Tweaking my Suzuki V Strom 650

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - General Discussion Forum' started by DavidFL, May 29, 2015.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    A big test on a hot ride in Laos with a 3 litre camel bak & it works a treat
    I bought a 3 litre Camel Bak
    IMG_6761.

    from a Packs Etc at Kad Suan Kaew
    DSC_0832B-1.

    Took out the bag
    24-4-2016-15-53-55-img_6923-.

    & placed it in the handlebar pouch.
    24-4-2016-15-52-56-img_6921-.

    24-4-2016-15-52-35-img_6920-.
    Works a treat & I'm amazed how much water I can suck whilst riding = I'm glad it is a 3 litre bag.
     
  2. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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  3. blackb15

    blackb15 Ol'Timer

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    David
    I use a air hawk which I have found to be brilliant I took it with me and used it in Thailand, but they are expensive and can be stolen of the bike. I like the water system
    Safe riding
    Paul
     
  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    40,000 kms up & the suspension is not good enough.
    The spring on the rear shock has lost its tension & The front is damn weak.
    Time for a change.
    With the riding I do & the need for regular shock rebuilds it is important to be able have your shock rebuilt locally.
    On the Africa Twin I managed 340,000 kms & had shocks made by Wilbers & Technoflex, but they had to go to Europe for a rebuild = no verty satisfactory when it takes weeks of not months to come back. I had a Hyperpro on the Versys & it once took 3 months to come back from Europe after a rebuild. No good at all.
    So the only options for me are Nitron (in KL Malaysia), or YSS & Ohlins in Bangkok.
    I ran a Nitron on the Versys & had a YSS on the Africa Twin, so now its time for something new & supposedly the best =- Ohlins.

    After a disappointing experience dealing with the Ohlins Sales & Marketing Department in Bangkok I ended up dealing with CMS in Chiang Mai.
    IMG_4487.
    CMS are Ohlins dealers & are trained properly to set up your bike suspension correctly.
    DSC_0862.

    1459358067727.


    So 39,000 baht poorer the Vstrom is now a lot richer & providing me with a plush ride = the bike feels like new again.
    SU823_overall-DL650VStrom-04-11.

    GTR - IMG_7630.JPG

    Adjustable pre load
    GTR - IMG_7631.JPG
    a fully adjustable shock with a stiffer shock spring + new Ohlins front fork springs.
    The recommended service is 30,000 kms, & I'm extremely keen to see how it holds up.
    Rebuilds are done in Bangkok & the supposed turn around is a mere 10 days!

    & Whilst researching for suspension I found this useful thread
    Suspension Adjustment

    Keep riding guys.
     

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  5. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    There's the perfect baby...simple pre load adjustment.
    gtr-img_7631-.
    worked an absolute treat adjusting the set up on the MHS Loop trip to Rak Thai with the GF & her extra luggage.
    A couple of small turns up & down to get it right, but once set up - as smooth as & as stable as - on rails.
     
  6. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

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    I think You get what You pay for and Ohlins are at the Top of the List!
     
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    A brief update
    Late October 2016 = 45,000 kms & time to change the original chain & sprocket set! Unbelievable value.

    Early December = 50,000 kms & probably time for a TLC service at Suzuki.
    DSC_0933B.JPG
    Loving this bike.
     
  8. blackb15

    blackb15 Ol'Timer

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    David
    I really think your scotoiler helps a lot my Ktm 1190 42,000 km still original chain and never seems to need adjusting between service intervals of 9,500 miles again with a scotoiler.
    Safe riding
    Paul
     
  9. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    15,000 kms up on the new suspension & the front fork oil is knackered & needs replacing.
    Cost 2,180 baht at CMS.
    The springs front & back are still ok , but the oil on the rear shock is on the way out soon.
    That will be time for a rebuild in Bkk at a cost of 3,000 baht with Ohlins.
    Suspension - what are you using / where to buy.
     
  10. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    55,680 kms & a speed bump with the local Suzuki dealer Sahapanich.

    1. The key ignition switch is total dodgy & difficult to turn on & off - acknowledged by the mechanic.
    Searching the web it is a not uncommon problem .
    There are details for cleaning & servicing on the web, but Id actually like a new replacement switch before the 2 year warranty expires in 2 more months. Sorry no warranty for this & no switch in stock in Thailand. It has to be ordered & the price is 6,000 baht!

