This is why I love my Suzuki V-Strom 650. This point from Motorcyclist reader Dean Zatkowsky/ Ojai, CA is exactly the way I feel,
Since it has proven to be the perfect motorcycle for the boring rider I really am (as opposed to who I imagine I am while ogling your magazine)
I bought the bike based on a lot of articles like this. The V-Strom 650 is a light and care-free bike that needs little to keep it going. It handles a passenger well when someone wants a ride and that same capability lets it haul a lot of camping gear in line without huge panniers hanging off the side.
I got rid of my big adventure bikes and move to this 650 for the road and light off road travel and a Honda CRF 250 L for my off road riding. Both of them bought new cost less than one of the big adventure bikes.
As you can tell, I’m very happy with mine.
Here is an interesting article on the emissions problem of big 650 singles and their decline. I like what Chris Scott said.
“I am definitely over 650 singles as they are now,” Scott says. “On the dirt, the big single power pulses make nadgery sections awkward where the CB-X twin rolled through smoothly. A single of 450 or less or a twin up to 650 will do me nicely. I can see myself flitting between the two in the coming years.”
That is pretty much where I have landed with my 650 V-Strom and CRF 250L. However, if this article is correct, it will be sad to see the cool old thumpers go away.
Here is a good primer on chain wear for those of us with chain driven bikes. I’ve not always been good at this, but have vowed to be better at all forms of PMCS in my older age.
I had a Scott Oiler on my old KTM and that always served me well.
Image credit – https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/machineguarding/animations/chain.html
This is possibly the most pragmatic and logical of any discussion about when to replace your helmet I have ever read.
Time to make up your own mind with an article that treats you like an adult. Don’t want no dain bramage.
The Butler Maps blog has this nice article on “3 Things You Shouldn’t Attempt on Motorcycle Roads.”
1. Don’t ride tipsy
2. Don’t get crazy on wet, slick roads
3. Don’t ride alone until you have a little experience under your belt
I would add a couple more,
4. Don’t go out into uncharted routes without a good map, but I think Butler Motorcycle Maps would approve of this too.
5. Don’t ride without performing regular PMCS on your bike.
I just bought Butler’s Idaho G1 map in preparation for a long ride in Idaho following the Nez Perce War of 1877 trail.
Good advice from the good folks at ADV Pulse on how to prepare your bike for a long distance ride. Read on to page 2 as they have included a pretty good checklist at the end of the article.
I’ve always prided myself on riding out on the spur of the moment, but I have also been pretty regular at what the Army calls PMCS (Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services). Nothing like throwing track under fire to make you consider maintenance.
Get to know your maintenance manual too. That will help you know which tools to pack.
AAA is a pretty good idea for North America too.
Above is an image of me fixing a radio switch in a northern Norwegian parking lot with some of my favorite tools; Swiss Army knife, a Bic lighter, and duct tape… always bring plenty of duct tape.
As Walt Kowalski would say,
Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone.