Airhead change - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-12-2010, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Airhead change

Hi all, been a lurker for a short time and leaning toward the V.
Does anyone have experience changing from a BMW airhead? Specifically a '78 R100RS?
The bike is fun, but the seating position ergonomics cause a pain in my neck, and long trips are not enjoyable (which is the reason I got the bike). The 'adventure' type seating position would seem to alleviate that issue.
I would assume there would be less protection from wind as well.
I have also read that the Wee has similar power/feel to the older 1000cc?
Any input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-12-2010, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattle View Post
Hi all, been a lurker for a short time and leaning toward the V.
Does anyone have experience changing from a BMW airhead? Specifically a '78 R100RS?
The bike is fun, but the seating position ergonomics cause a pain in my neck, and long trips are not enjoyable (which is the reason I got the bike). The 'adventure' type seating position would seem to alleviate that issue.
I would assume there would be less protection from wind as well.
I have also read that the Wee has similar power/feel to the older 1000cc?
Any input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
I went from BMW R65LS [uncomfortable on long rides] to K100RT [too hot around the groin area, especially in summer] to R1150GS [too expensive to repair/unreliable, $6k spent in 12 months] to the 09 Wee.

Just over 12 months since I bought it new, 30,000km and nothing other than routine service costs.

It has the power to do everything the R1150GS did and actually does it better in many ways [you would be up around 160kph before the GS might start to have any real advantage].

The Wee does it all for me, commute, day/weekend rides, trips for two weeks a couple of times per year [fully loaded with much more gear than I really ever use], can do up around 1000km per day when I need to.

There must be a reason the Wee out sells the Vee by a huge margin, the Vee was what I was looking at but finished up with the Wee mainly for the ABS but because it was also highly recommended by many Beemer club members who own one in their stocks of bikes.

Whatever it is, I have come off an 1150cc back to a 650cc Wee and am super satisfied and impressed.

Ock. in Oz

I ride naked and unafraid.

Windsor (near enough)
NSW
Australia
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-12-2010, 04:52 PM
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If you like the airhead, why not just tweak the ergonomics? I'd say the stock Strom is very similar ergonomically to my '74 R90/6. What bars do you have on your RS?
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-12-2010, 05:19 PM
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I had an R90S with an R75 rear end and a lightened flywheel. The DL650 feels very much like it. It has about the same weight and horsepower and range. A tall tank bag full of clothes on the R90S to lean on and a larger fairing is all it took to make it a comfortable tourer. The Strom needed a change of windshield and seat.

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
See https://www.stromtrooper.com/general-...nicknames.html

Please vote in the poll on what Strom(s) you have at https://www.stromtrooper.com/informat...-you-have.html
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-12-2010, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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The bars are now original, but it came with some type of ATV bars that gave a decent amount of rise and pull-back. They didin't fit within the fairing and did not allow tight turning. They gave me the same strain/muscle fatigue as the original bars.
I have secretly wished for the 'S' fairing which not only looks better but allows for wider/ different bars. I really hate to dismantle and not use the original fairing though.

One reason for looking at another bike is the ability to get one with fuel injection and maybe a little more power. I don't ride alot ~ 3K to 5K per year, but like longer rides with mix of backroads and highway.

It sounds like the Strom is a promising change. Now I just need to take the time to test ride.

Thanks fellas
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-12-2010, 07:14 PM
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My '79 RT had better wind protection and a better seat. My wee is better in every other respect except looks. Less maintenance, better brakes etc. I'd still love an old RT with wee/vee drive train though.
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-12-2010, 08:01 PM
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I've owned a number of air-head BMWs starting with a 1969 75/5 and finishing with the R80 - and including the R100S and R100RT. I put a huge number of miles on them, the only mechanical failure being a dropped valve seat on the 75/5 at about 160,000 miles.

First thing you'll notice is the footrests are further back, the bars are wider and you are higher off the ground. Apart from that the seating position is fairly similar.

On the road you'll notice that the fairing doesn't vibrate and rattle, the engine doesn't shudder and vibrate on acceleration and the cylinders are in synch all the time. The fuel injection is a lot touchier at low speeds than the old Bings or Dellorto pumpers and it takes a while to get the feel of the throttle. The Wee revs faster and more cleanly, has similar HP but not as much torque and feels a lot busier at highway speeds. The Wee fairing isn't as enveloping as the RS and has a fair bit of wind noise, but it is surprisingly effective especially if you fit the OEM handguards.

When you come to stop you'll find decent brakes - though they don't feel particularly brilliant they are effective - and a sidestand that works. Buy the centrestand as well. Modern chains and sprockets require minimal maintenance, are cheap to replace ($2-300 the lot) and last 30-40km on average. Tyres last about the same mileage as the BMWs - ie, they don't eat them like many current bikes.

The things which really riled me over the 30 years I rode the air-heads were the carb cables continually stretching and getting out of synch, the vibrations of the motors on the over 800cc models (unless cruising where they were smooth), the fairly poor brakes and the dreadful side and centre stands. The stands were the reason I eventually went to the K100RS. I preferred the bikini-faired R series as the RT fairing got to much mechanical noise in the cockpit.

The Wee feels lighter, is practically vibe free, handles far better, has unbelievable headlights and is just as reliable and basically maintenance-free as the old R series. Parts are cheap (comparatively to BMW) and easy to get if you need them. You'd feel at home on one but may miss the torque, the sheer silence of a BMW at cruise and the slow revving engine for a while. If you do a lot of two up touring then try the Vee. (The pillion sits a lot higher on a Strom as well so there's a fair bit of weight up high with a full tank, pillion and gear.)

Last edited by scrivens; 11-12-2010 at 08:15 PM.
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-12-2010, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Scrivens. Perfect comparo. I feel the same way about the Bings and adjustment. Although easily worked-on, I feel that I'd rather be riding than tweaking. And I agree with the brakes, etc, etc. New technology would be fun.

I'll keep ya'll posted on the test ride.
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-13-2010, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattle View Post
Thanks Scrivens. Perfect comparo. I feel the same way about the Bings and adjustment. Although easily worked-on, I feel that I'd rather be riding than tweaking. And I agree with the brakes, etc, etc. New technology would be fun.

I'll keep ya'll posted on the test ride.
Oh yeah, if it's not just about the ergonomics go with the strom.

Fuel injection, is just start the motor and ride off normally. No hesitations, no bogging, no real warm up.

Stock strom brakes are light years ahead of the ATE junk that's on my R90, and I've even upgraded to twin ATE's and a new master. Go with blairs brackets and 4 pot pistons, and you'll feel like you're getting a hernia trying to squeeze the lever on your beemer.

Suspension is a huge imrpovement over the Beemer, and the strom suspenders are still considered average for todays tech. Add some racetech cartridge emulators and uprated springs front and rear and the strom is on a different planet.

Suzuki Frame was designed without the hinge in the middle of your rubber cow. Rigid frame ads so much stability, you'll think something is broken when you get back on the Beemer.

6 speed transmission is smooth as silk, and much more forgiving if you find yourself in the wrong gear when rolling on the throttle out of the apex. Quick bang it down with no protesting at all.

Much better selection of rubber for the strom, and I'm steadily getting spoiled by tubeless tires, usually being very easy to plug on the side of the road. My last repair I only lost 5 psi while pulling and plugging the nail.


That said, I still ride my BMW and still love riding it. It makes me appreciate the advances in tech on my Strom, but the Beemer has character out the wazoo. The Beemer is so much harder to ride spiritedly, but when you get it right, with gear selection, line choice, brake point, it's very rewarding.

Two great bikes..




Last edited by Gramps; 11-13-2010 at 09:33 AM.
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-13-2010, 09:30 AM
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It's a pity Sachs used the VX800 motor in their Roadster - the SV650 lump would have made a perfect road bike for old geezers like me:



Flat seat, decent pillion legroom and a nice layout.
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