Suzuki VanVan 200

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by ponchushka, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. TN_twowheeladdict

    TN_twowheeladdict Long timer

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    You went from a Van Van to a Monkey. Mmm. I looked at the Monkey and was quoted a "almost too good to pass up price", but my experienced riding buddy said I would enjoy the Van Van better on Forest Service roads I like to ride. Did you write up a comparison somewhere?
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  2. Chillis

    Chillis Long timer Supporter

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    I may have made mention in this thread.

    The major take aways of why I like the Monkey more are:

    fuel range(96 to 122 mpg) with a 1.5 gallon tank

    Stock engine performance between the two bikes is surprisingly similar. VanVan with the 5 speed has a bigger spread of ratios giving a much better first gear for technical off-road work.

    Monkey is 231 lbs/VanVan is 282 lbs both very manageable but the Monkey even more so.

    Wheel and tire sizes- VanVan is superior for roll over due to larger diameter. Longer wheelbase negates any perceived clearance advantage one might thought to have had.

    Monkey with it's small wheelbase and small diameter tires is extremely maneuverable. Riding rocky terrain you will be going slower as the little wheels and tires drop into dips more so than the VanVan.

    The VanVan is easier to ride with bigger diameter tires in the gnarly stuff and has better gearing with the 5 speed.

    The Monkey is very similar in road performance as far as speed is concerned but the range is a good 50% better. I was getting fuel light with well below 100 miles on the trip on the VanVan. Range anxiety there. Monkey 140 to 180 miles. 140 guaranteed worst conditions.

    The most important reason for the Monkey love is the ability to tune.

    I'll have my front and rear suspension done this week.

    Exhaust, intake, ECU tuning, big bore, five speed, control upgrades(still have to install my hydraulic clutch), wheels, swingarms, you name it and you can upgrade it on the Monkey.

    The VanVan, I was quoted $1700 on a custom one off upgrade for the fork alone(then the seller now had a setup they could sell to the public on my dime).

    There are a couple of poor quality exhausts(had one on mine) that I don't think add any performance.

    Little other performance enhancing modifications. Just aesthetic.

    In the end I moved the VanVan pretty quick since I couldn't ride it far without attaching additional fuel supplies.

    It was slower climbing up big hills than the Monkey. The same hills on the Monkey I'm almost 10 mph faster and about to be more after some modifications.

    Range, performance, modification availability, and fun. The Monkey is a lot of fun with small proportions and little wheels.
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  3. Chillis

    Chillis Long timer Supporter

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    I didn't technically go from a VanVan to a Monkey.

    I switch bikes a lot. After the VanVan I got a CRF450L and then got a Husqvarna 701 Enduro which I still have.

    Picked up the Monkey a few weeks ago and have been having a blast on it.
  4. TN_twowheeladdict

    TN_twowheeladdict Long timer

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    I am seriously considering adding the Honda Trail 125 to my stable when it comes out.
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  5. Arbolmano

    Arbolmano Not so Studly

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    I suspect the Trail 125 will be awesome. Also the WR155 which Asia has but not us yet. It is awesome but too fast for me. I need slow bike to slow down injury rate off road. Safer to ride a slow bike hard than fast bike slow.
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  6. TN_twowheeladdict

    TN_twowheeladdict Long timer

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    Slow is a relative term. :-)
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  7. Scribe

    Scribe £Bob£

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    So I just picked up a 17 VV and like it save for one glaring issue: the front end bottoms very easily on even semi-rough dirt roads. Is this normal? What do I do to correct it? Progressive springs? Bike only had 184 miles on it when I bought it so I think I can rule out wear as the issue.
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  8. Arbolmano

    Arbolmano Not so Studly

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    Well that’s no fun. Replacement springs should see you corrected. Though whilst there I would sure make sure that there is proper amount of oil. Cheap people have been known to place spacers under the caps to stiffen stock springs. Mine seem fine and I top out at like 240 lbs.
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  9. TN_twowheeladdict

