Hi! Talk me into (or out of) a V-Strom - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
General V-Strom Discussion Talk about all things V-Strom not limited to just one of the above models

View Poll Results: V-Strom or...
DL 1000 17 18.89%
DL 650 71 78.89%
Buell Ulysses 2 2.22%
KLR 650 0 0%
Voters: 90. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 86 Old 04-13-2016, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Hi! Talk me into (or out of) a V-Strom

Hi Guys,

Iím in the market for a new (to me) bike. Iím a year-round-every-day-ride-in-whatever-weather-as-long-as-itís-not-too-much-under-freezing rider and Iíve recently bought a new house that is right about an hour, mostly highway, commute to work. Because of this new commute, my current bike (Honda VTR1000F) is just not going to cut it. Iíve done quite a bit to make the Honda awesome Ė but awesome for riding hardÖ not so awesome for sitting on for an hour. Also I get like 32mpg at best. And it only holds about 3.5 gallons. So Iím stopping for gas all the time. Which is annoying. So, my primary experience right now with a really cool bike is that itís uncomfortable and annoying. Finances will likely dictate that I replace it vs. add another bike. Not my ideal, but probably a necessity.
Iíve whittled down my list of possibilities to 4 serious contenders: KLR650 (probably 1st gen), V-Strom 650, V-Strom 1000, and a Buell Ulysses (Iím only looking in the used market). The current front-runners are the Uly and KLR, but the Stroms are still very much in the race.
Here are the things that are relevant to know about me and my circumstances:
- I work on my own things
- Iím not scared of carburetors, but there is something nice about pushing a button and having it start every time
- Because I work on my own things, I like things that donít break a lot
- Because I work on my own things, I like things that arenít a total PITA to work on.
- I live in western Washington State. Itís always raining. Always. 
- There is an OHV park on the street I live on. (I want to explore)
- There are a ton of fire roads around me (Again, I want to explore)
Here are the criteria Iím using for my search, but my rankings are based mostly on spec sheets, so Iíd love to hear from actual owners and how they feel KLR650 stacks up:
- Inexpensiveness to buy
- Reliability
- Inexpensiveness to own
- Availability of parts/support/cool stuff
- Fuel economy (both consumption and range)
- Comfort (either in stock form or modded)
- Wind protection (I donít need a ton, but when it rains hard it sure would be nice)
- Ability to run 70mph and not suck at it
- Decent enough handling/braking on pavement to handle commuting and not being killed by cagers Ė Ideally it would actually be fun on pavement.
- Reasonable performance on unpaved places (see above)
- Ability to carry luggage. (I need to be able to pick up groceries on the way home)
- Ability to 2-up. Neither I nor my lady-friend are small people Ė think 400lbs between the two of us.
- Ability to be dropped and not destroyed
- Coolness (obviously subjective)

I'm leaning more the direction of the Wee over the bigger Strom, but I have my concerns about both..

1000
- Really only 40ish MPG?
- It's heavy. It's got to he a chore to hustle on anything loose

650
- Does it have enough on tap to 2up?
- Is it slow?

And then for both of them, and I totally get that this could be taken the wrong way but, based solely on the spec sheets, both Stroms seem like... appliances.. like they tick every "Sensible" box, but I don't see the "Fun". I mean, I doubt riding a bike could ever be truly boring, but I like a little character in things. Am I missing something? Is there a quality that just isn't captured in the spec sheets? I hope so.

So there it is, yes, there are a lot of threads about the pros and cons of V-Stroms, but after reading all the internet, Iím still not sure. So please, people of the Stromtrooper.com, talk me into (or out of) a V-Strom.

Thanks in advance,
-Dave
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post #2 of 86 Old 04-13-2016, 02:01 AM
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Get a DL650, no question. I guarantee you'll regret the KLR with an hour commute to work, seriously, it's not even close for road worthiness.

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2016 V-Strom DL650 (red) 'Sweetness'
2011 V-Strom DL650 (white)
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post #3 of 86 Old 04-13-2016, 02:14 AM
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You do know that this is a V-Strom forum, right? We're not going to recommend that you buy a Buell or the KLR! (And based on your list, they shouldn't be the front runners anyway) So the real question is: 650 or 1000? About 2/3 here are Wee owners and 1/3 Vee. I expect that over the long run, that's what your poll will show too--more for the Wee than the Vee. So if you intend to take the advice of the poll to make your decision, you can save time by just going with the V-Strom DL650 now. Then the question will be "Gen1 one or Gen2 ?" You're clearly a "frugal" type (like most of us here) so that probably narrows your choice down to a clean used Gen1 DL650. Since you'll use it for commuting, the ABS version is the better choice. That means you'll be looking for 2007-2011 with ABS. You should be able to find a nice one in your area for under $4,000.

