Long Live The V-Strom

How do I maintain my Suzuki V-Strom to last forever?

2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650
2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650©Motorcyclist

Question My 2009 Suzuki V-Strom 650 is about to hit 50,000 miles. Since it has proven to be the perfect motorcycle for the boring rider I really am (as opposed to who I imagine I am while ogling your magazine), I want to keep it forever. I'd like to know what mechanical infirmities I should start watching out for or whether I can just keep changing the oil and riding every day for another decade or two (a geezer's forever).
Dean Zatkowsky/ Ojai, CA

Got tech questions that need ANSWERS? Email us at mcmail@bonniercorp.com.

Answer You picked a good bike to keep forever. The 650 V-Strom has proven itself to be one of the most reliable and hard-to-kill bikes around. Reports of 100,000 trouble-free miles on the little V-twin aren't uncommon. Many owners don't bother to perform the first valve-clearance check until thousands of miles after the recommended mileage, and when they do they find everything in spec. All the bike seems to require is regular maintenance and frequent riding.

There are, however, some things you should keep an eye out for as the miles roll on. The rear shock linkage hangs under the bike where it’s vulnerable to water and dirt. It’s hard to tell when the bearings and bushings are worn because the weight of the bike is always on them, but with the bike on the centerstand you can detect the slop caused by wear. Inspecting and lubing the linkage every few years can prevent things from getting that far.

The spark plugs tend to loosen on some bikes, causing misfires and starting problems, and because they’re hard to get at, most riders don’t replace them as often as they should.

Other than that, attending to those unscheduled maintenance items—like changing the fork oil, flushing the cooling system and replacing the radiator hoses, and installing a fresh fuel filter—will help ensure your V-Strom keeps running strong and making you happy as you stack on the miles. Good luck reaching 100,000 miles!