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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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  #1  
Old 12-26-2012, 02:18 PM
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Default New guy, Ready to buy

Hi Folks. My name is Greg, and I am from Western Massachusetts. I am currently shopping for a new bike. I have raced and ridden dirt bikes for most of my 51 years, and I have only owned a few street bikes. I only started riding street bikes around 10 years ago, and I have owned a VF750F, an EX500, and a Triumph 885 Adventurer, in addition to several Dual Sport bikes. I recently sold my DR650, which my wife was quite fond of. She found it oddly comfortable, even though she ended up sitting somewhere between the seat and the rack. I had lowered the passenger pegs by 4", and that worked really well for her.
I have been looking around at just about any bike available, and have pretty much landed on a V-Strom 1000 Adventure. A local dealership has a left over that I can get for an even $10k. I was also considering a Wee, the Honda NC700X, and even a Versys, but the V looks like the best deal for me.
My wife and I like to ride around back roads through the local area, and occasionally we like to take trips of 100-200 miles, all 2-up. We do *not* plan on any off roading, but every once in a while, we encounter a short dirt road.
I am 5',7", 200lbs, with a 30" inseam, and my wife is significantly shorter and lighter. Coming from dirt bikes, I am not very worried about the seat height, although I did have the DR650 set up in the "Low" position. If I end up with the V, I would probably raise the fork tubes, and maybe add a lowering link to the rear. I am mostly drawn to the V because most people rave about its comfort, particularly in the passenger position. The Adventure is nice because it comes with a top case that she can lean on, even though I have read that it needs to be moved back 3" or so...
I am ready to buy. Is there anything I am missing, or that I should know before I pull the trigger on this deal?
Thank You, ~ Greg
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2012, 02:51 PM
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Default Good magazine review...

There's a review of the VStrom 650, Versys, NC700X, and the new F700GS in the current edition of MotorCyclist. That might give you some insights to these bikes.

