Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tool Tube for Wee: V-Strom DL650
(Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, rear view)
When I was searching for my next bike I knew that I wanted to have storage options. One of the first things I did was to research hard side cases for my V-Strom (Wee). There were two models to consider both based upon the same frame but different powerplants. You had a choice of the DL650 (Wee), or DL1000 (Vee). The ABS option is not available with the Vee and this model is now recently discontinued due to stringent european emission controls. Without factory identification there is only one sure way to tell them apart, by their exhausts. The Vee has dual exhausts while the Wee only has one on the right side.
If you examine the photo above you will notice the chrome exhaust tip of the right and only exhaust for the 650 model. The GIVI PL532 side case racks are more or less symmetrical leaving unused space on the left side which can be used for more storage. If you scan the Stromtrooper.com forums I noticed that many 'Strom riders fit a "tool tube" into this area. Here is another view showing the view from the side
It is more noticeable from the sides. This "tube" is made from standard DVW plumbing tubing & accessories. This tube is ideal to store tools, rags, wrenches, tire patch kits and other items which you may need in an emergency in order to get yourself back on the road. The bottom of the tube is permanently capped, while the top has a removeable end threaded plug. It is held in place with large diameter hose clamps strapped to the Givi Side Case rack.
It is a 4" OD tube cut 20" long to allow me to store my tripod. I decided that the tripod would be of more use to me than the tools. Actually I have storage under the seat where I keep a portable air compressor, tire patch kits, wrenches, screwdrivers, allen keys as well as the OEM factory supplied tool kit.
While this tube looks large it is not that apparent when the side case is attached.
I originally had the tube farther forward but it interferred with the swingarm while travelling at speed on a rough road so I moved it back a few inches.
The tripod is a Manfrotto meant for travelling. When compressed it is only 19-1/2" long and includes a ballhead. It will also easily fit into the storage compartment under the seat on my scooter, Kymco X500Ri or most backpacks. I believe that this particular model is the smallest tripod available from Manfrotto which can be extended to full height. It is stable enough to hold a standard dSLR
Here you can see that the tripod is not yet fully extended as the centre column is only about half way up but even at this height it is too high for me to use in this position.
From this angle you can get a sense of high this tripod can go. I use remote control to fire the camera(s). This was the setup I used when I met with Lance down in La Conner a few weeks ago. If I am travelling solo this will give me a chance to take my own self portraits as using the 10 sec self timer does not always give you the desired results.
From a distance you are hardly able to notice that the tool tube is there
(Wee with tool tube, hardly noticeable)