wet weather strom - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 21 Old 07-18-2009, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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wet weather strom

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.

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post #2 of 21 Old 07-19-2009, 01:20 AM
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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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post #3 of 21 Old 07-19-2009, 03:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larolco View Post
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!

08 Vee
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post #4 of 21 Old 07-19-2009, 04:02 AM
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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.

[SIZE="1"]K7 Wee (Blue) - Givi Crash Bars - Suzuki Sport Screen - Highway Hawk Halogen Spots - Dr Bike Heated Grips - OEM Centrestand - Stromtrooper Stickers[/SIZE]
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post #5 of 21 Old 07-19-2009, 04:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandrider View Post
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).

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post #6 of 21 Old 07-19-2009, 08:47 AM
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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.

Roger ('14 Tenere ES, COG 5903)

Last edited by roger123; 07-19-2009 at 08:49 AM.
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post #7 of 21 Old 07-19-2009, 10:17 AM
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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

I raised the front forks 15mm ( https://stromtrooper.com/showthread.p...ht=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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Black 2004 Wee with H&B engine guards, SV Racing Frame and Swing Arm sliders, Superbrace, Givi top case, gel grips
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post #8 of 21 Old 07-19-2009, 10:23 AM
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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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post #9 of 21 Old 07-19-2009, 10:47 AM
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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,

Rich


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post #10 of 21 Old 07-19-2009, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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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.
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