Team-BHP > Motorbikes


Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 20th March 2023, 07:01   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: KA-xx
Posts: 507
Thanked: 1,524 Times
Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom

Hi, all. I bought a new Suzuki V-Strom SX 250 a bit over 5 months ago.

Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom-2.jpg

I'm experiencing a few mechanical issues, major and minor with my motorcycle since the day I bought it. The purchase and service experience related to this bike has mostly ranged from neutral to distressing.

Before I take any further steps in dealing with the bike’s issues, I wanted to make this thread to document my experiences.

First, the major issue... HORRIBLE RIDE QUALITY

Some of you may remember my comment on the general V-Strom thread with my immediate post-purchase initial impressions of the motorcycle saying the suspension felt very stiff, and the bike was no good over anything other than smooth roads. Quoting some relevant bits here for context:

Quote:
Originally Posted by drt_rdr View Post
Picked up a Vstrom a few days ago. Put ~100km on it so far. As expected, it is more or less a roadbike, not so good offroad or even broken roads. And not because of the lack of suspension travel or anything. It's because the quality of the ride is stiff at both ends. I mean my old 150 roadbike had a better ride quality than this and handled offroad better than one would imagine.

The front on the V feels okay enough. But the rear, I feel, is badly tuned for fast riding, for my weight atleast, which is around 70-80kg (been a while since I checked, I'm thinking more towards 70 than 80 these days).

The rear is not sorted enough to inspire confidence while riding fast over broken roads or offroad. It does okay enough at slower speeds, of course. But overall, it feels like there's not much compression and disproportionate rebound. Sharper humps are a pain. Shallow potholes are okay, but deeper ones will buck you off the seat a bit. It does take level ground confident enough though, like construction jelly strewn roads, or smooth mud roads. I found myself doing 60-70 kmph on those.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drt_rdr View Post
The vstrom has been a bag of contradictions for me. Based on my experience, I cannot recommend it. Suzuki seems to have goofed up with this one.

It's mostly positives over smooth roads. But once you get to a bad patch, it falls apart. The suspension is crap. Both ends are stiff, the rear being stiffer. It's piss poor over bad roads, forget offroad where it doesn't even allow the wheel to track the surface properly and keeps skipping.
The bike has had this issue since I bought, so my picture of what the baseline experience is supposed to be was muddied. Since then, I've put a lot more kms on my bike and have also ridden other V-Stroms for comparison, and no doubt there's something severely wrong with my motorcycle, though I've been unable to place exactly what. Nor has my dealership SvC.

But it's taken quite a while for me to try to process and articulate just what the hell is going on because the ride quality is inconsistent and haphazard. It usually ranges from tolerable to terrible. Notice I'm saying "tolerable," not "good". The general ride quality on my bike tends to be a bit bumpy. The bumpiness is especially pronounced over broken roads and dirt. But it is also sometimes felt quite prominently on smooth roads while going over impefections, especially while leaned is what I’ve noticed.

Very rarely, it works as if nothing's wrong, but it can also go mental when I least expect it and just rattle me to my bones. My other 11, 13-year-old bikes ride far, far better than this even though they're seen their fair share of wear-and-tear and are overdue some chassis maintenance work.

I’ve made repeated visits to the dealership to complain, got 1 warranty replacement which didn’t solve anything, and made a direct complaint to Suzuki. My bike is still not fixed. It's been over 5 months since I bought the bike, and I'm still stuck with a so-called "brand new" motorcycle that's unpleasant at best, horrible at worst, and absolutely uncomfortable, unreliable and basically unusable for its intended purpose - long distance travel.

My observations of the issue:
> When riding normally over humps, potholes, patchy roads, mild offroad etc, the bike tends to bounce me off the seat a bit instead of going smoothly i.e. harsh\bumpy ride quality which feels like inadequate compression of the suspension i.e stiffness.

> When riding a bit faster, the effect is more pronounced and over consecutive undulations, it tends to rattle me off the seat to the point that the shocks it sends up my back can be painful sometimes. It feels as if the rear wheel is just not tracking the ground well over undulations and is skipping or bouncing up harshly.

> I often notice a thudding noise at the rear when going over bumpy surfaces.

> The issue does not seem to appear consistently. There seem to be moments where everything feels like it's working as intended. But sooner rather than later, the harshness tends to creep in, it does a Jeckyll and Hyde on me.

> The severity of the issue is also not consistent. As mentioned before, it ranges from tolerable to wretched and painful and seems like it can change at anytime.

> I also notice that the throttle response tends to be a bit hesitant\jerky when the issue occurs, like something is preventing the wheel from rolling smoothly and reciprocating fully to the throttle input.

> Sometimes, the throttle also cuts off abruptly at low RPMs, which has led to a few near-drops and a fall at standstill so far.

> The bike also has a rattling noise coming from the rear which is constant and pronounced while going over rough surfaces. I don’t know if it was there from the beginning or developed later. I usually wear my helmet over a balaclava or a jacket hood, which has the consequence of damping quite a bit of noise. So, I only learnt about the rattling when a bystander pointed it out to me. Can’t clearly tell what’s causing it.

I’ve captured a few clips of the issue. Please forgive my extremely basic video editing efforts. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you what I’ve received as a “brand new” “adventure bike”.

Please observe the rattling, the thudding noises, the quick skipping of rear wheel over undulations rather than a smoother action, how it unsettles the rear of the bike and bounces me over the seat, and how the suspension doesn’t properly compress with my weight when I land back on the seat. As you can see, this is run-of-the mill rural roads and very mild offroad, baby stuff. These are things adventure bikes should be able to easily handle. You may be able to observe my discomfort as the bike abruptly bounces me off the seat. It feels worse than it looks. And this isn't even the severe end of the problem.





And here's some clips captured in slow motion. You can observe how the front of the motorcycle works compared to the back. The front suspension has a full action, leaving the front tire in adequate contact with the ground and the front end sufficiently stable. The rear section though, appears to have a jittery action, the skipping wheel is apparent, the rear suspension doesn’t seem to travel its full stroke, the swingarm seems to stop action midway and throws up and unsettles the rear of the motorcycle, bouncing me on the seat as well.



If this is the ride quality over the easy stuff, can you imagine what would happen to me if I actually took it adventuring? Over shorter distances, riding the motorcycle can be anything from okay-ish to jarring and unpleasant depending on the mood of the bike. But over longer distances, it generally tends to be painful due to the cumulative effects of the inconsistent ride qualit, the no-warning mood swings. Riding even two-three hours or so, I sometimes come back with a hurting back and hip. Only twice have I ridden it for 4-5 hours. The first time was when the bike was new and I was enthusiastic, I came back home with back and body aches that I had to nurse for a couple of days. The second time was later on for troubleshooting it, I was more careful about how and where I rode and still came back home in much discomfort. I have no issues riding and beating the heck out of my old 150s with over a decade worth of wear and tear for a few hours, apart from the usual butt ache. But I'm experiencing abnormal discomfort on this so-called "brand new" “adventure bike” that costs near 4 times as much as my old 150s.

This is unacceptable as a common consumer, disgusting as a fairly experienced rider, and appalling as an Suzuki fan who’s earlier ironically waxed poetic about their practicality and build quality all over these boards and the net.



The bike’s done 2,500 kms so far and I’ve been discovering new combinations of behaviors and surprises almost every time I ride. While I’ve had general suspicions of what could be wrong, I’ve not been able to pinpoint the root-cause of these mood swings.

-> Initially, I thought it was a faulty suspension unit because the issue felt similar to bad working of the suspension (what felt like inadequate compression + the thudding noise). I had a warranty check done on the bike and the dealer replaced the monoshock unit after quite a bit of back and forth. But it was no use. All that did was eliminate the suspension as the cause of the problem, which is to say, the trouble lies elsewhere.

-> I asked the technician who performed the replacement on the bike if the suspension mounting points were good, to which he said there were no issues. I have only his word to go by here.

