First impressions - '18 1000 XT from '11 DL650A - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-17-2018, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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First impressions - '18 1000 XT from '11 DL650A

So, I picked up my new '18 1000 XT (What are we calling these now? V3?) last Thursday and now that I've put a couple hundred miles on the clock I thought I'd share my initial impressions.

First and foremost, I'm thrilled with the bike. I kept my '11 650 for a long time largely because it was super comfortable and did everything I ever asked it to do. I really like that bike so anything else had to meet a really high bar. I was really afraid I'd regret spending a bunch of money and changing bikes so I'd been thinking about doing this for a couple of years now and only just now decided to do it. While I still love the 650, at this point, I'm happy that I finally made the change.

The things that stand out the most to me right off the bat are of course the power, and then the suspension and brakes, and the seat / ergos.

I put quite a bit into my 650 to upgrade the forks as well as the rear shock and that made a huge difference to the 650. The stock suspension on the 1000 seems to be nearly as good right out of the gate. That was a bit of a surprise to me. I knew the suspension was going to be better than the stock 650, especially up front with the inverted fully adjustable forks, but I didn't expect the rear to be as good as it seems to be. It'll take some more riding to see just how much better the suspension package really is.

The brakes were less of a surprise as I was expecting them to be better and they are. Some of this might be the fact that these are brand new brakes and the pads on my 650 aren't new (they aren't badly worn either) but there seems to be considerably more braking power. I can't comment on the more advanced ABS system as I haven't yet been in a situation where it's been called upon but it was one of the things that I very much wanted, along with the TC system.

And of course I was expecting the bike to be more powerful so that wasn't a surprise either. The 650 is not, in my opinion, under powered but neither is it what you would call a powerful bike. It has enough power to do everything including cruising along the highway at 75-80 mph all day long. To folks used to riding two wheeled rockets the 1000 probably feels mild. To me, it's excellent. There's lots of power on tap in any gear but it never feels unbridled or dangerous. The power delivery is predictable and smooth which I appreciate. On the 650, when passing, you can pin the throttle with no fear because there just isn't that much power. With the 1000, especially in the first four gears, you need to exercise a bit more caution with how much you twist. I haven't pushed it too hard yet but it left me grinning from ear to ear.

Motorcycle seats are one of those things that are totally subjective in terms of what works for one person versus another. That said, I always liked the 650 seat. It was comfortable for me for 500 mile days. The new seat is a lot harder than the stock 650 seat but it seems comfortable so far. It's much narrower towards the front which seems nice. I'm not sure if it's just me or not but my legs seem to be bent more on this bike even though it's bigger. More time in the saddle is needed before I consider lowering the pegs or raising the seat to adjust things.

A couple of other random observations... The new ratcheting windscreen system is kind of cool. I'm 6' and at highway speed I need it in the fully rearward position to avoid most of the buffeting. With it in either of the two forward positions the buffeting isn't as bad as the stock 650 without a MadStad was but it's definitely there. I could probably leave it as is and be happy but we'll see. The space under the seat is virtually non-existent. I think I might be able to cram a pack of chewing gum in there. If someone has mounted a PC-8 or other block in there please post some pics!

Waiting on a hand full of "must haves" including center stand and side case racks. Not sure I'm going to need to add much of anything else this time around. Maybe a fuse block for connections for heated gear, GPS, and battery tender. Might end up with something like the three circuit solution from EB instead due to the aforementioned space concerns.

Anyway, those are my initial thoughts on the new bike.

-Cambion
2018 V-Strom 1000XT
2011 V-Strom 650A (Sold)

"Remember, you don't really own anything you can't carry at a dead run."
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-17-2018, 10:52 AM
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Cambion, congrats on the new bike! It's always good to hear someone happy with their recent purchase.
There is more space to be had below the seat just behind the seat latch bracket under the tail section. I keep a couple of small vinyl zippered pouches there(Ace Hardware) for my small battery jump box and registration/insurance card.
Raising or lowering the seat involves replacing it with an accessory Suzuki seat, The High seat is 35mm taller, the low seat is 30mm shorter. The seat-to-peg distance for me is perfect--I have 5" more than I have with my other main bike, and I was used to it with no complaints. Unless there are no other options, I'm not thrilled with raising or lowering links.
I'm also 6', and the buffeting on my '14 DL1K was pretty severe. I tried the Suzuki Adventure windscreem, about a 70% improvement. Then I saw the new '18 windscreen--1" further forward, 2" taller, revised upper edge shape, talked with the Suzuki rep...and now I have that on my bike. Buffeting issue resolved.
The Suzuki center stand is excellent.
For around town small item storage I use the Suzuki/Bags Connection small ring lock tankbag , for longer trips I use the larger Suzuki bag. Truth be told, since I got the larger bag I havent used the small bag at all. It doesnt interfere with the ignition switch or instruments in any way. I also keep a matching Suzuki/Bags Connection Rear Rack Bag on the bike. I had to order it from England.
My bike came with the Suzuki side cases by mistake, so I had no need for luggage racks. I added the Suzuki Top box for longer trips. for '18 Suzuki now has a 55L top Box, not to be used with the side cases according to them. Suzuki luggage is hideously expensive retail( I didnt pay anwhere near that), the side cases are smallish, but I do like the integrated look and one-key-for-everything-on-the-bike operation.
Happy trails with your 1000XT!!!

