Monday, August 3, 2009

It followed me home: Wee Strom

During the past couple of months I had been visiting various dealers checking out what was available and what bike I would be comfortable with. I must say that my SV650 ran flawlessly on my last trip to Kelowna, approx 1,200 kms without missing a beat and it was all set up with my GPS and Video cam Ram-Mounts. It had lots of passing power and was very stable on the highway. As with all pre-owned machines I updated all the mechanicals. New Michelin Pilot Powers, new clutch, new chain, new brakes, new windscreen, new everything. So last Saturday, I traded it in . . .

(last seen whimpering in the dealers service area)

While they were prepping my new ride


I rode my SV home to de-nude it of all farkles, leaving the windscreen and rear top case bracket on the bike


They transferred over my 44 ltr topcase and I wanted them to install the GIVI crash bars . After all the paper work was completed, Aaron (Modern Motorcycling, Vancouver, BC) went over all the controls and explained the break-in procedure. Basically I had to keep it under 5K rpm (Yes it has a factory tach), and watch out for the tires for the first 100 kms, and of course also make sure not to glaze the brakes

(my new dash showing "0" Zero kilometers on the odometer)

I was now on my own. My new bike and myself trying to touch the ground. Yes this bike is taller than I am used to. With fuel this bike is 80 lbs heavier than the SV650, although it has the same engine


I finally make my way home 6 kms away and here is a view of the gauges before I have installed all of my accessories


Here is a closer view of the electronic controller for the "heated" grips which is needed for those of use who reside and ride in the northern climes. I also have handguards to keep your hands cooler in summer and warmer in winter


It doesn't have as much storage under the seat as my scooter, but definitely more than the SV and also more convenient to access by just turning a key. With the SV you had to get your tools out and remove both left and right panels and also two screws which fasten the seat.


I am able to store a tire plugger (Stop'N Go) kit, a set of metric open end wrenches, screwdriver and bits, and possibly some other small stuff.

Since it was a Long Holiday weekend here in Canada it was not a weekend for riding. I spent a few hours intalling my GPS & Camera mounts and also decided to wire the electrical stuff to make it easier to use. On the V-Strom I have installed permanent wiring with the 12-v accessory plugs and converters installed under the bodywork out of sight and hopefully where the rain will not find it.


On Sunday I finally had a chance to install my Cortech Saddle bags. I think I may invest in hard bags for more security while touring.


Early Monday morning, before the heat of the day, I finally had everything set up to my satisfaction and went for a quick ride to get used to the machine. I have had the V-Strom for nearly 2 days and all I have done is to install my accessories and wiring. I had 6 kms on the ODO when I arrived home on Saturday afternoon, and this morning I left with 6 kms on the ODO

(Vancouver in the background, view from Spanish Banks)

(Government dock, False Creek, Vancouver, BC)

(Wharf, Granville Island, Vancouver, BC)

It was a very enjoyable ride on my new Suzuki V-Strom DL650 (ABS model)

(Look, another V-Strom, they seem to be everywhere)


  1. Great photos. Fantastic bike. The local jeweller has one and parks it provocatively and temptingly just round the corner. He's very fond of it.

  2. Congrats on the new motorcycle! My riding mentor, John aka Sanoke, rides one as well and he loves it.


    Redleg's Rides

  3. Congrats on the new bike. May it give you many enjoyable miles.. er kilometer's. I hope a new bike will follow me home someday. GAW

  4. Congratulations, Bob! Looks like a bit more fun is in store for you. Enjoy!

  5. Congrats on your new baby! Brent Miller over at Sojourn Chronicles has a V-Strom and loves it. I sat on one--nice bike but a tad tall for me. You'll do great having that bullet proof SV650 engine. I ended up keeping my SV--haven't been able to part with it emotionally. Love the pictures! Have fun bonding!

  6. Congrats on your new Motorbike, great ride, may you have many happy miles of exciting riding,great photos..


  7. Mad Dog John:

    I'm on pins and needles waiting for you to finalize your purchase decision now that you have sold your scooter. I would imagine that the V-strom would be well suited for your roads, or lack thereof. Not as capable as a Transalp, but they don't sell them here


    I would be great to be able to finally follow you around on some of those mountain roads and switchbacks, and perhaps a novice gravel track now and again


    I envy your bike. I was looking at a used one and I am not sure I could handle the weight. I would imagine that once rolling it is like a ballerina on whipped cream.


    I am preparing for some rides I have been fantasizing about which involves more distance. The V-Strom will be for highway travel and the scoot for our urban crawl


    For some reason, this particular Wee Strom feels lower than prev ones I have straddled. I can actually "flat foot" on level ground. As for your dealer problem, I went to sit on an F800ST and looked at some F650GS' but we have 2 BMW dealers in our area and there are some stories with both. I have been a customer of this particular Suzuki dealer for years and thought it best to deal with someone who knows me, plus there are lots of parts availability for this "bullet-proof", dead reliable bike. I find that the engine has no problems in pulling this extra weight. I think they detuned it a bit to allow more torque at low rpms. It feels powerful and is very quiet.


    I really like your Dragon Outfit. I can almost taste the duck l'orange . The Wee-Strom is a 2nd cousin to the Transalp

  8. Congrats on the new ride...this bike rocks....enjoy and ride safe...great stuff. Congrats again, Bob!

  9. How cool for you! The 650 seems to be the popular one over the 1000. I almost bought a 650 when they first came out. The dealer offered me a better deal if I went for the 1000 instead. I actually didn't end up with either.

    The idea of a dual sport appeals to me but I'm always either riding for work or to and from classes. When would I ride off road?

    Quit messing with the thing and go ride!

  10. Dear Bobskoot:

    I can't believe I missed this announcement this week! Congratulations on your new motorcycle! It looks unbelievably masculine and sinister. I love those crash bars... And the dash is straight out of the next century.

    I am a chrome minimalist, and I love the deep, black nature of your machone.

    It was great hearing from you on the phone, last night, so I got the added advantage of a personal update on how you and the new bike are growing into each other.

    I am green with envy.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

    PS: I have just finished the first real installment of my Tennessee trip, and will have it posted as soon as I get through the photographs. Probably in another day or so.Thanks for your patience.

  11. This Suzuki looks like a nice bike and I would probably sit well on it being somewhat long in the leg!
    I noticed that they are very popular in Greece and that is always a good sign as the roads are somewhat variable there!
    oes it have a gear position readout?
    safe riding

  12. Bob, congratulations on your new purchase - your bike looks fantastic! I've heard a lot of great things about this bike.

  13. You wild man you, trying out all those liquid cooled v-twin configurations. You can probably flat foot this one because it's loaded down with electronics. Funny how I have no tach anymore but you have obscured your speedometer with a weather station installation read out.

  14. Hey Bob,

    At long last I can view your website properly, have found an anti cencorship software that works, on the 7th attempt, it even works in China and Iran they claim !!!

    Managed to look at your video for the first time tonight, very good bob, nice and stable not much vibration, thats a good mount you have there.




  15. Berge:

    Thank you. I'm getting more used to the height now, but I really like the higher stance on the road, sort of like an SUV, better view of the road


    The Wee is not an offroad vehicle, but more in the adventure touring class and more able to handle non-paved roads of the third world. After doing my due diligence I decided that I didn't require the extra power of the DL1000, plus the DL650 has ABS which is not available on the Vee

    Mr Jack "r"EEP:

    Black would not have been my 1st choice but the deal was only on the one in stock, but I am actually liking it more now that I have the side cases installed. It is nearly all black, including the black painted rims. I suppose that I am following in your "LARGE" footsteps and becoming a chrome minimalist too


    This particular model has a large following throughout the world and they are virtually bullet-proof with a good dealer network and lots of farkles. It does not come with a GPI (Gear Position indicator) BUT you can purchase an aftermarket one which just plugs in.


    Thanks ! I had been looking around for a bike and this one came up unexpectedly. When I went out on that Saturday, little did I know I would be riding it home

    Mr Conchscooter:

    Yes, you caught me. I had been looking around for a month or two (or three). I wanted something newer that I could take on some trips next year, and I am not fond of 4 cyclinders. I really like the 90 degree V-twin. I really liked the Triple, but here in Canada, Bryce wrote that there were only 16 dealers and I didn't want to inherit parts problems in a small town, so I stuck with a brand that I trust. I have had Suzukis for the past 30 years.
    I have straddled WEEs before and found that they were too high for my height challenged legs. Somehow the 2009s are lower. I found out later that they shaved 1-1/2" from the seat padding VS the VEE (DL1000).
    Are tachometers cheaper up here. I would be honoured to purchase one for you up here. I don't want you to be RPM challenged


    I posted a reply on your site, but if you require help in acquiring some Ram-Mounts let me know if I can help. I purchased them from , prices seem to be cheaper than in the USA, and in Canadian funds too. Send me the airfare to Turkey and I will bring them with me, and get Barbie ready as I need wheels. I'm not fussy but I don't want the manual fan

  16. Bob, it's contagious - check out my blog for something that followed me home!