wee, rebuilt forks with Cogent DDC, Elka rear shock, tapered roller steering stem bearings, fork brace, Admore top box lights, LED side-only turn indicator lights, Powerlet outlet, frame sliders, Givi windscreen, Givi top box.

Prior Bikes: 2003 EX250, 2007 DL650 (non-ABS)
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post #6 of 25 Old 02-06-2014, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Downs View Post
With that much weight and gear you are going to be pushing or even over the Bikes GVWR. A re-spring will need to be done at a minimum if not a whole suspension job.

The bike will still make it if you don't but it will feel like a heavy wallowing pig in pretty much ALL situations.
That's my fear and why I intended to do the trip solo. A re spring sounds like a great idea for my weight alone. I'll have to see how this all plays out. I can't imagine gravel being any fun at all with a pillion. If she really wants to come I'll skip Labrador and explore Newfoundland. Otherwise it sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
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post #7 of 25 Old 02-06-2014, 11:35 PM
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I don't think "power" would be the question to ask for that ride. It's not about passing people when pulling hills at 70 mph+ that you would have to worry about.

For the TransLab the more important question is how much experience do you have riding gravel two up? There would be a lot of that. If you don't have much experience on gravel solo - don't try it two up. If you have good gravel riding skills solo and good skills two up on pavement, then you may make the transition to two up gravel riding OK. If either of those skills are lacking, taking off on a 16 day trip might not lead to a blissful future for your relationship.

If you have gravel and two-up skills, don't mind taking it slower and are willing to re-spring the Glee, then you may find it enjoyable? Any bike (KTM 990, GS1200 or whatever) including the Glee is going to be a lot to handle off pavement and loaded up with camping gear and two people. It's would be up to you whether you would enjoy it or no.

I take my Wee off pavement a lot and load it up with camping gear and I really enjoy it. I know my limits and wouldn't try to take my wife and camping gear off pavement. YMMV

My Two Cents

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post #8 of 25 Old 02-07-2014, 04:25 AM
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Buy two and then she can ride with you. Here is my missus on her wee


2011 Weestrom x2
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post #9 of 25 Old 02-07-2014, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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I have a decent amount of experience riding solo on gravel roads, mostly from riding a Bandit 1200 when I lived in Finland. I also had a DR350 at one point. I think it would be possible to do the trans lab two up, but it would be slow going and not enjoyable. I could probably do it two up on a 50cc scooter at a snails pace if I was crazy enough..haha. I've made up my mind not to attempt the Translab if my fiancee comes along.

How much should I expect to spend to re-spring a new strom? I think it's a great idea in general just for regular local riding and commuting considering my weight. It seems to me that new springs front and rear and a fork brace are good candidates for first farkles.

One of the issues that really pushed me to buy a glee and sell my Honda Blackbird is suspension. I finally realized that it made no sense to ride around on a heavy, aggressive riding positioned, 1100cc rocket, when most of my riding is at speeds between 30-60 mph on less than perfectly surfaced back roads in Northern New England. The blackbird wallowed on crappy roads.

As for buying two bikes..that isn't happening. I need to get her to drive a car before I even think about putting her on her own bike. She grew up in NY and I'm pretty sure she only obtained a license because she was sick of carrying her passport around as ID. I can count on one hand the number of times she has driven since I met her.
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post #10 of 25 Old 02-07-2014, 09:40 AM
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oh no

Depending upon your experience, the weight and the gravel could be the end of a marriage before it begins. Seriously. I've been happily married 38 years and my wife has about 20,000km as pillion.
The 650 is an awesome bike, and I have met couples who can ride the Translab 2-up on a Wee.
I ride a DL1000 and have lots of mileage with my wife aboard.

May I suggest that you check out the ship Relais Nordik and add a beautiful 2 day boat trip into your loop; from Blanc Sablon to Natasquan. You both will get great meals and accommodation and a few quick photographic stopovers at the small outports. Hwy #138 is a good road in Quebec and you can ferry from Blanc Sablon to Newfoundland and south to Port aux Basques and then ferry to Cape Breton.

Booking passage westbound ( upstream ) is easier on the Relais Nordik. The eastbound trip gets so much more traffic with supplies that you would need at least a year's lead time.

Road Toads Charter Member - old guy goes stromabout on a 2007 Vee and finally has touched all of the 48 contiguous United states and the 10 Canadian provinces.
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