    TN_twowheeladdict Long timer

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    How fast are you riding? Very easy to over ride the suspension capability.
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  10. DaSwami

    DaSwami Been here awhile

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    Yes the suspension is easily overwhelmed. Nice and soft and compliant with standard riding but hit a rut or pothole and ouch! Doesn't take much. Even at slow speed.
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  11. 1Scorpion

    1Scorpion Been here awhile

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    When will manufacturers get it. Most riders in the USA weight more than 120lbs. Now I admit the only other country I’ve been to is Canada. But, from what I’ve seen even there most adults are over 120lbs.
    That being said they discontinue selling bikes because of lack of sales. Instead of realizing most buyers are not willing to pay full price for a motorcycle and then have to spend almost $1,000. to make the suspension work without bottoming out.
    I apologize for the rant. I like bikes like the Van Van, the TW200 and other smaller bikes. But haven’t found one with a decent factory suspension. My current bike is great but too big and heavy to truly use a lot.
  12. Scribe

    Scribe £Bob£

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    Slow. I'm not out there ripping on it. And I'm not talking about wheel-swallowing potholes either. I mean stuff that I would not even have given a second thought to on the old XT225, stuff that you barely feel on my DR650, results in a sickening bottoming out on the vanvan. The bike is for my wife. I bought it because she's short and not a fast rider. Even she bottoms the front end on it. I'm going to try sitffer/progressive springs but if that doesn't work the bike is going bye bye.
  13. TN_twowheeladdict

    TN_twowheeladdict Long timer

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    I wouldn't change the springs until you verify the static sag with her aboard. Springs are there to hold the bike in the top 3rd of the suspension travel when loaded up.

    You might need to increase the compression damping with a thicker fork oil. It will give a stiffer ride so you might need to experiment.

    Check the static sag first.

    If you do need new springs, I recommend going with Gold Valve Emulators also.
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  14. Scribe

    Scribe £Bob£

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    Is anything adjustable on this suspension?
  15. Wallachian Spikes

    Wallachian Spikes Long timer

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    I've never bottomed the front or rear of the suspension on our VV. I've only done a tiny bit of off road though. Our roads aren't pot holed but, we've got plenty of cracks & gouges on our road surfaces.
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  16. Nev

    Nev Adventurer

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    I agree with whats been said already. I'd check and see if someone messed with the springs or fork oil. I've only bottomed mine out a couple of times and I'm about 210 with my gear on. It ain't no high tech suspension on the VV. The seat and fat tires are part of the deal too. They help soften the blow. Check the tire pressures also. I've done the spacers and heavier fork oil on other bikes if you need a cheap fix for the forks.
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  17. TN_twowheeladdict

    TN_twowheeladdict Long timer

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    Everything is adjustable given time and money.

    If you are asking if there are external adjustments to change preload, compression, and/or rebound, the answer is no. This is a play bike. It is meant to be a beach bike, campground bike, light duty exploration bike.
  18. Scribe

    Scribe £Bob£

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    Right. And I think for the most part it’s fine. I have realistic expectations for the vv. But bottoming solid, metal on metal, just ain’t gonna work. We want to do the CDT on this bike and my DR so it’s going to spend some time on dirt roads.
  19. TN_twowheeladdict

    TN_twowheeladdict Long timer

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    Get is sorted and it will be fine. It will not go fast up anything steep but it will get you there. I don't know the availability of fuel along the CDT, but you might want to invest in a Fuel container like I did.

    Are you planning on carrying the gear for both you and your wife on the DR? If she is going to carry her own gear you want to check the static sag with her and gear on the bike.

    Hagon makes a shock for the Van Van 125, but I believe they are the same as the 200. This bike is a keeper for me so I will probably upgrade the suspension sometime in the near future.

    I have had good results with Race Tech springs and Gold Valve Emulators, but may consider Progressive Springs with Gold Valves due to the shorter stroke of the front forks.
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  20. dp064

    dp064 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Did you increase your travel and ride height or stay with stock values with better control?