-> I've had the rear brake pads checked to see if they're contacting the rotor while not actuating the brake, and lightly sanded to make sure they’re not. No use. The pads themselves are probably not the cause, though I'm unable to rule out a faulty caliper or master cylinder.

-> I thought it could possibly be a faulty ABS unit that's not sufficiently letting the brake go. But I was informed there would be an ABS malfunction indication on the console if that were the case, which has not happened yet.


I’m guessing the trouble could probably be:

a> Some faulty rear brake component that's not fully letting go of the brake pressure even after disengagement, or possibly causing lopsided pressure on the brake pad.

b> Something faulty with the swingarm, axle, bearings, bushings.

c> A combination of the both.

d> My bike is haunted.

This is a new experience for me in my ~15 years of owning and riding motorcycles. Then again, I guess I’ve just been lucky I’ve not run into troubles like this with my older bikes.



Moving onto other issues I’ve observed with the bike, the running theme here is inconsistency:

- Other than the rattle from the rear, I also hear a kind of coarse, gravely noise from the bike that's very irritating. It seems to overpower the normal engine noise and just drowns out the nice intake growl in the mid rpms with its unpleasant scratchiness. It seems like it’s coming from the engine but it also sounds like loose panels or bolts or something. I hope this is not an early symptom of the vibrations neil.jericho described on his Gixxer showing up on the vstrom too.

- The horn is weak on my bike compared to other Vstroms. It almost sounds apologetic. I don’t know if suzuki changed suppliers between manufacturing batches or there’s an issue with the horn or electricals on my bike, but the TR vstroms have a stronger horn. Hell, my old 150 has a stronger horn.

- The supposed one press easy start ignition has a mind of its own. Sometimes it starts normally, other times I have to hold down the button for a couple seconds, otherwise it cuts off the ignition action. It could just be dust accumulation or it could possibly be water ingress related as some other users have reported.

- The mileage estimate on the console seems to have a mind of its own. I've kept Trip A untouched so that it is 1:1 with the odo and shows my fuel average over the amount of kms I've put on the bike so far. The fuel average reading for Trip A used to show ~35 kmpl till around 1900 km on the odo. But one day, all of a sudden, it decided to drop to ~27 for no apparent reason. It’s since picked up and is in the low 30s now.

The last three points are trivial enough that someone can live with them if need be. But the first one is an ever-present annoyance and is also a nagging worry as to what it might turn into later. But at this point, I’m wondering, what else is going to start going wrong on this bike this early into the ownership? Is this even supposed to be a Suzuki?

Overall, I can only describe my experience with this bike as GARBAGE. Most of my 2,500 kms have been just enduring the issues, trying to understand them, troubleshoot, run around trying to get it fixed, hope it gets fixed but to no avail, rinse, repeat. I’ve less enjoyed riding the bike and more worried about what the hell is happening with it each time I ride. I’ve certainly not been able to use the bike for what I bought it.

At this point, the only enjoyment I can get from this bike is riding over smooth roads, which is an absolutely laughable testament to make about an adventure bike. I didn’t buy the motorcycle to ride smooth roads though. So, I can't even imagine doing a single day's riding on this, forget about multi-day trips exploring the backcountry.


----


That said, I'm not bashing the product itself, just my lousy experience with this particular unit and dealing with Suzuki. Issues aside, here's my evaluation of the vstrom over my ownership duration for whatever it may be worth.

> Power is very usable across the revrange, and mostly adequate for my riding temperment and tendencies. Shifting at around 5-6k rpms is enough most of the time to get ahead of local city and rural traffic, and even out on state highways. I rarely go above 7k rpm unless I'm riding fast uphill\downhill. Redlining it has been a rarer event. The growl past mid rpms used to be nice before it got overshadowed by the ugly strained, scratchy noise.

> Clutch is neither heavy nor light, but I'm feeling a bit of pain in my hands after riding a couple hours... probably just need to adjust the levers a bit downward and it'll be fine, which I’ve not yet done.

> So far, though the bike has severely limited what I can do with it, the weight feels generally well-balanced while riding, and the bike feels more or less natural to ride once your legs are off the ground. But I would need to work out a bit to be able to get comfortable with the weight of the bike and pushing it around, even though it's one of the lightest bikes among its peers in the market right now.

> I can't comment on ergonomics and suspension at this stage due to the kind of issues I'm facing.

> The road handling, in general, is slow, especially as speeds increase. I mean, the wheelbase is long and the front wheel is big. So, it's not that eager to turn into corners compared to a naked, and it resists quickly shifting from side to side. It's still a better handler than the himalayan though, and my local hill runs have not left me dissatisfied with how it behaves. But you need to be conservative with your corner speeds, especially because of another factor, the weak brakes.

> Slow speed handling is all right, manageable enough. The turning radius is good for a bike this size and U-turns on narrower roads are manageable in 1 go with the right technique. It's very responsive to weighting the footpegs while stood up. But it feels a bit diffcult to shift weight back and forward to load the suspension, I think due to the length of the bike and how and where the seat is placed. It would’ve been nice if it had the seat running up the fuel tank like the KTM adv.

> Tyre grip seems to be inconsistent, not that confidence inspiring. Could have something to do with the issue in my case if the wheel\swingarm bearings are the culprit. But the wide tyres go over sand better than my impulse on stock tyres.

> Front brake feels fine for casual riding, but very inadequate for more involved riding. The amount of empty throw on the lever before the brake actuates is quite much. It almost feels like you need to squeeze halfway before anything happens. At first, I thought even my brake was defective. Then I realized this is how they make it. I don't mind the sponginess of the bite, I’m used to it on my Impulse. But this amount of dead-pull is bad. It robs you of feel and reaction time. And I've observed this kind of thing in other makers too recently. I don't even understand why it's made like this. The saving grace here is ABS, so you can just pull on the brake without a care in the world... hope it doesn’t spoil me to the point it gets dangerous to ride my non-ABS bikes. Rear brake, no comment ATM.

> Instrumentation is whatever. Neither good nor bad. I don't use the connected features and USB charger.

> Windscreen is next to useless for me. It blows the wind right into my face. It probably works well for smaller people than me though.

>The rear seat is spacious and the luggage rack is convenient to tie up a backpack to it.

Overall, while I absolutely regret buying the bike due to the terrible experience I’ve had, what I can't help but also regret is not having been able to experience the bike as originally intended by Suzuki, because in those fleeting moments when it works well, this bike shows a lot of promise as a good compromise between a roadbike and a dualsport.

Last edited by Aditya : 22nd March 2023 at 19:55. Reason: As requested
drt_rdr is offline   (25) Thanks
Old 20th March 2023, 07:02   #2
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: KA-xx
Posts: 507
Thanked: 1,524 Times
re: Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom

Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom-1.jpg




Now onto some educational content, courtesy of my torrid ownership experience:



My older bikes were inching closer to end of their registration lives. So, I had made up my mind to buy another bike while the time was right. The contest in my mind was between TVS and Suzuki. I was also considering getting a used bike and had looked at several, but decided to go for a new one for peace of mind since I’d be keeping it for atleast 15 years. We’ve had several Suzukis in the family. Their design tendencies tend to suit my own preferences and temperment, and my largely positive experiences with my own older Suzuki played a big influencing factor in my decision to go for another Suzuki.



My city has just 3 Suzuki motorcycle dealerships, 2 of which are run by the same franchisee. The other one is inconveniently far away from me. The one nearest to me, ~7 km away, is the major dealer and master spares stockist in my city. I visited it in late September last year. The puchase experience started off with quite a fiasco and ended up damaging my faith in the dealer and Suzuki.

I had specifically asked the dealer for the latest manufactured unit they had because manufacturing batches matter if you don’t want to deal with issues on a product new to the market. They told me all their stock at that time was June\July made units. I got the general impression that they seemed to be running a straightforward operation and I decided to take their words at face value. I wanted the Yellow colour. The dealership claimed all their units on the showroom floor were booked out, but they had one in storage. After asking them multiple times what the manufacture month was, receiving confirmation it’s again June or July, and then checking out the bike, I went ahead with it.