So there you go. Easy!

Please post a pic of your new Wee ABS when you get it.
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Preferred V-Strom Model Nicknames: 02-12 DL1000 Vee, 2014+ DL1000 ABS Vee2, 04-11 DL650 Wee, 12-16 DL650 Wee2, 17+ DL650 Wee3
V-Stroms I've owned: Wee.07, Wee.11, Wee2.13

Last edited by Satch; 04-14-2016 at 08:08 PM.
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post #4 of 86 Old 04-13-2016, 02:37 AM
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Last year I returned to biking after a long layoff - 26 years , after selling the boat .

Seemed everyone was raving about the KLR so I bought a new one .

Bad decision - the thing was gutless compared to my old road bikes , last being a Honda Bol'dor 900 , and vibrated like hell on the open road being only a single cylinder .

So I traded it for a DL650 Glee .

Couldn't be happier , smooth on the open road , good in the twisties , okay off road , great on gravel & firebreaks , and there's plenty of farkles to customise to your taste .

Even though the latest DL1000 got a good reputation with awesome brakes & fantastic suspension I think you'd need some serious Kahunas to take it off road what with the weight & 1000cc on tap .

And the 650 gets great mileage .
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post #5 of 86 Old 04-13-2016, 03:06 AM
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The 650 will travel 2-up and loaded-down like a rented mule and do it pretty well. It gets great gas mileage at normal highway speeds, but it suffers if you make high speed ticket encouraging runs. It likes to rev and is smooth and it handles very well for a tall bike.

In the land of dependable, easy to fix, inexpensive to maintain and repair, and not pricey bikes, there really isn't a lot of cool to be found.

I have found the bike to be more capable in the real world than anything else that I have ridden and it still puts a grin on my face when I ride it.

I hope you find the right bike for you!
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Dennis

'12 650 Adventure

Madstad 22inch Adventure windscreen & bracket
Adventuretech fork brace & mirror extenders
Enduro Guardian skid plate and radiator guard
Grab-on grips
Suzuki top box
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post #6 of 86 Old 04-13-2016, 08:08 AM
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I'd say a 650 vstrom ticks all the boxes you mentioned, I always thought it was a stellar commuter, good wind protection and fuel economy, I get 60+mpg on a regular basis. Another bike you may consider is a Versys 650 (2015+) which also ticks your boxes, but it's a little more sporty, maybe a little more "fun", might be a better fit coming from a sport bike.

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post #7 of 86 Old 04-13-2016, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reasonable View Post
I think you'd need some serious Kahunas to take it off road what with the weight & 1000cc on tap .
Not sure how Hawaiian priests got into the conversation....and why do they need to be so serious?
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Preferred V-Strom Model Nicknames: 02-12 DL1000 Vee, 2014+ DL1000 ABS Vee2, 04-11 DL650 Wee, 12-16 DL650 Wee2, 17+ DL650 Wee3
V-Stroms I've owned: Wee.07, Wee.11, Wee2.13
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post #8 of 86 Old 04-13-2016, 08:30 AM
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What about 2 bikes? vstrom for the commute and drz400s to play on the weekend? Do you really want your commuter to get scratched, dinged, broken and muddy if you need it to get to work on Monday?

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Previous rides: 2006 VT1100C2, 1999 SV650, 2002 KX125, 1987 GPZ305
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post #9 of 86 Old 04-13-2016, 08:50 AM
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I bought my 650 V-Strom new in 2010 and it has never left me stranded on the side of the road. All I have spent on it is maintenance and a few farkles (seat, fork brace and footpeg lowering kit).
The KLR is a single and in comparison will vibrate more and have less go. The Buell should not even be on your list. The V-Strom will be far more comfortable and capable for two up touring, and it is reliable.

2010 Weestrom
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post #10 of 86 Old 04-13-2016, 08:51 AM
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Had a CB900 Hornet and sold it for a WEE for traveling. Hardest part was not doing 160 down the highway anymore. It will take time to adjust to any bike you choose. Go for the WEE if its going to be 50 Highway and 50% dirt. The Wee is awesome on the dirt (go 50/50 tires). Any a lot better to drive if you have a passenger.

My 2 cents....

Mr. Kym
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Its "Whoever played with his toys the most wins!!!! "
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