How to tame the Vee (at least initially...) - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 28 Old 09-19-2017, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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How to tame the Vee (at least initially...)

Hello everyone,

I'm a 42 year old novice rider from NYC with a penchant for snowbirding. I got my endorsement a few years ago and rode for just a couple of seasons. I started on a little GS500F which was a sweet little bike, but quickly 'upgraded' to a Monster 696. What a mistake that was. Unlike my tame little 496cc Suzuki twin, the 696 was a beast! Bucking and lunging. Unforgiving as ever. I sold the bike after just one season. One thing I did appreciate about the Monster (in contrast to the GS) was its relative power. The character of the bike scared me, but it went from total standstill to highway speeds in mere seconds (or what felt like it to me). I loved that. The ease with which that motorcycle built speed inspired a certain confidence which as a new (and not particularly gifted) rider I very much sought.

Fast-forward to the present and I find myself itching to get back on two wheels. This time it won't be about making impressions. The 2-year hiatus has allowed me to see the sport through the eyes of those who would share their experiences. I learned about the different kinds of motorcycles and riding styles. Wanting something of a dual sport (90% road work and 10% camping/trails) I mentally worked through about a dozen different makes/models, researching and test riding some, until finally arriving here. It's been a difficult journey. Motorcycle dealers are few and far between in NYC. In-stock variety hovers at about 25% of whatever is advertised (eg. "we can get it for you") and test rides are a very rare bird (I've never actually been allowed to test ride anything, ever). So far, I've made half a dozen day trips to 'meet' the bikes I've been considering. The latest of these have been the Vee and Wee. Initially I was considering the Wee. It has a familiar "Suzuki feel". Not too big. Very comfy seat and great riding posture. Seemingly a great match, but after test riding it I just wasn't feeling the love. I even went back to the dealer several days later to test ride it again, but never made it out of the showroom. Then I test rode the Vee. This was it. NO question about it. As soon as I started her up, the throaty 'Ducati growl' was unmistakable and the throttle response did not disappoint. The seat height is perfect. The bike is just manoeuvrable 'enough' (saying more about my skill than the Vee) and comfort leaves nothing behind. So... did I buy it? Well.. I'm getting there. Now it's just a matter of finding the right deal.

The issue for me is getting acclimated to the power of the Vee. I'm an inexperienced rider and the power is intimidating. Is there something that can be done to tone her down a 'wee' bit? At least until I build the hours (and confidence) to let her rip!

Thank you all for reading this lengthy post. I tried to provide some background information to help put things into perspective. Looking forward to reading your thoughts.
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post #2 of 28 Old 09-19-2017, 01:37 AM
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Alternative suggestion

Hi stormbytes, I am an older rider returning after a long hiatus so my situation was similar. After much deliberation I bought a Wee. I have owned much bigger and more powerful bikes so I wasn't nervous but I figured the Wee gets where it is going just as fast, you just have to work at it a bit. Plus if you read these pages there is an ongoing debate even amogst very experienced riders about which is the better choice. Yes the Wee has less power, but also less weight, you get to use more of its performance more often etc. If you do go for the Vee I wouldn't be too concerned. They are very civilised and won't bight and at 42 you have hopefully got most of the excess bravery out of your system. On the other hand, if you ask it to do something really stupid the Vee is more able to comply.
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post #3 of 28 Old 09-19-2017, 01:58 AM
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I have owned 2 Vees, now very happily own a trouble free and plenty peppy 650. The Wee is just so much more maneuverable and easier to ride, let it rev and I can assure you it rips pretty damn good.
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post #4 of 28 Old 09-19-2017, 06:45 AM
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When in doubt, start with mode 2.

In mode 2, the bike won't let you spin the back wheel, it won't allow you to lift the front wheel, it will limit your access to its full potential. Basically it's a great way to get used to your new bike.

Once you get accustomed to your bike, mode 2 is great for rainy days.
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post #5 of 28 Old 09-19-2017, 08:22 AM
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Also don't discount the DR650 or dare I say the KLR 650. Although they are both lower in HP than the DL650 they are great fun to tour on or riding off pavement. I used my DR650 with Pelican 1550 as a touring rig for a couple years and loved it. The only place it got boring (and all bikes do) is droning down the highway at 75 MPH.

The only reason I don't still tour on the DR is rear tire longevity. Personally I cannot get more than between 2,500 and 3,000 miles out of a rear tire. Lots of other people get 5,000 to 7,000. If I could get the latter (still riding the same as I do) I'd never have bought the DL.

Last edited by PerazziMx14; 09-19-2017 at 08:39 AM.
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post #6 of 28 Old 09-19-2017, 04:01 PM
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Go with the Vee if you do love the acceleration. Like you, my Vee is a toy for me. If I had some serious need, like commuting, I might lean toward a Wee but for the fun of riding, go for the liter bike. You will get used to the throttle, or you can get a device called a "throttle tamer", which makes the application of throttle more gradual at the lower part of the throttle usage and then it ramps up as you twist it. I've never used one, but have threatened to get one sometimes. The Vees are pretty snatchy at low throttle. I've gotten used to using the clutch at low revs. to make it a little smoother, especially in parking lots and other slow maneuvering situations. If you kill the engine while slow turning, you are going down.
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post #7 of 28 Old 09-19-2017, 04:21 PM
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The same as how you get to Carnegie Hall.
Practice, practice, practice.

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post #8 of 28 Old 09-19-2017, 04:39 PM
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You can tame it a little by going to a 40t rear.
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post #9 of 28 Old 09-19-2017, 04:43 PM
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Are you talking about a first generation VEE or the new V2?

If you are looking for a VEE, they may actually be cheaper than the WEE's but the WEE is the better choice, sweeter engine and one up riding enough to get you in trouble. After a couple three years upgrade to a V2. By then there will be a lot more choice than now. The V2 is significantly better than the VEE (or to a lesser degree the WEE).
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post #10 of 28 Old 09-19-2017, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by hunt1moore View Post
You can tame it a little by going to a 40t rear.
Or the less expensive option of dropping from 17 to 16 tooth front sprocket. Lower gearing makes the bike a little more manageable, particularly in slow maneuvers. It's easy to change back if/when you want. I'm running a 16T on my V2 and like it better for everything other than high-speed 70+ mph cruising.

If it's the sound that's getting you, I'm assuming that some aftermarket manufacturers produce a nice sounding silencer for the Wee.
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