So folks, here we go. You may have spotted my post a while back about doing south america in pieces. Well, I've decided it is going to get done. I'm new to the whole writing about the ride, but Ive enjoyed so many of yours I almost feel obligated to do the same. Mine will never come close to some of the reports here, as I think I lost all my creative writing skills the second I started law school. but who knows... Anyway, two months ago, i purchased an '07 DL1000 from a fellow inmate in Birmingham and rode it down to Miami. Awesome machine even with its flaws. it came lowered (good for me), with SW Motech crash bars, unknown bar risers, madstad bracket, two power outlets, wimpy piaa fog lamps mounted to fork, accessory fuse box, volt meter, and um uh, i think that's it. Since purchasing, I've spent entirely too many hours reading the various forums and articles on modding/improving the beast as well as learning about its various failings, nearly all of which are suspension and the various burps in the FI system. until i added 3 hepco & becker gobi bags, i thought the suspension was ok. now, with the weight of the empty bags and two rotopax 1 gallon fuel cells (plus my fat ass) the suspension is revealing its limitations. here's a few shameless glam shots: I've purchased but have yet to install footpeg lowering kit from RichlandRich on vstrom.info. (yeah i'm short, but i have bad knees that don't like to be bent for too long.) remaining mods are as follows: 1. I will most likely have Sasquatch rebuild my rear shock and add a custom wound spring, as well as swap out the front springs and go with a heavier weight fork oil. 2. install SW Motech light bar and add some hella xenons 3. Akropovic bolt ons 4. SW Motech bash plate 5. Pro taper Contour Raptor bars 6. Real barkbusters 7. possibly cruise control (kaoko?) 8. new sprockets and chain (will probably stay with stock gearing but will wait to test the bike out fully loaded before i decide) 9. flush mount turn signals 10. new GPS: Big Blue came with a garmin nuvi 200w, which is no good. old, slow, and not waterproof. i have yet to decide on which unit i will buy, and i may even borrow the 60 csx from the DR650. i've also been toying with the idea of getting a gpsmap 620, but it does not support tracks and is bloody expensive 11. not sure if i'm gonna swap out the seat yet but was thinking of going with the DL650 seat since it's a tad lower. i've also purchased a bags connection GS tank bag, which has yet to arrive. i have not decided if i'm gonna purchase a DSLR or take my trusty canon D10..waterproof, shock resistant and compact. oh, and like 10 megapixels so not a slouch. i also have a contour HD (720i) with the waterproof case which generally documents my riding (read: falling) on the DR. schedule, route, and companeros are all up in the air at the moment. so, i'm open for suggestions, comments, flames, etc.