Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Kingston, Ontario
I wasn't very happy with my 2014.
1. Rear rack on them had no clear coat so the paint peels off and looks awful. They will repair this under the 1st year warranty.
2. The quality of the paint on the entire bike is subpar. I had issues with the paint on the frame and gas tank. The gas tank was scratched very badly after about 1500km. They wouldn't repair it and blamed it on my riding pants. I put 40k on my 650 with those riding pants and never put a mark on the tank.
3. The front sprocket area is not designed very well so crud builds up and you will have issues with the clutch push rod as a result. You must take this apart and clean it and it can be a chore that becomes a nightmare if you make a mistake and dump out the clutch fluid.
4. transmission is clunky
5. build quality is subpar
6. insurance is a lot more
7. it's harder on gas AND takes premium.
For the good
1. the engine is amazing, instant passing power
2. the suspension is a big upgrade over the 650
3. 2 up, the 650 feels cramped and the poor suspension is even more obvious. THe 1000 was a joy to ride 2 up, I really miss it for that and i'm not sure how long i'll have the 650 now because of my wife wanting to ride 2 up more often.
I had a 650, went ot the 1000 then to a Concours 14 then back to a 650. I prefer the 650 for riding by myself. It feels a lot lighter, more nimble and has more power then I use on a regular basis. On a trip the extra MPG and lower price of fuel helps to keep costs down.
Neither bike is perfect, but i've learned the 650 cannot do what the 1000 can do (2 up riding comfortably) so I probably should have kept the 1000 and just paid the extra insurance (about $50 a month more in Canada) and fuel costs. If I was going on a trip or ride by myself though, i'd prefer the 650 to the 1000.
2018 Vstrom 1000
2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Nomad