Suspension upgrades are usually the very best money you can spend on any bike. I've not been able to find anyone who makes after market suspension for the VV & 2 separate dealers parts dept. guys have told me they're not aware of anything either. The VV is definitely a budget bike & I don't think it would hold up long to big jumps even with a quality suspension but, the hit from rough pavement & pot holes could stand to be smoothed out a bit.
Upgrading the weak breaks seems like money better spent on the VV but, if the after market does end up offering bolt on/drop in suspension upgrades I will definitely be interested. I won't go through the hassle or expense of having something fabricated for it though.
Oh well... This weekend we rode 605km two up in mountainous area, including bad roads with lots of potholes. When we returned I noticed that rear shock was squeaking even when it was compressed just a little bit. May be it's something else.. and if it is the shock, well it's pretty old (11 years) so maybe it's time to replace it but anyway...
Two-up, with some reasonable luggage (a 15kg backpack) and VanVan's suspension is already under some significant stress. It can still cope with medium sized potholes just fine but you can just feel how much stress it is under. There's barely any travel left and you have to be really careful where you're pointing your bike. You're spot on about brakes too. Brakes are more or less okay when you're riding solo (I weigh about 60kg). When riding two-up, with some luggage like we typically do the stopping distance doubles. I didn't measure it but again you can feel that brakes are barely stopping the bike especially when you're stopping fast from 90-80 kph.
So, yeah, I would definitely go for better brakes if it is possible without any modifications (i.e. drop-in replacement).
As for suspension, I guess I will just have to get a new bike someday
Too bad, VV is almost kind of perfect for me. People also often comment on how cool my bike is. Makes me grin from ear to ear, knowing that it's a budget bike and I still get all the attention big boys with expensive fancy toys get
PS: not just random pedestrians but also bikers riding bigger bikes!