I'll let you read the article to see which bike that liked the best.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:42 PM
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You are good to go! I payed $10.8K out the door, just an FYI. They should be able to do the same or better.
I'm 235 lbs with a 32" inseam. Girlfriend is very small at 5'-0" and loves it. We spend a lot of time riding it together. Like you, I am also from the MX community and I think this bike fits my style perfect. It's like riding a big ole' dirt bike. You'll love it.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:16 PM
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Thank You for the heads up, RWM. I have to guess that the V 1000 is in a whole different world than those bikes. I have read many reviews lately. In a nut shell, most say that the Versys is the sportiest feeling, the NC-X is strange, in a good way (not powerful, but torquey and fun to ride, with *that trunk*), the F700 is the most powerful (really being an 800), and the Wee is the best for most people.
Folks have told me that, if I am going to be spending most of my time with a passenger, the V 1000 is the way to go. I have read that the Wee motor spins pretty hard and fast at highway speeds, but it is OK with that.
My shopping has revealed that a new Wee Adventure costs almost exactly as much as a left over V Adventure.
I have seen "Spy shots" of the new V (all over the web now), and I kind of like the old one better. Radial brakes and inverted forks do nothing for me, considering my intended use (rather sedate street riding, often with passenger).
I am wondering if there is a better (lower?) bike for me than the V. I want (need?) some kind of tall back rest for the passenger. The NC700X is only $6,999, but if you add the bags and top case (with bracketry and hardware) you start getting dangerously close to the $9,999 deal I have on the V1000 Adventure, and you still have that "bland" motor.
Then, of course, I could just throw another $5k into the pot and start looking at a GS, S-10, Tiger, or a Multi.
I just started thinking that the big V seemed like "The Logical Choice", and was wondering if anybody felt differently...
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2012, 04:18 PM
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Thanks, Hunt! I really think that I am going to pull the trigger on this one this week.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:29 AM
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Just so you know the saddlebags on the adventure model are the same ones that Suzuki offered last year on 2011 650 Stroms for $199 as an enticement to clear them out.
They are rather flimsy and cheaply built and I was glad I only paid $199 for them. Better than no bag at all but oddly shaped, don't hold much and not likely to hold up. The racks they mount to are fairly sturdy and you could adapt some other bag to them in the future if needed.
I don't know anything about the top case, my guess is it is likely the same company that makes the bags, therefore similar in construction.
I only mention this in the event that if you are paying anything significant for the adventure over a normal dl1000 consider what you are getting.
Also, as a point of reference a local dealer here was advertising a dl1000 standard for $8500 plus $500 set up.
If I were hauling a passsenger I would also want the 1000 for the power. I question anyone who raves about the comfort of the stock seat on any Vstrom, it certainly wasn't in my opinion for the rider and I can't imagine it would be better for the passenger but it is fairly easily dealt with by rebuild or aftermarket.
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Last edited by Joe S.; 12-27-2012 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:21 AM
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That is some interesting input, Joe! All of the reviews I have read about the Vee, pretty much rave about the comfort of the seat and riding position.
What bikes have very comfortable stock seats - besides the 'Wing? I have *not* limited myself to "Adventure" style bikes. They just seem to offer more of what I am looking for - ample power, comfort, and weather protection.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gplassm View Post
That is some interesting input, Joe! All of the reviews I have read about the Vee, pretty much rave about the comfort of the seat and riding position.
What bikes have very comfortable stock seats - besides the 'Wing? I have *not* limited myself to "Adventure" style bikes. They just seem to offer more of what I am looking for - ample power, comfort, and weather protection.
Over nearly 43 years of bikes I am still apalled at the inability of the motorcycle industry to build a really decent stock seat.
It is, to a point, a matter of expectation. My idea of a riding day is around 400 miles, give or take a little. Thats going to be around 8 hours in the saddle no matter how you slice it. A lot depends on what you wear, the weather. For example on a hot day you sweat, the seat doesn't breathe, if you have on normal underwear it eventually starts to bunch and chaff as it gets damp. I wear a product called LD riding shorts, pretty much a bicycle short without the padding, the material does breathe and it makes a huge difference in comfort over the period of a day.
As for the seat, IMO the best seats pretty much look like an old tractor seat and are level. The name of the game is support and minimal pressure points and that is what works for most people. Notice that the best aftermarket seats, like the Russell, follow this pattern of shape.
Thus, to answer your question, the best stock seats are likely on a Wing, maybe the BMW 1600 or some of the older full tourers like the BMW K1200LT. It is possible something like an FJR1300 is okay. My Concours is a sport tourer and is a very comfortable bike in many ways but the stock seat for the rider is not very hospitable, doubt the passenger section is either.
My thought is to always get the bike you want and worry about something like the seat later. At worst you can replace it with aftermarket or have it redone by somebody like Rick Mayer, cost is going to be perhaps in the $400 area but then you have a much better seat than any factory ever put out.
It is also possible that if your expectations are to only ride 100-200 miles a day that you guys might be perfectly happy with the stock seat and think Joe is crazy as hell and this is the best seat ever.
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  #9  
Old 12-27-2012, 03:30 PM
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Joe, I am with you on this! Today's motorcycle seats are terrible! Many of them look great, but become very uncomfortable after very short periods of time. I also am aware that different people like different seats. KTM dirt bike seats from the late 90's to early 2000's were notoriously hard, and most people hated them, but every once in a while, I would come across a person (usually an "A" rider) who loved them, or at least did not mind them at all.
Maybe I am best suited to stop even considering the stock seat in my purchasing decision, and just resolve to invest in an aftermarket seat as part of the purchase price.
I have always loved those "crushed velvet" seats that you see now and then...but I have no idea where to get one.
Weather protection is another matter. The big V seems to have a much larger fairing and windshield than most other Adventure style bikes, but it seems to be placed way far forward. Does it work well? I have never ridden a V-Strom (650 or 1000), and the only reason I am considering one is that I have always liked how they look, and I have read many good or great reports on them. Plus, I have always loved my dirt bikes!
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:22 PM
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Which seat will sell more bikes:
A--the seat that feels good when you straddle in in the showroom, or
B--the seat that looks like a padded tractor seat that feels too wide when you put both feet down on the showroom floor?

The fact that the A seat is soooo uncomfortable after a couple of hours is irrelevant to getting the bike sold out of the showroom.

Try a '12 650. It is a much more developed bike than the '02 - '12 1000. Or wait for the new 1000 that is due out any year now. If you can try the '12 650, you'll know which best meets your needs. The 650 would be my choice for the riding you describe, but I'm not you.
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