DL650 Stability with Caribous - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-12-2009, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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DL650 Stability with Caribous

I'm considering a set of hard side cases for my DL650. But after reading about stability concerns with the DL650 on this forum related to luggage, I'm apprehensive about proceeding. Granted, some of the instability reported was caused by speeds in excess of 100 mph. That's not a huge concern as I am generally a conservative 70-80 mph rider on the super slab with the exception of the quick, short-lived overtaking of slower traffic. There's also been a report of a lighter front end as the obvious weight distribution changes with loaded bags in the rear. A stiff rear pre-load can help from what I read.

From what I've gathered about the side case choices, I'm fairly certain I have narrowed it down to the Caribou 36L cases. I'm not crazy about spending that much $$, but the quality of both the cases and racks speak for themselves. They seem to offer a moderate amount of storage, yet are relatively narrow compared to alternatives.

If you have Caribou's mounted on your DL650, or have knowledge of someone else, could you share you impression of how the bike's handling and stability is affected? And also, any changes or additional products such as pre-load changes, steering stabilizer, etc?

fwiw..My DL650 K8 is essentially stock with the addition of a fork brace and Cal Sci XL windscreen if that helps for comparison.


Thanks in advance for your time.


Regards,
Gary
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-12-2009, 03:13 PM
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If you buy the whole setup from Caribou, it's stable to 100 mph. If you mount Pelican cases on other racks, it may be stable or it may not. I've had both setups so this is first-hand info with stock suspension on both bikes. I've since upgraded the suspension on the AK7 with stiffer springs front and rear.

My red DL650K5 had Krauser racks and it was NOT stable over 80 MPH.



My silver DL650AK7 has Caribou racks and is stable to 100 MPH.


-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

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post #3 of 14 Old 01-12-2009, 03:54 PM
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The most destabilizing piece is the top box. Side cases aren't too bad, especially if heavier items are kept low and toward the front. Still, luggage manufacturers routinely specify 80mph as a maximum speed. There are too many variables involved to give specifics. It's not like two side cases carrying 15lbs each will be stable at 80mph and unstable at 81. The more weight that's carried the farther away from the naked bike's center of mass, the more problematical. Strive to keep added weight low but especially close to the center. Heavy items have a much less destabilizing effect in a tank bag than a tail trunk for example. A steering stabilizer will help keep things from getting out of control.

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

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post #4 of 14 Old 01-12-2009, 07:22 PM
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Pelican 1450 topcase mounted to OEM luggage rack. Pelican 1550 sidecases mounted to SW-Motech Quick Release side racks.

No stability issues for me with this setup, (with the luggage fully loaded or unloaded.), at any speeds up to 95 mph. I haven't ridden the bike over that speed, so I can't comment above that limit.

Here are two shots:




2007 DL-650 (I gave away in 2012 with 111,000 + miles)
"A word grows to a thought; a thought to an idea; an idea to an act. All the pieces are put together, and the whole is yours."
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-12-2009, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmcgee View Post
I know that mountain in the distance. The one you are parked on is my favorite of the two.

Here is my view looking Northwest.



2007 DL-650 (I gave away in 2012 with 111,000 + miles)
"A word grows to a thought; a thought to an idea; an idea to an act. All the pieces are put together, and the whole is yours."
1942, Beryl Markham: "West With the Night"
"You can talk about doing a thing until everyone finally talks you out of it, or you can actually do the thing"
James Baldwin "Across Islands and Oceans"
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-12-2009, 07:47 PM
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Low speed turns in high wind conditions have resulted, on a couple of occasions, with an outward slide of the back end. I believe the wind came in from the low side of the bike and under the Pelican/Caribou side case. It lightened and pushed the back of the bike out and inch or so.

I did have the beginning of a little tankslapper at 85 MPH with only the topcase on in a crosswind while crossing the crown of the road n a pass on a two-lane road.

These cases are rugged as bricks and just as aerodynamic.

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DL650A K7 (Greywolf Moto Lab's R&D test mule) June 1, 2012 - present
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-12-2009, 08:00 PM
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Remember just because the bike was stable at a certain speed one day doesn't mean it won't be unstable at that speed or lower another day. A little difference in loading, wind, tire wear, tire pressure or surface can have a huge effect. There can be very little time between feeling vague and becoming uncontrollable. I have the scars to prove it.

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 #8 of 14 Old 01-12-2009, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the insight, folks. Please keep the comments coming.

I should have mentioned also that I'd like to avoid investing in additional equipment such as a steering stabilizer - not at the expense of safety though. From what I read, it may not be necessary if I'm prudent with my weight placement AND keep my speed reasonable.
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-12-2009, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywolf View Post
The most destabilizing piece is the top box.
That's definitely one of the aerodynamic variables and maybe you lightweight guys can tell the diff with and without a top box, but I sure can't. As somebody around here sez: "I'm just saying."

Oh, here's the other direction from Mt. Megantic in Quebec:


-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

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post #10 of 14 Old 01-12-2009, 09:47 PM
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While aerodynamic issues exist, it's the weight that makes a big difference. Putting weight far from the center of mass, and the top box is about as far as you can get, introduces a pendulum effect and can make the tail wag the dog.

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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