Welcome to the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS blog!
The V-Strom 1000 ABS is a webBikeWorld Project Bike for 2014.
I eagerly anticipated the V-Strom after seeing a European version introduced at the 2013 AIMExpo dealer show (report) in Orlando, Florida in 2013.
I reported on the bike in this 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS preview and I took delivery of an "Adventure" version in May of 2014.
As I mentioned in the Suzuki GW250 Blog (another webBikeWorld Project Bike), despite the preponderance of the Suzuki brand recently as Project Bikes (e.g., the Suzuki DR650SE Blog), it's pure coincidence, nothing more. I never knew I was a Suzuki guy!
I published a Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS First Impressions report after only 100 miles or so; perhaps too early for a "first impression" but I wanted to get something out there and I had some, well, first impressions about the bike.
If you've read that report, you may think that I think that it's a horrible motorcycle. Not true; it's just that it doesn't "blow me away" like most new motorcycles do.
I plan on keeping it for the duration and -- who knows? -- maybe I'll come to like it. One really never knows...
In the meantime, this Blog page will have links to articles and tips, so check back often.
Also, please subscribe to the webBikeWorld.com RSS feed, Twitter posts, Facebook, Google+, YouTube Channel, Vimeo Pro Channel (info page) and more to get updated every time a new article is posted.
And feel free to send your comments, tips on parts or accessories and your feedback on the new V-Strom 1000 ABS, Standard or Adventure model, to
wBW Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS Blog
|Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS Review | Review Part 3|
|NEW! G2 Throttle Tamer Transforms the V-Strom!||Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS Tank Bag Review|
|Givi Bags on the V-Strom (below)||Center Stand Installation|
|Cameleon Chain Oiler||Suzuki Tank Bag Notes (below)|
|Kaoko Throttle Control||Oil and Filter Change|
|V-Strom Chain Adjustment||Driving Lights|
|SHAD SH36 Side Cases for the V-Strom||Horn Upgrade|
|Nokya Hyper Yellow Bulb Replacement||Handlebar Upgrade|
|Paint Protection Film on the V-Strom (below)|
|(Unlinked entries are work in progress.)|
More V-Strom 1000 ABS Tips, Tricks and Info
|NEW! Watch Out for That Side Stand! (below)||Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS First Impressions|
|NEW! Raise the Fork Tubes for Better Handling (below)||Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS Adventure Photos|
|NEW! 2014 DL 1000 Torque Specs (below)||2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS AIMExpo Preview|
|V-Strom Helmet Choices (below)|
Owner Reports and Tips
|Send 'em to|
(August 24, 2014): Suzuki side stands can be tricky. On both the Suzuki GW250 (Blog) and the V-Strom, the side stand deploys only just forward of its centerline and it does not have a spring or detent to hold it in place once deployed.
This means that if the bike moves forward or is pushed just a touch forward when on the side stand, the side stand can quickly fold and the bike will fall over.
This has nearly happened to me twice in the garage (Chris was there to help catch the bike before it fell). Then today I parked the bike in the street at a friend's house. The road was just very slightly sloped forward -- so slightly, I didn't even notice. I deployed the side stand and started to get off the bike and -- surprise! -- it started to roll forward. I caught it, but just barely -- that V-Strom is heavy!
The design is at fault here and there are three things that should be done by Suzuki to fix this problem: first, the side stand should deploy farther beyond center (towards the front of the bike). Second, there should be a spring to hold it in the deployed position and third, there should be a strong detent to also help hold it in place.
In the meantime, be very cautious of this with your new V-Strom (or GW250 or DR650 or...).
(August 24, 2014): A webBikeWorld reader suggested a trick I should have remembered from a long time ago. Raising the fork tubes in the clamp by about 10 mm can help the handling problems on some bikes. I did this on the BMW K75 project bike a long time ago and it helped.
Raising the forks in the clamp decreases the rake and trail (article) slightly
So yesterday I loosened the 6 fork tube clamp bolts on the V-Strom and pushed down on the handlebars to raise the forks in the clamp. With the bolts loose, the forks easily popped up about 20 mm, which is too much. So I jacked up the bike slightly by putting a block under the oil drain plug between the exhaust pipes and pushed the fork tubes down a bit.
It took some back-and-forth finagling and you have to be careful not to twist the tubes in the clamp and to make sure both sides are even, using a scale or the depth function of a Vernier caliper. I ended up with 10.3 mm on both sides.
I took the bike out today and immediately noticed a difference! I'd swear there's a bit more leg room so I can better touch the ground also.
The V-Strom definitely does not feel as clumsy at low speeds, especially when pulling away from a stop sign into a 90-degree turn. The overall handling in the twisties feels much more "normal" also and the bike no longer feels like it's "running uphill" on the big 19" front tire.
Between this and adding the G2 Throttle Tamer (review), I'm enjoying the V-Strom much more and I'm glad to go through this exercise and bring you these tips. Definitely try both of these and I'm sure you'll be very pleased.
(August 22, 2014): Here are some torque specs for the 2014 DL1000, taken from the owner's manual. I have an official Suzuki shop manual on order and will add more specs once that arrives. If you need a particular torque spec, let me know.
(August 21, 2014): Simple installation of a G2 Throttle Tamer and a few easy suspension fixes transform the bike from nearly unrideable to a gentle giant. Read more in the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS review Part 3.
From "D.C." (July 26, 2014): "Here are a few pictures of my bike after a couple of goodies. The Givi racks went on in less than 45 minutes. Believe me, that's saying a lot more for the racks than me. They must of heard about me. There were only 2 pictures and no instructions! How many of us read them anyway??
I can't say enough about the Trekkers, they're great but they do stick out a little. They have green indicators on top to let know they are locked. If you see red they are not.