    2. The headlight has been working intermittently.
    The mechanic had the bike in July 2016 for several days to find the problem. He claimed to have disconnected, cleaned & reconnected everything & hey presto it was all working again. The exact cause - don't know?
    Fast forward several months & the headlight no longer works.
    Back to Suzuki Sahapanich again. The lights have stopped working altogether - please check again what is wrong.
    One day later cannot find anything wrong, but yes the lights don't work.
    A google search suggest 2 possible causes
    A. a Connector behind the radiator
    B. a faulty starter switch.
    I leave the bike there for another day. The connector is checked & it is ok.
    The starter switch is supposedly checked & it is ok. I reconfim that the starter switch is most likely the problem from forum searches & show images of an open switch & the possible causes. OK we will look at it again. The switch is open & it has burnt, shorted out. "Obviously" this is the problem, but was it even examined before as suggested???

    VStrom

    The VStrom does not come with factory headlight relays and so a lot of current flows through the switches and connectors. This causes early meltdown with loss of headlights. This Kit avoids that problem. Do not wait until your switch burns out or a connector melts, install this Kit even on a new VStrom.​

    So I ask for a new switch under warranty - please get one. I will come back tomorrow to check.
    I return the next day (today) to check on the progress - starter switch & key ignition switch.
    No stock of the starter switch.
    No stock in Chiang Mai or Bangkok?
    In Chiang Mai.
    Ok please ring Bangkok to check on stock for the switch.
    Ring ring.
    Yes Bangkok has, but if you want to claim it under warranty you have to wait for the claim to be processed first!
    No I want a switch now. Order it please. I will pay for it & we can process the claim later & you can refund my money 1,500 baht.
    Yes ok. Next week you can have a switch.
    Phew. Progress..

    3. My other complaint is the official replacement Suzuki drive chain is knackered. It has only lasted 3 months & 12,000 kms!
    DSC_1539.

    DSC_1544.

    DSC_1530.
    A disgusting performance, running a Scott Oiler; & I specifically requested an official OEM Suzuki drive chain because the first one was so good - 45,000 kms.
    So that's another complaint to be registered.

    A new 525 RK Gold X-ring chain from Piston Shop is purchased for 3,990 baht.
     
  11. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    60,000 kms up in 23 months.
    IMG_9290.

    The faulty - burnt -starter switch was replaced under warranty.
    I installed the Beaver Electric headliht relay kit to prevent any future headlight issues with the ignition switch.
    h4dualkit-900.
    VStrom

    Only the worn key ignition switch now needs to be replaced before the warranty expires, but I believe we have a deal for a free replacement.
     

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  12. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    61,000 kms & the headlight kit has cured the mal functioning lights.
    BUT the worn out ignition switch is an appalling ongoing saga.

    I first complained about the ignition switch being faulty after I returned from Laos in January 2017.
    No you can't claim warranty on that.

    So I ask for a new switch under warranty - please get one. I will come back tomorrow to check.
    I return the next day (today) to check on the progress - starter switch & key ignition switch.
    No stock of the starter switch.
    No stock in Chiang Mai or Bangkok?
    In Chiang Mai.
    Ok please ring Bangkok to check on stock for the switch.
    Ring ring.
    Yes Bangkok has, but if you want to claim it under warranty you have to wait for the claim to be processed first!
    No I want a switch now. Order it please. I will pay for it & we can process the claim later & you can refund my money 1,500 baht.
    Yes ok. Next week you can have a switch.
    Phew. Progress..

    After a week or two no switch at all they haven't ordered one, despite offering to pay the 6,000 baht up front & sort out the claim later. I do need a new switch......
    Fast forward a few more months & in March the the mechanic finally agrees yes it is worn out - you can pull the key out with the ignition on & the motor running = yes claim it on warranty. So next step...let's get a new one.
    I go to Australia for 2 weeks to avoid Songkran & leave the bike at Suzuki on the 6th April. There's a promise to have the bike faithfully ready by the 20th of April, but is not of course. Zero progress. My patience is getting a bit thin as the saga has started to drag on unnecessarily.
    Another day. April 21st still not ready. BTW let's think out of the box. Whatever I do need a new ignition - pay or free under warranty, so I politely suggest they tell Bangkok to just take a set off a new bike, or find a second hand one (off a wrecked bike) so that at least I have a bike to use while they get their act together. Suzuki Chiang Mai agree to take one off a crashed bike that is in for the long run waiting for parts. Come back Saturday the 22nd April.
    Saturday 22nd April I go to Suzuki & the mechanic is not there today = zero progress!
    Sunday is a rest day. 55
    Monday 24th April & whoopee I have a bike with a used ignition.
    But no more news from Bangkok - the technician handling the warranty claim has gone away.
    Tuesday 9th of May I get a message to go to Suzuki about the ignition. Saturday 13th of May I rock up to Suzuki to book my bike in for the new ignition from Bangkok. Oh no, you don't understand, Suzuki Bangkok wants you to send the other key for your ignition to them. Ok what about my new replacement ignition. Sorry we know nothing, only that Bangkok wants your other key. WTF come on guys what about some service & customer care! The words pathetic, useless, hopeless & idiots were uttered to express my displeasure towards Suzuki Bangkok. Come on guys - get your act together please. The Vstrom is a great bike, but your service & customer care is a sick joke.
     
