Maintenance/Reliability Questions - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 15 Old 09-04-2009, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Morgantown, WV
Posts: 21
Maintenance/Reliability Questions

I'm another Beemer Boy looking for relieve from my maintenance woes. I'm coming from a 2007 F650GS with chronic water pump failures. I hate to do it. I love my little Beemer. Other than the one issue, it would be the perfect bike for me. I like it so much that I could even live with the water pump failure if it didn't occur so frequently.

What sucks the most is that when I was looking for a bike 2 yrs ago, the Wee-Strom was my first choice. I'd have bought one then but the salesman pissed me off so I bought a BMW (2nd choice) more for spite than anything else. I guess experience is gained more through failures than successes. So here's my list of questions on the Wee-Strom:

1. What's the factory specified maintenance schedule (oil change/valve adjustments)? I searched for an e-copy on the forum but could not find one.

2. Are there any known design flaws? This is a big one for me right now.

3. Although owning a Beemer has taught me to be a fairly competent mechanic and I do all of my own maintenance, what's the cost of routine maintenance at the dealer?

4. I've read on hear that it burns oil above 6K rpm. How big of a problem is this?

5. What other problems could I see with this thing?

Thanks for your time and help.
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post #2 of 15 Old 09-04-2009, 02:53 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 234
Service schedule info at

Hard to say regarding design flaws. Design takes many things into consideration, including price and intended use. I'm sure there are things that folks wish they had done differently.

Not sure about dealer maintenance. For the best info there I'd call the dealer where you intend to have the work done and ask them. My experience is these prices vary widely regionally, and from dealer to dealer.

Not sure about burning oil above 6k, I don't spend much time there.

Problems, hmmm. I've had an 09 for about a month, just under 1800 miles so far. Biggest challenge I have had is getting enough time to ride it. Minor things, my rear axle appears to have a seal issue, it's weeping grease, my clutch wasn't adjusted properly when I picked up the bike. Time will tell.

I came from an R1200RT. I found the Wee more 'fun' to ride. I'd miss the RT for sustained freeway riding at high speeds. For everything else I'm content with the wee. My total cost of ownership for the wee, including depreciation, will be less than the cost of maintenance and consumables alone on the RT.


2009 R1200GS Adventure
2009 Wee ABS (for sale)
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post #3 of 15 Old 09-04-2009, 06:24 PM
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biggest design flaw with the V-strom is the small alternator

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post #4 of 15 Old 09-04-2009, 07:38 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Pensacola,Fl
Posts: 98
I am selling my KGT because of the high maintenance costs. No, Im sorry Im trying to give it away at 30,000 miles for half of what I paid new in 07.
I bought a used 07 Vee and have done a few things to it but can say I enjoy this bike. At first in was underpowered to me and the buffeting issue was driving me mad. Got the madstad and cured that. Then I realized how much power this bike has and now I am totally satisfied. Damn, I could of had two new Stroms for the price of the Beemer.
Don't compare the two, just ride one with an open mind and you will like it. No issues for me and I have had it 3 months. Headed to the Smokies next week for a week, and plan on some dirt while Im there.
The tarnished roundel is going to make BMW a forgotten bike.
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post #5 of 15 Old 09-13-2009, 09:40 AM
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Location: North Carolina
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Just change the oil regularly, lube the chain every 300-500 miles and ride, you'll never look back.

[I][B]If it makes you smile it has to be good for you.
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-01-2009, 04:06 AM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Inverell, NSW, Aust.
Posts: 26
Depending on your hight you have the buffeting but thats an easy fix , get a fork brace it should be made law too be fitted to all stroms at birth (I have a RichlandRick brace it works great but what ever tickles your fancy) , markings on swing arm for chain adjustment dont line up very often so check that then get on go for a blat & enjoy.
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-01-2009, 07:03 AM
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Location: fremantle - western australia
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The only design flaw is that it's not the prettiest bike around, but when you ride it and got a huge grin on your face, who cares

If at first you DO succeed, try not to look astonished!

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post #8 of 15 Old 10-01-2009, 03:37 PM
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Location: Columbus, Ohio
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2. Are there any known design flaws? This is a big one for me right now.
yeah, they make a 650cc model.
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-01-2009, 03:47 PM
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Location: Evanston IL USA
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The headlight wiring system is inadequate. There have been problems with switch contacts and connectors losing contact. A dual headlight relay kit from or prevents problems nicely.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s

Please vote in the poll on what Strom(s) you have at
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-02-2009, 12:58 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 159
Talking V-Strom Ownership and Reliability ?

2004 DL650. Bought new. Now has 21,000 miles. Just installed third rear tire at 20,500 miles. Second front tire looks like new with 9000 miles. Checked valve clearance at 15,000 (no adjustment required). New battery at 16,500 miles. New chain and sprockets at 18,000 miles (didn't do very much lubing or adjusting). New oil filter and synthetic oil twice a year - whether it needs it or not. Wax. Ride. Clean. Have fun personalizing with accessories (Madstad, Staintune Exhaust, K & N, Blaster Horns, Gel Seat, Fork Brace, etc.). Ride. Smile alot when riding. Try to decide if I can afford to have a DL1000, too, someday. Not getting rid of the DL650, maybe just add another V-Strom to keep this one company.

If you get the idea that I'm Completely Satisfied with my V-Strom, then you understand. My favorite motorcycle ever, in over 44 years of riding ALL KINDS of motorcycles. Excellent at many things. Very good at all the rest.

You should buy one and get the pain of BMW ownership behind you. You will not look back, once you have purchased the V-Strom.

2014 Black DL1000ABS - Adventure. Sold 2012 Fox Orange V-Strom DL650. Sold 2004 Black Suzuki V-Strom DL650. Since 2004 Owned Nothing But V-Stroms - DL or No Deal !!
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