Now, my mistake in this was taking their words at face value and not verifying the chassis number myself. Because when it came to signing off on the bike, the registation papers showed the bike was NOT a June or July-made unit as claimed but an April-made unit, assumably from one of the initial production runs. At this point, the words, "caveat emptor", stood in front of me in bolded out Impact font, ready to give me a hard punch to the jaw. It seems the dealership was hoping I’d just blindly sign on the dotted line, take the bike and move along.

I confronted the dealership about this and they tried to save face, saying it was a mistake and June\July was their billing date from Suzuki and all that. No dealership makes this sort of "mistake" unless they're manuvering to push an old, unsold unit on an unsuspecting customer. (I still have a copy of the scrapped insurance of the bike they tried to push on me)

I refused to take delivery of the bike. At that point, I should've just taken my money and left. But I had made up my mind to buy a new Suzuki after dilly-dallying for a long time. So, I asked them to provide me another unit. They had a lone August-made orange unit in their branch dealership. I checked the chassis number this time, it was legitimate, the tyres looked new, and the bike looked acceptable. Everything looked okay enough, I thought what could go wrong. So, I took delivery of that one.

As it turned out, the action I took in wanting an as-newly-manufactured bike as possible was in vain because I received a defective bike, a lemon, and I've been doing exactly what I wanted to avoid. I’ve been running around trying to understand what's happening with the bike, learning more unsettling things about the motorcycle as kms pile on, and more running around trying to get it fixed rather than enjoying riding a new motorcycle.

The lesson here: Don’t skip your due diligence if you don’t want Mr. Caveat Emptor to punch you in the face. Don’t let all those grief threads you read on TBHP go to waste by letting your guard down.




So, it was evening when I received the bike. I just took it home on mostly smooth roads, and the ride quality didn’t register in my mind. The next day, when I took it out for a longish ride, the ride quality started bothering me. But back then, I couldn't understand whether it was an issue or just how the bike was designed. Still, I informed the service center about the bike's behaviour during the first week.

The technician was somehow sure there was no issue and suggested tyre pressure adjustments and riding it some more. I set the tyre pressure lower, no use. Later, I set the suspension to the softest preload myself. The abnormal behaviour remained. But the riding experience got a bit less unpleasant since the motorcycle was now not transferring shocks to my body as hard as earlier.

Initially, I thought there must be some kind of trouble with the suspension, probably a tight spring or something that's not allowing compression over the full stroke, and that maybe it would probably loosen up with more kms. As I rode a bit more, the inconsistency of the issue made me think “the spring may be loosening up.” I endured the damn thing till the first service that came up around a couple weeks of buying. Again, no use. The thing was prone to behaving badly even after putting hundreds of kms on it. All the while, I was barely able to understand of the nature of the trouble due to the inconsistency of it.

The people at the service center were still resistant to the idea of there being an issue. I was met with statements like "But nobody else is complaining about this, you're the only one", as if that's going to make the issue go away. So, apparently, every other Vstrom customer was enjoying thir new bikes while I was the odd man stuck with the bike enjoying riding me. The message I got though is, if you’re not a paying customer, you’re the least priority, doesn’t matter if you bought the most expensive bike on the lineup. But I suppose it’s understandableif I look at it dispassionately. They’re the only dealer\SvC covering a large chunk of my town and their service bays are always busy.




In the meantime, I also took the time to compare my bike with the dealer's test ride vehicle twice at different instances just to confirm if the bonkers one was the bike or me... to confirm if issue was something subjective or if there was a real issue with my particular motorcycle. I also visited other dealerships in my city and the next district to double check my impressions over other TR bikes and roads. I rode my bike and the dealers' vehicles back-to-back over some of the worst roads in the surrounding areas and I could clearly tell something was damn wrong about my bike. I had some of my friends and family ride my bike and they could clearly tell something wasn't right about it too.

Between all this, I lost more faith in Suzuki and the dealership when I discovered the PDI was also not done properly on my bike. I had taken the bike out around 60 km from my city to a fairly remote spot. I had stopped at a hotel to have lunch. The bike happened to fall at standstill in the parking lot. I lifted it up, checked the side for any damage. There seemed to be next to none. The company crashguard seemed to be doing its job. But when I started riding, the bike was pulling left. I stopped to check once again and discovered one of the front suspension legs had risen up in the clamp by a bit. The triple clamps bolts weren’t fully tightened!! How could this possibly happen if dealership had done a proper PDI on the bike? I simply could not ride the bike all the way back home while it kept pulling left. So, I adjusted the suspension as best as I could, tightened the clamps with the bike's toolkit, rode back home, and later got it fixed properly at the service center. It's still not completely fixed though. The bike still goes slightly to the left, but I've let it be, because, at the moment, that’s one of the least on the priority list of the bike’s troubles.

Anyway, fed up with the bike, I pushed for a warranty checkup. So, I buy Suzuki India’s premium product, I receive a defective unit, and then, I have to push and insist before they do something about it. The service head still resisted. The technician rode the bike for a couple minutes and claimed he couldn't sense an issue. But the dealership manager intervened and obliged to a warranty replacement of the monoshock. And after a delay of a month due to time conflicts both on my part and theirs, I got the replacement fitted on my bike. It initially seemed sorted and I happily thought I was finally in the clear to actually use the bike for what I bought 3 months after buying it. But no, further riding revealed that impression was just due to the inconsistency of the issue’s appearance. The trouble remained.




While I appreciate the warranty replacement, it didn't solve anything for me. And it came with a caveat, I got an unreasonable and ridiculous threat from the service head that they’d void the warranty if I ever turned the preload steps on the monoshock on my own again. That is to say, I got threatened with voiding the warranty for using a feature the maker provided.

Did Suzuki make something so fragile that using a bog-standard C-spanner that works with any other basic suspension unit will damage the suspension of their adventure bike? I wonder if Suzuki sold me a motorcycle that I can actually take to the corners of the country or just a garage display ornament that I was only supposed to ride to their service center and back. Do they expect me to ride 7 kms from home to their SvC just turn a nut? Do they expect me to go hunt for an SvC when I’m out somehwere remote just to turn a nut? Where will they go treating the customer like they're the enemy, especially for a product that’s supposed to take the rough and tumble in its stride? I should’ve just bought a used bike than deal with this kind of nonsense.





I had to go back to the dealer again to have them check it once more. The dealership manager reluctantly agreed. Since the suspension change did nothing for the trouble, obviously the problem was not in the monoshock itself. So, I went out of my way and offered to buy the replacement unit if they could return the original one. I’d anyway have use for it since I’d probably be changing out the suspension unit every 20-30k kms if my experience with my other bikes was anything to go by. They declined and said it was fine.

So, I came back again for whatever work they had planned. But this time, I got the sense that the onus of proving the trouble was on me. The service head and technician weren't open to the idea of the issue, they were trying to convince me the bike is fine since they just replaced the suspension, like that's going to help the bike's troubles or make me forget my experience over hundreds of kms. They had also incidentally called in a man from Suzuki, with whom I spoke very briefly and described the issue. I was given assurances of warranty and all that. But I never saw the man again and nothing came of those assurances.

The way the issue acts up inconsistently didn't help my case when me and the technicians rode the bike for a few minutes. At first, I was surprised when the bike was riding okay enough that I couldn't clearly show the issue. But soon enough, it stated showing itself, but the technicians outright denied it. Now, in hindsight, I don't know if the bike once again just didn't present the issue when the technicians rode it or if it was a matter of riding style or too short a time on the saddle that didn’t expose the issue sufficiently, or if they were actively denying me to try to save face for the warranty replacement that didn't fix the issue. If it's the former, I suppose I can see how they could distrust me because I had also actively started to distrust them for denying the issue when I could clearly feel it.

