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Vstrom luggage install (NOT dialup friendly)

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' at netrider.net.au started by Duffman, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. The 650 V-Strom is sitting pretty in my driveway. A few months into ownership and I am still firmly of the belief that this is the ideal bike for anyone who is confined to just one. Its a true "do everything" kind of bike.


    I'm setting this bike up as a bit of a tourer, for both blacktop and light dirt riding.

    Although very capable in stock trim, there are a couple of areas where the Strom can be improved. First on the list is some sort of luggage system, then some protection for the venerable under carriage.

    I will try and remember to do a whole series of posts re building up the bike to the level i'm after.

    Strom Luggage

    Storage space is obviously vital on a tourer. There are always compromises to be made with bikes, and when it comes to luggage it is basically a toss up between commuting suitability and extended trips. For commuting your going to want to keep the bike as narrow as possible to facilitate filtering and general manoeuvrability through traffic and parking etc. In the city you are really limited to a tank bag and a rear top-case. In touring mode you can add in side cases (panniers) for real storage space.

    In this instance I will look at side cases. Top box will be tackled later.

    With side cases for the Strom, you do it in two stages. First set is to get some luggage racks. There are a number available such as Givi, Hepco Becker, Happy Trails and SW-Motech.

    I went with the SW-Motech racks for one very simple reason - they are removable. They are called "quick-release" racks and you install some mounting points to the bike and then the racks themselves simply lock into the mounts. They can be removed in about 20 seconds when not needed ie in the city.

    Package arrives from Fritz;



    Installation is a simple job, which anyone can do.

    Tools required;


    drill, couple of allen keys, 10mm socket and spanner and a big flat head screwdriver or a blunt ended knife or even a chisel type tool (more on that later).

    existing view of the rear of the Strom;


    and from the side;


    Mounting is dead easy. Hardest part is holding some bits in place while you tighten them, obviously a helping hand would be useful here. No step by step photos of the install as there isnt much point. The rack mounts go into existing places on teh frame so no drilling into the frame is required at all. Footpeg mounts are utilised and the SW-Motech kit includes replacement longer bolts where required.

    Racks from the back;


    and the side;


    with the racks removed you cant even see the mounting points unless you know they're there. The racks lock onto the mounts via a sort of twist stud type of arrangement and to remove them you need a screwdriver or knife to slot in and twist the mounts in or out. This does leave the racks open to theft, but only if a thief knows about the quick release function. In any event, one of the twist studs can be replaced by a lock available as an optional accessory.

    As you may be able to see from the photos, due to the single sided exhaust, the racks do not site 100% symmetrical. However, in practice they arent actually as far apart as it seems from the photos.

    More on my choice of side cases later.

  2. Nice bike Jono. Keep the pics coming. What's the torque like? Grunt?

    I take another look at the vstrom when they lower it. :LOL: Or put some trainer wheels on it. :shock:
  3. You can get a lower seat from Suzi, or you can shave foam off the stock seat at an upholsterer for <$100.

    But i know what you mean, they are a tall beast....especially coming from your cruiser!

    Yeah its a really good bike. Plenty of "grunt" for me, more than enough for hitting the twisties or flooring it through the dirt or tackling the daily highway grind.