Last edited by MAZ4ME; 04-17-2018 at 10:58 AM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-17-2018, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambion View Post

First and foremost, I'm thrilled with the bike. I kept my '11 650 for a long time largely because it was super comfortable and did everything I ever asked it to do. I really like that bike so anything else had to meet a really high bar. I was really afraid I'd regret spending a bunch of money and changing bikes so I'd been thinking about doing this for a couple of years now and only just now decided to do it. While I still love the 650, at this point, I'm happy that I finally made the change.
Thanks for your input. Very useful read. I am in the same boat, and still debating the jump from a '12DL650 to a new '18 1000. You sound exactly like me, in that you want to make sure you're making the right call. So I am very glad to hear you're happy with the change.

One thing I'm curious about is whether you notice a big difference in agility between the bikes. I know the 1000 is somewhat heavier, I just don't know how much less agile it feels on the road. I do a lot of in town, stop go, squeeze between cars type stuff, and it seems the 1000 might feel a good bit more involved to manage in that situation.

Any thoughts on that?

'12 DL650 ADV
'07 Victory Hammer
'06 Suzuki M50 (Traded)
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-17-2018, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAZ4ME View Post
Cambion, congrats on the new bike! It's always good to hear someone happy with their recent purchase.
There is more space to be had below the seat just behind the seat latch bracket under the tail section. I keep a couple of small vinyl zippered pouches there(Ace Hardware) for my small battery jump box and registration/insurance card.
Raising or lowering the seat involves replacing it with an accessory Suzuki seat, The High seat is 35mm taller, the low seat is 30mm shorter. The seat-to-peg distance for me is perfect--I have 5" more than I have with my other main bike, and I was used to it with no complaints. Unless there are no other options, I'm not thrilled with raising or lowering links.
I'm also 6', and the buffeting on my '14 DL1K was pretty severe. I tried the Suzuki Adventure windscreem, about a 70% improvement. Then I saw the new '18 windscreen--1" further forward, 2" taller, revised upper edge shape, talked with the Suzuki rep...and now I have that on my bike. Buffeting issue resolved.
The Suzuki center stand is excellent.
For around town small item storage I use the Suzuki/Bags Connection small ring lock tankbag , for longer trips I use the larger Suzuki bag. Truth be told, since I got the larger bag I havent used the small bag at all. It doesnt interfere with the ignition switch or instruments in any way. I also keep a matching Suzuki/Bags Connection Rear Rack Bag on the bike. I had to order it from England.
My bike came with the Suzuki side cases by mistake, so I had no need for luggage racks. I added the Suzuki Top box for longer trips. for '18 Suzuki now has a 55L top Box, not to be used with the side cases according to them. Suzuki luggage is hideously expensive retail( I didnt pay anwhere near that), the side cases are smallish, but I do like the integrated look and one-key-for-everything-on-the-bike operation.
Happy trails with your 1000XT!!!

Thanks! And thanks for the tips on the under seat space.

I think I'll give it some more time before I consider making any changes to the seat. I too am leary of lowering links. I know others have used them without any problems, it's just not my preference.

Glad to hear your buffeting issues have been solved!

I use my bike for commuting sometimes, in addition to light touring and having side cases has worked great for me for storing my gear while I'm at work. I plan to continue to use my old Trax boxes on the new carriers once they come in.

-Cambion
2018 V-Strom 1000XT
2011 V-Strom 650A (Sold)

"Remember, you don't really own anything you can't carry at a dead run."
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-17-2018, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MariusD View Post
One thing I'm curious about is whether you notice a big difference in agility between the bikes. I know the 1000 is somewhat heavier, I just don't know how much less agile it feels on the road. I do a lot of in town, stop go, squeeze between cars type stuff, and it seems the 1000 might feel a good bit more involved to manage in that situation.

Any thoughts on that?
Honestly, I have not noticed a significant difference. If anything, at the moment the 1000 seems a little more agile if only because the tires are brand new and they still tip in quickly. I also didn't push hard as I was on new tires. So more time and miles are needed to really compare.

