CMG V-Strom Adventure Tourer project

Welcome to the homepage of our six part V-Strom 650 Adventure Tourer project.

In mid 2012, Suzuki Canada loaned us a  new 650 V-Strom to use as a long termer to modify into an adventure touring machine. after two years in our possession we did a whole load of work to it. Here’s an index of our updates along with a tally of what has been done, along with costing and direct links. Enjoy.

PART 1 – The Initial Test

Lookin' good on a gravel road.
Lookin’ good on a gravel road.

Editor ‘Arris flies to Ontario to pick up the bike and takes the long way round to get home and do a test on the bike in the process.

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PART 2 – Adding farkles

Part 2 – The Farkles (initial installation)

Here we add the touring components, namely bags, crash protection, adjustable screen, exhaust system, accessory lights, accessory socket, heated grips, bars, barkbusters, peg lowers and a taller seat (’cause it’s for ‘Arris and he’s lanky).

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PART 3 – Adding more farkles

Part 3 – more farkles (and wire wheels too!)

And now the adventure stuff with the lion’s share of the work being devoted to getting the elusive wire wheels and brakes (oh the pain, the pain!). But we also fit a nice set of dual sport tires, a large pad for the kick stand, some convertable pegs and some guards for the lights.

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PART 4 – The final tweaks

A little welding was needed, but Rob got the exhaust he wanted.
Rob’s neighbour does the honours of tacking the new hybrid pipe together.

‘Tis the season to test the beast! But ‘Arris comes up with a few more requirements including a rad guard, small screen, fork springs, centrestand and a hybrid exhaust system.

A what? Yes, a hybrid exhaust system as the Hindle was interfering with the bashplate and centrestand so he mated the Suzuki system with the Hindle muffler. A bastard offspring results.

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PART 5 – Dirty Conclusions

How did the Project Strom cope with life in the dirt?’

Suzuki brands the Strom as an adventure bike, but aside from tall suspension, a slightly larger 19” front wheel and some styling cues, there’s not a whole lot to back up the claim.

So we added all the bits to make it more dirt friendly and took it into the trails. How did it do?

Well, mixed results.

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PART 6 – Touring Conclusions

Unfortunately the Strom didn't do the fall tour with the wire wheels. Photo: Zac Kurylyk
The Strom is perfectly at home on pavement.

Even if you don’t sink a dime into the Strom, it makes for a great touring bike. Of course, it helps to have some luggage, a better screen, heated grips and a few adaptations for the lanky ‘Arris.

Question is, what is the best bang for the dime ?

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COSTING (Suppliers shown in brackets)

Tall Seat (Suzuki) CA$179.47
12V Power Outlet (Suzuki) CA$64.30
Oxford Heated Grips (Twisted Throttle) US$79.95
Trax Bags – 27 litre (Twisted Throttle) US$364.99
Trax Bags – 38 litre (Twisted Throttle) US$379.99
SW Motech mounting kit for bags (Twisted Throttle) US$284.99
SW Motech locks for bags (Twisted Throttle) US$49.99
SW Motech Crash Bars (Twisted Throttle) US$219.99
SW Motech Bash Plate (Twisted Throttle) US$259.99
SW Motech Bag Mounts (Twisted Throttle) US$26.00
Denali DM1 lights (Twisted Throttle) US$209.99
SW Motech brackets for Denali DM1 lights (Twisted Throttle) US$55.00
Barkbusters (Twisted Throttle) US$155.00
Pro Taper Handlebars (Dual Sport Plus) CA$59.99
Hindle exhaust system ($499.99) and muffler ($324.99) CA$824.98
Madstat brackets ($97.95) and touring screen ($120) US$217.95
Adventure Tech Footpeg and Control Lowering Kit US$55.00
Front ($349.95) and rear ($449.95) wheel hubs (Rad Manufacturing) US$799.90
Heavy Duty custom spokes and nipples (Buchanan’s) US$198.00
Excel front ($260) and rear ($318) rims (Buchanan’s) US$578.00
(Labour per wheel is $97, so the total for built wheels would be US$1,769.90)
Front ($615.22 pair) and rear ($146.41) discs (EBC Brakes) US$761.63
V-Pad brake pads (US$42.89 per pair) (EBC Brakes) – US$128.67
110/80 B19 59T TL K60 Scout (Heidenau Tires) US$182.00
150/70 B17 69T TL K60 Scout (Heidenau Tires) US$245.00
SW Motech kick stand foot (Twisted Throttle) US$50.00
SW Motech On-road/off-road footpegs (Twisted Throttle) US$158.99
Ventura light guards US$49.00

Total $6,832.76

* based on US dollar at par at time of project. Does not include shipping and taxes.

4 thoughts on “CMG V-Strom Adventure Tourer project”

  1. Thanks for responding. I am interested in the project, like the bike and upgrades. I realized now that the Triumph 800 is out, even with the basic bike you will still need to tweak it for your personal ride/performance. Many riders may not want the factory stuff on the 800xc. Sooo, I see your point. Looking forwrd to more info as project goes on. Thanks, Rich

  2. Why not buy a more expensive, but totally equipped bike? Wouldn’t it end up costing about the same in the end? (From a potentially ex-cruiser to possible dual sport reider)

    1. Fair point, but we’re not doing this project as a “do all this and get a great bike” type of thing. More just showing what you can get for a Strom with a follow up at the end of the year to go over how everything worked and a recommendation of what we think are the best parts to buy.

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