The front-right turn signal is cracked on my V-Strom and I bought ‘drop-in’ replacements from Touratech. I also bought new brake pads and bar-end weights. I planned to spend a few hours getting these parts installed and my first task was to get the turn signals replaced.

Getting to the large nuts that hold the front turn signals in place was not an easy chore and after spending over an hour trying to get the front fairing off my bike, I threw up my hands and gave up. There is a bizarre combination of hex-head screws, snaps and hooks that hold it in place and although I got the screws figured out (more or less) I was afraid the snaps were one-time-only fasteners; once you pull them out you have to replace them with new ones. Before taking that plunge I decided to refasten everything I had removed and let the mechanics at my local bike shop tackle the job.

I decided since the bike has to go into the shop I might as well have them swap out the brake pads and bar-end weights as well.

The next day I decided to take a long ride to Detroit. I’ve written about this route many times before so I won’t go into great detail about the route. Most of the road has been repaved and is in great shape. The weather was fantastic for riding, sunny but not hot, and although there were a few slow cars and RVs to contend with, the acceleration of my V-Strom handled the situation marvelously.

I was also very pleased at the improvement the fork brace I installed made on turning and stability in windy conditions. The bike felt tighter and more stable. The difference wasn’t dramatic but was definitely noticeable.

I also strapped a special action-cam onto my rear foot peg and videotaped the last leg into Detroit. Once there I took a break, then strapped the camera on the same foot peg facing backwards and filmed the same stretch of road but in reverse. The final footage is interesting and somewhat exciting to watch, since the camera is zooming along about 12″ above the ground. However, my pant leg covered up the right side of the lens so I need to do it again with the camera mounted in another location.