They lubed and adjusted the chain and sent me along to see if it fixed things. I was also told if that didn’t fix things, I could leave it with them for a couple of days and they’d look into it. I take time away from work and spend my morning and afternoon there, and what I get for that is this ridiculous "fix" that fixes nothing, and then I get asked to come back another time like I’ve got nothing better to do than keep running around to fix the bike, a brand new bike BTW. By that point, I had probably run around town about 8, 10 times in a span of around 3 months to get closure on the same damn issue. Is a customer’s time worth nothing? My trust in this dealership and SvC had hit rockbottom. With what confidence was I supposed to leave my bike for days on end for them to “fix”?




Having no faith in their sincerety and troubleshooting ability, and tired of wasting time running around in futility for the same issue on what's supposed to be a goddamned brand new motorcycle, I called up Suzuki's customer care number, described the issue, and raised a complaint about my motorcycle asking them to get their internal technicians involved in this. I was hoping Suzuki would take responsibility for this and bring closure.

But a couple days later, I got a flowery email from the same dealership asking me to bring the bike again for them to fix. I called Suzuki again and asked them to atleast recommend a different SvC. Suzuki, in all their wisdom, insisted on me going back to bash my head with the same dealer, wasting more time. And that's exactly what happened when I reluctantly called up the service head. I received a two-faced reply that my bike was fixed with the suspension replacement. I also spoke to the dealership manager later and all I got were non-committal replies. At this point, it seemed like the whole thing had devolved into a he-said-she-said situation with the dealership trying to save face in front of the company or something. They clearly had no intention of fixing the junk they sold me. I didn’t bother to follow up any more.




By that point, I had postponed and cancelled travel plans after travel plans and had lost some of the best riding months of the year in this part of the country, waiting and hoping the bike would get fixed. Now, I’ve just gone and fixed up my trusty old bikes that are still reliable enough, and have been using them for smaller travels instead of making plans and hoping around this damn thing. I’ve made a couple big blunders in fixing up my Impulse. The fork fluid I’ve used is too stiff and now has a skittish front end, and the tyre replacement choice was pretty bad for dirt use. But it’s still more usable and comfortable than my “brand new“ vstrom. It's been over 45 days since the complaint, and ZERO action has been taken either by the dealer or Suzuki. Thanks for nothing, Suzuki.

The lesson here: If an issue crops up, if possible, capture it on video ASAP so that you’re not at the maker\dealer’s mercy.

I usually ride solo these days, and am not one for photos and videos and such. So, the thought of capturing the issue while riding hadn’t even crossed my mind. But having gone though this experience forced me to go out and get video footage of the bike. Between work, travel, and personal affairs, I’ve managed to get a few clips recorded that sufficiently show the issue that’s haunted the bike since Day1. Hope I can get Suzuki to do something about this now atleast.




Anyway, this whole ownership has been a mess which has left me regretting putting my faith and money in Suzuki.

I bought a new bike expecting a trouble-free ride. My experience has been like buying a badly used bike while taking the financial hit of a new bike. Should've just gone and bought a used FZ25 or Gixxer or something. Atleast with a used bike, I could've fixed up any issues on my own terms and time while leaving quite a bit of money still in my pocket.

I bought a Suzuki for practicality and reliability. This orange looking but lemon flavoured bike is not even usable for its intended purpose, leave alone practical or reliable. Now that I’ve ridden this rickety, rattly bike like this for 2,500 kms, I wonder what other parts on the bike are going to get affected. Could the strained noise from the engine area that I described earlier be a consequence of this?

I bought the bike, looking forward to riding it till the end of its usable life. But this whole experience has left such a bad taste in my mouth that, I don’t even feel a proper sense of ownership towards it. I’ve not even bothered to adjust the handlebar controls to my preferences or remove the saree guard. I mean, what if they void my warranty for that?

Even if the bike gets fixed, I can’t help but imagine what kind of support I'll have to put up with if the damn thing throws more trouble at me in the future. What good is a 5 year warranty if the customer has to go through hoops and not even have a fixed bike at the end?

The lesson here: Er... Let’s call my limey, lemony bike Limca. Bad humour is the best lemonade I can make from this lemon at this point.




That’s the story so far. Let’s see where Limca takes me from here.

Last edited by drt_rdr : 20th March 2023 at 07:32.
drt_rdr is offline   (20) Thanks
Old 20th March 2023, 07:57   #3
Team-BHP Support
 
Turbanator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,974
Thanked: 24,651 Times
Re: Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom

Looks like you have picked the wrong model and have sort of buyers remorse

Quote:
The purchase and service experience related to this bike has mostly ranged from neutral to distressing.
Quote:
I've put a lot more kms on my bike and have also ridden other V-Stroms for comparison, and no doubt there's something severely wrong with my motorcycle, though I've been unable to place exactly what. Nor has my dealership SvC.
Quote:
The issue does not seem to appear consistently. There seem to be moments where everything feels like it's working as intended. But sooner rather than later, the harshness tends to creep in, it does a Jeckyll and Hyde on me
Quote:
The horn is weak on my bike compared to other Vstroms. It almost sounds apologetic.
How many km did you check the other similar bikes? Why do I get this feeling that you will have some issues with other bikes once you have those for an extended time?

Machines usually don't have such issues, especially devoid of electronics like this simple bike. It's we humans that feel differently at varied times.

Quote:
Because when it came to signing off on the bike, the registation papers showed the bike was NOT a June or July-made unit as claimed but an April-made unit, assumably from one of the initial production runs
I doubt Suzuki will have trouble manufacturing the right bike on Day 1. On the contrary, as the Tools and Dies are used, tolerances change due to natural wear and tear. This is gradual and happens over the life of the product cycle over many years.

Quote:
Don’t skip your due diligence if you don’t want Mr. Caveat Emptor to punch you in the face.
But the dealer gave you exactly what you wanted, a new manufactured bike so what was the issue with the dealer? Frankly, 3-4 month inventory for such bikes should not be uncommon depending on the preference of colour etc.


Quote:
The bike’s done 2,500 kms so far and I’ve been discovering new combinations of behaviors and surprises almost every time I ride. While I’ve had general suspicions of what could be wrong, I’ve not been able to pinpoint the root-cause of these mood swings.
Quote:
I can only describe my experience with this bike as GARBAGE.
Quote:
As it turned out, the action I took in wanting an as-newly-manufactured bike as possible was in vain because I received a defective bike, a lemon, and I've been doing exactly what I wanted to avoid.

Quoted posts are not in any order that you have written but I will agree to this
Quote:
My bike is haunted.
That Yellow bike that you left at the showroom is upset with this Red one and is haunting your bike

Suggest selling and making peace.

Last edited by Turbanator : 20th March 2023 at 08:08.
Turbanator is online now   (21) Thanks
Old 20th March 2023, 11:33   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
Sebring's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Dubai/Bengaluru
Posts: 3,183
Thanked: 10,120 Times
Re: Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom

I heard you Bro, when you titled it 'Weathering the Strom'. Feel sorry you are facing these issues. The bike is defective, I reckon. Resale being good, I suggest you sell it. If you are up for an experiment, AOM in Bangalore said they will fix the Himalayan suspension set up for the bike.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drt_rdr View Post
Attachment 2430894The lesson here: Er... Let’s call my limey, lemony bike Limca. Bad humour is the best lemonade I can make from this lemon at this point. That’s the story so far. Let’s see where Limca takes me from here.

Last edited by Sebring : 20th March 2023 at 11:37.
Sebring is online now   (3) Thanks
Old 20th March 2023, 11:45   #5
Distinguished - BHPian
 
ashis89's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 3,223
Thanked: 9,510 Times
Re: Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom

Quote:
Originally Posted by drt_rdr View Post
Hi, all. I bought a new Suzuki V-Strom SX 250 a bit over 5 months ago.

First, the major issue... HORRIBLE RIDE QUALITY
How was your test ride experience before your purchase? I did a 500m test ride of the bike, in the by lanes of HSR Layout and found the ride to be very stiff on those good roads. Even with 2 people on board, the ride continued to be stiff.

