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V-Curious A place for those that are thinking about buying a V-Strom to ask V-Strom owners questions

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  #21  
Old 12-30-2012, 06:55 PM
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Joe's "woody" comment sums up a lot of charts/graphs/opinions.

I've had at least 5 BMW's, a 2-stroke Kawasaki, a Yamaha, a Suzuki, two more Kawasaki's, 3 Hardley's (laugh if you want, but, they slowed me down when I needed to slow down, and two of them were EXTREMELY comfortable to ride cross-country), Four Honda's, and now the 2012 650 Adventure.

It's darn near perfect for me, partly because of the price-point (less than 10K OTD with zero down and zero % interest for 5 years)...which may not be a concern at all to some people. It's close to perfect for me at this time in my riding life. It has more power than I expected, small enough and durable enough to ride mild-to-moderate off road, I have a buddy that makes some great suspension upgrades...although I was surprised how nice it was in stock configuration, ABS (yep, I know how to tweak it to turn it off if I choose to do so...but, I doubt I'll be riding that much off-road to warrant it), comfortable enough (already lowered the pegs and have a different windscreen system on the way), easy access for tinkering (which I always do), Fuel Injection, LOADS of aftermarket support, GREAT forum available right here, and it looks nice in a Saab-sort-of-way.

Take Joe's advice, and get what makes you feel the best...no matter what the numbers/opinions say.

Last edited by Blackheart; 12-30-2012 at 06:55 PM. Reason: forgot a parenthesis
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  #22  
Old 12-30-2012, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gplassm View Post
That is a great comment, Joe! I do not have *unlimited* funds, but I am prepared to spend more than I ever have on bikes. As I mentioned, I am also shopping for a dirt bike at the moment, and I must have a "barely street legal" type bike, for the riding I do. Even though I do not have a set amount to spend, I have this vague sense of "whatever I don't spend on a street bike, will allow me to get a better, newer dirt bike". My wife, however, might have trouble if I bought a bargain basement street bike, in order to get a fancy new dirt bike. She has seen what happens to my dirt bikes, and how they end up. My street bikes get treated much differently. I tend to pamper them, and keep them in pristine condition for years. The smallest scratch sends me into a tizzy.
My wife and I spoke again today about the bikes. I think that she is getting tired of talking about it, to tell the truth. We do, however, want to go to a Triumph dealer and check out the Tiger 800 (probably *not* the XC, as this will be a street bike only). So, I will keep hunting. With 8" of fresh new snow on the ground, there really is no hurry. Unfortunately, that also means that test rides are out of the question, so I will have to rely on web video's, comments, and reviews while I continue the hunt. FWIW - the KTM SM-T is pretty much universally praised, for what it is - a comfortable, yet fun bike. Very few 'Strom reviews mention that word - Fun. Instead, they use words like "competent", and "reliable". One phrase that keeps coming up is "Good at everything, great at nothing" - and I am OK with that.
Most nobody has unlimited funds but I figure you must be able to swing these bikes if you are seriously looking at them.
Another thing in your situation is the wife herself. Since she apparently is willing to ride with you naturally you want soemthing that she is going to like. Since she is not likely to subscribe to the 'woody' test it usually comes down to comfort so the two of you can have a good time out riding.
I think you are dead on in your perception of V Strom reviews. I've not ridden the 1000 but my view of the 650 goes something like this. It is mediocore in every way, brakes, suspension, fit and finish, etc.. It does make good power for a 650 twin and is a somewhat charming powerplant.
Curiously when you take the bike as the whole sum of its parts it manages to be better than mediocore as a bike. What I like about it is that it can do a long day, be run on dirt roads, not so expensive that I'm paranoid about damaging it. In certain envirionments it is fun to ride, tight twisty road being the main one. I truly don't like riding it on high speed highways, its spinning pretty fast at those speeds, not that it will hurt it, I just don't like the feel of it. I'm also not willing to gear it up because I don't want to lose any acceleration.
On my trip last summer I had a chance to do some high speed runs and found that about the best I could get out of it was 105 (gps verified). It just didn't have anything left past that. Now I don't need to go that fast but I think it gives an indicator of why it lacks a little fun factor as a street bike and adding a passenger will make it more so.
Now of course everyone has different wants and needs from their street bike. I'm pretty jaded in some ways I suppose, I like bikes with a lot of personality and that can mean a lot of things. For example I find the Triumph triples to be very engaging powerplants, very charismatic. It doesn't hurt that they typically put out a fair amount of punch.
But its not always punch, i have a 1979 BMW R100 and its very charismatic as well but its certainly not about power.
You'll hit on it. I think from what you were saying the KTM SMT was pretty darn close. Maybe not full on woody, but a test ride might have pushed it over the edge.
I'll be curious what you think of the Triumph 800 Tiger. I've not ridden one but I think it would have to be a pretty nice machine. Triumph is on something of a roll it seems.
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  #23  
Old 01-01-2013, 03:28 PM
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It's an old fashioned winter here right now, as you know. I'm from Plainfield (Hilltowns nw of Northampton). So, if and when hopefully you score your ride and you're out my way, give me a shout. I just acquired a '11 Wee and will be anxious to put miles on it as soon as weather permits - when the rest of life isn't pulling at me.
Good luck on the search.
Stephen
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  #24  
Old 01-02-2013, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gplassm View Post
My wife and I just returned from visiting a couple of dealerships. Here is what we found: 1) The NC700X is 6,999, and is a *small* motorcycle, compared to others that we saw and considered. My wife did not like the passenger accommodations, and a better, more comfy aftermarket passenger saddle may be limited in design by the necessity for it to swing upwards to access the fuel filler. This, combined with the lower power output of this bike, knock it out of consideration for us. Next we saw 2) a Gold Wing. This bike is a *WHALE*. It has unparalleled comfort, but I was nervous just propping it up off of its side stand. It is just too big for me to consider pulling out of my garage for my 3 mile commute. Next we saw, 3) a left over 2010 FJ1300. This bike was much smaller, lower, and pretty comfy, both front and back. It was heavy, though. The price was something like $15k. My wife liked this bike, but I seem to recall heat management issues with earlier models, so I will have to do some research on the 2010 model. Moving on, we looked at 4) a 2013 Ducati Multistrada. This bike is obviously the *Cream* of the Adventure bike segment. It's "SkyHook" suspension was *rigid* when not running. The bike was tall, but not ridiculously so. Even at $20k, it is in the running, just because it is simply a great bike, with a great motor, and everybody who has ridden one will tell you that. We looked at pretty much every bike they had, including Monsters, Diavels and miscelaneous sport bikes and cruisers. None of them seemed to fit the bill for us. Just before we walked out the door, we saw a KTM 990 SMT (Super Moto Touring). We had the salesman pull it out so we could sit on it. It was nice! Lower than the Multi, but taller than the FJ. I do not know much about this bike, so I will have to do some research. At $13,999, it is a definite contender! I would have never thought that I would even be considering a KTM.
We next went to visit a Suzuki dealership. They had 4 V-Stroms - 2 650's (1 regular, 1 adventure), and 2 1000's (1 regular, and 1 adventure). We sat on both adventures. The 1000 was not as tall as I expected it to be, but it is l-o-o-o-n-g-e-r than I expected it to be. It was very comfortable for both of us, but I would probably shift the top case back 3" or so. It is a lot of bike for the money, but I had to wonder if it was just too big for my short daily commute. My wife wondered the same thing. The 650 was better, but it was not a pretty looking bike, and it did not *move* me much. On both bikes, the bags interfered with mounting and dismounting. We did not notice this on the the KTM, which was equipped with soft bags, and no top case.
We did not buy anything, yet, but on the way home, my wife asked me which bike I liked best. I answered that the Multi or the KTM moved me the most, but it was hard to discount the big Strom just because of its comfort and value.
She wants me to get the bike I like best. Pretty much all of them will do what we want them to do, and any of them seem comfortable enough as is, or we could just spend a little more to get a super-comfy seat on any of them.
So, now I have some studying and some thinking to do. I am really drawn to the SMT for some unexplained reason.

