Hello all, new guy here posting from northern IL.
I've been riding over 20 years, but I'm relatively new to the V-Strom. Always been a street rider, specifically sport bikes, and currently own a 2006 Kawi ZX14. Took it on a bucket list road trip to Tail of The Dragon in June last year, and while down there my buddy was talking about adventure bikes. I hadn't had much interest in them up until that point, but after that trip the travel bug bit me and I realized I'd like to do more traveling by bike. The ZX14 is a pretty solid sport touring bike, so I had no real plans of getting anything different...until my buddy brought home a new 16 Honda Africa Twin and started talking about trail riding. About that same time, I suffered a catastrophic engine failure on the ZX14, and still had a lot of riding season left. I also realized that at my ripe old age of 43 (now 43), as comfortable as a ZX14 may be, something a little more comfy for longer rides wouldn't be such a bad idea. I turned to the interweb and did some research on good entry level "adventure touring" bikes and kept seeing great write ups on the Vees. I found a really good deal on an amazingly clean and mostly unmolested 02 VStrom with only 12k on the clock only a couple hours from my home, so I made her mine. I haven't regretted one minute of it. The very first week I had it we hit up Bong recreational park in WI and spent a couple hours on the ATV trails. The bike performed surprisingly well considering the rocky and muddy trails, as well as my inexperience with off road riding. There was a couple close calls, but no downed bikes. Great success!
So now my plans are to fit some proper tires to the ol gal and have some fun. We have plans to hit the Trans Wisconsin Adventure Trail this year, as well as hopefully a trip out to ride the trails in the Rocky Mountain in Colorado.
The ZX14 you ask? Well she's about to get a new heart and will be ready for street duty again soon. She's also being treated to another trip to the Tail in June