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  13. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

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    This won't help their sales.................
     
  14. ZCM

    ZCM Ol'Timer

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    In truth my experience with customer service relating to most things has been pretty dismal across the board....
    I hope you get this resolved :/
     
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  15. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #40 DavidFL, May 19, 2017
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
    Friday 19th May 2017
    An update on the continued pathetic service from Sahapanich Suzuki Chiang Mai & Suzuki Bangkok.
    Another week has gone by.....complaints to Bangkok are ignored.
    Complaints to Sahapanich Chiang Mai are met with a shrug of the shoulders - Bangkok have not told us yet.
    1. The key was sent to Bangkok. I reminded them that the bike was under warranty. I first complained about the switch in January. It is now approaching the end of May.
    2. The only new progress on Friday 19th May they asked how many kms has the bike now done. WTF just provide a free warranty switch. End of the story.

    At the end of the day. it is a great bike but the Suzuki service & customer care sucks big time.
    You've been warned.
     
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  16. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Thursday 25th May...victory
    DSC_1828.

    62,770 kms .
    Only 7 weeks for them to process the warranty claim & provide a new key ignition switch.
    Appalling customer care & service by Suzuki Bangkok.
    Fortunately the guys in Chiang Mai understood my position = I use my bike every day, used their initiative & borrowed a switch from off a wrecked bike waiting for repairs, so I was able to use my bike.

    But it should be noted that there was absolutely zero response from Suzuki Bangkok in relation to two important questions
    1. Would the claim be approved
    2. When would they be able to supply a new switch, either free under warranty or paid for.
    Absolutely pathetic; & it was not until my patience ran out & some staff in Bangkok started getting an ear bashing, that something actually happened.

    You've been warned Thai Suzuki Bangkok has negligible customer care & service.

    The phone numbers to complain to are
    1. Customer Care: 02-6331160-69
    2. Service Manager: 02 533 1170 / Khun Chaiwat 081 930 9284.
     

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  17. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

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    Better late than never!
    But not very good customer service at all
     
  18. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Some progress..the email address for customer care
    [email protected]

    Customer Care Team
    02-5331170
    Thai Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd.
    31/1 Rangsit-Ongkharak Road, Bungyeetho
    Thanyaburi, Pathumthani 12130, Thailand
    TEL: 02-5331170 etc. 355,5120,5122

    Thai Suzuki Motor / ไทยซูซูกิ มอเตอร์
    SUZUKI Society
     
  19. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    At 64,135 kms the Ohlins rear shock has done 24,000 kms but it has blown a seal & there's no oil in the shock.
    The bike has been handling like a pig for awhile.
    DSC_1426.JPG

    No problem. Its under warranty so a free rebuild from Ohlins Thailand.
    Thank you Ohlins Thailand. Let the next 10 days pass as quickly as possible.
     
  20. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    An interesting development


    55 the Ohlins shock is totally knackered.

    64,135 kms on the Vstrom & 24,000 kms up with the Ohlins rear shock.

    I got a polite informative phone call from Paul at Ohlins in Bangkok this morning.

    He said the shock is all worn on one side.

    The bike must be out of alignment – bent, the linkage, or wheel alignment; perhaps just a washer or spacer wrong or missing.

    In Thailand they have only ever seen 3 shocks like this.

    Two from RTW BMW 1200GS riders on over loaded bikes & me, the first local rider.

    The shock will be rebuilt under warranty, but if we don’t check the bikes alignment the same thing will happen in a relatively short time.

    So now to find out exactly what the problem is with the bike.

    Originally it was perfect, but somewhere along the way it was not handling like it should.

    In April @ 60,000 kms I dropped the bike in the mud in first gear at 10kph coming out of the long necks in MHS. This was a gentle slide & I don’t think there was anything wrong or bent on the bike then; but it needs to be checked.

    BTW the bike did not handle well in Laos in January – it was a pig to ride & has been ever since. I have complained to CMs twice since then. The last time was when the shock was obviously blown.

    Something has changed on the bike.

    I need to look at

    1. A new rear tyre put on at Piston Shop in September 2016. Was the wheel put back in & aligned properly?

    2. The new chain & sprocket set up put on my Suzuki Chiang Mai in October 2016. Supposedly an OEM chain only lasted 3 months & 12,000 kms. Was the wheel put back in & aligned properly?

