2005 Suzuki Vstrom DL1000 “Big Blue”

2005 Suzuki Vstrom DL1000 named "Big Blue"

So the idea was to get off the pavement. 

All my bikes from before this one were built for asphalt only but that had begun to feel limiting.  This idea of exploring seemed to make sense away from any paved path.  I decided to look for something that could move along on the highway capably but could handle some dirt and gravel.  Nothing really extreme just more off the beaten path than the Hondas had ever been. 

After a work colleague suggested a Vstrom I did some research and found it had a reputation for exactly that – a road biased bike that could do some dirt.  

How much dirt depended on the mods from stock.

This was where the project began…

Full on expedition cases were the first big add on.

The idea with the conspicuity tape was to be more visible, not to look like I am running away with the circus…

Too much??

“Big Blue” is getting closer to launch.

New spark plugs and a fuel computer are on their way.

A few cooking items and an extensive road tool kit are the last that things that need gathering.

A lambswool seat cover should help for comfort on the longer hauls.  

Looks a little wild and tribal now – especially with its reflective “war paint”




A stock footpeg modified for off road using some flat aluminum stock and an  set of $12 universal footrests.     I just couldn’t See spending $100 on a set of these and they can be converted back to stock in a few minutes.     

I will probably carry the original rubber inserts with me as a back up in case of any trouble.

Baby has new shoes!!

The crash bars have skid blocks installed and are wrapped with rubber strips cut from inner tubes. Let’s face it: where I am going this thing is going to go down a few times.

I wrap a lot of stuff with rubber strips. it grips like mad and is easy to unwrap and use for something else like lashing up some random dangling whatever that may come loose somewhere along the way.

I am pretty sure it would work well to help seal a leaking hose or pipe in a pinch as well. May even work as a tourniquet in a real emergency…

(you can never have too many bungees). The helmet cam I am using has a flat base that can be attached to then rest anywhere on the tops of the luggage. The elastic cords hold it down in almost any position or angle to give some interesting video while riding…

Here is a set of plastic fuel cans attached to the back of the side panniers. 

These things were not cheap – even for the cheap ones  – and they required some modification to attach properly but are good to go now.

They fit well at the rear of the side panniers but I am not 100% sold on this location yet. I am concerned about the weight added to the side racks when they are full of fuel. More testing is required…

They might get a strap through the handles  and over the rear luggage carrier to relieve some of the weight on the side bags.  The other option would be relocating them to the left and the right of the top case or maybe even the front crash bars?

At there current location there is no interference with any case opening or closing so that is a good thing.

I just know the range will be nice to have so they are coming along one way or another.

Merry Christmas to me (from me)

Me with my Pops on our 2700 miles road trip from Florida with the "new" bike