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Dec 7th 2018, 11:43 AM   #1
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Renton

WeeStrom Folks

My girlfriend just picked up a 2006 V-Strom 650 with 47,412 miles on it. Got it for a decent price from a friend that's moving overseas. My first impression is that I wouldn't have bought it for myself, but now I'm looking to set it up so she can actually enjoy it. Besides replacing the levers and maybe lowering it, I'm wondering what else I should look at. It's in decent running shape, though I'm not convinced of the previous owner's mechanical knowledge.

That thing has about the worst clutch ever - it's a long stiff pull with a totally non-adjustable lever. It's a bitch in soft earth or gravel (even for me with big hands and a 34" inseam!). You want to keep the RPMs low and start off easy but it wants to stall because you can't modulate the clutch smoothly. It's also tall and WIDE which makes it a nightmare to walk around. She stalled and dropped it at a standstill on the test ride. After I stood it up and got her back on it, she pelted me with gravel by using too much throttle to make up for the terrible clutch. I stalled the damn thing twice just moving it from the truck to the garage. I think she would have been happier with a Versys, but the situation made the WeeStrom hard to pass up. The adjustable levers should be here today, and that will take care of the long reach... I hope.
Dec 7th 2018, 11:55 AM   #2
 WarpShatner7's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Here

Thanks to its tall, sail-like profile and relatively weak front axle mounts (compare to a DL1000, the difference is clear to the naked eye) it really benefits from a fork brace.

The first time I crossed the Columbia on a slender grid deck bridge in the usual gale force Gorge winds facing oncoming 10-cylinder horse-trailer towing trucks with barn-door sized side mirrors coming at my face I knew I'd have to do something. I used a KB brace from Murph's Kits, it seemed heavier and stronger than the others, with big bolts. Made a huge difference in my commute. As did a Calsci windshield. Also put on an SW-Motech centerstand, which seemed like a clean, solid design. Not cheap but extremely well put together and well fitted to the bike.

I liked that bike but it wasn't quite muscular enough for freeway survival purposes; I'm a great believer in having more acceleration on tap than you'll ever need, and that doesn't quite describe the DL650. It's plenty quick off the line but it didn't always have everything I asked for when thanks to some loon I had to twist the throttle at 60+.

Edited by WarpShatner7 on Dec 7th 2018 at 07:10 PM Reason: Add fork brace and windshield links
Dec 7th 2018, 06:29 PM   #3
 
  Jan 2016
  SE PDX

easy to drop it an inch with new dog bones and dropping the forks an inch.

Crash guards will save the plastic if it goes down. But not the front turn signals. If you can find them, buell turn signals are an easy install and flex enough for mishaps.

I plan to go down a tooth on the front sprocket when it is time for new ones (at 27k now and original are fine, chain is nearly at end of life.)

it is not happy below 3k rpm, so don't worry about using the 'fiction zone' in the clutch.

well regarded fork brace;

Fork Braces - AdventureTech, LLC.


good forum; https://www.stromtrooper.com/northwest/
Dec 7th 2018, 07:30 PM   #4
 Flyboymedic's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Hazel Dell, Wa

  Honda VFR800, Husqvarna TE 610, Ducati Hypermotard 1100S, Yamaha Radian, MZ 125SM
For a number of years my TE610 had a really tough clutch pull and I would break cables at the lever about every 5,000 miles. I had to pull the clutch arm in the case after it got bent and after adjusting the clutch down at the engine to the factory specs, along with a new Barnett clutch cable, that seems to have made the clutch pull very smooth and 'lighter' and it's as easy as an aftermarket hydraulic clutch on another bike I tried, as well as my Honda VFR with a hydraulic clutch. I don't know if that has an adjustment down at the engine like my Husky does, but if so, check to see if it's actually within factory specs and adjust it if necessary, then leave 1/16" or more of slack up at the lever with the wheel adjuster to bring it back closer to the handlebar.

