Getting the Wee Ready for the Big Trip – Part 1

The spending has commenced…

I’m getting ready for the big trip to Alaska this summer, and and have to make sure the Wee is road worthy.  The Suzuki V Strom DL650 is the perfect machine for this trip, but being 8 years old, I want to make sure the critical components are ready for the eight thousand mile adventure.

So, I’ll be doing the following maintenance before I leave in late June: tires, brakes (pads and fluid), chain and sprockets, coolant change, oil change, and some lighting improvements.  My good friend Dan has offered to help with the tire and brake stuff, and I will tackle the rest by myself.

So far, I have acquired:

  • Mitas E07 front and rear tiresTires: Mitas E-07, front and back — with cross-ply construction and a chevron tread pattern that grips both pavement and gravel surfaces.  I considered a couple of contenders, including the Shinko 705s and the Heidenau K60 Scouts, but after doing lots of research and checking with other riders that have done this trip on my style of bike, I settled on the Mitas.


  • DID X-ring ChainChain: D.I.D. 525VX Chain – length: 118 links. D.I.D’s Patented X-Ring design has the best sealing properties of any O-ring chain, D.I.D X-Rings keep the dirt out and lubrication in for the longest wear life.  The X-Rings twist between the side plates instead of being squished to reduce friction and minimize power loss.  Marketing crap I know, but still rated well in the rider community.


  • JT Sprockets 15/47Sprockets: These high carbon steel rear sprockets are heat treated for maximum durability and long life, countershaft sprockets are made from chrome-moly steel for superior strength and durability.  The front is 15T and the rear is 47T — Standard gearing for the bike.


  • Galfer Brake PadsBrake Pads: Galfer Semi Metallic Brake Pads front and rear.
    • Great feel and modulation for OEM replacement
    • Long lasting and very little rotor wear
    • Good in wet and/or dry conditions
    • Overall a very versatile compound for almost every need


  • Brake Flasher and LED lightsLED lights  and flasher for brake light modifications.  One of my biggest concerns whenever riding, is being rear-ended by a car or truck.  Especially in the era of cell phone talkers and texters.  So, in an attempt to be more “seen” I will add a series of bright red LEDs and a flasher on the back of my bike.  I have not yet decided where to install them, either on the top box, or on a light bar above the license plate.  I might even put them in my side bags, who knows.  I’ll post pictures and a video in a future blog post.


  • Action CameraAction Camera: I thought it would be fun to record some video of my trip, and considered buying a Hero.  The cost of those things scared me off for a while, but then I found some cheap knock off units.  Again, after lots of research, and reading reviews, I settled on this little bugger for only $60.  I’ll post an example video after I get a chance to ride my pedal bike in a couple of weeks.  (I have high hopes that this thing will suffice.  I don’t expect Hollywood quality movies, and think 4K video is overhyped.  This camera will shoot 1080P, but I plan to record in 720P to reduce file size (for editing) and extend recording time.)

I am anxious for some nice weather to make its way to Northern Minnesota so I can pull the Wee out into the garage and start working on it.

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One Response to Getting the Wee Ready for the Big Trip – Part 1

  1. Chad says:

    The Mitas E07 tires proved to be perfect for this trip. I put on 1,000 miles before leaving, and was worried that they may not make the round trip. I was wrong, they still had 2,500+ miles on them when we got home. The grip they provided was awesome, and I felt confident riding them through anything that the highway would throw at me.

    The CatEye LED lights were worthless. The gauge of the wire was thinner than mosquito hair, and after just a few rides, they broke. I ended up ripping them off and replacing them with a light mounted to my top box.

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