I should add, so far at low speed the bike seems very agile and easy to control. The throttle is not "snatch-y" or abrupt at all.
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-Cambion
2018 V-Strom 1000XT
2011 V-Strom 650A (Sold)

"Remember, you don't really own anything you can't carry at a dead run."

Last edited by Cambion; 04-17-2018 at 01:40 PM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-17-2018, 01:31 PM
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Cambion, you said raising your seat--lowering links runs counter to that. I'd rather not change suspension height either front or rear because of a seat-to-peg distance issue. At the same time I'd rather not lower the pegs if I can just raise the seat height by itself. And even with a taller seat, you'd have to judge for yourself if the handlebar needs risers to compensate. and then you may be into a taller windscreen. One thing leads to another. All individual preferences and choices.

At a later date i'll consider the XT1000 handlebar and saddle clamps for my '14 DL1K. I like the thicker middle section of your '18, but will have to compare part numbers to see what all needs to be swapped. If I do that at all, no real need.

Wait till you do a 1000+ mile trip on it. Mine was an absolute delight!
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-17-2018, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAZ4ME View Post
Cambion, you said raising your seat--lowering links runs counter to that. I'd rather not change suspension height either front or rear because of a seat-to-peg distance issue. At the same time I'd rather not lower the pegs if I can just raise the seat height by itself. And even with a taller seat, you'd have to judge for yourself if the handlebar needs risers to compensate. and then you may be into a taller windscreen. One thing leads to another. All individual preferences and choices.

At a later date i'll consider the XT1000 handlebar and saddle clamps for my '14 DL1K. I like the thicker middle section of your '18, but will have to compare part numbers to see what all needs to be swapped. If I do that at all, no real need.

Wait till you do a 1000+ mile trip on it. Mine was an absolute delight!
Sorry, I wasn't paying as much attention as I should when I wrote that. What I meant was that I'd prefer not to lower the pegs but rather, would raise the seat. I don't want to push anything closer to the ground if I don't have to.

Totally agree, it's one thing leads to another with some of these changes.

-Cambion
2018 V-Strom 1000XT
2011 V-Strom 650A (Sold)

"Remember, you don't really own anything you can't carry at a dead run."
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-17-2018, 02:56 PM
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And another new 1000XT takes to the road.
Congrats, enjoy!

2018 1000XT, black. The Night's Watch. Givi engine bars, rear wheel mud guard, radiator screen. Givi V56 Litre Monokey topcase. Puig screen. Freeway Blaster horn. Speedohealer. SW Motech guards for R. brake reservoir, R. brake cylinder, exhaust pipe valve. Aprilia Tuono mirrors. GPR exhaust slip-on.
2006 DL1000, The Red Rhino. Gone for good.
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-17-2018, 07:46 PM
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I'm hoping to take mine on a long trip out west, but even though I've owned it since Feb., I've hardly put any miles on it. Winter has not let go yet, and I've spent a good part of the last 4 (or is it 5?) days plowing snow. I would like to get everything installed and take a shake-down ride before heading out, but time keeps getting away from me and other stuff keeps coming up. Had a day last week that I thought I could spend working on the bike, then our washing machine broke. Ended up spending the day working on that

One thing I did with the underseat storage area was to remove the vertical fins that divide it up. No clue what they're for other than keeping the tool kit from moving around and marring the finish on its contents. I've shoehorned a Rostra cruise control in there, and feels like it still has more space than it did initially. Could probably be done with a Dremel or die grinder. I have a power chisel that was quick and not dusty or melty.

I'm hoping to convert front signals to LED and to be on as running lights, but blink as needed. I'd also like to strip off the silver paint on the rear rack with some kind of blasting media, but I need to replace the window on my cabinet first. That's low priority and may have to wait until I get home.

Here's a link to my route which may change, depending on weather, time, etc. It's nice to have something like that to look forward to as the snow keeps falling. I'm hoping today was the last of it and we can be done with it for this year. (says the guy who had to bolt on the winter tires TWICE this spring, DOH! )

EDIT: I wanted to add, one of the first things I did was take it out on a gravel road and try some panic stops. Totally impressed with the ABS system.
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2018 Flee-Strom 1000XT

Last edited by bighammer; 04-17-2018 at 07:49 PM.
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-22-2019, 01:51 PM
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Hi there Bighammer.
I am from Brazil and owner of the new V3 (XT) 2018 and I am trying install the rostra cruise control from my previous V2.
I read your post and see that you are using Rostra in a V3-1000. Because that Id like know from you if is is working right and if possible provide some wiring scheme that you used?
I am trying install follow al wiring scheme from V2 with adaptation of a relay to the rear brake light, since the new V3 is led.
I will be very thankful with your help.
My best
Wagner Judice
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