V-Strom 650XT Improvements

January 5, 2024
There are times during my journeys where I’m asked about some of the accessories I have installed on my 2019 V-Strom 650XT.  Most all have been added for improved safety, functionality and long distance riding comfort.  Some are just for fun.

Navigation is always important.  A Garmin 396 GPS is attached using a handlebar RAM U-bolt mount.  Also shown above is a CarPlay/Android Auto display that communicates with my phone.  This brake reservoir RAM-mounted display is very useful to “dumb down” the plethora of information from the smart phone.  It will read text messages to me via my audio system as well as responding with voice to text and audio calls.  It also presents CarPlay/AA navigation and weather information.  Another advantage of this display is I can place the phone in a cooler place to prevent high temperature shutdowns during sweltering desert rides.  On the left side of the bars is a display for tire pressure, the control for my Oxford heated grips and the control for the active servo cruise by MC Cruise.  The Puig laminar flow deflector is very welcome at highway speeds.  I can still see over the screen and the wind breaks just above my helmet.

The V-Strom crankcase is vulnerable to damage from rocks and other flying debris on the road.  I added the tank-like bash plate from T-Rex Racing in Dallas.  It is no doubt overkill, but I like its coverage and that it mounts to the frame rather than the engine like other brands.  I see that T-Rex now has a slimmed-down version of my bash plate that is beveled just like I was thinking of doing to my plate.  The T-Rex highway pegs are a welcome relief on long rides.  They fold up and are adjustable for whatever the needs are.  The T-Rex radiator grill has definitely prevented fin damage in the 46,000 miles traveled so far.  Also shown in the photo on the right are my LED driving lights which dramatically improve my vision on back roads at night.  I have them controlled by a relay that is triggered by the high beam with an override switch if needed.  Not shown are H7 and H9 LED headlight upgrades as well as LED turn signals which required a solid-state flasher.  If you look closely, you will see a fork brace by Adventure Tech.  It is supposed to improve stability at speed, but I can’t give any comparable experiences as I added it immediately after I purchased the Strom.

The Akrapovič titanium pipe was a fun addition that has a bit louder sound but not overwhelming.  It adds a few horsepower and drops 8 pounds of weight from the moto.  Also shown are Adventure Tech foot peg lowering kits and serrated pegs that help in muddy or wet conditions.  The SW-MOTECH City Bag gives additional storage for easy access.  It is mounted to the tank with a ring that allows quick access to the filler at fuel stops.  Another fun and functional addition is the custom-printed thick tank pad.  This was designed for me and printed by Renato Salvadori in Brasil.

The V-Strom speedometer is ridiculously inaccurate with 5 mph errors at highway speeds.  Luckily the gearheads at 12 O’Clock Labs came up with a solution that intercepts the signal and allows me to calibrate the speedometer to an accurate display.  I no longer have to rely on GPS-indicated speed.  Also shown in the photo above is a turn signal cancellation system by ST2.  It senses when I make a turn and cancels the flashers, or will cancel after 40 seconds during straight-line riding.  In the photo on the right, you will see the Russell Day-Long seat which does actually make a day-long ride very comfortable.  I traveled 120,000 miles with my first Russell seat on my K12RS BMW.  It still looks and performs great!  On the seat is a Viking Bags Apex 30L ADV duffel with a heavy-duty interior dry bag and sturdy straps/latches.  This gives some additional storage space and a place for my hydration bag under the top fold-over cover.  On the rear rack is a new top box that replaces my previous one that had around 140,000 miles on it between two motos.  You’ll find some other farkles I have added in the list below.  I likely need to join a support group…

Date Mfg/Vendor Description Part Number
11/01/19 Puig/Amazon Laminar wind deflector 6320W
11/01/19 Justin Philipson/LED Rider LED 2.3 inch driving lights LX3
11/01/19 Oxford/Plano Suzuki Heated Grips EL420
11/03/19 WAASE/AliExpress Kickstand pad Order 8005248188644969
11/05/19 Kaoko/Twisted Throttle Throttle lock KAO.VS1000UWPT
11/06/19 T-Rex Racing Skid plate N63-17SP
11/11/19 T-Rex Racing Radiator guard N63-17RG
12/28/19 Rick Hughes/Adventure Tech Peg and control lowering DL650 all years
12/28/19 Rick Hughes/Adventure Tech Fork Brace DL650 2012 and newer
04/23/20 Garmin/GPS City GPS Zumo 396 LMT-S
05/07/20 T-Rex Racing Highway pegs N21HP
07/10/20 Russell Cycle Products Leather LD seat S-2 Day-Long WC0263 Aries
01/13/21 Akrapovic/GC Quad Keith Smith Titanium Race Exhaust S-S6R9-WTRacing
07/04/21 SW-MOTECH EVO City tank bag 11-15 L EVO City 11-15 L
09/07/21 Ymiko/Amazon Alloy foot pegs ‎Ymikopnyv3zimg6382-12
11/03/21 Renato Salvadori/TankPadBrasil Custom side tank pad n/a
11/16/21 GUAIMI/Amazon Folding Shift Lever B08HYY77S7
08/01/22 MotorCycle Cruise Controls Servo cruise control New Slim MCCruise
01/11/23 Unknown/eBay CarPlay Display C5
02/21/23 EOHMAK/Amazon TPMS System B0BMZW8RN8
03/15/23 Gafler/Adventure Tech Front SS brake line D772-3
03/26/23 12 O’Clock Labs/Adventure Tech Speedometer calibrator Speedo DRD model U
03/29/23 LASFIT/Amazon LED Low Beam H7 6000K
03/29/23 SEALIGHT/Amazon LED High Beam H9 6000K
03/29/23 Amazon LED Parking lamp 1156
04/18/23 OXILAM/Amazon LED Turn Signal Lamps PY21W/BAU15S
05/01/23 Aramox/Amazon 3-Pin LED Signal Relay B0819XN1ZD
05/12/23 MMYUSDirect/Amazon USB power socket B092M1XS1J
05/25/23 ST2/ST2 LED brake strober ST2 – Strober for Brake LED
11/22/23 Fancytimes/Amazon 45L top box A05507001501/B0BYVMP3JC
12/08/23 Viking Bags Duffel bag Apex 30L ADV Bag
12/20/23 ST2/ST2 Turn signal canceler ST2 Turn System

You may also like...