Last edited by ashis89 : 20th March 2023 at 11:52.
ashis89 is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 20th March 2023, 12:17   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
shancz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Ranchi
Posts: 1,581
Thanked: 4,461 Times
Re: Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom

Not very regular these days but quite sad to see your new bike experience turning sour, especially you and that too with a Suzuki.
Particularly sad and like you summed up correctly
Quote:
This is unacceptable as a common consumer, disgusting as a fairly experienced rider, and appalling as an Suzuki fan who’s earlier ironically waxed poetic about their practicality and build quality all over these boards and the net.
Some inputs from my end going by what you mentioned and the videos, hope it helps in any way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drt_rdr View Post
My observations of the issue:
1. stiffness.
2. When riding a bit faster, the effect is more pronounced and over consecutive undulations
3. I often notice a thudding noise at the rear when going over bumpy surfaces.
4. The issue does not seem to appear consistently.
5. The severity of the issue is also not consistent.
6. I also notice that the throttle response tends to be a bit hesitant\jerky when the issue occurs
7. Sometimes, the throttle also cuts off abruptly at low RPMs
8. The bike also has a rattling noise coming from the rear which is constant and pronounced while going over rough surfaces.
1-2 : like you said, its stiffly spring. Can you try if carrying a pillion helps in this behaviour ? My Access125 has the same behaviour but improves dramatically with a pillion.
3 : I saw in the slow motion video that it corresponds directly with your rear suspension compressing. I would be checking the underseat storage for loose toolkits, panels etc. or the add-ons like the saree guard, wheel hugger. I've seen similar noise on other bikes, zeroed in to loose retaining rubber loop for toolkit and in one case a wheel hugger.
4-5 : That's weird but there should be an explanation but leave it for now as it can't be proven conclusively and should be fixed as a part of the larger fix. A weird experience I had was this (Suzuki Access 125 : Weird handling (tugging left or right) after U-turns. EDIT: Problem solved) and just looking at the timelines it should be clear that it shouldn't be a priority right now.
6-7 : I have experienced it as well on other bikes and I think its due to the rear wheel hopping with varied speeds. Related to 1-2 and should be fixed with it.
8 : Didn't notice but should be the low priority for now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drt_rdr View Post
-> the dealer replaced the monoshock unit
-> the suspension mounting points were good
-> I've had the rear brake pads checked to see if they're contacting the rotor while not actuating the brake
-> I thought it could possibly be a faulty ABS unit

I’m guessing the trouble could probably be:
a> Some faulty rear brake component
b> Something faulty with the swingarm, axle, bearings, bushings.
c> A combination of the both.
d> My bike is haunted.
The monoshock and its mounting points have been ruled out and brakes or ABS won't create such an issue.
Swingarm, axle, bushings can potentially cause it but I doubt it to be at that level. I would suggest to check out the easier solutions first.


Quote:
Originally Posted by drt_rdr View Post
1. I also hear a kind of coarse, gravely noise from the bike that's very irritating.
2. The horn is weak on my bike compared to other Vstroms.
3. The supposed one press easy start ignition has a mind of its own.
4. The mileage estimate on the console seems to have a mind of its own.
5. The amount of empty throw on the lever before the brake actuates is quite much.

At this point, the only enjoyment I can get from this bike is riding over smooth roads, which is an absolutely laughable testament to make about an adventure bike.
1. That's a different thing but I would recommend going into it after the main issue has been sorted out. Might be related.
2. Mention this to the ASC and should either be tuned/replaced under warranty.
3. I have it on the Access too but its way easier to pull in the throttle along with it to get instant starts rather than waiting for the "one touch" to finish its ordeal of starting a cold engine. Works as intended on an optimally hot engine only so don't waste your peace over it
4. No experience/idea.
5. I have observed this too, especially in ABS equipped bikes but do a check of the brake pad wear and get the brake fluid replaced in the next service just to be safe.


Quote:
Originally Posted by drt_rdr View Post
The general ride quality on my bike tends to be a bit bumpy. The bumpiness is especially pronounced over broken roads and dirt. But it is also sometimes felt quite prominently on smooth roads while going over impefections, especially while leaned is what I’ve noticed.
the rear suspension doesn’t seem to travel its full stroke, the swingarm seems to stop action midway and throws up and unsettles the rear of the motorcycle.

- Power is very usable across the revrange.
- Shifting at around 5-6k rpms is enough most of the time to get ahead of local city and rural traffic, and even out on state highways.
- Slow speed handling is all right, manageable enough.
- Tyre grip seems to be inconsistent, not that confidence inspiring.
Although I haven't ridden the bike, from what my general impression was about the VStrom 250, its just a taller and more comfortable(riding posture) road bike suited for city and highways. The suspension would be stiffer as the travel isn't much and to maintain the GC with the targeted load(pillion and some luggage) it shouldn't sag. Essentially looks good and like an ADV but not really an ADV, like the CB200X if I may.

I just ran into this video and from what is mentioned I can see that your experience matches to a great extent but what I can also see is a mismatch of expectations between what you wanted and what the bike is capable of. I suggest a calm and dispassionate watch of this video with a cup of tea/coffee :
Credits to Providers :



Quote:
Originally Posted by drt_rdr View Post
1. But I'm experiencing abnormal discomfort on this so-called "brand new" “adventure bike” that costs near 4 times as much as my old 150s.
2. because in those fleeting moments when it works well, this bike shows a lot of promise as a good compromise between a roadbike and a dualsport.
1. IMHO, you shouldn't make this comparison, it just isn't going to work. Bikes aren't made that way anymore, our previous discussions on other threads capture the feeling too.
Regardless of what they say and like the word "SUV" which goes for anything with 180mm or more of GC and which looks a certain way, the "ADV"is its equivalent in the motorcycle world.
2. I think its essentially a road bike with higher GC, larger tyres and ADV looks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drt_rdr View Post
1. I rode my bike and the dealers' vehicles back-to-back over some of the worst roads in the surrounding areas and I could clearly tell something was damn wrong about my bike. I had some of my friends and family ride my bike and they could clearly tell something wasn't right about it too.
2. I stopped to check once again and discovered one of the front suspension legs had risen up in the clamp by a bit. The triple clamps bolts weren’t fully tightened!!
3. I got an unreasonable and ridiculous threat from the service head that they’d void the warranty if I ever turned the preload steps on the monoshock on my own again. That is to say, I got threatened with voiding the warranty for using a feature the maker provided.
4. Hope I can get Suzuki to do something about this now atleast.
1. This is weird, and usually the mechanics will deny it and they might not even find it an issue at all. Only those who live with the bike can tell if something is amiss. This is difficult to prove without any visible cues. Videos are your best bet.
2. Shoddy PDI from Suzuki and the dealer and unfortunately quite common. If you look how the bikes are kept in the yard and then hurriedly "readied" for delivery it won't be surprising.
3. That's highly unprofessional and regrettable, mention the same to the dealership manager and Suzuki in your next interactions. Although the preload of 3/7 should be reasonable for someone your weight.
4. Your complaints will get routed back to that dealer and this isn't just with Suzuki, most of them have the same SOP. Hope that the video provides a final closure to this ordeal of yours.

Good Luck and keep us posted.

