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Old 01-24-2013, 01:28 AM   #1
kuhjunge OP
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How to prepare a V-Strom DL650 for a Round-The-World journey

Howdy folks and I start with a disclaimer: I am a beemer fan and yet I have the pleasure to be the mechanic for Milady's bike for our RTW journey. She loves and rides her V-Strom DL650 (MY04, 60tkm). This pleasure includes the preparation before the and maintenance during the journey.

We will ride through exotic places where the everyday V-Strom driver will not go. I hope to find here those brave souls which have taken their Weestrom beyond the "recommended" terms of use

Besides some usual stuff like watercooler protection, engine guard, oil cooler guard, crash bars (Suzuki), headlampprotection I was wondering how to take of following things:
- fuel with low quality e.g. 80Oct
- leaded fuel
- deep watercrossings - besides air-intake what are the critical points where water would enter to parts where it does not belong
- bearings: which bearings besides front and backwheel might be critical and should be either replaced upfront or taken with as spare?
- anything around the injection system?


I already contacted Suzuki Europe. They provided some ideas, however, I guess they do not put all cards on the table either neither do they seem to support modifications beyond the usual.

Now I wait for your answers ...

p.s. changing bike is not an option. It will be Milday's V-Strom
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:13 AM   #2
brstar
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Thumb Fuel

I have had fuel of uncertain quality in my Dl650. It contained some muddy water (probably salty) from I would say a rusted underground tank. It stopped my bike for quite some time.
The thing is modern bikes cannot handle bad fuel. The fuel injection system on mine has a filter the size of a small teabag. And the fuel pump is actually in the tank.
So amongst other things I would be looking to fit maybe an external pump ( calibrated to the correct pressure of course)
Along with in line filters between it and the tank. Other than that I reckon its a great machine if set up properly.
Hoe it works out for you.
Cheers, Bruce.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:16 AM   #3
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Personally I would want at least a second fuel filter, preferably with a sediment trap.

Another thought is to carry a spare fuel can, with an auxiliary fuel pump with filter. You can fill up the spare can, then pump from the can through a filter into the bike's tanks, then inspect the last bit in can to use or toss out. Sounds like a hassle but that's nothing compared to the hassle of a breakdown because of clogged filters and fuel injection, plus possible damage to injector pump.

I would also carry along a drinking water filter! In some places there's no telling what the heck is squirming around in that water!?
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:55 AM   #4
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External fuel filter modification http://www.vstrom.info/Smf/index.php/topic,6105.0.html good luck with the trip and keep us posted.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:51 AM   #5
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Tervehdys,

 
I went Finland to Oz with my girlfriend on one DL650AK7 half a decade ago. Sometimes we had some engine knocking, when fuel octane was probably a bit low (the DL does not have a knock sensor) but just changed to a lower gear, and it was fine. I specifically talked about possible issues and fuel filtering with an experienced Suzuki-mechanic before we left, and he told me to _not_ mess with it at all, because itīs fine as it is, and in the worst case, you may create some problems, that were not there. In our case he was right, we never had a problem. But also worth noting, that the K7 has different fuel pump from the K4-K6, so I canīt comment on those models. And the strainer inside the fuel pump actually was almost clogged with dirt, when I inspected it after the trip. Changing it during travel would not have been a big issue, though, and I had one with us as spare. I think a portable extra filter (like a "sock") that you just simply put between the tank opening and fuel canister, when you start pouring, might be a good idea, and very simple to do.

 
Aftermarket suspension parts is also another area, where people have created new problems with the bike. Stock parts may not be very fancy, but they get the job done, especially if the bike is to be ridden solo. But you can, and maybe even should, tweak the suspension, just be careful you install only parts, that will last, and that can be serviced outside Europe.

 
Make sure you have a sturdy bashplate underneath the engine, itīll certainly get some beating!

 
Interesting, that you plan to do it with dogs. Wonder how thatīll affect your border crossings, etc.

edit. Bearings, at 60k, before a world trip Iīd replace all wheel bearings and steering head bearings, and at least have a look at the swingarm and rear linkage bearings as well. Some of those Iīd also consider to maybe carry as spares (though most of them could probably be found almost everywhere, if needed). Valve clearance & throttle body sync check, as well as replacing all filters and fluids are also things that I would do before setting off.

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Old 01-25-2013, 12:08 PM   #6
kirb
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Worried about bad fuel going in?
http://www.amazon.com/Finum-63-421-5...rds=tea+filter

Get one with the smallest filter media you can find...you can also line it with a disposable coffee filter or the like.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:47 PM   #7
Jamie Z
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuhjunge View Post
- fuel with low quality e.g. 80Oct
- leaded fuel
- deep watercrossings - besides air-intake what are the critical points where water would enter to parts where it does not belong
- bearings: which bearings besides front and backwheel might be critical and should be either replaced upfront or taken with as spare?
- anything around the injection system?
My first suggestion would be to leave most of the bike as factory. It's been my experience both with cars and motorcycles that aftermarket stuff and accessories are the parts which fail on a long trip.

My experience with wheel bearing: replace as necessary. They come factory sealed and should handle water crossings fine. I think I changed my wheel bearings at 60,000 or 70,000 and they still felt fine, and that included lots of dirt and gravel roads and a handful of water crossings. I've gone through water almost as deep as the front tire.

I changed the swingarm bearings on my bike at about 100,000 miles. They still looked factory fresh. It was a waste of time.

I changed from ball bearings to tapered roller bearings in the triple clamp at about 25,000 or 30,000 miles. They were fine, and I haven't touched the new bearings since. I just prefer the feel of roller bearings.

For water crossings, just make sure you keep the chain lubed up.

The V-Strom has a reputation for running fine on crappy fuel.