In fact, just recently I bought another bike that had a really loooong reach on the clutch lever and all I needed to do was loosen the wheel adjuster and gave it a good 1/16" which brought it back to a reasonable distance with enough room for my fingers still when pulled in enough to disengage the clutch.

Edited by Flyboymedic on Dec 7th 2018 at 07:34 PM
Dec 7th 2018, 10:09 PM   #5
 unicykle's Avatar
 
  Sep 2017
  milwaukie oregon

  gsxr600 gsxr750 gsxr1000 i like gsxrs
I had a bike with a stupid hard clutch and appon inspection the cable was shot and a new cable made a big difference.
Dec 7th 2018, 10:23 PM   #6
 Motorbiker's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Silverdale, WA

  1987 FZR 1000
A little cable lube with a cable lubricator sometimes does wonders too. Motion pro 08-0182 or similar.
Dec 8th 2018, 05:40 AM   #7
 Suzuki Stevo's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Seattle ,Wa

  Burgman 400, TW200, Boulevard M50, 2018 Indian Scout 1131, 2018 Indian Chieftain Classic
Owned an 06 for over 10 years, the clutch issue is a previous owner/maintenance item.

My biggest complaint was the buffeting caused by the windshield, I chopped 3 inches off the OEM shield to expose my helmet to clean non turbulent airflow.

I have owned over 30 bikes since 1968 and the DL650 was one of my favorites. If I had a bigger garage I would have kept it.


Edited by Suzuki Stevo on Dec 8th 2018 at 05:42 AM
Dec 8th 2018, 09:17 AM   #8
 coastrider's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Oregon Coast

  2017 BMW R1200RT
I had a 2012 V-Strom DL 650 and loved it. I thought the clutch was fine, seemed easy to control. Had plenty of power for my solo riding even when fully packed for travel. It is a bit top heavy and was tall but I am 6 ft so worked out OK for me as it came. For someone shorter I can see lowering it a bit. If small hands then adjustable levers might be useful but I do not recall the clutch requiring unusual effort and it had a smooth release. So investigate before thinking that your clutch is they way they all are. Of course there could have been changes in the six model years.

I did install a skid plate so that I could then install highway pegs. That made long rides much nicer.

I also installed a "Richland Rick" fork brace and mirror extenders. I think I ordered these directly from builder. Google seems to indicate that this is now "Adventure Tech".

Fork Brace: Fork Braces - AdventureTech, LLC.

Mirror Extenders: Suzuki Mirror Extenders - AdventureTech, LLC.

I also replaced the mirrors with the Enduro model of Doubletake mirrors: https://www.doubletakemirror.com/

The combination of mirror extenders and Doubletake mirrors was great, highly recommended. Note that as they come the Doubletake mirrors would "fold back" in the strong wind of about 70 MPH or higher, especially on noticeable on rough roads. I solve this quite easily by taking a Starrett automatic center punch and putting a bunch of small dimples in the ball part of the mirror arm. The mirrors use a ball and socket to allow the mirrors to be adjusted. As they came I could tighten up as much as possible and they would still slowly move at high speed. I think I also took some fine sand paper to take the smooth finish off of the ball - not too much, just cloud the surface - and then punch some really small dimples in the ball. Mirrors were perfect after that.
Dec 10th 2018, 08:17 AM   #9
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Renton

I think I've found another reason behind the stalling... The stock 47 tooth rear sprocket was replaced with a 42 tooth. I've heard of people changing by one or two teeth to lower highway RPM or increase low speed response, but five teeth seems excessive. I haven't checked the front yet. The original 525 o-ring chain was swapped to a non-o-ring 520. I'll probably swap the chain and sprockets back to stock.

I plan to install the levers (MZS off eBay for $25) tonight, to see what difference that makes. Yes, I've heard of the possible issues with knockoff levers. Yes, I will be testing it myself first so I can address any issues. No, $180+ Pazzos, CRGs, or ASVs are not in the budget right now.

