Six Months in - What has irked me about my VanVan? - Suzuki Van Van 200 Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Six Months in - What has irked me about my VanVan?

Alright, generally, I am happy with my VanVan, it's a fun to ride, and I get a lot of compliments on it. Buuuuut, I do have a few things that have annoyed me. Realize that this is my first bike...

1) Corrosion/rust. I live on an island, but I don't expect to see rust *anywhere* in just six months. Now, it's not on anything significant, but the nets holding the exhaust heat shield, the O2 sensor, and the screws holding the headlight assembly together have all gone serious rusty.

2) Brakes. My brake pads need replacing. I've had the bike for 6 months, and put 1600 miles on it. There is no way I should be replacing brake pads this quickly, but they're paper thin. Admittedly, I'm a fat guy, and my riding is mostly stop-and-go commuting, but I still think it's insane for them to need replacing so quickly. Dealer insists it's a wear item, so not covered under warranty.

3) My dealer's service department. Is it because it's a small bike? Or that I'm obviously ignorant about bikes in general? I don't know, but they are downright rude and dismissive every time I talk to them. I've found a smaller shop, that actually seem interested and appreciative of my business, but I'm still kinda boggled by the dealership service dept attitude. (note that the parts and sales guys at the same dealership have been awesome.)
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-03-2018, 04:23 AM
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+1 on the corrosion, especially on the fittings I.e. brake pedal, brake pipe guides etc.....I just need to be more efficient with the AcF50

Apart from that Im very happy, as its so cheap to buy parts for it compared to my last bikes
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-06-2018, 05:59 PM
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Good point about brake pads, ill keep an eye on them.
and yes the rust. was hoping a small bike made in japan maaaaay not have this issue, but alas it does.

also bear in mind your chain will be toast shortly too.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-18-2018, 05:49 PM
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Not sure if this applies to you but if you ride in sand much that could expedite the brake wear issue. Sand chews through pads fast. But if you haven’t then thanks for the warning.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2018, 09:19 PM
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Guys, not knocking your VVs, but the TW200s do not have rust issues at all, ditto excessive brake wear.
Most of the TWs are ridden off-road from a little to a lot, including mud & water.
If you ever get curious, check
There are a couple thousand members, a couple of hundred active.
LOTS of good info & good guys.
Very active site.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 12:48 PM
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I'd say Suzuki should of put some sort of protection under the engine. It's totally exposed! For a bike that is capable of trail riding I find that really bizarre. Plus a front fender extender is needed to protect the vitals as well. Just common sense, IMO.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 08:57 PM
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I feel your pain, yet, there are some solutions.

I have lived on sailboats for 28 years and "BOESHIELD T9" [Amazon $18+/-] is what I used on every single piece of metal. It actually was originally made by Boeing for their airplanes. Never had a rust spot. It let's the metal breath but shields it from humidity and obviously water. Spray and gently wipe down, it will do the trick. It is not messy or oily.

Customer service!!! Don't get me started on that... It is everywhere. Luckily I am in a small town [Alamogordo NM] and managed to get my Van Van 200 from a small dealer which has been in business since 1985, two partners, one the mechanic and the other takes care of the floor. Of course I am very happy with that aspect! I called a huge store the other day [Power Sport] for some questions. I was rudely replied all the way to at the end being asked "are you done" and as I said "yes" he hang up on me. Don't let it get to you. Think of it as it is their problem, not yours. I had a restaurant for 55 years! Trust me that I got "that rude person" at least once a night. Put on a smile and go on. Life is too short for it to get to you. As the quote says "One Life, One Chance..".

Brakes! Being a new rider you are probably counting on those brakes instead of engine brake. [no offense] Maybe try riding a bit smoother and especially "anticipate" your stops and downshift to slow down instead of fully using your brakes. Feather them. So I have ridden for over 60 years, many classes, and I myself so rarely unless in town, use my brakes. It is the same when I drive my car and truthfully can drive a passenger nuts as when I see a red light at the distance I just get my foot of the gas and coast to it!!! I know it drives the other cars behind me crazy also but... it is my car, they are my brakes!!!

Maybe this will help...
Hang in there and stay well.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 02:19 AM
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The front brake squeal is pretty annoying. Other than that though, the only thing I have ran into is the button on the clutch sticking. This left me trying to figure out why it wasn't trying to start for about 20 mins. ( first bike ) To be fair it was 24F with about a 30mph wind which made it feel like 7 out.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-12-2018, 07:56 AM
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After getting the button unstuck, she fired right up...... one more thing, the key hole in the gas cap WILL freeze up.
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Last edited by EtniesFreak; 11-12-2018 at 07:58 AM.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 05:58 PM
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I'm now about 300 miles and no "real" complaints except not having enough saddle time.

- Still looking for a "decent" small rack for the back... some of them look like they'd work, others are just too big and clunky looking.

- Tank size is an issue for longer rides, thinking about adding the small fuel canisters/holders.

- Taken it off road and I love the grippy Dunlop tires. They are more/less flat track tires, but they pull nice in loose dirt and gravel.

- Added a modulation LED rear brake bar to raise viability from behind. Wiring was simple and easy.

Like I said, no "real" complaints.
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