VStrom Tech Night – July 16, 2013

“Big Dan” hosted a Tech Night at his new place in the NW, so we rode on over to partake in the festivities. The major event was to be the replacement of Phil’s stator which had been giving him grief for a while. Dan and Phil enlisted Louise to participate in the wrenching and I think she enjoyed it.

Here are a few pictures from the evening …

Stator goes in the big hole there.

Phil with a stator – the stator is the non-rotating part of the bike’s alternator – the thing that provides power.

While Phil’s bike was on the lift undergoing major surgery the rest of us were out in the sun chatting while I tinkered with the new intercom system wiring on Louise’s VStrom. In the picture below, Trent’s new 2013 FJR1300, (the major new redesign of my bike), is on the left.

Trent offered me a test spin on his new bike, which I eagerly took him up on! I was pretty curious as to what the real-world difference would be between the new design 2013 and my second generation 2009. First off, Trent’s bike doesn’t have the bar risers that mine does, so I couldn’t get a good sense how the ergonomics felt in comparison, but since the chassis and seat are unchanged from 2009, the risers ought to make sitting and reaching the handlebars the same. Second, it seems that the new FJR is quicker – the new engine computer and sport mapping does make a difference. With the engine in relaxed mode, it was noticeably more tame than my 2009. So the stock fixed mapping on the 2009 seems to be set between the sport mode and tame mode on the new FJR. Suspension seemed the same. The improved windscreen still needs to be a bit higher for me. Trent mentioned that he was happy with it since he’s a couple of inched shorter than I am. I didn’t take it far and I came back in a few minutes. The group was laughing because they could hear me accelerating briskly up on the main road.

I talked to Trent about a taller windscreen for the VStrom and he volunteered up the Givi he has on his VStrom for a test on the RTTH since he was taking his FJR.

We did some bench racing – that’s Trent, Richard, Dan and me, Phil’s back can be seen on the right of picture …

With Phil’s new stator installed and seemingly working fine, we all ate off the BBQ brisket he brought over for dinner – he’s an actual chef.

Dan and I took a run at mounting the really loud horn on Louise’s VStrom, but failed … again. In fact I broke the mount even more so that I can see no way now to properly mount the thing anywhere. I will buy Louise a new one and try not to screw up the mount again.

Good times these Tech Nights.

08 VStrom Tech – Electronics/Crash Bar Install

With the panniers mounted last weekend, this weekend’s work involved installing the ALTrider crash bars and bash plate, as well as installing the accessory fuse panel, wiring up the power for the GPS and the new PTT gear for the Sena headsets that we now use for communications.

Here’s the VStrom before I started the work. The panniers are one from last weekend, but the stock windscreen is still on and you can see the stock plastic plate underneath the engine – that would be replaced today with a heavy aluminum plate.

The first thing I installed was the Eastern Beaver PC8 fuse panel. It came with a prebuilt cable for power and the relay for powering the panel with the ignition key.

After running a power line up to the GPS mount under the windscreen bracket, I removed the windscreen and setup the mounting plate of for the Garmin ZUMO and the SPOT tracker.

Next up – crash bars and frame sliders from ALTrider. Louise has the same setup on her VStrom and they work great.

Left side installed, I’m working on the right side …

Louise must have got bored with taking pictures after this one …

… because there are no more pictures.

We got the frame sliders and bash plate installed by the end of the day – all that was needed was the taller windscreen and she was ready for RTTH!

08 VStrom Tech – Pannier Install

The VStrom group’s annual Run to the Hills (RTTH) trip was coming up soon and since I had pretty much all the parts for the Micatech panniers (side cases) on hand, I wanted to get them installed so I could take the VStrom on the trip.

First step was pulling the seat and top case rack off so that the SW-Motech side racks could be installed.

The various rack bits needed to be assembled and loosely tightened so things could be properly aligned.

With everything tightened and the case attachment bits on, this is what it all looks like …

And with the Micatech pannier mounted …

Now I have the same amazing carrying capacity as Louise does!

Almost ready for RTTH in a couple of weeks.