Hi! Talk me into (or out of) a V-Strom
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
- 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..
- Really only 40ish MPG?
- It's heavy. It's got to he a chore to hustle on anything loose
- 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,