My V-strom story, I'm sticking to it.

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by robberst, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    The back story:

    June 20, 2004 I bought my first new motorcycle, this DL650. I've ridden it around a bit. Chesapeake Bay to Puget Sound and many places in between. Lots of commuting. I've done all the servicing by the book, however around 55K miles, I didn't get the airbox seal back in place properly and I rode it for a service interval with it leaking in sand and dirt. Soon after it started burning oil. I was a little upset with myself.....

    At 63,684 miles, I hit a deer, hard. The insurance co. totaled it and I bought it back for $250. In the mean time I bought KTM 640 Adventure to ride. The suzuki got new fork tubes, lots of small pieces that broke off, my horseshoe shaped radiator was fixed by a local shop. Then it looked like this.

    [​IMG]

    Last summer oil consumption increased to over a quart per 1000 miles. More worrisome was an increase in engine noise and an occasional vibration and lack of power. My wife and I took a trip up the Beartooth HWY in Montana and the vibration at times was worse than the KTM. We were at some high elevations but it seemed very short on power.

    [​IMG]

    It was due for a valve check when we got back, so I checked and found all were still well within limits. I did notice that the cam chain tensioners looked fully extended. I took them apart. Indeed the front was all the way out and the rear has only 2 clicks left.

    Over the winter, I've been trying to decide what to do with it. Scrap it. Buy a used ebay motor. Overhaul it. Scrap it. I don't really need another project bike since I have this.

    [​IMG]

    I'm not really in a good position to buy a new bike or even a good used one right now. So I'm thinking a quick hone of the cylinders, new rings, new cam chains, touch up the valves/seats and go on my merry way.

    I'm an airplane mechanic and have access to lots of engine machine tools, so I can do it all myself.

    Anyone ever heard of cam chain issues? I searched and didn't find anything.
    #1
  2. LexLeroy

    LexLeroy Chief Mansplainer

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    Looks like a pre-1967 Royal Enfield Interceptor. Run as fast as possible in the opposite direction. :eek1 One of the happiest days of my life was when mine headed out of town piloted by its new owner. I didn't waste any time cashing the check.

    As for the Swazook - I'd think about parting it out and getting another.
    #2
  3. D.T.

    D.T. Difficult but useful

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    How did you buy it back for $250?

    I've put pistons in my SV and never heard of cam chain problems causing low power before either.

    I say do a compression check.
    #3
  4. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    The insurance company gave me the option of cash and they would take the bike or $250 less and I keep the bike.

    I don't suppose the reduced power is from the cam chains. Probably more likely as you say with low compression or perhaps a FI sensor. I've had several fail. I only have a differential compression tester and haven't yet put together a way to hook that up down the deep spark plug wells, so instead I did this....

    [​IMG]

    Its not a very good pic, but you can kinda see some areas around the edge that are seem to be oil washed and there is definite oil trails past the rings on both pistons.

    [​IMG]

    The cam chain stretch seems kinda strange. There is really no wear to speak of on the chain guides or tensioner.

    I don't seem much noticable wear on the cam chain drive sprockets either.

    Should those be replaced with the chains?
    #4
  5. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    :rofl

    It's a 1958 Indian Trailblazer. I should run the other way, but I'm a sucker for things like that. I also commute during the winter in a Alfa Romeo. Many people think I'm nuts

    Parting out the V-strom is a good option and one I will still consider before I spend any more cash on it. Anyone need any wore out crashed suzuki parts?:evil
    #5
  6. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism!

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    The easy way to make a differential compressor tester plug fitting is to take an old pushrod tube from an old Lycoming
    take an old plug from your bike. Bust out the porcelin and electrode, etc. Cut the pushrod tube to length so it will clear everything, but still reach. Brase the plug body onto the pushrod tube, brase the air fitting that matches your compression testor onto the other end. check it for leaks in the brazing. Done.
    #6
  7. D.T.

    D.T. Difficult but useful

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    Already have the head off eh?

    I'd hone the cylinders lightly, new rings. Then remove the valves, clean up the heads. Lap the valves and check for leaks. Buy some OEM parts and wal la, back in business!
    #7
  8. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

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    What do the valve stems look like? Evidence of oil getting by the valve seals?
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  9. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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    Much like a KLR, I think a Strom is always going to be worth rebuilding, as they are such a handy bike to have around. Something too, about having one that is 'cosmetically challenged', you don't have to worry about a scratch, ding or bit of dust here and there, and you can really enjoy yourself, use it for a guest bike, etc. that is quite capable of trips, a bit of gravel, or just a Sunday drive.

    Nice to have a motor when you are done with the rebuild that you are familiar with, on a bike that has a great track record already.


    I would keep it around and fix the fixin. :evil

    Sounds like you have the technology and smarts to get it done.
    #9
  10. Kawidad

    Kawidad Long timer

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    If you ask me, which you did and didn't, I'd fix it.:D

    As to the cam chain. The early SV motors, which is the basis of the DL650 motor did have some cam chain and cam chain tensioner issues. Those were fixed early in the production, but there is a history. (I had an early production SV with the tensioner issue, so I know firsthand.)
    #10
  11. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    Very good, I have lots of lycoming push rod tubes laying about even.
    I did briefly consider it, but because I wanted address the oil burning anyway I knew I'd just take it apart.


    No there is no evidence of any oil getting past the valve seals. I'm still planning to touch up the valves, seats and replace the seals. I haven't disassembled the heads yet

    The front cylinder bore looks like new with all the cross hatching
    The rear bore has some very light scratch marks, not as deep as the cross hatch even. Just enough to see in the right light. over 85K miles I expected more wear to match the rest of the bike

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. LexLeroy

    LexLeroy Chief Mansplainer

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    There's a thread on swapping in an SV1000 engine on the VSTROM.info site... if some's good then more's better. :D
    #12
  13. baloneyskin daddy

    baloneyskin daddy bikaholic

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    About all you can do to stock valves is lap them in, they have a surface hardening on the valve angles that once worn thru will cause rapid decrease in valve clearances.
    #13
  14. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

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    I don't know if you swap a 1000cc motor into the 650 frame.
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  15. robberst

    robberst Been here awhile

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    This is good to know. I just flipped through the service manual and indeed there is no info on grinding valves only on grinding seats. I guess I'll check the valve seats and grind them if necessary.

    Didn't do much on it today. The weather here is kinda crappy. We got a few inches of snow yesterday, it's -5 F right now and another 6 inches of snow on the way. :vardy

    I did measure the clutch plates and springs according to the manual. Measures closer to the new end of the limits.
    #15
  16. precarious

    precarious Been here awhile

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    Aren't the 650/1000 frames the same?
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  17. greywolf

    greywolf Unpaved road avoider

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    No, only close. The engine mount positions are totally different.
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  18. LexLeroy

    LexLeroy Chief Mansplainer

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    Yeah, I was doing my Evelyn Wood speed reading for non-comprehension thing and missed the fact that the bike is a DL650. :deal

    But how about swapping in the mill from an SV650? There's got to be lots of those things lying around that have been front-ended. :hmmmmm
    #18
  19. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    I kind of fail to see the point. Having owned one SV650, and now on my 3rd DL650, they have just about the same power. But if its about availability then sure, an SV650 engine should fit in rather nicely. Fitting a 1000cc engine into the 650 frame might be a lot harder.
    #19
  20. precarious

    precarious Been here awhile

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    That makes a lot of sense, actually. I've never worked on a 650, so I've learned something, today.
    #20