PS : I also get a feeling that you're fed up with this and quite understandably so. If that's the case, after the basic "loose items" checks don't help much, you should move on. You've already wasted precious time, money and energy on this bike, Suzuki and its dealer and it isn't working for you. Exchange/Sell this and get something like the XPulse 200 4V if you want something now or I would suggest to wait for the XPulse 400/ Himalayan 450 ADVs to arrive. If you want a street naked, then wait as well as the Xtreme 400 should also come and my ever elusive and borderline mythical RTR 310

Last edited by shancz : 20th March 2023 at 12:24. Reason: typos, grammar
shancz is online now   (7) Thanks
Old 20th March 2023, 12:29   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
Sebring's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Dubai/Bengaluru
Posts: 3,183
Thanked: 10,120 Times
Re: Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom

Problem is dispassionate Area Sales Managers (In charge of sales, with no knowledge of mechanicals) get the SOS emails and promptly forward them to the dealership. They have no solution whatsoever. There is no Service Engineer back up from the Company HQ, nor do they train the mechanics. Emails are never replied to, by Suzuki. This is creating huge problems
Quote:
Originally Posted by shancz View Post
I also get a feeling that you're fed up with this and quite understandably so. If that's the case, after the basic "loose items" checks don't help much, you should move on. You've already wasted precious time, money and energy on this bike, Suzuki and its dealer and it isn't working for you. Exchange/Sell this and get something like the XPulse 200 4V if you want something now or I would suggest to wait for the XPulse 400/ Himalayan 450 ADVs to arrive.
Sebring is online now   (5) Thanks
Old 20th March 2023, 16:46   #8
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: KA-xx
Posts: 507
Thanked: 1,524 Times
Re: Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
But the dealer gave you exactly what you wanted, a new manufactured bike so what was the issue with the dealer? Frankly, 3-4 month inventory for such bikes should not be uncommon depending on the preference of colour etc.
Quote:
Why do I get this feeling that you will have some issues with other bikes once you have those for an extended time?
Thank you for hurriedly profiling me as an irresponsible, impulsive consumer. Perhaps you didn't fully read the whole experience, particularly what I wrote detailing the lengths I've gone to to make sure the issue is mechanical and not psychological. Maybe the videos showing the trouble didn't play for you either?

As a dealer yourself, I can understand you taking the dealer's side and a dealer's approach on this. Whether the initial production batches have issues or not is a separate matter. But do you think it's all right to lie to and mislead the customer claiming one thing and handing out another? I was referring to the this with the "caveat emptor" comment. Yes, I did receive a newer unit AFTER a confrontation, but a defective one. Whether it was luck of the draw or something else that I received a defective one, do you think that, in any way, improves my opinion of the dealer?


Quote:
I doubt Suzuki will have trouble manufacturing the right bike on Day 1. On the contrary, as the Tools and Dies are used, tolerances change due to natural wear and tear. This is gradual and happens over the life of the product cycle over many years.
I can understand this, but there are many variables in supply chain, assembly, storage and transportation as well. So, I'm sorry but it's hogwash that initial production runs would always be up to the mark. Maybe you haven't seen the reports of issues with water ingress with the earlier batches of the vstrom, leave alone various other examples in other makes and models. Now, whether it is major or minor, widespread or limited is a different matter. As a consumer, it is my prerogative to make decisions about the product I buy. After all, I didn't receive the bike for free, I paid what was asked.


Quote:
How many km did you check the other similar bikes?
Quote:
Machines usually don't have such issues, especially devoid of electronics like this simple bike. It's we humans that feel differently at varied times.
Yes. Like I said before, I rode my bike and theirs over and over, back-to-back over the same patches of road to eliminate any subjective impressions as much as possible, just in case I couldn't trust my own senses and experience over hundreds of kms at that point, as well as aching back.

In any case, if the issue was simple to confirm and the straightforward to fix, I wouldn't even have bothered going to the dealer, leave alone suffer for months on end and then make this grief thread.


----


Quote:
Originally Posted by ashis89 View Post
How was your test ride experience before your purchase? I did a 500m test ride of the bike, in the by lanes of HSR Layout and found the ride to be very stiff on those good roads. Even with 2 people on board, the ride continued to be stiff.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shancz View Post
1-2 : like you said, its stiffly spring. Can you try if carrying a pillion helps in this behaviour ? My Access125 has the same behaviour but improves dramatically with a pillion.
Yes, I felt it was generally stiff too, which I've noted in my TR impressions on the vstrom thread. But like I said, the issue is not with the suspension unit itself. The ride quality on my particular bike is generally above and beyond the baseline stiffness. And it does seem a bit better with a pillion on board. When it works well, there's a nice floaty compression of the suspension. But when it doesn't, the pillions have complained of being rattled on their seats, even while riding at a slow pace.


-----

Quote:
Originally Posted by shancz View Post
3 : I saw in the slow motion video that it corresponds directly with your rear suspension compressing. I would be checking the underseat storage for loose toolkits, panels etc. or the add-ons like the saree guard, wheel hugger. I've seen similar noise on other bikes, zeroed in to loose retaining rubber loop for toolkit and in one case a wheel hugger.
The toolkit is bound tightly. I've ridden the bike without the toolkit too. I've checked the saree guard, pegs, subframe, rack. No looseness. The brake calipe does seem to be slightly loose but not enough to cause this kind of thudding. Will check the panels and wheel hugger just in case. Wouldn't there be a constant rattle or buzz if that were the case though?

Quote:
6-7 : I have experienced it as well on other bikes and I think its due to the rear wheel hopping with varied speeds. Related to 1-2 and should be fixed with it.
I've had the throttle cut off while walking the bike and waddling while taking u turns at near standstill. This is definitely not seem related to the wheel skipping.

Quote:
8 : Didn't notice but should be the low priority for now.
I suppose you'd need to know what to look for to hear the rattle. In any case, I've got a separate video capturing the rattle.

Quote:
5. I have observed this too, especially in ABS equipped bikes but do a check of the brake pad wear and get the brake fluid replaced in the next service just to be safe.
I had it checked out a few days into the ownership. The pads seem fine. But yes, will get to bleeding the brake once the major issues on this are sorted.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
Looks like you have picked the wrong model and have sort of buyers remorse
Quote:
Originally Posted by shancz View Post
Although I haven't ridden the bike, from what my general impression was about the VStrom 250, its just a taller and more comfortable(riding posture) road bike suited for city and highways. The suspension would be stiffer as the travel isn't much and to maintain the GC with the targeted load(pillion and some luggage) it shouldn't sag. Essentially looks good and like an ADV but not really an ADV, like the CB200X if I may.

I just ran into this video and from what is mentioned I can see that your experience matches to a great extent but what I can also see is a mismatch of expectations between what you wanted and what the bike is capable of. I suggest a calm and dispassionate watch of this video with a cup of tea/coffee
Oh, but I went in fully knowing what I wanted, a mechanically simple, easy to maintain, reliable, comfortable bike which would be a replacement for my ageing roadbike. This was already a low bar.

I never expected this thing to replace my dualsport. I've mentioned this in the general vstrom thread too. I was prepared to consider any dirt-worthiness as a bonus rather than the norm. What I wanted was a bike that takes bad roads and mild dirt well which my roadbike was already doing quite nicely. So, no, I didn't go in with bloated expectations, it was very, very reasonable. And on the occasions when the bike works well, it works WELL for those purposes. So, the model I picked is a very reasonable choice within those parameters, just not my particular unit.

Also, shancz, thanks for the video link, and no offense, but I'm not going to listen to Shumi over my own experiences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shancz View Post
1. IMHO, you shouldn't make this comparison, it just isn't going to work. Bikes aren't made that way anymore, our previous discussions on other threads capture the feeling too.
Regardless of what they say and like the word "SUV" which goes for anything with 180mm or more of GC and which looks a certain way, the "ADV"is its equivalent in the motorcycle world.
The point is not about how much one bike costs vs another or being accurate in accounting for inflation over the years. The point is, I'm getting a much worse riding experience riding a brand new bike as compared to the decade-old bikes I already owned. The cost is to emphasize that the quality of components between the models should ideally be better on the more expensive bike, particularly considering it was made to be comfortable.


-----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
Suggest selling and making peace.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebring View Post
I heard you Bro, when you titled it 'Weathering the Strom'. Feel sorry you are facing these issues. The bike is defective, I reckon. Resale being good, I suggest you sell it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shancz View Post
Exchange/Sell this and get something like the XPulse 200 4V if you want something now or I would suggest to wait for the XPulse 400/ Himalayan 450 ADVs to arrive. If you want a street naked, then wait as well as the Xtreme 400 should also come and my ever elusive and borderline mythical RTR 310
My thoughts exactly at this point. Just want to sell and move on with my life. I'm hoping Suzuki can fix this thing first so I don't have to take a big financial hit trying to sell a defective bike.