It already has a skid plate, crash bars, and a Givi Monokey top box. I popped the top box off to make it easier for her to get a leg over while she's learning. I removed a throttle assist gizmo and a cheap shit compass that I felt were more liability than help for a new rider.

Any idea what the length hole-to-hole is on the stock dog bones? There doesn't seem to be any room down there for longer ones
Dec 10th 2018, 08:42 AM   #10
 Suzuki Stevo's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Seattle ,Wa

  Burgman 400, TW200, Boulevard M50, 2018 Indian Scout 1131, 2018 Indian Chieftain Classic
https://www.murphskits.com

Dec 11th 2018, 06:04 AM   #11
 
  Apr 2017
  Seattle

  DL650A
If your gf is so inclined, she should get a spare clutch cable and throw it in the sidebag, just in case the regular one breaks on a trip. Alternatively, she could zip-tie it along the existing cable as an easy storage place. Just be sure to put a bit of tape over the ends to keep dirt out.
Dec 11th 2018, 06:29 AM   #12
 Bald Guy's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Kennewick

  KTM SAR Husqvarna Strada, Ural Patrol and a shit load of BN125
I had the DL1000 for a few years.

Not sure if the handle bars are the same, but the DL1000's were like a large chunk of wet noodles. If I had not have sold it, new bars were next on my list.

I did install the Madstad windshield bracket. Helped a bunch, but I just kept looking at those two blades of steel poking up, waiting to gut me if I ever had a forward dismount.

Dusty
Dec 11th 2018, 07:12 AM   #13
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Renton

Stromtroopers forum says the stock links are 140 mm (5-1/2"), and 1-1/8" lowering links are 150 mm (5-29/32"). Looks like hers is the stock height. Murphs links seem to be the most cost effective. I really like the look of Soupy's but damn they're expensive. Makes me wonder if I could find some turnbuckles at Home Depot for a quarter the price.

I always wonder what people are doing to break clutch cables. I'll have to take a look at the clutch adjustment. Seems it's under the front sprocket cover on this thing.
Dec 11th 2018, 10:10 AM   #14
 WarpShatner7's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bald Guy
I had the DL1000 for a few years.
I did install the Madstad windshield bracket. Helped a bunch, but I just kept looking at those two blades of steel poking up, waiting to gut me if I ever had a forward dismount.
The funny thing of course is that once you get it set for that perfect airflow you never touch it again. If I'd been strapped for pennies I'd have considered modifying the factory bracket by shaving / adding washers to get the same angle and then ebay-ing the thing. (OTOH maybe not: the perfect airflow varies significantly by helmet and I only used one helmet when I had that bike. Currently I switch between a modular and a jet, and my windshield directs the air flawlessly for the latter, visor up or down, but hits the former all choppy and nails me in the eyeballs).

Great bike, and with a ~50L topcase you start running out of reasons to own any other piece of transportation. A lot of people say this or that bike is the best they've ever had, and a lot of reviews say "best all around bike you can buy", but I don't know of any other bike that you so consistently heard them said about.
PeteN95 and Bald Guy like this.
Dec 14th 2018, 07:20 AM   #15
 HalcyonSon's Avatar
 
  Apr 2016
  Renton

Final count on the sprockets is 16/42 instead of the stock 15/47. I don't know what the fuck this guy was thinking with that HUGE change in gearing. It's not even a simple mix-up with the big V-Strom 1000 because stock there looks like 17/41.

On the upside, the new levers are on... on the down the left handgaurd is a PITA. I've had the thing on and off a dozen times trying to get the new lever adjuster to stop hitting. I managed to snap off the bent cable adjuster just for extra fun. Got a half turn and then it was gone. The threaded section inside the perch pinched shut on the cable and fouled the threads in the perch... which I didn't notice until I got a new one in a tried to adjust it. Took me an hour to fight the new one back out, clear the threads, smooth out the now fucked threads on the new adjuster, and get it all back together again. Still haven't got the handguard to where I'm happy with it, and It's looking pretty rough from manhandling and heating it.
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