2013 Vstrom mods?

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by Woodsparrow, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. Woodsparrow

    Woodsparrow Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2019
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Texas
    So I bought a nice 2013 Vstrom 650 yesterday. As near as I can tell, it has heated grips, maybe a Day-Long seat, crash bars, a bolt-on kickstand widener, an aftermarket windscreen, hand guards. And a centerstand.

    Is there anything else I can look for on the bike to identify after market mods the previous owner did? By all appearances he set it up for a super touring bike.

    Given everything else I have a suspicion he might have done the suspension, but don't know how to check. I did plunk it into the Suzuki recall thing - no open items so stator is done?

    That said, I'm compiling a list of things I may want to consider doing in the future. This will all take a few months to get rolling since, you know, just bought a bike.

    First up, for me, is probably swapping the seat - this saddle is more comfortable than anything I've ever ridden, but I really want to plan both feet, and I'd prefer not to lower the bike. If that doesn't work, I keep hearing about dog-bones? Google shows inconsistent results, some people claiming it'll ruin the bike, others saying it's OK. My experience was with a lowered NC700, where the owner didn't change the kickstand, so it fell over if you looked at it.

    Second thing is looking at bags - GIVI hard mounts, or Kriega strappies? I'm inclined to a Kriega 30L or similar honestly, usually hate bags.

    Third is that some people have suggested a skid plate and fork braces. These look pretty cheap so may be higher than #3 priority.

    Fourth is, honestly, probably ripping off the grips and handguards. I'm finding them a bit annoying, and in winter I just wear winter gauntlets. The funky double-decker screen may also come off for something a bit more sleek (I AM ALLOWED TO PLAY PRETTY PRINCESS DRESS ME UP SOMETIMES)

    Any other suggestions on things to consider, or check, are really welcomed. Not my first bike but is my first V-strom, and so far I've been really impressed.
    #1
  2. c_m_shooter

    c_m_shooter Ninja Warrior

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    767
    Location:
    Paradise, TX
    Where in Texas are you? My '09 Vstrom came with a full set of GIVI bags and I have never used the side bags. I put the 3/4" lowering dog bones on it and dropped the triple trees 3/4" so my wife could touch the ground on it. Now every time I ride it I drag the skid plate on both sides in curves. I find the oversized windshield that the original owner put on it annoying, but haven't take a sawzall to it.....yet. I bought mine as a beater for my wife to drop. I will probably take some places it shouldn't be, and maybe use it as a tourer along the lines of the infamous "Cack".
    #2
  3. Woodsparrow

    Woodsparrow Adventurer

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    Aug 5, 2019
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    Location:
    Texas
    I'm in Dallas. Sounds like our bikes are similar, though I don't plan on dropping mine (ha, we never do).

    No idea who/what 'cack' is. I'm just planning to use it to commute a couple days a week.
    #3
  4. c_m_shooter

    c_m_shooter Ninja Warrior

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    767
    Location:
    Paradise, TX
    There was a guy on here with the handle of Vermin. He had an old pos PC800 named Cack, he toured around the country on and would leave the bike at extended family's or other inmate's backyards until he saved enough vacation time to continue his journeys. There were many threads on their adventures and even one where a bunch of inmates relayed Cack down the west coast so he could take a little trip into old Mexico.
    #4
  5. Motor7

    Motor7 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,482
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Take the seat off, turn it over and remove the rubber bumpers attached to the seat pan. This will lower it about 1/2".

    Most of us found the oem seat a torture device. Already having a custom seat is a huge bonus, so I would do everything to keep it. If it is an RDL or a Adcox, there will be a sticker on the bottom.
    #5
  6. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,132
    Location:
    Sometimes in Hillsburrito
    If you post a few pictures of the bike, most people that have been around V-Stroms for a while would be able to identify the non-stock items in less than a minute.

    There was a question on the main V-Strom thread about handlebars, vibrations and numb hands. I never liked the stock bar bend, so for me, the handlebar was the first thing to replace. Bash plate is needed only if you plan to ride not-well-maintained dirt roads or or try your hand at hardcore off-roading. If not, it should be a low priority on your budget.

    Bags depend on your use. I ride solo most of the time, a top case and more often, a waterproof duffel, is all I need for weeks long trips. If my wife comes along a set of soft saddlebags holds the extra stuff.

    Gustavo
    #6
  7. Woodsparrow

    Woodsparrow Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2019
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Texas
    After riding it for a couple days, and hitting one of those kind of 'dips' while backing it out and doing the two foot scramble for 'holy crap where is the ground I can't touch the ground', I think I've got to drop the seat height 1/2-3/4 inches. Assuming I've got a Day-long solo vinyl on there, is it worth my time buying a lower seat? If so what and where would I find it?

    I read a lot of 'apocalypse' level stories about how you'll murder your bike by lowering it - the links seem way cheaper than a seat, and everyone says dropping the links 3/4" and the front forks 3/4" is about a half hour of work. Would it really cause a huge issue?

    I intend to ride only the highway or city streets. Never off road, not even as much as a gravel trail. So I don't know how much suspension travel I need. And everything around here is flat and square, no curves. I mostly ride 30-40 minutes at a time, and one of my ideas of personal hell is a 3 hour motorcycle ride (let alone 300-500 miles), I just don't travel like that for fun (I barely tolerate doing it in a car). I love riding, but I love riding as a purpose to get from point a to point b.

    Basically I'm laying out my ride scenario to see if I'll be better off swapping seats or links.
    #7
  8. ag_streak

    ag_streak Tiene Ruta Cuarenta? Super Supporter

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    Aug 9, 2006
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    Location:
    Blue Ridge, GA
    My 2013 was lowered more than 3/4" (I think) and I never had any cornering clearance issues (no skidplate). Now it has a sidecar bolted on, but hopefully it'll be back on two wheels soon...
    #8
  9. Rackemcrackem

    Rackemcrackem Unsafe at any speed

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    795
    Location:
    Wherethewildthingsare, AK
    Mine's a 2012, same as the 2013, just different colors.

    If the "double-decker" windscreen is a Givi Airflow, you'll be glad you kept it on. The stock screen seems to buffet nearly everyone who keeps it. Madstad adjustable windscreen brackets also seem to work well for a lot of riders, and the cheap clip on airfoils might work, as well. I don't know about those from any personal experience on this bike.

    I've been happy during 500-600 mile days on my stock seat, with the addition of a sheepskin pad. The 2012+ seats were a big improvement over 2004-2011 Gen 1 seat.

    My bike, purchased slightly used, came with dogbones that lowered it 3/4". I have only a 30" inseam and full height is fine with an OEM seat. Even lowered only 3/4", my skidplate touched down a few times when riding across sharp dips on pavement and off pavement, especially when cornering. The skidplate does cause the loss of about 1/2" ground clearance but I wouldn't want to take a chance on motor or exhaust parts touching down. Skidplate protection from potential road debris is a good thing for that exposed oil filter, as well. (edit: mine may have been lowered closer to 1" with the dogbones, can't remember the exact amount now. The forks were also slid upward in the triple tree around 20 mm to lower the front. Anyway, it's better for me without lowering anything.)

    The first time your bike tips over for any reason, you will be happy to have installed engine guards. otherwise broken turn signals and or plastics are nearly inevitable. They also give you a good place to mount auxiliary lights, if desired. I like hand guards. Again, partly for tip over/crash protection to avoid broken levers. A centerstand isn't necessary as you can prop up the right rear end of the swingarm with a piece of wood or whatever, for a homemade trailstand, but a centerstand is convenient for maintainance chores.

    All that accessory crap adds a few pounds and costs a few dollars but makes the bike a lot more comfortable and convenient to use. DL 650s are very good bikes from the factory but the huge array of available aftermarket parts can make one fit your needs much more exactly.
    #9
  10. Argus16

    Argus16 Long timer

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    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    A fork brace is a decent, low-cost mod, as is a radiator guard.
    #10
  11. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    33,096
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    My 12 mods front to back

    -Givi airflow screen
    -agustus winglets
    -led h4 bulbs
    -Tuono mirrors
    -oem hand guards
    -ebay adjustable brake lever (stock clutch)
    -Powermadd adjustable bar rise
    -Givi tanklock tank bag
    -Seat Concepts seat
    -Givi crash bars
    -Ravetech skid plate
    -Touratech brake lever
    -Ims KLR footpegs (shave 2mm at plate)
    -Outback Motortech center stand
    -Givi rear side racks w/ Kappa K33 bags (narrowest side hard bags on market)
    -rear led bulb w/ brake modulator
    -Bridgestone A41 tires street use
    #11
  12. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    33,096
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    In the future fork valving upgrades and rear shock updates are planned.
    #12