Last edited by drt_rdr : 20th March 2023 at 16:52.
drt_rdr is offline   (10) Thanks
Old 20th March 2023, 17:03   #9
BHPian
 
Plymouth_Fury's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 39
Thanked: 110 Times
Re: Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom

There you go from Shumi himself. he has put well on, what he thinks about the vStrom250sx. I am no expert, but maybe you need some more time with it. if it's not for you, it's not for you. You may have to try the Himalayan or KTM250 Adv. I Wish you get a solution soon.

Plymouth_Fury is offline  
Old 20th March 2023, 18:14   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
shancz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Ranchi
Posts: 1,581
Thanked: 4,461 Times
Re: Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom

Quote:
Originally Posted by drt_rdr View Post
1. The ride quality on my particular bike is generally above and beyond the baseline stiffness. And it does seem a bit better with a pillion on board. When it works well, there's a nice floaty compression of the suspension. But when it doesn't, the pillions have complained of being rattled on their seats, even while riding at a slow pace.

2. Will check the panels and wheel hugger just in case. Wouldn't there be a constant rattle or buzz if that were the case though?

3. I've had the throttle cut off while walking the bike and waddling while taking u turns at near standstill.

4. I suppose you'd need to know what to look for to hear the rattle. In any case, I've got a separate video capturing the rattle.

5. but I went in fully knowing what I wanted, a mechanically simple, easy to maintain, reliable, comfortable bike which would be a replacement for my ageing roadbike. This was already a low bar.

6. Also, shancz, thanks for the video link, and no offense, but I'm not going to listen to Shumi over my own experiences.

7. I'm getting a much worse riding experience riding a brand new bike as compared to the decade-old bikes I already owned. The cost is to emphasize that the quality of components between the models should ideally be better on the more expensive bike, particularly considering it was made to be comfortable.
1. That "when it works" part is tricky, indicating a defect and the stars have to align for it to be reproduced to be able to troubleshoot.
Honestly, partly from experience, this will be a hard nut to crack.

2. Panels will rattle and buzz at specific rpm or rpm range but we had a bike(390 Duke or a Pulsar, can't recall) which had a similar sound during compression as the wheel hugger was hitting the underside as it had broken something and gotten loose. In its normal position there is nothing to bang against to create any noise.

3. Then it's a different issue.

4. Yep, that compression noise has primarily got my attention, will check out the rattle video too. Have you uploaded it yet ?

5. Makes sense, and if it wasn't for these issues we wouldn't have this discussion. I haven't read your posts on the TR hence the "assumption".

6. Understand and agree, I would do the same

7. Not talking about the price but the quality has come down in certain areas. Your case is more of a lemon and Suzuki's unwillingness to resolve it is the primary problem IMO.

Coming to the main problem of erratic ride and that you've replaced the suspension (assuming the entire mono shock unit with the spring and damper?) and the mounting points are okay.

Some points, feel free to discard:
- Can you check the underside and especially the monoshock area for any impact marks ? Ideally check it immediately after the issue happens. Trying to find if something is fouling with the normal operation of the suspension.
- Try to compress the suspension while the bike is standing still, ideally in an enclosed area to hear even a small squeak.
Then try to locate the source. Although I would assume you would've already done it by now.
- Put the bike on center stand(if available) and check the wheel movement if anything feels loose or any weird sound is heard .

Do you have access to the structure/parts diagram for the bike ? This is just a desparate option because prima facie it looks like a suspension problem but you've ruled that out and that adds to the confusion even further.

Keep us posted and Good Luck.
shancz is online now   (2) Thanks
Old 20th March 2023, 21:17   #11
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 621
Thanked: 563 Times
Re: Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom

I feel your anger and disappointment with your purchase. This seems to be the issue with your bike only since you have ridden other bikes. Yes the suspension is stiffer compared to other commuter bikes and the ride can get bouncy.

By any chance did you ride over a rough patch which might have damaged something ?

Between booking and delivery, was this bike used for some test rides and the dealer sold you a test ride bike ?
girimajiananth is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 20th March 2023, 21:23   #12
Team-BHP Support
 
Turbanator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 5,974
Thanked: 24,651 Times
Re: Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom

Quote:
Originally Posted by drt_rdr View Post
Thank you for hurriedly profiling me as an irresponsible, impulsive consumer. Maybe the videos showing the trouble didn't play for you either?
I don't know from where you got this feeling. I did see the videos but since I don't own similar bikes, very hard. I would not have replied if your thread was simply technical, as I don't have experience but in your case, it did feel that there can be some issues with your purchase.

Quote:
Perhaps you didn't fully read the whole experience, particularly what I wrote detailing the lengths I've gone to to make sure the issue is mechanical and not psychological.
When you say, the horns are apologetic and the bike is haunted, what else will someone think? Being a mechanical engineer, unfortunately, such terms are unknown to me.

Quote:
As a dealer yourself, I can understand you taking the dealer's side and a dealer's approach on this.
We don't discuss what we do for a living, that makes no difference. I replied as a forum member. If any, my experience in various fields is the reason to believe that you do not like the bike. When you say that issue is mechanical, it means you have some knowledge about how things work, so what made you leave the bike manufactured a couple of months back? In which course of engineering did you read that it takes a couple of months or years to get a product perfected?

Yes, we do talk about niggles in new cars or bike launches but so many issues on a simple bike that must have a lot of parts in common with others? And here you picked a later production bike and have decided it is bad manufacturing of your particular bike. Yes, there can be a defective product too but from horns to shockers to starter motors and whatnot! It's impossible for any manufacturer to fit so many wrong parts on one bike.

Quote:
But do you think it's all right to lie to and mislead the customer claiming one thing and handing out another? I was referring to the this with the "caveat emptor" comment.
We don't know whether it was intentional or a simple error, can be just a casual approach to miss/ check something asked specifically by a customer. I am not defending anyone but saying that it can be a genuine mistake also. We need to trust others, not everyone is in business to loot or cheat others.


Quote:
As a consumer, it is my prerogative to make decisions about the product I buy. After all, I didn't receive the bike for free, I paid what was asked.
So you got what you asked - current generation- Right? So what should the dealer do now? change yours with a new one as you are not satisfied with the bike when all of the mechanics feel differently.

Quote:
Just want to sell and move on with my life. I'm hoping Suzuki can fix this thing first so I don't have to take a big financial hit trying to sell a defective bike
In that case, take your bike to another city. See if there are any riding groups who ride similar bikes and let them ride yours. If they are oK you can ride theirs and see if yours is any different. The rest of other members have added some good pointers. Hope you find a solution to your problems

Last edited by Turbanator : 20th March 2023 at 21:38.
Turbanator is online now   (9) Thanks
Old 21st March 2023, 01:36   #13
BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: KA-xx
Posts: 507
Thanked: 1,524 Times
Re: Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom

Quote:
Originally Posted by shancz View Post
1. That "when it works" part is tricky, indicating a defect and the stars have to align for it to be reproduced to be able to troubleshoot.
Honestly, partly from experience, this will be a hard nut to crack.
This has been the cause of friction between me and the workshop.

The slow motion clips should make it clear where the fault is though. You can see how the front end and the rear end of the bike behave over the same surface. The front end is composed, the rear is jittery.

The rear end of the vstrom is supposed to be setup softer than the front. But one of the clips clearly shows the opposite action happening on my bike. The front has a full action, compression, rebound and smaller compression. But the swingarm seems to abruptly stop compressing the monoshock, accompanied by the thudding. This kind of abrupt stop is what seems to be causing the harsh ride quality.

Quote:
4. Yep, that compression noise has primarily got my attention, will check out the rattle video too. Have you uploaded it yet ?
On the channel now. The rattling noise is also very apparent in one of the slow motion clips.

Quote:
Coming to the main problem of erratic ride and that you've replaced the suspension (assuming the entire mono shock unit with the spring and damper?) and the mounting points are okay.
Yes, the full unit was replaced.

Quote:
Try to compress the suspension while the bike is standing still, ideally in an enclosed area to hear even a small squeak.
Then try to locate the source. Although I would assume you would've already done it by now.
Quote:
Do you have access to the structure/parts diagram for the bike? This is just a desparate option because prima facie it looks like a suspension problem but you've ruled that out and that adds to the confusion even further.
The SvC technician did this. Checked for proper damping and noises. There was a mild squeak as far as I can remember, but the damping was apparently fine. It's definitely not a suspension issue since it's been replaced under warranty though.