I am familiar with the FJR1300 and the heat issue was just the early 03-05 models (Heat blanket under tank fixed mine). But it's one of the two best bikes I ever owned...Vee is my other. Advantage of the FJR over the Vee is wind pertection. The Vee is a much more agile bike though and although not quite as powerful as the FJR, is only a step down. I find the seat on the Vee very nice, but a front windscreen is a must....the FJR hides your legs from the cold to perfection...better cover your legs good with the Vee because they're going to get cold, quick.
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  #25  
Old 01-02-2013, 01:17 PM
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Pretty generous calling the Vee only a 'step down' in power.
From what I see a good Vee makes around 92 hp and an FJR makes around 125. What I would call a whopping big step down.
Not that it much matters, all of them from a Liter on up aren't exactly hurting for power.
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  #26  
Old 01-02-2013, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe S. View Post
Pretty generous calling the Vee only a 'step down' in power.
From what I see a good Vee makes around 92 hp and an FJR makes around 125. What I would call a whopping big step down.
Not that it much matters, all of them from a Liter on up aren't exactly hurting for power.
FJR makes 142 HP and is scary fast...but it's been a few years since I owned it, so I just called it a step down. But I had my FJR over 165 with plenty to go...all the ballz I had though.
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  #27  
Old 02-20-2013, 10:11 AM
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I'm really curious to hear about people's impressions regarding the T800 vs. the Stroms.
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