The W800 was a fantastic little bike and I had a blast customising it; but after a weekend ride to Eden really solidified the fact that it was never going to be a long distance bike and that’s something I really wanted to do this summer.
I didnt really know what I wanted, but I bunged the W up for sale or trade and figured I’d see what happened.
A couple of weeks passed without much interested, until a local guy flicked me a message asking about a trade on a 2006 Suzuki DL1000 VStrom. Given the VStroms are known for their long distance abilities and being able to do a bit of dirt – It was certainly worth a look. And glad I did, because a few days later there was much less room in the shed.
I obviously got a bit eager on the Strom. After a week or so of ownership I found a few bits and pieces not quite right. The first one was a bent pillion pegs brackets. Clearly the bike had been down on both side. Between the use of heat and a huge breaker bar and help from my neighbour Brady I managed to get them straighter.
I also found that the RHS main fairing was cracked behind the paint in a million places. I managed to plastic-weld most of it back together, but it will need replacing.
The rubbish flush-mount LED indicators were swapped out for ones that… worked.
With the basic repairs done, I got to adding some fun bits to the bike.
First up was some basic luggage. One of the boy in CR had a brand new top box kicking around for cheap. I knew from the get-go I wanted this bike to be good for two-up, so I had a couple of goes at making a soft backrest for it.
I picked up a nice, nearly new sheepskin seatcover which helped, plus a pair of crashbars and a set of raising links for the rear suspension.
With a windscreen on order, next was pannier. I scored a pair of Givi panniers for cheap and found that Givi actually sell the lock bits as a kit – so I was able to start making my own pannier brackets.
Thus far I have the main mounts done, attached to the for and aft bolt holes for the standard rack and down to the pillion pegs.
I’m absolutely loving this bike. Jess and I managed to get out on a run to Wee Jasper and Yass and the bike performed flawlessly on tarmac and dirt.