Quote:
-Put the bike on center stand(if available) and check the wheel movement if anything feels loose or any weird sound is heard .

- Can you check the underside and especially the monoshock area for any impact marks ? Ideally check it immediately after the issue happens. Trying to find if something is fouling with the normal operation of the suspension.
I'd have been able to troubleshoot much better if I had a paddock stand. Unfortunately, as of now, I don't and none of my nearby garages do. I'd have to go to a company workshop for this.


---------


Quote:
Originally Posted by girimajiananth View Post
By any chance did you ride over a rough patch which might have damaged something ?

Between booking and delivery, was this bike used for some test rides and the dealer sold you a test ride bike ?
I've not idea why my particular unit is like this. Could've possibly been damaged during transport or unloading or something, I don't know. But the main thing is that it's not getting fixed.


-----------



Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
I don't know from where you got this feeling.
The tone of your post.

Quote:
I would not have replied if your thread was simply technical, as I don't have experience but in your case, it did feel that there can be some issues with your purchase.
Yes, there were issues which I've already described my whole ordeal in the original post. If I had received a normal unit, or even if the dealership had fixed my bike earlier, I wouldn't even be writing this. I'd be a happy customer.


Quote:
When you say, the horns are apologetic and the bike is haunted, what else will someone think? Being a mechanical engineer, unfortunately, such terms are unknown to me.
Those were sarcastic jokes. Sarcasm often gets misinterpreted, but I thought these were funny.


Quote:
If any, my experience in various fields is the reason to believe that you do not like the bike.
I've described in detail about my bike, and my personal tendencies. I've even said there's compatibility and that it shows a lot of promise when it works well, and that I regret not being able to have experienced the bike as Suzuki intended. Do you think I'd have said that if I didn't like the properly working aspects of the bike?


Quote:
When you say that issue is mechanical, it means you have some knowledge about how things work, so what made you leave the bike manufactured a couple of months back? In which course of engineering did you read that it takes a couple of months or years to get a product perfected?
I don't have to be an engineer or mechanic to make a purchase decision. I've already said it. As a customer, it is up to me to make the decision about the product I'm buying based on the information I gather. It doesn't matter if I'm mechanically versed or not, what matters is whether or not I have confidence in the product and experience I'm paying my hard-earned money for. Bottom line, when I clearly tell the dealership what I want, but I get something different, that is unacceptable.


Quote:
Yes, we do talk about niggles in new cars or bike launches but so many issues on a simple bike that must have a lot of parts in common with others? And here you picked a later production bike and have decided it is bad manufacturing of your particular bike. Yes, there can be a defective product too but from horns to shockers to starter motors and whatnot! It's impossible for any manufacturer to fit so many wrong parts on one bike.
So, you say you don't have experience with this kind of motorcycles to judge the trouble, but you also want to question what I'm going through with the bike.

I'm not saying all the issues are a case of bad manufacture, please don't put your words in my mouth. I've also stated that most of the minor ones can be lived with if need be. But the issues are undeniably there and are a dent in th experience. Do you want me to put up videos of the minor issues as well? I'll be happy to.

Quote:
We don't know whether it was intentional or a simple error, can be just a casual approach to miss/ check something asked specifically by a customer. I am not defending anyone but saying that it can be a genuine mistake also. We need to trust others, not everyone is in business to loot or cheat others.
Are you saying that a dealership that's been in business for years and years would not know how to check the manufacturing month of a vehicle and would mistakenly misinform the customer repeatedly? That's ridiculous.

And yes, I agree, not everyone is out to cheat, but there are also plenty of opportunists. I've seen and experienced my fair share.


Quote:
So you got what you asked - current generation- Right? So what should the dealer do now? change yours with a new one as you are not satisfied with the bike when all of the mechanics feel differently.
Yeah, I got what I asked, but I didn't get what I wanted. I wanted a normally functioning trouble-free bike. What I got is abnormal and troublesome. I just wanted a bike that I could ride in peace. This bike isn't it.

I've had a questionable experience buying my old Suzuki too, but the bike itself had no major issues, so I was mostly happy with it.

If the dealership could've fixed this bike earlier, I'd have been a happy customer. Now, I'll be happy if Suzuki can fix the goddamned thing and help me sell it so I can move on with my life.

Last edited by drt_rdr : 21st March 2023 at 01:45.
drt_rdr is offline   (11) Thanks
Old 21st March 2023, 10:32   #14
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Location: Mysore
Posts: 17
Thanked: 31 Times
Re: Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom

I get the feeling when your bike doesn't meet expectations, it's a bad place to be in.
I ride a KTM adventure, have ridden himalayan extensively also have ridden vstrom's quite a lot as we have 3 in our ride group.
In general the vstrom has a good rear suspension setup atleast for heavy riders but all of the three bikes in our group we have reduced 1) the preload to minimum try that 2) Reduce tyre pressure may be 2 psi
3) check the chain tension lube it with gear oil as I have found that in Vstrom if chain is loose it makes a lot of noise/rattle
4) check the chain guide rubber on top of swingarm
5) check swing arm bushes
I totally agree with the SVC being non supportive they do the regular service and and further issues we cant expect much. One of the earliest bikes which now has around 15k had a left pulling issue after multiple visit to multiple SVC issue remained unsolved. Then we took ot our own hands went to my friends garage the cone set was gone replaced that and did a fork overhaul issue was solved.
One more suggestion is in bad patches like the clip try standing up on pegs(saddling), take the bumps through your legs that will make you more comfortable . I am no expert in offroading, but thats what I do in bad patches, people with more experience please pitch in if wrong.
PreethamNag is offline   (8) Thanks
Old 21st March 2023, 12:05   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
shancz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Ranchi
Posts: 1,581
Thanked: 4,461 Times
Re: Suzuki V-Strom 250 SX | Horrible riding and ownership experience | Weathering the Strom

Quote:
Originally Posted by drt_rdr View Post
- This has been the cause of friction between me and the workshop.
- But the swingarm seems to abruptly stop compressing the monoshock, accompanied by the thudding. This kind of abrupt stop is what seems to be causing the harsh ride quality.
- On the channel now. The rattling noise is also very apparent in one of the slow motion clips.
- I was lucky in this regard as the workshop manager(Mr. Murali) at Bharath TVS Bengaluru took ownership despite being swamped with work and asked me to leave the bike for 3 days. He identified the issue was due to a faulty carb and replaced it under warranty within 2 days. At least 2 mechanics who went on test rides before him had denied that they felt anything wrong and that's expected. They would be testing anything from a XL100 to the flagships but since I was riding a friend's RTR180 for its first 3 months I knew this was different. Post the solution the moment I started the bike I knew it was fixed, although took a test ride on Mr. Murali's insistence to reconfirm the same.
Unless someone rides the same bike regularly it will be difficult for them to even identify the issue and that's the most difficult part even in your case.
But your videos should help a lot in diagnosis.

- Exactly, this is weird and you're right, since the monoshock has been ruled out we need to look at the swingarm.

- Saw that and that isn't the wheel hugger or the chain. Sounds like a bunch of loose washers/rods and metal to metal contact. The swingarm, its mounting points and any peripheral attachments have to be checked. Something is really wrong in that that rear wheel - swingarm area.
I am not eligible or informed enough to know the inner working so a noob question to anyone who does :
What happens if a swingarm is loosely attached ? Is it possible that a loose attachment is dissipating a significant part of the impact energy in unexpected movement and resulting noise instead of transferring it to the monoshock ? Causing the monoshock to not be sufficiently loaded ? Could also explain the randomness.


Might be away for a few days so most likely I will be back post your swingarm diagnosis hopefully.
Good Luck

Last edited by shancz : 21st March 2023 at 12:07. Reason: upd
shancz is online now   (4) Thanks
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright 2000 - 2023, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks