My first roadside breakdown on this bike did not involve OEM equipment.
I have a VStroma folding shift lever, installed in January 2011. The fit and finish seemed very good, and it's been in service since that time.
On a recent road trip, it failed at the link pivot:
The threaded pin backed out of the pivot, leaving the shifter dangling. Luckily, it had the grace to fail exactly as I was pulling into a stop at a safe place after a long desert highway run.
I got myself back on the road by removing what was left of the rubber boot so I could see the pivot, and applying firm inward pressure on the pin while rotating the pivot against the threaded pin. This restrained the pivot well enough to get the first 2-3 threads inserted, which was enough to make it functional in the short term.
This appears to be a tapered thread, and it's not possible (at least not with the tools I have) to restrain the pivot firmly enough to fully insert and tighten the threaded pin. Thus, I cannot effect a satisfactory permanent repair. Once back home, 600 miles later, I swapped it out for the OEM shifter.
The VStroma shifter is very nice, but the limited life span is disappointing, to say the least. I had installed it to lessen the possibility of being stranded due to a broken shifter, and the irony of this is not lost on me.
It looks like the design has since changed, since their web site appears to show a shifter with a different pivot, so perhaps they recognized this problem and modified the design. I've contacted VStroma to see if they are interested in helping, and will follow up.