A lot of the TW’s suspension failings can be compensated by reducing tire pressure – they didn’t put those tire sizes on there for nothing, so learn how to use them. There are improvements you can make to the suspension (fork oil level/weight, the “V-Star shock swap” etc), but it will never be perfect (gives my shoulders a work out every time)
The stock front tire is absolutely fine – until it throws you without warning – this is why “we” don’t like it – it’ll dump you face down without warning
An extra fuel supply is a good thing to have, but a gallon on the stock rear loading space is a bit ambitious. Get a decent rear rack, a couple of “tool tubes”, and some canisters to fit the tubes – job done – otherwise you’ll get a chance to test your frame welding skills
A hinged seat would have been nice, and a comfortable one even better – takes an hour or so, then “bites you in the butt” – experiment – there are regular offers on the classified board for “coleman seat covers” which some swear by.
“Flat bars” – again, no single answer to that one, so if you find an ideal post it up with pictures. Be aware that that’ll shift your body weight over the front wheel, and may strain your shoulders unless you sort the fork suspension out
As with any bike, it’s best to get used to it first, and then change what you can – the TW is a very “individual” bike, so don’t try to compare it to anything you’re ridden before – give it a chance and you’ll be impressed at what it “can” do
But change that front tire ……..