    The suspension was checked at CMS in January 2017 @ 55,600 kms

    The wheel & steering bearings were checked at Suzuki Sahapanich in January 2017 @ 55,600 kms

    A new rear chain was put on at Piston Shop in January 2017 @ 55,680 kms after the Suzuki OEM chain only lasted 3 months & 12,000 kms. Was the wheel put back in & aligned properly both times?



    So, back to CMS now to try & see what is wrong & maybe who didn't put something back on right.
    Stay tuned.

    But thank you very much Ohlins Bangkok for the phone call & information. Excellent service.
     
  21. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Some progress today
    Friday 30th June 2017.
    On the kind advice of Ohlins Bangkok I had the VStrom back to CMS today for a check up

    DSC_1590.

    Paul at Ohlins Bkk suggested that the wheel alignment be checked first.
    DSC_1588.

    I wasn'e expecting anything wrong there, but loh & behold
    DSC_1594.

    we are out of alighnment.
    The bike has never been in a crash & I've never dropped it........well accept for that 1st gear 10kph slide on the snot coming out of the long necks new year in Mae Hong Son in April.

    DSC_0048.

    Mae Hong Son - Kayan - Long Neck Year

    Unbelievable. The bike slid out, I could not hold it, so stepped off & let it drop down gently.
    The paint wasnt even scratched it was so gentle.
    But now I recall when I rode it back to Chiang Mai it didnt handle as well in the corners & you had to work at it a bit more. I was only in Chiang Mai for a couple of days, then went to Australia for a couple of weeks. Forgot about it, came back & just carried on, but yes I thought the suspension had gone off a bit. Two check ups later at CMS the shock was gone & sent off to Ohlins Bangkok for a rebuild.
    The wise guys at Ohlins immediately picked up that something must be wrong & gave me the tip off with a private phone call = top service. Thanks guys.
    So now for a little gentle straightening. Tuesday we should all be back to normal - stay tuned.
     
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  22. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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  23. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #48 DavidFL, Jul 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
    Back on the road.
    GTR-DSC_1598.JPG

    Extremely happy with the professional service from Ohlins & CMS Motorsport.
    19720268_1601609866567771_420717696_o.

    A free shock rebuild under warranty - you get a 2 year warranty buying an Ohlins shock, so Ive got another year to go.

    19807685_1601602173235207_1388582421_o.

    The bent fork & lower triple clamp have been straightened.
    19858625_1601609783234446_8325433_n.

    The bearings, linkage, & swinging arm were all checked, & greased.
    19820975_1601602639901827_133742585_o.

    19727017_1601602686568489_260082845_o.


    We are all nice & straight & good to go
    19848885_1601601879901903_1351394797_n.

    After my poor experience with Sahapanich Suzuki Chiang Mai, & Suzuki Bangkok it was an absolute pleasure & joy to resolve a warranty issue with Ohlins Bangkok via CMS.

    The service was absolutely top notch
    1. A polite phone call from Bangkok to explain what the issue was - they cared about their customer & their product
    2. Followup messages to keep me informed
    3. Finally an email confirming completion of the job & the delivery date.
    And the fee from Ohlins zero baht - a warranty claim. We will fix it sir!

    The cost from CMS for the bike straightening was negligble too
    2,500 baht for the fork & lower triple clamp
    1,000 baht for the in-shop checking of the linkage, swinging arm & bearings.
    Total bill 3,500 baht = an absolute bargain & good happy service.
    CMS are an absolute pleasure to give your business to - you get genuine honest TLC for your bike!

    Now a comment on suspension & buying an after market shock.
    As I've said before I've had many shocks - Wilbers, Technoflex, YSS, Nitron, Hyperpro between my Africa Twin (340,000 kms) & Versys (100,000 kms)
    They were all good, but needed rebuilds frequently because of my riding.
    It wasn't a problem, some of them were warranty claims - free, BUT they had to be sent overseas to be serviced. Grrh.
    In Europe for the Wilbers & Technoflex. In Malaysia for the Nitron.
    YSS i had a bad experience with a rebuild, but I understand now that their products are back up to scratch again, however their customer care & communication skills are disappointing.
    So that leaves Ohlins Asia = Ohlins Bangkok & boy do they deliver on service & customer care. You can't go wrong!. So guys buy local & get top notch support & service from your local dealer.

    I reckon that most of the big bikes sold here are set up for 60-70 kg Asian riders & the springs don't last long if you do a lot of demanding riding. You're going to need a new rear shock after 25 -30,000 kms.

    CMS & Ohlins are the way to go.
     
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  24. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

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    Good luck to them. They deserve success with this customer service ethic.
    Encouraging to read positive comments about businesses here!
     
  25. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

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    Great Stuff!It is so Encouraging to have Decent Workmanship avalible!
     
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