I have always wanted top mounting. They have top brackets for tie downs this extra on other cases -- very handy. I have been in 2 days of rain and interstate travel no leaks or rattles. The trunk on the other not so much. I was able to mount the bracket with out drilling in to the factory bike rack. Slight leak rattles a lot and has come open twice. And the reflective tape is peeling.
I know i should have purchased the complete trekker set but my banker says pay off the side cases first!"
(July 21, 2014): Installed the Kaoko throttle lock (aka cruise control) on the V-Strom; it's easy to do but not quite as successful in operation as it is on the BMW scooter, due to the V-Strom's harsh engine response. Read more in the Kaoko Throttle Lock review.
(July 12, 2014): Lots of information on the V-Strom chain adjustment in the article How to Adjust a Motorcycle Chain.
(July 9, 2014): You can save nearly $1,000.00 by mounting the brand-new SHAD SH36 bags instead of the Suzuki bag system. And the SHAD panniers are lighter and hold more stuff, including a full-face helmet! Info, pricing, photos and lots more in the SHAD SH36 Side Case Review.
(June 30, 2014): We have discussed yellow headlight bulbs for motorcycles in the past. I thought it might work for the V-Strom also, so I replaced the stock headlight bulb with a Nokya Hyper Yellow H7. It's easy to do; this article shows how.
(June 21, 2014): A few owners asked about windscreen issues when riding with different helmet types (e.g., dual-sport, open-face, full-face, etc.) on the new V-Strom.
I actually find the stock Adventure windscreen (which I believe is slightly taller than the windscreen on the standard version) to be pretty good. I'm 5'10" tall (178 cm) and the middle setting on the windscreen is just about perfect for me.
I tried raising the screen one notch and lowering it one notch (involves a too-fussy removal of 4 screws) and both caused more wind blast.
I have also tried the middle setting wearing a dual-sport helmet, the Japanese version of the Shoei Hornet (review).
Based on some owner emails I had received, I fully expected tons o' turbulence.
But I have actually found that a dual-sport helmet is pretty quiet; quieter, in fact, than wearing my Arai RX-Q (review), which has those noise generating scoops on top.
The Arai RX-Q catches the air directly in the faster Venturi effect air stream that forms over the top of the V-Strom's windscreen.
The dual-sport peak on the Hornet apparently allows the air to slide over the top of the helmet, reducing the noise levels. I do have to tilt my head just very slightly for this effect; if I wore the Hornet more often, I'd raise the windscreen one notch.
One helmet that works pretty well with the V-Strom and also with the BMW C 650 GT scooter (Blog) is the HJC CL-16 (review). It has a smaller top vent that admittedly doesn't flow as much air, but remains relatively quiet in the fast air flowing over both windscreens.
In general, any helmet with large top scoops will probably have more noise, as the air coming over the top of the windscreen forms a fast and turbulent flow that hits the upper half of the helmet.
The other issue I've found is that the windscreen actually works so well at a point half-way down the helmet and below that I don't get enough ventilation in the lower part of the helmet. So you should look for a helmet that has a small first defogging position that will hold the face shield. The CL-16 has a weak detent for this but it's a bit too weak and the face shield occasionally shuts in a crosswind.
This is where an open-face helmet comes into play; something like the AGV Blade (review) is one of my favorites on both the scooter and the V-Strom, as is the new Nexx SWITX SX10 (review). If you want a sort-of dual-sport look, try the AFX (review).
Bottom line: The new V-Strom's windscreen works pretty well in my opinion and better than I expected. I may try a third-party 'screen when/if one becomes available, just for kicks.
(June 8, 2014): About the only exposed paint on the V-Strom is right where your knees hug the fuel tank. I noticed some spider web scratches appearing within a few hundred miles, so I whipped out a pencil and paper and made a template to cut some 3M Scotchcal paint protection film and laid it on both sides of the tank.
We have several motorcycle paint protection film reviews on webBikeWorld that include installation instructions, so I didn't think this needed another go.
It's very easy to install on the flat-sided V-Strom fuel tank and the hardest part it getting your template correct...and making sure you're cutting the stuff correctly for left and right sides -- a mirror image. Here's a pic of the final result:
(June 3, 2014): The Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS tank bag is a quality piece of luggage. It takes a few extra parts and the initial installation can be tricky, so read this report with lots of photos and information.
(May 18, 2014): The Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS center stand kit is expensive but it's a perfect fit on the bike and it's also surprisingly easy to install...with a few tips! See the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS center stand kit review and installation article for all the details, along with a video!
(May 17, 2014): I ordered the Suzuki tank bag and the center stand when I bought the bike. They both arrived this week and I'll have detailed reviews describing the installation of both.
But in the meantime, here's a tip on something I discovered: the Suzuki tank bag mounts on a ring adapter that fits on the fuel filler. So you need to buy the adapter kit also -- they don't tell you that when you order the tank bag.
It's a nice design and avoids having to use straps or magnets, but it makes the entire kit even more expensive. The official Suzuki tank bag is a beautiful piece (part number 990D0-04600) but it costs $249.95. Add the ring mount (part 990D0-04100, $52.95) and ring mount adapter (990D0-04610, $56.95) that you'll need -- another $98.59 total for both.
This makes the tank bag with mounting hardware $348.54, which seems pretty steep to me. I'm not sure what an equivalent bag system for, say, a BMW R1200 GS costs, but I'll check into the ring mount bags from our affiliate, Twisted Throttle, to see if there's a cheaper equivalent.
I ordered the ring mounting kit and it should be here in a few days. In the meantime, here are a few quick photos of the Suzuki tank bag and parts that come with it.
By the way, you also have to drill the bottom of the tank bag to fit the mounting bracket on the bag side! You'd think for that kind of money, Suzuki would have it all assembled (and come to your house to install it!).
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