Before you leave, do the standard maintenance. New chain. New sprockets. New brake pads. New tires. New air filter. Change the oil and oil filter. Fill up with gas and go.

On the road, change the oil when required. Lube the chain periodically. Check your air filter every 10,000 miles or so.

I think you'll find that the Suzuki gives you fewer problems than the BMW.

Jamie
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:08 PM   #8
Jeathrow Bowdean
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Years ago, I ran into a fuel sock that was set up to catch water and sand from contaminated fuel "Gasoline." It came in small micro mills so even the smallest of particals would not pass through. I haven't seen them around over the last few years, but a hand full of them would be nice to have.

The water and mud that you talked about could put your bearings and seals at some risk, and I have heard of some folks taking the time to some how re-fill them with better grease. You might even be able to find what they call double seals for your wheel axles, if there is room to put them on so they do not stick out. They are not much thicker then the factory seals, but they are a few millimeters wider. The seals and bearings are pretty good on the V Stroms, and I would think that they have a very good track record. If you put new bearings in before your trip, I'm sure you will make it around the world, so long as you don't nick a seal...

You can add more electro grease to your wire plugs to keep the water and mud out, but be carefull that the prongs don't get damaged well doing this. I'm sure that you folks know more about this them me.

V Strom International is a good place for this information. johnofchar has lots of knwoledge on stuff like this, and he can point you in the right direction I;m sure. Good luck on your quest, and I can't wait to see what your up to. I'm doing the same thing with my wee-pig for off road, travel, and if I find any more info, I will let you know.

http://www.mrfunnel.com/Mr._Funnel/Home.html Then you can get small micron line filters with add on hoses so you can catch any thing and every thing. Automotive folks can order them in for you. They are cheap to buy, and you can back flush them with clean gas, and use them agian, once they get good and pluged, you can dig out the next one. Pick up about 3 or 4 of them. They are small and low coast. Make sure you pick the smallest MICRON you can possabely get !!!.

Like one fellow said, put the gas in a can, threw Mr. Filter, then with your small filter in line hose thing that you make, fill up your bike. Jamey Z is bang on !!!

You can pick up some cloth socks to go over you foam air cleaner if you hit some areas that are dusty with sand, and at the end of the day you can peal them off and clean them or put on a new one, Only use them when your crossing the desert in a dust storm, other then that, your good to go.

From Jeathrow Bowdean in Western Canada

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Old 01-25-2013, 06:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeathrow Bowdean View Post
Years ago, I ran into a fuel sock that was set up to catch water and sand from contaminated fuel "Gasoline." It came in small micro mills so even the smallest of particals would not pass through. I haven't seen them around over the last few years, but a hand full of them would be nice to have.
Like this:

http://www.qualitycycleparts.com/Pro.../ultra-mk2.htm
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:39 AM   #10
PeterW
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Visit Stromtrooper and VSRI.

I would recommend suspension work, just to avoid wear and tear on the rider. Fork brace, Intiminators up front, aftermarket rear shock and if you are serious about nasty roads, a steering damper.

Crash bars, belly pan (not the suzuki one). Barkbusters or similar. Just to reduce damage and lever breakage from low speed tipovers and random rocks.

Otherwise, have someone lined up the courier you parts should the need arise.

There's a lot you COULD take with you, but it's likely to be dead weight. Being able to get spares quickly and reliably seems to have been the worst problem long distance travellers have had.

Pete
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:04 AM   #11
kuhjunge OP
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thanx folks

Howdy and thanx a lot for the great ideas, comments and suggestions. I will look into them.

Besides the regular maintenance, I will change the wheel bearings also as an exercise to get familiar with the V-Strom.

I already changed the steering bearing last summer. Based on hints from others, I took the better aftermarket part from here: http://www.emilschwarz.de/dev/index.php?id=100

Oilfilter is from Scotts and airfilter from K&N - again less parts to take with

Which bike will last longer on this trip: well the answer will come one day

Personally I like the V-Strom a lot, besides the unnecessary plastic parts - however I like the GSA even more
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:22 AM   #12
Jeathrow Bowdean
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Good find cug. I figured it was out there, and they are easy to pack. Yes on the what to take along with you on the bike on a world trip. I would imagin that you will have stuff in your back up, set up to ship to you where ever you are in the event that you need something, well at least some of the small stuff that is.

The 2 dudes that did the world on DRZ 400's in 2011 had Suzuki shops in some areas for repair when they got to curtain cities, and this seem like a good idea. Plan Plan and Plan will save you from thinking to much when in route, at least things are well thought out, and delays could happen anyways that are unexpected.

A person would be suprized how many places there are to hide stuff on the bikes you are taking, and if you plan it right, then every knok and cranny will have something hiden in side the hollow handle bars, and along the side pannels and under the seat. Ha Ha, don't hide or mount any thing under the rear fender. Ha Ha. One fellow tried this and the tire ate up what he had straped up in there... being that rough roads shake many thing loose.

From Jeathrow Bowdean

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Old 01-26-2013, 08:00 AM   #13
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There are a few that have traveled extensively via V-Strom. These two chaps from the UK did it a few years ago and even had a video on YouTube. http://www.bikingforbarnardos.com/

Currently, there are a couple of Ride Reports where folks are using DL650s to get the job done. Mind you, these aren't RTW trips, but they are traveling in areas where the fuel could be suspect and repairs are not readily available.

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=810189

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=820120

These fine folks may have some suggestions for you...
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:16 PM   #14
GrahamD
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Travelling Strom...

Been riding the Stroms everywhere for years...Surprised no one mentioned him.

http://travellingstrom.com/

He blogs the whole lot. Warts and all and does presentations at Horizons Meetings about it.



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Old 01-28-2013, 01:35 PM   #15
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