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V-Curious A place for those that are thinking about buying a V-Strom to ask V-Strom owners questions

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post #1 of 37 Old 12-28-2009, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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I am the original owner of an 04 1150RT, I have put 57k on this bike and, until recently, was in moto bliss. Despite strict adherence to BMW service protocol the engine had a catastrophic piston failure which is costing $1700 to fix.

This in addition to a coil failure and other maintenance items brings expenses since 08/09 to over $3K. Methinks 'tis time to shop for a new bike. Two colleagues own wee strom's; both started with the liter bike.

I looked at the Versys but I don't think that will do. I'm leaning toward the 650 with ABS but the chain drive is my one sticking point. Thoughts?
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post #2 of 37 Old 12-28-2009, 02:23 PM
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I am a DL650 owner who owned 4 Airheads previously.

I don't miss the BMW's one bit with exception of the drive shaft.

Since the majority of my riding is on road with the exception of some dirt roads I really can't compare my Wee to an F650 or a GS. That subject has been discussed on this forum already.

The "newest" airhead that I owned was a 1984 R100RT and that can hardly compare to your R1150RT but I find that my Wee is more comfortable and handles better than any of my BMW's.

Given all of BMW's reported final drive issues I have come to accept my chain drive bike, even if I do have to clean it every 600 miles!

For the money these V-Stroms are highly reliable and enjoyable motorcycles!
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post #3 of 37 Old 12-28-2009, 02:26 PM
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Yes, you do need to lube and adjust (lube mine every 300 mi.and adjusted 3 times in 20,000 mi.).
Total replacement w/quality parts under $200.
Ability to change overall gear ratios (Went from 15 to16 tooth primary for highway)
Don't really see to many negatives myself.

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for the safety of existence.
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post #4 of 37 Old 12-28-2009, 02:30 PM
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At our camping trip this weekend there were two die-hard ex-BMW Riders who are now on V-Stroms, myself included. After many years of having a shaft-driven motorcycle I can say that the chain is not much of an issue. On long trips they are easy to find and you certainly don't have to wait for a shipment from Germany if your chain needs replacing. At the end of a long day a hit with the chain lube and you're good to go.

I had one start to kink in Palenque, MX and was able to get it replaced. Labor was $10.00 US. I liked my R1150GS and R1100RT, but could no longer tolerate all the breakdowns and lack of dealer support.

The nice part (sappy post time) is that the V-Strom guys and gals are every bit as nice and knowledgeable as the BMW folks. There, I said it. :mrgreen:

Greg "Pinkman" Pink
Leesburg, FL
K4, Flat Black Club #135

Last edited by pinkman; 12-28-2009 at 02:35 PM.
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post #5 of 37 Old 12-28-2009, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkman View Post
The nice part (sappy post time) is that the V-Strom guys and gals are every bit as nice and knowledgeable as the BMW folks. There, I said it. :mrgreen:
Does that mean that we should start a V-Strom Anonymous Book?
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post #6 of 37 Old 12-28-2009, 02:51 PM
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I was thinking of selling my FJR and getting a V-Strom until reading all of this chain stiff.
How many miles does the chain/sprocket last?
If you are traveling 600 - 800 mile days, you have to spray it at the end of each day and carry that with you?
May Harley has the belt and there is no maintenance on that and the FJR is shaft drive and both are no worries.

So, I am just worried about nothing I hope...
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post #7 of 37 Old 12-28-2009, 06:44 PM
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Every 2 tank fills wipe your chain clean with paper towels while still warm, engine off. Then apply DuPont Teflon Multilube from a spray can (the blue one you buy from Lowes for ~$5 per can). I put her up on the center stand. Block the front wheel. Run in first gear. And shoot for a count of 10: where the chain meets the rear sprocket, each side, and on the outside of the chain from the back of the bike. Use the red tube provided with the Multilube and STAY WELL CLEAR OF THE CHAIN. IT WILL EAT YOUR HANDS IF YOU GIVE IT A CHANCE.

You may have to adjust a new chain a few times while it stretches initially. Then you will have long periods (tens of thousands of miles) where you just check tension occasionally. When you start having to adjust it a lot the chain is shot and needs to be replaced.

I'm on my second chain (first came with the bike). 55,000 miles and counting (DL-1000 K3).

Get the Wee and don't look back...
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post #8 of 37 Old 12-28-2009, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtominovich View Post
I was thinking of selling my FJR and getting a V-Strom until reading all of this chain stiff.
How many miles does the chain/sprocket last?
If you are traveling 600 - 800 mile days, you have to spray it at the end of each day and carry that with you?
May Harley has the belt and there is no maintenance on that and the FJR is shaft drive and both are no worries.

So, I am just worried about nothing I hope...
My first chain got lubed about every 500 miles with WD40 and I replaced it at almost 30k just because it was getting noisey. My second identical chain and sprocket set has 10k and gets lubed with old used motor oil when I feel like it. I expect to get at least the same service as the 1st one, we'll see.

Regardless of anything, the front sprocket will wear at least 3X faster than the rear, so it should be replaced long before the chain or rear sprocket is due.

MY opinion is O-ring chain and sprocket life depend more on how well they're aligned and tensioned rather than how often they're cleaned and lubed. I don't think going a couple thousand miles between lubing vs every 500 miles, is gonna make a hill of beans difference in the life of the chain or sprockets.
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post #9 of 37 Old 12-28-2009, 08:03 PM
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There have been other threads about chain maintenance, but I feel the cleaning part is highly over rated. Clean for cosmetic reasons if you like, but lube often. I currently use an oil based product and lube after every tank of gas. I put it on the centerstand, run the bike and shoot some lube from behind the bike onto the area between the links. Nothing else really is needed, but some of the spray gets on other parts of the chain/sprocket assembly. That's all you need to do and literally takes about 20 seconds. I have been told that lubing like this can help a chain and sprockets last over 60,000 miles. I don't know if that is true but my current chain has about 20,000 km and has had zero adjustments.

If you don't want to do it yourself there are several automatic chain oilers that many users feel work very well.

..Tom

2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 200,000+ km, 125,000 miles.

This can help preventing from cars pulling out in front of you (SMIDSY)
SMIDSY detailed report.



Last edited by V-Tom; 12-28-2009 at 09:15 PM. Reason: tyop
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post #10 of 37 Old 12-28-2009, 08:08 PM
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I have a Scott Oiler, it's a little messy but it keeps the chain well oiled.
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